This, as you can imagine is a question often asked by guests and it’s a tricky one to answer. You may not know this but Komodo is a year round diving destination with each “season” and month allowing different locations to be visited, with different wildlife that can be encountered and different sea conditions.

The two main weather seasons are the dry season from April-October and the Monsoon/Wet season from November to March. But don’t let the word “monsoon” fool you…The mainland of Flores for sure gets a lot of rainfall but out onboard a boat in the islands, it is rare to see more than a couple of afternoons of rain on a trip. Even in the wettest months of January and February, this is the case and these are two of the best months for wildlife, to lose the crowds and to explore the deep south of Komodo National Park.

There is also a windy season mixed in there usually from May-September which also coincides with the main tourism season when Komodo is at its busiest with regards to boats and divers from June-August.

Calm seas, crystal clear waters and nobody else in sight. This is the dream for most of us when planning our Komodo adventure.

So the best time to visit Komodo really depends on what YOU want from your Komodo adventure… Is your focus Manta Rays? Or are you a Macro fanatic? Do you want to lose the crowds? Have the warmest water or best visibility? Or explore the less dived/snorkeled sites of south Komodo and Rinca? Let us try and break it down for you month by month so you can start planning the Komodo adventure that fits you best.

JANUARY: As mentioned technically wet season so expect some rain and the visibility/water temperature can be variable. BUT a great time to see Manta Rays and many dive sites you will have to yourselves. Also the stunning sites in the south of Rinca/Komodo only accessible by liveboard open up to diving. These sites offer mind blowing macro, stunning topography and are very different to the Central and Northern sites.

FEBRUARY: The wettest month usually here in Komodo but as with January a great opportunity to explore the less visited southern locations, lots of Manta Rays around and the chance of seeing other divers at its lowest. We have also recently found a couple of sites we can visit in this time where we have encountered Hammerhead and Thresher Sharks.

MARCH: Usually the start of the change of seasons from wet to dry which can mean at times that the whole National Park is yours to explore on a longer trip. Visibility and water temperature are unpredictable but an amazing time to explore Komodo completely, see Manta Rays and still usually not too many people around.

APRIL: Dry season has begun and windy season has not started which means calm seas and the number of tourists starts to grow. The focus for divers now switches to the famous Central and Northern dive sites such as Castle Rock, Batu Bolong etc. Still a great time to see Manta Rays and the water temperature and visibility can be amazing.

MAY:  Dry season is in full swing, sometimes the windy season has begun and the Central and Northern areas of Komodo start to offer up their very best diving conditions. The number of Manta sightings starts to decrease the water temperature is rising and food supply for them is decreasing in the Central area. But the health of the coral here is really starting to show with the good visibility, vibrant colours and teeming with marine life.

JUNE AND JULY: Amazing diving conditions in the Central and Northern areas, visibility can often be 30+ metres and water temperature 29-30 degrees. Manta Ray encounters are less common and usually juveniles as the Manta Rays head to the south of Komodo in search of cold plankton rich waters. The number of divers starts to increase dramatically meaning the famous dive sites can be very crowded during peak times. It’s also worth noting that this is Komodo Dragon mating season…the Dragons are less easy to see during this time.

AUGUST: The Central and Northern areas still the focus for divers and the conditions still mind blowing. There is plenty of Pelagic action at sites like Castle Rock and The Cauldron outside of the peak times daytrip divers.

SEPTEMBER: High season for tourism is over, the winds are dropping and the focus is still Central and Northern Komodo. This can be a great time to visit and get the great diving conditions without the crowds…

OCTOBER: The Manta are starting to come back to Central Komodo, the dive sites are quiet and the seas calm. This is the start of our favourite season in Komodo after a busy high season and we tentatively start to explore a little further south.

NOVEMBER: Usually the hottest month here and the beginning of the seasonal change meaning exploration to the south is beginning and nearly all of Komodo National Park is accessible. This is also the season that we sometimes start to get Whales passing by as we travel.

DECEMBER: The beginning of the wet season, but rainfall in the islands is minimal. Finally, the southern sites are opening up with increased temperature and visibility. The Central area still offers some great diving but the exposed Northern sites usually becoming less diveable with very low visibility and rough seas. The first two weeks of December are often very quiet so a great time to visit and lose the crowds.

Wunderpus heading to it’s overnight mooring in North Komodo for a quiet night under the stars.

Some things to consider/note when planning your Komodo adventure are:

  • Book your trip before you book flights…this gives you more chance of finding the right trip at the right price. If your dates are more flexible there will be more options open to you
  • Remember that the remote southern sites can only be accessed by liveaboards not daily diving trips from Labuan Bajo.
  • Be flexible with regards to trip itinerary, 10 years of Komodo experience has shown us that flexible itineraries allow the best chance to see Komodo at its best. Being able to react to unusual seasonal changes, weather, tides, switch sites to avoid crowds and other factors usually means a much better experience.
  • Komodo has a reputation for being only for very experienced divers and whilst the currents here can be strong Komodo can be enjoyed safely by less experienced divers also.  Let your chosen operator know you are less experienced, ask them for advice about when would be a good time to visit as the currents depend on the tides and these change constantly.
  • Choose your operator carefully, check reviews from other travelers and ask questions about diving practices, equipment, the boat etc.
  • Be a responsible traveler and support operators that have good environmental policies, limit your plastic use and help protect the underwater world we love.

So there it is, of course seasonal changes can shift each year and as always the temperature and visibility is always changeable here in Komodo. But we hope this has given you some insight into when would be the best time for you to join us here in Komodo and experience some of the best diving on the planet.

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