Diving Menjangan Island
Menjangan Island boasts some of the most diverse reef life available in Bali, and some of the best coral growth, making it truly a world-class site; thus it is well worth the extra trip to get there. The water is mostly extremely clear with visibility up to 35m; temperatures range around 28 – 31 dergrees, with white tip sharks, turtles, jackfish, lionfish, leaf scorpion fish, banner fish, trigger fish and batfish all a likely sighting.
Reasons to dive here
With this diversity of underwater topography, Menjangan Island is probably the best all-round dive-spot in Bali – an unmissable destination for any diver, whether beginner or advanced. For photographers there is plenty of opportunity for spectacularly colourful shots, and you can spend several days here without repeating any experience!
|Type||Reef, Wall, Drift|
|Access||3 1/2 hours by car from the South, then 40 minutes by boat – backwards roll boat entry.|
|Coral/bottom||Massive fields of soft coral, whip coral, fan coral, hard coral etc.|
|Marine life||Nudibranches, huge amounts of reef fish, turtles, black- and white-tip reef sharks, anemone shrimps, frogfish, pigmy sea-horses.|
|Current/conditions||None to manageable|
|Visibility||10m – 35m|
|Depth||5 – 40m|
|Experience level||From complete beginner to advanced|
|Photography||Wide angle, macro, snapshot|
- Menjangan is 4 hours car and 40 minutes boat ride from sanur,so we do not run daytrips here.
- the day is a 2-dive boat trip with no shore break (unless requested)
- we use a 4-star dive resort with private jetty
- refreshments and lunch on the boat are provided
- bring camera, sunscreen, sun-hat
Diving at Menjangan is only available with an overnight stay or as part of a safari-trip. Pick-up in Sanur is early – about 7am – and the drive to the divebase in Nara Gawana takes about 3 1/2 hours. After relaxing for a little in the divebase, a boat picks us up from the private jetty, and the boat trip to the island takes about 40 minutes. The day includes 2 dives with a surface interval of 1 hour including lunch, then the boat goes back to the harbour. A short drives takes you to the hotel, for a relaxing evening, before driving on the next day. (the exact itinerary may vary from one safari to the other.)
The south coast is mostly a wall dive with a shelf of hard coral full of nurseries for reef fish at 3m, down a coral wall with gullies and open caves, covered in reef-life, down to 45m.
The north coast is mostly a slope, with hard- and soft-coral fields completely covering the flat area at 4m – 9m, with some sandy areas and many coral blocks and small reefs. Off the edge the reef slope becomes steeper, falling away into a shallow wall (down to 35m) covered in coral, and abundantly inhabited.
Each end of the Island gets tidal currents, making for lovely drift-diving along the deep wall to the East, at Batcave, and across the sandy area to the West at Eel Garden (for many, the best dive-site here). Out in the blue you can get jacks, trevallies, tuna, black-tip reef sharks.
With a jetty and a beach, it’s a good place for lunch. You can dive directly from the jetty, in the shelter of the small bay, between the walls of the bay, and turn either left (east to Batcave) or right (west to Underwater cave) at any depth you like up from 3m to just over 40m where the bottom of the wall is.
The anchor, where this site gets its name, lies at about 5m, encrusted with coral and still recogniseable with the classic form sticking 2m out of the reef; the thick chain lies in a line down the reef side, easy to follow all the way to the wreck at about 38m; pieces of the wreck are still visible, large beams and bolts, but much of it has already been plundered; tales tell of hundreds of bottles, copper plates etc – now all gone.
To the East the wall is vertical and fairly flat, with many massive gogonians, and a huge abundance of all types of coral and life. The tidal currents are stronger here but not uncontrollable and never down or up, so it can make for a fun ride but is never stressful. Good coral growth typical of an area with currents like fan corals, brittle-stars, huge sponges, as well as many typical reef-fish, schooling fish such as banner-fish, mackrel, and a chance of reef sharks.
To the West the coral wall has many gullies and channels creating many different environments, for many different critters; maybe pygmy seahorses, anglerfish (frogfish), large groupers, etc etc. The currents are never strong here so it’s a garden of eden amongst the corals, with many breeding reef-fish. Look out into the blue for a glimpse of reef sharks, tervallies, maybe Tuna.
lies a little further to the west, starting at a corner where the light shines beautifully down through the coral with beautiful blue light.
Balcony Reef is further west still; like mangrove, here is an amazing amount of life, all down the wall and in particular near the surface on the coral edge, where nurseries for fish make your safety stop a real joy, the corals full of clouds of colourful fish.
is another good place to have lunch, and gives easy access to the next dive sites. Start out west from here, and you have some very nice coral on sandy bottom, at easy depths of abut 12-15m. Further round still is Eel Garden
is probably the most interesting site here. Actually it’s worth several visits; the site has a deep wall (about 65m ) on the north west side, which hold in a 25m deep basin of sand. The south east side is full of big coral blocks with a sandy bottom, where the tidal currents sweep through. It gets its name from the thousands of garden Eels that inhabit the edge of the sandy area where the current rises over a ridge, bringing them nutrients – a wonderful sight!