Komodo Resort and Diving Club

Komodo Resort and Diving Club

Tanjung Pelita, Pulau Sebayur, Labuan Bajo 86754, Kec. Komodo, Manggarai Barat, Flores, NTT – Indonesia.

Coordinates in degrees decimal:  -08.516417 N, 119.714452 E.

Visited in November 2022.  Photographer: Nigel and Sylviane Thomas.  Cameras: Olympus Tough T5, T6 and Nikon Coolpix W300.

Website: https://www.komodoresort.com/  If you want to visit this site with like minded snorkellers have a look at our sister website, Planet Snorkeling, who are running a trip there in 2024,  https://trips.snorkeling-report.com/komodo/   

The Komodo Dive Resort is located on Sebayur Island in the northeast of the Komodo Archipelago.  The resort has a house reef with a beach frontage of approximately 500m.  The reef extends both south and north of the beach, facing west in the north and southwest, at its southernmost point.

The resort is accessed via a 30 minute to 45 minute journey by ferry/dive boat that is operated by the resort.  This vessel runs from Labuan Bajo port, which is 15 minutes from the international airport on the Island of East Nussa Tengarra. 

The climate in the area is tropical, with a rainy season from December to March and a dry season from June to September. Air temperatures during the day are high and quite uniform throughout the year, with maximum daytime temperatures of 35C in October/November.  Minimum temperatures at night rarely dropping below 20C during June to September.

The weather and water conditions that might affect snorkelling include the following:

  • During the rainy season, December to March, up to 30cm of rain can fall per month.  Minimal rainfall occurs between June and September.
  • Seawater temperatures are uniformly warm, with highs of 29.5C between December and April and a low of 26.5 in August. 
  • The strongest winds occur during the period December to March, although winds tend to be uniformly light, rarely exceeding 11knts, with the calmest period in September to October (<7knts).
  • The prevailing wind is from the SE, but is generally light. The strongest winds (>11knts) blow from the WNW, but only for short periods each year. Some refraction of waves may affect visibility.
  • Tides in the area are complex, due to the number and location of the islands.  Tidal data exists for Labuan Bajo but this is not replicated at the resort, although it can be used as a guide to when high and low water is likely ± 2hours!   
  • The tidal range at the resort can be as much as 3.1m, which exposes most of the reef edge.  It is not advisable to try to cross the reef at this state of tide, with entry and exit from the water only possible from the jetty.
  • Due to the occasional large tidal range, currents off the reef edge may become quite rapid, particularly at the southern end of the reef, on the ebb tide.  In these conditions, back eddies exist which help you to stay on the reef.  The house reef is otherwise ideal for drifting but plan your entry and exit carefully.

The habitats that can be observed while snorkelling on the house reef include: beach sand; mangrove; rock/coral concretions; seagrass beds; sand with coral outcrops; mixed seagrass, coral and coral debris and finally coherent coral reef.  These can generally be located at all of the sites  in the region, but several additional habitats occur elsewhere, including a high current regime, rock drop off with swim through gullies at Pulau Batupengah, near Tengah Kecil.  Another habitat type is the coralline algal (rhodolith) dominated seabed at Makaser Reef, where the Manta Rays can be found.   

The house reef supports a very high diversity of corals, soft corals, sponges and fish species.  A total number of 346 species were identified during our 10 day trip, including over 125 fish and 65 coral species.  

Komodo Resort is located on Sebayur Island, which is to the northeast of the Komodo Archipelago.  This image is provided by the resort and indicates the numerous diving and snorkelling sites in the area.

The resort will start by telling you that they would prefer you not to enter the water from the beach.  This is completely understandable if the tide is more than halfway out, as the water is too shallow and coral damage can occur.  In this situation, entry from the jetty (entry point 4) is the best option.  When water is above half tide it is possible to enter over the sandiest areas (entry points 1 -3), including those points with rock and concretions underfoot. 

Low water, looking over the southern section of reef.  It is not possible to cross the reef at this state of tide, so use the jetty to enter and exit.

Seven distinct habitat types are evident on the house reef; beach sand; mangrove; exposed rock/coral concretions; seagrass beds; sand with coral outcrops; mixed seagrass, coral and coral debris and finally coherent coral reef.  The beach sand and mangrove extend into shallow waters followed by the concretions.  The latter are made up of exposed rock and eroded coral, supporting numerous buried clams (Tridacna crocea).  Some live corals exist over the concretions, so take care when walking in this area. 

Beach entry point 3, adjacent the jetty.  Shallow water sand.

 

Seagrass beds are extensive in the shallow waters, particularly to the north and south of the resort frontage.  These seagrass beds merge into mixed seagrass, coral outcrop and coral debris areas.  Interspersed between these may be found shallow water sands with sporadic coral outcrops.  The latter are more extensively near the jetty. 

To the north of the area large patches of the Blue Coral (Heliopora sp.) are located, separating the inshore mixed seagrass and coral debris, from the offshore Acropora  reef.

The coherent coral reef is furthest offshore and is comprised of a wide variety of corals, primarily Acropora spp.  The reef edge then drops off to depths greater than 10m, with a variety of corals, soft corals and sponges on the slope.

The reef top is also attractive to significant shoals of fish, particularly multiple Chromis species. you can also spot large shoals of the almost ubiquitous Sergeant Major and Lowfin Chubb.

Another area of interest is around the jetty, which attracts many shoals of larger fish including these Blackspot Snapper.  Be aware that boats frequently use this jetty, so pay attention to the instructions given by the staff on duty. 

