Set in the heart of Indonesia in splendid isolation are the Banda Islands. This group of volcanic islands played an important role in the history of colonial Indonesia. This is where hundreds of years ago exotic spices were harvested, spices that made Holland a rich and in its time very powerful nation.
The isolated location of the islands in the wide open Banda Sea, and the low level of human population meant lower fishing pressure and the islands have maintained a vibrant, natural and healthy reef system. As a result you can expect reefs bursting with life, huge seafans and sponges, monumental hard corals, and more fish than your wide angle lens can catch!
While big fish and pelagics are the usual suspects in the Banda Islands, its true treasure is in the large variety and sheer volume of fish life, for both large and small marine life. Some of the creatures worthy of special attention, because they characterize the diving in the Banda Sea are the dogtooth tuna and mobula rays. At many of the dive sites you’ll see large schools of fusiliers and thousands of red tooth trigger fish. At the other end of the size scale, there are prolific mandarin fish and the native Ambon scorpion fish.
Cetaceans are frequent visitors too and sightings of spinner dolphins, orcas, and various whale species, including melonhead, pilot, blue, and humpback whales are common. It’s certain that you will see plenty of big stuff and there is no shortage of colorful reef life!
Diving is usually comfortable, with mild currents, good visibility and calm waters, but some of the dive sites are subject to stronger currents.
photo by Janusz Draminski