Komodo National Park in August or Soloman Islands in November?
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I have to agree with everyone on this thread. Both are outstanding dive destinations with excellent photo opportunities. The biggest difference is the Solomons offers more colorful Wide Angle photography along with schooling barracuda and jacks at Mary Island. In addition you will find far more sea fans and colorful soft corals in the Solomons then on the Komodo trip. Though Komodo is colorful, the visibility generally averages 30-40 feet or less. Where the Solomons in November is likely to have 80-100 plus.
For muck/critter diving they both have it, but I would favor Komodo due to the number of outstanding black sand dives.
I have worked in the Solomons and lead many trips to both there and Komodo and for the most part you really can't go wrong. My only concern about Komodo in august is yes it can be windy and the water in the Southern part of Komodo National park will be in the low 70's to high 60's. Where in November, you are more likely to have calm seas and 83-86 degree water in the Solomons.
for full disclosure...I do happen to have a 10 day group trip scheduled for Nov 24-December 3 which is geared for the U/W photographer. I also have a special price on that trip if booked soon. For more on that either contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or check oyt my post in the Liveaboard market Place, topic is Solomon Island special. There are more links there.
I have been to both Komodo and the Solomons. From my perspective, the Solomons is far superior! Komodo was OK, but honestly I've seen better diving in the Caribbean (this is probably weather dependent). I have been all over the world - Belize, Honduras (Bay Islands), Nicaragua, Palau, Turks and Caicos, Curacao, Komodo, Cozumel several times, Pacific coast of Mexico, Thailand, etc. The Solomons is the 2nd best diving (Palau was slightly better) and a fantastic cultural land experience. For all things - sharks, mantas, schools of fish, macro, coral, topography, etc. Solomons is superior to all other than Palau, and it is a very, very close second. I very rarely consider a repeat visit to any destination and I would go back to the Solomons in a heartbeat. To clarify, I did both the Bilikiki liveaboard and Uepi. Both were absolutely fantastic, but the Bilikiki is something I will repeat in my lifetime. A second to none experience. Do it, you won't regret it. For what it's worth, I do (a little bit) regret going to Komodo. Diving just wasn't worth the time/effort to get there and the crazy diving conditions.
Garry Bevan is choking on his brown sauce over that comment. People have wide variety of interests to base their opinion on but have to think you went somewhere wrong if you felt Komodo was worse than the Caribbean. I do note most of the places you list are in the Caribbean.
Iíve decided on Komodo only because Iíve signed up to go to Bonaire during the same period as the Soloman trip in November. Iíll make it to Soloman some day based on every ones feedback. Thank you all for your suggestions and feedback.