The other habitat of interest on the house reef is the small patch of Mangrove.  These trees create an ideal environment for juvenile species of many sorts, and you might also find the interesting little Pyjama Cardinal fish hiding in the Mangrove roots. 

All of the species noted at the house reef can probably be found elsewhere in the area, but several species and habitats can be observed only at other locations.  It is, therefore, worthwhile taking a trip with the resort vessels to visit other sites, including Makaser Reef for the Manta Rays and the incredibly diverse range of species in the gullies at Tengah Kecil.

Don’t forget to include a trip to see the Komodo Dragons while you are in the area!

Resort Sealife Photos

click on image to open and view text

Threadfin Butterflyfish.  Chaetodontidae.  Chaetodon auriga.  Most coral reef areas. Image from house reef

Little fuzzy but distinctive pattern of the Eastern Triangular Butterflyfish.  Chaetodontidae. Chaetodon baronessa.  Noted near Acropora coral. House reef.

 

Redfin Butterflyfish.  Chaetodontidae.  Chaetodon lunulatus. All coral reef areas. Image on house reef.

Further examples of Redfin Butterflyfish.  Chaetodontidae.  Chaetodon lunulatus. All coral reef areas. Image on house reef.

Spot-tailed Butterflyfish.  Chaetodontidae.  Chaetodon ocellicaudus.  Over the reef top in the company of a wrasse. Image on house reef.

Eclipse Butterflyfish.  Chaetodontidae.  Chaetodon bennetti.  All coral reef areas. Image on house reef.

Oval-spot Butterflyfish.  Chaetodontidae.  Chaetodon speculum.  Solitary or pairs, all coral reef areas. Image on house reef.

Two Chaetodontidae; upper is a Blacklip Butterflyfish.  Chaetodon kleiniiLower is Chevroned Butterflyfish. Chaetodon triascialis.  All coral reef areas. Image on Sebayor Kecil.

Latticed Butterflyfish.  Chaetodontidae.  Chaetodon rafflesi.  All coral reef areas, generally solitary. Image on house reef.

Black-backed Butterflyfish.  Chaetodontidae.  Chaetodon melannotus.  All coral reef areas. Image from house reef.

Saddled Butterflyfish.  Chaetodontidae.  Chaetodon ephippium.  All coral reef areas. Image from Sabayor Kecil.

Humphead Bannerfish.  Chaetodontidae.  Heniochus varius.  Small shoal coral reef edge. Image from Sabayor Kecil.

Big Longnose Butterflyfish.  Chaetodontidae. Forcipiger ?longirostris.  Infrequent reef areas. Image from house reef.

Pennant Bannerfish.  Chaetodontidae.  Heniochus chrysostomus.  Coral reef areas, in pairs. Image on house reef.

Emperor Angelfish.  Pomacanthidae.  Pomacanthus imperator.  Noted on most reef areas. Solitary. Image from house reef.

Six-banded Angelfish.   Pomacanthidae.  Pomacanthus sextriatus.  Noted infrequently, reef areas. Image from house reef.

Blue-girdled Angelfish.   Pomacanthidae.  Pomacanthus navarchus.    Noted solitary or in pairs most reef areas. Image from Siaba Besar.

Golden Spadefish.  Ephippidae.  Platax boersii.  Found in small shoals around the jetty on the house reef.  Juveniles of this species and possibly Longfin Spadefish also present. Image on house reef.

Poor image but distinctive orange blob identifies this species.  Orangeband Surgeonfish.  Acanthuridae.  Acanthurus olivaceus.  Only noted at the Manta Ray Point, Makaser Reef.

 

Likely a Fine-lined Surgeonfish.  Acanthuridae.  Acanthurus ?grammoptilus.  Small groups all reef areas. Image from house reef.

A shoal of either, Fine-lined Surgeonfish or Orange Socket Surgeonfish.  Acanthuridae.  Acanthurus ?auranticavus.  Noted in deeper water off the jetty on the house reef.

A little fuzzy but distinctive colours of the Powderblue Surgeonfish.  Acanthuridae.  Acanthurus leucosternon.  All coral reef areas. Image from house reef.

Striped Surgeonfish.  Acanthuridae.  Acanthurus lineatus.  Occasional most coral reef areas. Image from Siaba Besar.

Convict Surgeonfish.  Acanthuridae.  Acanthurus triostegus.  Often noted in large shoals, all reef areas. Image from house reef.

Brushtail Tang.  Acanthuridae.  Zebrasoma scopas.  All coral reef areas. Image from house reef.

Pacific Sailfin Tang.  Acanthuridae.  Zebrasoma velifer.  Rarely noted. Image from house reef.

Possibly a Lined Bristletooth.  Acanthuridae.  Ctenochaetus ?striatus.  Pale version of this species.  Very common, see next image. Image from house reef.

Shoal of mostly Lined Bristletooth.  Acanthuridae.  Ctenochaetus ?striatus. 

Small group of Humpback Unicornfish.  Acanthuridae.  Naso brachycentron.  Noted feeding over the coralline algal seabed off Manta Ray Point, Makaser Reef.

Elegant Unicornfish.  Acanthuridae.  Naso elegans.  Generally solitary. Image from house reef.

Moorish Idol.  Zanclidae. Zanclus cornutus.  All coral reef areas. Image from house reef.

Coral Rabbitfish.  Siganidae.  Siganus corallinus.  Found in pairs all coral areas. Image from house reef.

Foxface Rabbitfish.  Siganidae.  Siganus vulpinus.  Frequent all coral areas. Image from house reef.