Questions related to Diving Komodo with kids are frequently asked by families booking cruises and private yacht charters with us. Whether your kids are already certified or you are thinking of learning to dive, here is a quick guide to give you a better understanding of what to expect when planning for a family diving cruise in Komodo.
Komodo is one of the the best diving destinations in the world with varied seascapes and many types of dives sites. The nutrient-rich water creates a haven for coral growth, many smaller fish and large pelagic – however, the richness of Komodo comes from the thorough-flow of currents which makes up the many dive sites in Komodo mostly suitable for advanced divers. Nevertheless, there are several current-sheltered sites in Komodo National Park suitable for kids. Continue reading for a guide to some of the best dives sites as well as information and tips for parents planning a diving holiday in Komodo with children of any age. See here also for some general guidelines for family boat charters.
Photo Credit: Vovo on Duyung Baru
Best Dives sites in Komodo for kids
Here a selection of the best dive sites for kids in Komodo. Keep in mind however that you will have a Instructor with you onboard planning the sites and route for your Cruise – have trust in his/her experience.
- Sabolon Besar
Sabolon Besar is an Island in the North of Labuan Bajo with a gentle reef slope and a mostly very gentle current. It is a great place for starting your family diving trip with a check-dive, both adults and kids love it.
The bay between Sebayur Besar and Sebayur features a large limestone rock and some protected reefs and walls. Not only is this a great place to friendly diving, this bay is also ideal for watersports.
- Gili Lawa Darat Bays
The area between Komodo Island, Gili Lawa Darat and Gili Lawa Laut offers some of the most popular sites for experienced Divers – Cauldron and Golden Passage. While the channels between the islands feature strong currents, the area also offers many protected bays with easy dives sites.
- Kanawa Island
Kanawa Island features white sand beaches as well as some tranquil and relaxed reefs—another great place for kids to practice scuba Diving.
- Manta Point
Manta Point, or Karang Makassar, is one of the most well-known sites in Komodo due to the regular aggregation of Reef Mantas. Depth is 7-14m and currents vary from medium to strong in one direction and is usually done as a drift dive. Whether or not this site should be dived with kids depend on the diving skill and confidence level of your kids. It is of course best to have a chat with your Instructor onboard. While diving with Manta Rays might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, diving in a current can be challenging for kids. Manta Rays are mostly hovering in the first 8m and can often be seen from the surface. If in doubt, take off some of the pressure by making it a family-mission and leaving the tanks behind altogether and explore Manta Point snorkeling.
Diving Course Guidelines for Junior Divers
Diving in the Sea is generally possible from the age of 10 years or older by the guidelines of PADI, SSI and other Scuba Diving Agencies. A Junior Open Water course can be completed at this age, which will automatically be upgraded towards a normal Open Water by the age of 15.
Junior Open Water Divers can dive up to 12m and have to be guided by a certified Divemaster or Instructor. Junior Open Water Divers between the ages of 12 and 14 can also attend a Junior Advanced Course (limited to 21m).
In Komodo, you may Cruise and Dive with kids and even do diving courses! Below are the most common diving courses and levels. These general guidelines also apply for teenagers of 15-17, depending on their diving experience.
Diving Certification for children in Komodo
- Discover Scuba Dives
“Discover Scuba Dives,” also called “Introduction Dives” and are a straightforward and easy way to get your kids exploring underwater. Guided by a certified Instructor, kids go through basic theory and shallow water exercises with an Instructor, followed by an easy dive on one of the beginner sites in Komodo.
A Discover Scuba Dive is also the first step towards a Junior Open Water Certification. Many of our yachts have permanent Instructors on them and a “Discover Scuba Dive” for kids can be arranged directly onboard – however, it is advised to check beforehand about possible arrangements on your chosen boat.
- Junior Open Water Courses
Generally Junior Open Water Courses in Komodo, as well as most anywhere else in the world, lasts 3-5 Days and include theory, shallow water exercise and 4 Open Water Dives. It is possible to do a full open water couse during a yacht charter, but it is important to give enough time for the cruise overall as there are plenty of other adventures to have on a cruise.
- Junior Open Water Referrals
To limit the time that needs to be spent on theory and shallow water exercises in order to focus on what actually matters – diving in Komodo – it’s a good idea to complete the Shallow water/pool part of then course and theory at home or elsewhere before coming onboard in Komodo. The Instructor will need a “referral form,” even better if it comes with the direct contact to the referring Instructor.
- Fun Dives for kids
If your water babies are experienced enough to have already completed a full Junior Open Water course or have even been diving before, we recommend asking about the guide and instructors onboard before arrival in Komodo.
As depth is limited to 12 m, kids either need to have their own Divemaster or Instructor or you can also dive as a family together and plan dives according to the needs of the least experienced member of your diving family.
Planning a Komodo diving Cruise with Childrean
Many parents are keen divers themselves and can’t wait to go on a dive diving cruise with their children. And we totally get it. Offering your kids to unique chance to immerse themselves in an underwater world and sharing your own passion with them is an amazing gift.
Still, be mindful of your own enthusiasm and remember that it is important to provide the right pace, location and flexibility for learning and practicing diving for kids.
“Do’s” For Families When Planning to Dive with Children in Komodo
- Do confirm that enough guides/Instructors are onboard to meet the diving needs of you your family.
- Do keep in mind that choosing kid-friendly sites may effect the dive sites and destinations chosen for yourself and the rest of the group.
- Do choose the right boat and operator for your family. Private charters are a much better choice for diving families with kids, as the timing and dive sites can be much better adjusted according to the needs of your family.
- Do remember that flexibility is key when diving Komodo with kids. Dive sites and the number of dives have to be adjusted according to the ocean conditions as well as your child’s learning curve.
Komodo Cruises offer a broad variety of activities, not only diving, and will be a great family experience overall. Try to not put too much pressure and expectations on the cruise or child learning to dive let the cruise give you and your family an unforgettable holiday on a Yacht in Komodo.