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Diving South Lombok | Indonesia
Reef shark on the Magnet
Squat lobster in crinoid

The island of Lombok is next to Bali and is often described as 'Bali how it used to be'. For divers there are two distinct diving areas – the tiny, tropical Gili islands lying off the north coast and the district of Seketong on the southwestern corner of the island. This area is affected by it's position between the Lombok Channel and the Indian Ocean.

SEKETONG | Seketong town sits on a lagoon-like stretch of water with shallow seas dotted by tiny islets. The surrounding coastal stretch is rural and uncrowded. There are many shallow reefs with swathes of pristine hard corals; others with bright soft corals and colourful crinoids, while newer discoveries have revealed some amazing muck dives.

BELONGAS BAY | This isolated bay sits on the Indian Ocean and while inside the bay is calm, it can get rough outside the headlands. The best dives are around a pair of offshore pinnacles that attract sharks and rays. These are adrenaline rush sites – the conditions can be extreme and dives are not suitable for the inexperienced, but they can be highly rewarding.

South Lombok dive photo gallery Scuba diving features

Marine Life Whitetip sharks
blue ribbon eels
Top dive site The Cathedral
Seasons All year
Visibility 10 – 40 metres
Water temperature 24 – 29º C
Deco chambers Bali
Flights direct to Mataram from Singapore or via Bali then 20-30 minutes transfer by plane. By road to Seketong takes 90 minutes.
Dive operators and accommodation Minimal but decent quality guesthouses in both areas.
We first dived this region with DiveZone-Lombok who cover the areas mentioned here. In late 2010, Odyssea Divers opened in Seketong in conjunction with Cocotinos Resort. Our report is here.


Lombok is just a 20 minute flight from Bali plus there are direct flights from Singapore on Silk Air. The south of the island is very undeveloped and apart from the guest house or hotel you stay in, there will be little else. It's worth reiterating that point as for some that would be perfection, for others it would be too remote.


Due to the affects of currents from the Lombok Channel, Seketong dive conditions are far more variable than in the Gili Islands in the north of Lombok. Sites are shallow and tend to be calm but the closer you go towards the channel, the more current you will encounter.

Hard corals are extensive but marine life tends to be small – we saw shrimp and nudis here that were new to us so there is a lot of potential. The offshore pinnacles in Belongas are very different, with crystal clear water and incredible colour on their surfaces. We saw a few sharks but the pelagic season is short.

We first went to Lombok as travelers in 1985. We snorkelled over the reefs off Gili Air and were hooked. We have been back to experience the land-based diving since and have seen great changes over the years. The south can be very exciting and very different to the calmer waters in the north. We liked the sense of being pioneers in this newly developing region.
Complete reports on this area are in
Diving Southeast Asia.

The digital edition is on iTunes.

Buy the print edition direct from SeaFocus here.

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