The small island of Menjangan is located 8 km to the north-west of Bali Island. This island is a part of the Bali Barat National Park created in 1941. The locals named it “the deer island” regarding the herd of wild deer inhabiting the island and surrounding area. This marine protected area is becoming a paradise for scuba divers and snorkelers. Menjangan Island is also said to be one of the top ranked scuba diving destinations in Bali.
This is not surprising when you know the stunning dives you will have here: beautiful walls, slopes and coral gardens with some of the healthiest coral you can find in Bali and a good chance to observe reef sharks. The abundance and diversity of marine species found there is mesmerising. There are many dive sites around the island and of course we have our favourites.
Here are Team Abyss’ Menjangan Island – Top 3 Dive Sites
1. Eel Garden @ Menjangan Island
This place is the “must be dove” of the island. Located at its western corner, it is a 3 sections dive sites. The dive begins on a straight wall starting from 10m depth and dropping to 50m. On its top there is always a giant cloud of damsel fish and some blue soft sponges often hosting giant frogfishes. As you continue along the wall you will be astonished by numerous magnificent gorgonian sea fans. If you look closely, you may be able to find some pygmy sea horses. The wall ends on a sandy slop which the top at 18m form a plateau covered by masked garden eels that gave the name to the dive site.
This area is sometime exposed to mild current due to its location in a small channel between Menjangan Island and Bali. Where there is current, there is action: reef sharks, dogtooth tuna, giant barracuda or giant trevallies are often seen hunting in the schools of snapper and sweetlips. Pass the sandy slope and you will find yourself in a shallow coral garden at 10m depth where you will spend the remainder of the dive. Here you will swim around coral heads looking for turtles, Leaf scorpion fish, nudibranches, octopus and so much more. This dive site is best to dive in the morning lights for full enjoyment!
2. Underwater Cave
Located in the northern part, this wall has a very unique shape for a thrilling ambiance dive. The entire dive is along a wall cut in some parts by natural enclaves to access the shore and with lots of cornices and small caves. The top at 6m is covered mostly with hard coral with lots of colourful anthias, damsel and other small reef fishes that really make you feel like you are diving in an aquarium.
Before you end your dive you can enter a cave between 15m and 10m. Here skylights may reveal some juvenile white tip reef sharks hiding during day time. If you look closely you may also find some fire clams embedded in the wall. There are a lot of sea fans through the dive so check them to find some pygmy seahorses. Just remember to always keep an eye on the blue so you will not miss a shark or other big fish passing by.
3. Sandy Slope
Also located in the north of Menjangan Island, this site will suit divers with all levels or interests. The dive starts on a white sand slope you will head to the east or west depending on the current. Whichever direction is chosen, there are plenty of nice things to see. You can find all kinds of hard and soft coral as well as anemones, gorgonian sea fans, barrel sponges and tones of ascidians. The macro life you may see include different kinds of nudibranches, pipefishes, shrimps and squat lobsters.
For bigger sea life you can look for turtles, frogfishes, scorpion fishes, crocodile fishes in the reef. While out in the blue some even bigger things such as reef sharks, napoleons, tuna, barracudas or schools of jacks. This dive site is perfect for a Discover Scuba Dive as there is a shallow sandy plateau right next to a coral garden from 4 to 6m. It is also perfect for the last dive of the day as you don’t need to go deep to enjoy the magic!
Our dive team at Abyss Ocean World knows the Menjangan Island’s Top 3 Dive Sites very well. We would be happy to bring you discover the underwater secrets so do not hesitate to contact our team.
Written by: Nicolas Singre