Ali Reef, Wakatobi – An exposed Seamount, which is connected by a deep ridge to Eel Valley table corals, tubastrea formations and lots of gorgonians. Futher down large soft corals, tubastrea formations and lots of gorgonians. Futher down large soft corals and colourful overhangs. Turtles and reef sharks can be seen. To complete this dive, an extended safety stop is needed and controlled slow asent to the surface along a line or in the blue is a must.
Roma, Wakatobi – Is a large, wide pinnacle, fringed with beautiful potato coral and adorned with anemones and clownfish rising into the current. Large schools of fishes patrol the water column above the pinnacle, which make for a constant flittering of light on the dive dite. Sinking in through rays of light of you will be instantly greeted by large schools of fusiliers, and red-tooth triggerfish swirling around. The centre point of the site is an extraordinary pinnacle teeming with life.
Anywhere other than Wakatobi this pinnacle would be a dive in itself. Banded sea snakes are very common here and divers have seen them in double figures. Aside from the pinnacle you can cruise around the other undulating mounds endowed with pristine coral and anemones. Two of the smaller boomies are great for focusing on the macro life. One is home to several leaffish of green, white, yellow and black, sometimes perching in a pink sea fan. If you have the time and inclination you can search under reef boulders with you torch for the rare and beautifully patterned cometfish. All in all, Roma rules. The list of residents includes ribbon eels, scorpion leaf fish, winged pipe fish, spindle cowries, carpet anemone shrimps and rockmover wrasses.
Teluk Waitii, Wakatobi – This ridge in a sheltered bay is frequently visited by passing tuna, giant trevallies and curious napoleon wrasses. The central Coral Head circled by a large school of fusiliers is home to a myriad of red tooth trigger fish. In the shallows a beautiful carpet anemone with shrimps pleases the photographers, futher down we encounter ribbon eels, glass fish and coral blocks full of life. Lots of large Gorgonians inhabit the outer slope.
Table Coral City, Wakatobi – Table corals, staghorn corals and cabbage corals cover this large Seamount. Futher down gorgorians and many species of sponges cover the slopes. A school of chevron barracudas circles the mound and giant trevallies hunt in the shallows. The whole top is covered in swirling anthias. The list of residents includes schools of snappers, turtles, ribbon eels, frog fish and octopus. At high tide this is one aquarium!
Waitii Ridge, Wakatobi – To start, we stroll along the coral ridge, pass turtles and schools of fish. About half an hour into the dive we ascent slowly along a Seamount full of life. Anthias and damselfish dance in large numbers across the top of the staghorn and potato coral, keeping a keen eye on the random banded sea snakes foraging among them. Saron shrimp, mantis shrimp, banded pipefish, leaf fish, stonefish and other species that would be considered rare in other destinations are found this site regularly. As special bonus a very prolific pair of anemone fish can be observed how they watch over their off-springs.
Dunia Baru, Wakatobi – Usually little current and very easy site, close to the resort and perfect for night dives. Among the residents are snake eels, mantis shripms, several crocodile fish species, spanish dancers, pleurobranch, flat worms and saron shripms.
Magnifica, Wakatobi – This is a dive one could do every day. A stunning beauty from the reef top to the extreme depths. The mooring is at a small stony plateau right at a reef corner with its own habitat. The steep slope explodes with life. And it keeps on being top notch while drifting along the grade 1A reef – even snorkelling is exhilarating on the very top, but to take it all in all the way down, you need to be a trimix rebreather diver. Schools of snappers, skip jacks and many other fish, huge barracudas watching th divers and lots of lonf toms hunting below the surface.
Batfish Wall, Wakatobi – This shallow colourful wall with deep crevasses is home to a multitude of critters. We see schools of barracudas, moorish idols and dancing butterfly fish. Around the next corner the wall shows even more holes and niches. The reef top with tables corals is home to many snappers, groupers and along this section many special nudibranchs can be found.
Fan Garden, Wakatobi – Another all time favourite. Starting at a stunning wall section and then a steep slope, this long and very healthy reef section presents thousands of fans. A wide variety of fish in the shallows entertain the snorkelers, a large school of humphead parrot fish chooses the medium depths, and for the technical divers a deep wall lures with huge black corals and soft corals. Simply beautiful and easy to dive.
Fan 38 (West), Wakatobi – As well here a spectacular topography with coral growth as far down as one can see! Plenty of space to play for extended range divers and rebreather divers, who can visit huge sponges, black corals, humongous soft corals, dive through an banana shaped tunnel and revel in the overflowing life along the deep overhangs – this is deep diving at its best. Another all time favourite.
Fan 38 (East), Wakatobi – A wild topography composed of slopes, walls, overhangs, canyons and small caverns. Impossible to get bored here! The ever changing reef offers macro subjects and larger animals, depending on the current. Schools of fish feed in the current and as many photographers had to experience.
The Zoo, Wakatobi – Named for the plethora of critters found here, this is one of the true macro dives of Wakatobi. The name indicates an array of interesting resident critters in a smaal area : Residents include frogfish, ghost pipefish, mantis shrimp, leaf fish, funky hairy squat lobster, different species of pygmy seahorses and more. One of the more unique macro critters found at the Zoo among the mushroom anemones are the mushroom pipefish, a small white pipefish with a triangular head, which makes it look less like a pipefish and more like a small underwater phyton.
Cornucopia, Wakatobi – This Wakatobi diving site has a varied topography with walls, ledges and overhangs. Only when the current is very slight is there time to nose around, as usually you will drift at a reasonably leisurely pace along a great stretch of reef. Watch the changing vista of amazing hard and soft corals in oranges, yellows and purples. All the usual coral fish suspects are here as well as the odd pelagic. Whitetips, nurse sharks, eagle rays and mobula rays are also known to swing by. There is more colour than any artist’s palette.
Turkey Beach, Wakatobi – This is a delightful shallow drift through an endless, brightlylit coral garden. Two large canyons contain schools of Batfish and Bronze Snappers. It’s also a good spot to encounter turtles, Eagle Rays and Bumphead Parrotfish.