Manta Point (called Karang Makassar in local name) is a spot where manta rays often encountered. It is one of the popular place for diving and also snorkeling for those who love to see the manta rays, a huge marine creature that can grow up to 4 meters wide. Though they are huge in size, they are considered as the unharmed sea animal. Manta Rays are one of the extinct animal on earth which nowadays divers or marine life lovers are trying to protect them from illegal fishing practices.
Doing the tour to see the Komodo Dragon, manta point is one of the suggested point to stop for snorkeling. This can be done on the way out to Labuan Bajo or after Komodo trekking in Loh Liang or after Pink Beach. Although seeing manta rays can’t be guaranteed, Manta Point offers excellent snorkeling experience. Reefs are laying from only 2 meters to 9 meters depth. Turtles, sharks, eagle rays, giant trevallies, huge clams, various kind of sponges, and cuttle fish are things you may see during your snorkeling. If you are lucky, you may get the experience of swimming with the mantas. They can be so close to you.
If you are not good enough in swimming, it is best to use life vests to keep your self floating. If possible, ask one of the boat crew to swim along with you. This way it is easier to get rescued if unexpected things happen. Boats during snorkeling on this area are normally following you from behind. This is to avoid being drifted far away by current.
Diving in Manta Point
Manta Point is the most strategic location to witness Manta Rays. These creatures often pass by this spot peacefully. Their size is about 3 meters. They can hurt you easily. Though, they swim elegantly. Actually, the sea is warm. You only need to pay attention to its underwater current. It is quite strong. For beginners, it is better to dive in with an instructor. The sea doesn’t have lots of corals, actually. That means your main attraction will be the Manta Rays.
At Manta Point Komodo you’re likely to find small groups of Manta, often traveling in packs of two or three. Some groups base themselves in the tropical water of the Flores and Komodo area, while others are mid migration. Each manta has distinguishable spots on its belly and while these beautiful marine animals are capable of travelling up to 1000 Kilometres, many hang around and have become known by dive masters in Komodo for their distinct personalities.
A preparation is a must. You should wear the equipment properly before diving. As stated before, you should have an instructor. He or she will be your partner during such adventure. Since it is sightseeing, you must carry an underwater camera. You should never miss the movement of those creatures. Don’t be careless in approaching them, though. They can be aggressive sometimes. The question is why these creatures gather at this point. The answer is simple. They are looking for foods, which are small jellyfishes.
In Manta Point, you may encounter jellyfishes. Getting stung is inevitable. Therefore, you should wear proper diving gear and equipment. Another obstacle is the underwater currents. It is a little bit difficult to move ahead while diving. A proper navigation is required. Make sure you don’t get swept by the currents. Also, don’t move too far from the location of the boat. Instead of diving against the current, you should follow it. This way, you are able to save much energy.
If you conduct a group diving, you should stick with your fellow divers. It will be a nasty experience if you are left behind. Once you approach the Manta Rays, you must not make a sudden move. That means you should be calm. It is also possible to touch them. Make sure you are accompanied by an instructor, though. A sudden move makes Manta Rays uncomfortable. Even though they aren’t as dangerous as other types of Manta, they have a big size. Their movement can hurt you, for sure.