• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

8 days in August: Sumbawa or Alor?

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by echocat, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. echocat

    echocat Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    23
    10
    3
    Hi!

    I'm planning a trip to Indonesia in August with my girlfriend and would love your collective 2 cents on what to do.

    We've got about 8 days in the first half of August and would like to spend them diving in Indonesia. We're based in the Philippines so travelling to Bali / Jakarta is easy but I want to keep travelling time within Indonesia to a minimum (ideally only 1 domestic flight + some driving)

    Fully aware that August is the peak of the high season but I'd like to somehow avoid the huge crowds. Any other time I probably would have gone for Central Komodo but I'm worried that all the dive sites are going to be absolute jacuzzi baths.

    In terms of diving, we're more interested in megafauna than in macrofauna. We've got some of the best muck diving and coral reefs not far from where we live so ideally, we'd love to see something different. In particular, my partner would love to see mantas and sharks. We both work in marine conservation and unfortunately, we see more dead sharks and dead mantas than live ones. Would be truly wonderful to see a bunch of them alive and kicking for a change.

    Having read through this forum, I'm currently hesitating between Sumbawa (Kalimaya Resort) and Alor (Eco-Divers). They're both quite secluded, with direct flights from Bali, and some megafauna (manta for Kalimaya, and sharks for Alor if I'm not mistaken)

    What do you guys think? Which destination would you recommend between the two? How's the diving there in terms of marine megafauna? Any other destination that could fit the bill?

    Appreciate the help!
     
  2. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,134
    1,690
    113
    8 days for Alor is a bit short if you include the transportation inside this timespan. That means you would have only 6 days diving, in that respect Kalimaya would be better to fit in.
    But to me Alor is superior in terms of about everything.
    Alor is worth for hammerheads, but you need to find them they're about 38m deep with a LOT of current... in Kalimaya there would be only mantas in terms of big boys, few reef sharks.
    I suppose you know in Bali there are molamola at this time of year, mantas and sometimes sharks.
     
  3. echocat

    echocat Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    23
    10
    3
    Thanks for the input! I could definitely extend by a couple of days if necessary.

    What else can you usually see in Alor (in terms of big stuff)?
    Since the hammers are that deep, is it only accessible for tech divers? I've got my AN/DP certification and think it would be a really cool deco dive to do but my girlfriend only dives recreational.
    The sunfish in Bali are definitely famous, but how bad is the tourist crowd in August? I've heard some truly horrifying tales of divers harassing wildlife and discount dive shops cramming as many divers as possible on boats.
     
  4. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,134
    1,690
    113
    TBH you'd sometimes need a bit of deco to have chances to see HH in Alor. It's not technical diving, since you carry air (or EAN28). On my best HH spotting dive I had at least 5mn deco, my buddy more than 10 (yeah.. Suunto...).
    I've heard about molamola in Alor but never saw them, a friend had once .. a blue whale !!! (can't do mega-er than that, he was really lucky).

    Molamola in Bali : not as bad as manta spots because they're usually deeper in colder water.
    Everything will depend on your operation, I like Gekodivers because they start early for molamola chasing when the sites are not yet crowded. Also it's a not a cheapo backpacker aimed dive centre, they try not to pack their dive boats.
     
  5. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    6,028
    3,551
    113
    What we saw on the way to the Alor Divers.
     
    echocat and chillyinCanada like this.
  6. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,095
    514
    113
    Alor is incredible , we saw hammerheads on both our dives in Current Alley , or Current No Alley as we called it. But we saw lots and lots of sharks , amazing macro , wonderful reefs , had a surface interval with the super pod of dolphins and pilot whales etc etc .It is a really special place. There are now direct flights on some days of the week from Bali. It’s worth the extra distance.

    Kalimaya is also very beautiful and is just one flight away from Bali.

    Best fishes x
     
    echocat and chillyinCanada like this.
  7. echocat

    echocat Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    23
    10
    3
    Thanks for the information, Alor looks like a truly wonderful place.
    I heard that abundance of cetaceans really peaks in November but can you still them in August?
    I'm also considering Timor Leste which seems very similar to Alor, any of you guys been there?

    Good to know, is that the same for Central Komodo? Any ways to avoid the crowd there?
     
  8. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,134
    1,690
    113
    Too many liveaboards in august. Batu Bolong becomes a jacuzzi. Plus there are not so many dive sites.
     
  9. echocat

    echocat Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    23
    10
    3
    That's what I feared.

    Kalimaya offers day trips to West Komodo, have any of you been to the dive sites there? How does it compare to North / Central Komodo?
     
  10. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,134
    1,690
    113
    Been diving on Gili Banta which is NW Komodo.
    Reminded somehow of a mix of Alor & Komodo. There are some manta sites as well.
    From Kalimaya you also dive Sangeang volcano, which has fabulous macro sites, very much alike Tulamben and lively coral areas as well.

    Banta - High voltage
    42833035530_d4fdd11152_z.jpg

    44642723661_7228e2f398_z.jpg

    Sangeang
    43783320245_d867536d5b_z.jpg

    29760489797_af0d010cb7_z.jpg
     

Share This Page