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Lombok and Gili Islands Diving Information

Diving in Lombok is incredible and is far superior to the excellent diving that Bali has to offer. The reason for this is partly due to there being more areas that are protected from the fierce swell of the Indian ocean but mainly due to the proximity of Lombok especially on the west coast to the Wallace line that is an imaginary line that parts Lombok from Bali and travels further up the coast where the two different types of species both in and out of the water meet.

Lombok offers interesting scuba diving for beginners to experienced divers. The main diving takes place around the Gili islands which lie in the northwest of Lombok in the strait between Lombok and Bali. Around Sanggigi beach in east Lombok there are also a couple of dive sites and some dive operators such as dream divers also offer scuba diving in the southern part of Lombok (Blongas), where there is a lot of currents and swells and large pelagics such as sharks, rays and makerels.

Through the Lombok strait between Bali and Lombok flows the Indonesian Through flow (Arus Lintas Indonesia), a massive flow of water that passes from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. The result is a rich underwater life and during certain times of the year also large fish like sharks, eagle rays, turtles and manta rays come and visit the reefs.

This means that Biodiversity in this are is amazing for a great diving and in line with most bio-diverse areas on the plant with over 3,500 different marine species all living in and around the reefs that are located offshore and close to the beach feeding off the constant streams of warm nutrients that flow from the deep waters and the intense sunlight that allows fans and wall coral to grow to gigantic proportions.

When you compare the 3,500 different species living around the reefs alone to the 1,500 species living around the Great Barrier Reef, it is easy to see why Lombok is becoming more interested for diving, dived although the reefs have not yet been over dived and it is a good thing that divers are taking great care not to damage these reefs as over 25% of the worlds coral reefs are located in Indonesian waters.

Diving in Gili Islands
Three small islands, surrounded by coral, The Gilis, off Lombok’s west coast, are fast becoming one of her main draw cards. Dive centres with all the high tech equipment and professional instructors ensure that visiting divers at all levels of experience and ability can dive in waters that have more varieties of fish than anywhere in the world – and that includes The Great Barrier Reef and Red Sea.

The Gili islands are also not to be forgotten and certainly require a mention for diving in Lombok, as they are some of the richest and diverse sites in the area. This is due to the variants it the sea bed topography that is a combination of slopes, drop offs and plateaus that harbor all kinds of different species and give a good all-round presentation of all that Indonesia has to offer. When diving in Lombok on the Gili Islands you can expect to encounter such species as Moray Eels, Angel Fish, White Tip Reef Sharks, Cuttlefish, turtles and Ghost Pipefish as a selection of just a few of the many. Diving around the Gili Islands and the rest of northwest Lombok there are over 15 recognized and highly acclaimed dive sites and many more sites that are worth seeing, there are also many spots being found all the time that offer incredible diving in this aquatic goldmine.

In the morning you can even visit a little known spot called Shark Point and no prizes for guessing why. It is a point where there are sharks although they are not the big scary ones, just harmless reef sharks as well as turtles of the Hawksbill and Green varieties ribbon eels and as if that was not enough there are often Manta as well. There is also an amazing spot called Volkers’ Golf course which is located not above but below the water just 500 meters east of Shark point. This green patchy floor, which is very similar to an underwater golf course, is the best spot to find sharks that can sometimes be the bigger ones as well as schools of Mackerel and doctor fish.

Gili Trawangan
Now appears to head the list as the most popular island – it has long had a reputation as the ‘party’ island mainly through a concentrated and central foreshore area of restaurants, dive operations and hotels including some luxury boutique choices.

Gili Meno
Still the quietest island is a place to escape to and although it has a smaller list of accommodation options those that it has are tending towards a more up-market clientele. Snorkeling off beaches of pure white sand the coral is superb.

Gili Air
Has the largest local population and while it has more of a lived-in feeling than the other two islands for some that is quite possibly its attraction. On Gili Air it’s possible to likewise enjoy the marine possibilities but also one can absorb some of the local culture missing on the other islands.

In addition to the Gilis there are many other dive and snorkel possibilities such as an area now being promoted on the rugged south coast where the experienced can now dive among hammerheads and rays.


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