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the end of March to the beginning of April, Alor or Ambon?

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by kkshxt, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. kkshxt

    kkshxt Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Taiwan
    28
    42
    13
    Hi all,
    I am planning the trip for 2020 March 28~ April 5
    and it's hard to make decision
    we haven't been to Alor nor Ambon
    any suggestion for the timing and OP?
    I am looking forward to unique underwater photo opportunity
    and we like wide angle more than macro
    I know Ambon is a famous macro destination,
    but I heard there are great wide angle opportunities.
    please kindly advice me,
    thanks !

    BTW, my other timing options are the end of June and October
     
  2. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,134
    1,687
    113
    Weather wise both should be fine beginning of April.

    Of course there are wide angle and coral reef opportunities around Ambon but it'll be a 70% macro trip. While the coral cover was quite good I didn't find the fish life was so impressive, your best bet would be Ameth coral gardens off Nusa Laut as well as South Molana, all far away east of Ambon in the Lease group but very few operators go on a day trip. Forget June in Ambon, october doable.

    On the contrary Alor can be a 70% wide angle trip, depending on the operation, Alor Divers is more wide angle focused than the others and that is the one I would recommend. That said more budget la Ptite Kepa have their afficionados, I've seen recent photos on the FBK page of a SB member staying at LPK where he showed hammerheads, molamola as well as pilot whales. Hammerheads are all year round but whales are more seasonal. October is peak/best season for Alor, June doable.
     
    Topper1972 and kkshxt like this.
  3. kkshxt

    kkshxt Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Taiwan
    28
    42
    13
    thank you so much Luko!

    would you advice me some photography subjects?
    both Ambon and Alor are appreciated.
    for example, schooling barracuda in Maratua, morning dive the liberty for bump heads ~
    and for only 5 diving days, would you recommend Alor or Ambon?
    thanks a lot!
     
  4. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,134
    1,687
    113
    Alor :
    - Anemone city : the pools in the shallows, great lighting and topography, lots of coral fish.
    - Local fishermen diving to set cylindrical palmleaves nets, or taken looking to the surface in their canoes.
    - Reef shallows of Bama wall and Cathedral (a bit like Batu Bolong, Komodo)
    - If luck is on your side hammerheads, saw them 4 times never could shoot them. (better plan your diving around full moon)
    - Coral encrusted pillars of a pier near to Alor Divers
    - Rhinopias in Kalabahi bay

    Ambon :
    - Rhinopias in Ambon bay
    - Psychedelic frogfish
    - Pintu Kota : fabulous gorgonians with a huge coral bridge in the background (think Boo's window)
    - Hukurila cave system, nice play of lighting
    - Fish schools (jacks sometimes) and corals reef in Ameth/Nusa Laut
     
    Topper1972 and kkshxt like this.
  5. kkshxt

    kkshxt Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Taiwan
    28
    42
    13
    Thank you for your insight. I really appreciate it!
     
  6. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,095
    514
    113
    We did Alor and Ambon in the last 12 months, stayed in Alami Alor and Dive into Ambon : saw hammerheads in Alor and the psychadelic frog fish in Ambon.

    The coral in Alor is incredible, with superb macro and amazing visibility. The fish life was prolific and we adored everything about Alami Alor, the tranquility, the beautiful bungalows and the food and the ambiance, excellent guides , charming owners and a super sociable and friendly management company. The house reef is superb with beautiful coral and manadarin fish and excellent macro. Getting there from Bali needed a night in Kupang , there are direct flight now I believe. We spent one surface interval with the local super pod of dolphins and pilot whales leaping around us. There must have been hundreds of not thousands of them.

    Ambon is a more built up area , more traffic etc etc. The resort is an independent , reasonably nice hotel with an excellent pool and the rooms clean and comfy. Like Alor the ambiance was brilliant , the owner was always around and was funny and friendly. Like in Alor you eat together which was really nice. The food wasn’t great though, despite the very best efforts of the owners. We saw a psychadelic on our first day , the spot of a lifetime.The macro was amazing, I could have spent every dive under the pier in Laha with so many weird and wonderful creatures.

    Hope this helps a bit !
     
    kkshxt and dirtfarmer like this.
  7. silent running

    silent running Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Brooklyn, N.Y. U.S.A.
    606
    73
    28
    I’ve been to both, both have some great diving, but Alor is the better of the two destinations. I haven’t been to Ambon in the last 10 years, But although the fish life was very good and there were lots of great dive sites, there was an awful lot of trash in the water, including an enormous amount of plastic bags. The population of Ambon is much larger than Alor, so it’s not surprising there would be more trash in the water. I think it’s the world bank that says when median incomes reach $3200 per year, that’s when citizens begin caring about the environment. Let’s hope the Ambonese are climbing their way up the income ladder enough to afford trash collection and some basic environmental awareness.

    Alor was fantastic, outside of Komodo it was the best diving I did in Indonesia. The hard coral at the northern sites is as good as anything I saw in Papua New Guinea, and fish life is very prolific everywhere in Alor. Top tier local knowledge is crucial to getting the most out of Alor, the best sites/times to dive are highly dependent on tides and can make the difference between amazing and merely good. There are plenty of great critter sites, particularly in the bay, and there is plenty of big stuff if you are at the right site at the right time. I recommend this operation:

    Diving in Alor

    Thomas has excellent local knowledge and one of the best boats I’ve ever been on. It’s huge, has lots of shade, a proper head, small kitchen and the best dive exit ladder ever, more like a set of steps.

    Thomas is based in Kalabahi, apparently there are a few nice hotels there now. So the whole trip can be very reasonable price wise, compared to some of the resorts out on the islands...
     
    kkshxt likes this.
  8. Indah

    Indah Barracuda

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Weda, Lembeh and Rao Morotai
    477
    244
    43
    Sorry, it is not really an answer to your question. But reading what you are looking for i wanted to ask your attention for the Halmahera Sea too. Please have a look at Weda Resort.
     
    kkshxt likes this.
  9. matts1w

    matts1w Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Jakarta, Indonesia & Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
    1,563
    627
    113
    Ambon is absolutely my most favorite dive destination in all of Indonesia. That being said, if wide-angle is your thing, I cannot imagine Ambon competing with Alor.
     
    kkshxt likes this.
  10. Wingy

    Wingy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    2,511
    1,780
    113
    Alor does seem to be going off at the moment - right boat FB page has been posting up walls of hammerheads and whales.
     
    kkshxt likes this.

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