Diving in Lombok & Gilis
Scuba Dive and Snorkeling
scuba_dive There are three small islands in the north of Lombok, Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. From Senggigi it takes about 30 minutes by car and 30 minutes by boat to reach these islands. The coastway to the boat has very nice views where we can stop to take pictures. The islands are surrounded by white sandy beaches. Local transport on these islands is provided by horse carts and bicycles. There are many accommodations; bungalows, hotels and resorts around the islands.
Gili Trawangan is the biggest party island of the three northern Gilis. It has lots of bars and clubs at the east side of the island, and is famous for the great nightlife. But of course Gili Trawangan is also a place to relax, and dive!
The island has 5 famous dive spots, for a really nice dive. The water temperature around Trawangan normally varies from 26 to 29 degrees Celsius, depending on the depth and the season.
Manta Point is generally an easy dive site, sometimes the current gives you a fine drift. The best season to see Mantas, is from March to May, still February and June also offer good possibilities to see them. Mantas can be seen exceptionally year-round. 17 Mantas have been seen here the same time.
The nutrients carried into the water by runoff from land, make the mantas more active. So, the lower visibility that divers may encounter during the rainy months of November and December can actually be a blessing in disguise.
Even if you don’t see mantas, this is a rewarding site for divers of all abilities. You’ll see lobster and moray eels in the rocky parts of the reef. Look also for cuttlefish hovering over the corals, flashing their brilliant colors. The cuttlefish’s ability to camouflage itself is incredible. It is even able to mimic the red algae found on the bottom here.
You can also see the sleeping white tip reef sharks around the bommie coral. It’s around 17 meters deep.
Mantha Point is also the best place to see the Acropora reef.
This is one of the Gili’s most popular dive sites, it is normally done as a drift dive heading towards the point at the center of Gili Trawangan’s western coast. You can dive at three levels. There are places for deep dives, midwater drifts and shallow dives.
Bannerfish and Moorish Idols decorate the reef with their high contrast black and yellow bodies. You’ll see them moving around the coral formations. Look for schools of Jackfish or Trevallyfish at the current-swept point, as well as Reef Sharks and occasional Rays.
A Mobula’s head is similar to a Manta’s head, but its mandibles are closer together.
Most divers end this dive along the upper reef flats before the tip of the point. Carry a safety balloon, as the currents can drift of divers off the point into the open sea. Cuttlefish, blue-spotted stingrays, turtles, chromis, basslets and other colorful reef fish live in this area’s shallow water.
And of course because it is called Shark Piont, you can see sharks, normally in the small caves and holes below the coral and sometimes even on open spots.
This site got its name for its precense of large, white-polyped Gorgonian fan-coral with bright-red skeletons. They grow on the big coral bommies of this sites shallow reeftop.
You’ll find other types of hard coral spread along the bottom at 5 to 7 meters, surrounded by lots of reef and tropical fish. Small Copper Sweepers especially like to swim here. The shallow corals and colorful fish life makes Coral Fan a good choice for snorkeling in the Gilis.
As diver you often see Titan Triggerfish and Clown Triggerfish on this site’s outside wall, which drops from 8 to 30 meters. The strong current that feeds the wall’s healthy coral and fans make drift dives the order of the day. The slopes have varied fish life, including a good selection of Scorpionfish, so be careful where you put your hands.
Gili Meno is the middle island of Lombok’s northern islands. It has a small hotel and restaurant strip at the harbour on the west side of the island. Also it has various small and cosy restaurants and hotels spread over the island. The island has a small saltwater lake but is so small you can walk around (the whole island!) in about 1,5 hour. With the sunken pontoon, called the Meno Wreck or Bounty Wreck, and the Meno Wall it is just as Gili Trawangan a famous island for divers.
Meno Wreck/Bounty Wreck
The old Bounty wreck is placed just off the coast of Gili Meno (you can actually see parts of the old jetty on Google Maps Sattelite >>), but it is easier to reach by boat from Gili Trawangan. The wreck is covered with soft coral and also harder coral (Acropora Florida, Acropora Pormosa, Acropora Nobilis). There is also a big variety of fish. The depth is around 13-17 meter. Visibilty is always good here: around 20 meters. The fish families you can find here are Sweet Lips (Haemulidae), Angelfish (Pomacanthidae) and Clownfish (Amphiprioninae). And be careful for the angry fish that lives at the east side of the wreck, really if you have nice colorful fins! Also you can make a ride on the famous wreck bike