Menjangan Island diving in West Bali National Park
Adventure Travel Ideas Asia Indonesia

A Menjangan Island Dive Trip in Bali, Indonesia

Menjangan Island is a long, low lump off the coast of the West Bali National Park. Covered with brown deciduous trees and a fringe of mangroves in the dry season, it is about 30 minutes by boat from the coast of Bali island.

“Menjangan” means dry – there is no source of fresh water here and the only wildlife are the native Menjangan deer which are able to drink salt water. It is not inhabited but there is a large temple complex with a huge white Ganesh statue.

Temple on Menjangan Island, West Bali National Park, Indonesia

As our boat approached and circled the island heading for the first dive spot, another boat overtook us and headed for the jetty. The passengers were wearing their best temple clothes, mostly dressed in white and with hats and headdresses or white flowers in their hair.

They filed up the path to the temple to pray, carrying large dishes of offerings on their heads. A whole extended family, from grandmothers to toddlers.

The jetty on Menjangan Island, West Bali National Park

We took our lunch boxes ashore (filled with delicious Balinese food prepared that morning) and watched them come and go before being called to another diving session.

Diving Menjangan in West Bali National Park

I wasn’t able to dive on this trip as I had my daughter with me but we experienced snorkelling Bali at two places off the coast of Menjangan Island (Coral Gardens and Sandy Slopes). The water was as turquoise and clear as a swimming pool, the extensive reefs had hardly any dead coral and the sea was thick with varied and colourful fish.

Diving Menjangan Island in West Bali National Park

Clownfish ducked in and out of their swaying anemones, Regal Angelfish cruised around and Parrotfish showed off their colourful scales. The coral is subtle colours of lemon and pink with an occasional splash of amethyst.

On our boat were three experienced divers, one of whom had done over 100 dives. They said they were enjoying the very good condition of the reef and loved scuba diving Bali. Most of the fish here are quite small, but the number and variety are wonderful.

Menjangan Island in West Bali National Park

The Blue Illusion Dive Center is based in The Menjangan eco resort, on the shores of Bajul Bay. They offer a good range of courses and diving services. There is also an excellent house reef with corals far less damaged than elsewhere in south-east Asia such as Thailand.

A decade ago the local fisherpeople decided to stop (dynamite) fishing and convert to tourism – they are organised as a group and contract with The Menjangan resort and other dive centres along the coast to provide boat trips.

Dive boat Menjangan Island, West Bali National Park

These are not luxury vessels but traditional wooden fishing boats painted bright blue and the drivers and dive instructors I met were all very professional and friendly.

Dive instructor at Menjangan Island, West Bali National Park

Speeding back across the ways to Bajul Bay I saw a handful of flying fish bouncing over the surface of the sea and a huge grey heron, winging its way across the water. Menjangan Island is a must do diving experience in Indonesia and one of the best things to do in Bali.

By Natasha von Geldern

Have you been to West Bali National Park or Menjangan Island on your Bali holidays?

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  1. Amazing photos, I would love to visit here xxx

  2. Looks fantastic! Must have been a great trip 😀 Never heard of deer before that can drink salt water – that’s awesome!

  3. My 11-year-old absolutely wants to do this now.

  4. Clownfish are my favourite – this looks amazing. Bali sounds like a mecca for snorkeling and diving.

  5. I’m very impressed by deer that can drink salt water – and by the sound of your post this little diving spot makes for a serene and original experience! I want to jump into every single picture (okay, so not the one of the white board, maybe), but the ones of Ganesha on the uninhabited island and of the happy diver are my faves:)!

  6. Looks like a great day. We haven’t been to Bali since 2003. Time to get back and take this diving trip!

  7. It sounds a wonderful place to dive. I’m considering a trip to the Far East for 2013 and would love to take in some diving too.

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