The Oceanic Sunfish or otherwise known as Mola Mola can be seen in Bali every year during May – September. Although normally spotted in deep waters at the limits of recreational diving, it is often seen shallow or even at the surface.
One of the most famous and perhaps the most unique creature from the ocean’s deep, the Sunfish or otherwise known Mola Mola can be seen in Bali every year. There are several dive sites in several dive locations in Bali and around Bali as well, each spot with it’s own characteristics, beauties, highlights and as always, currents and difficulty.
Speaking about currents and difficulty, the question on everyone’s mind, diving in the ocean is always surprising which is why we recommend divers to keep an open mind. It happens often that in one day we don’t see what we’re looking for but we get something else we have never seen before, talk about spotting a Thresher Shark somewhere where you shouldn’t see it or a pod of Dolphins underwater in Bali as it often happens in Nusa Penida.
The dive locations are plenty and diverse so here’s where you can spot the Mola Mola during the right season:
- Nusa Penida
- Nusa Lembongan
Of course, the dive locations mentioned above are general and here’s why:
Bali – here the main dive sites are the famous Gili Biaha and Gili Mimpang & Tepekong out of Padang Bai port in the South-East corner of the island. Easily accessible, deep and often cold waters, Bali’s Gili dive sites are the main spots for White Tip Reef Sharks, surprises such as Thresher Sharks but most importantly and the subject of our article now, the Oceanic Sunfish in Bali, the Mola Mola.
Nusa Penida – perhaps the highlight of scuba diving in and around Bali, mainly because of the all year round sightings of the majestic Manta Rays, every dive site here is a chance for seeing the Mola Mola in Bali. From the secret spots in Manta Point to the famous Crystal Bay dive site where we dive deep in cold waters, the Mola’s are constantly moving around and stopping for their spa’s.
Nusa Lembongan – the most underrated dive location for the Mola Mola but slowly becoming more and more famous, here we dive in the fascinating Blue Corner dive site. Early morning dives during the Mola season are famous, spotting a dozen Sunfish in just one dive. However, as most of the experienced divers might know about Blue Corner and Nusa Lembongan, specially this spot can be only visited by significantly experienced divers, Advanced Open Water and above with more than 50 logged dives and comfortable with strong multi directional currents.
In concept, the Mola Mola’s normally live at 600 meters deep coming up to more shallow waters reachable by recreational divers during May / April – September in Bali. The dives are mostly cold with temperatures reaching as low as 16-18 ℃ ( 60 ℉ – 65 ℉ ). Diving with a 5mm long wetsuit or even a Dry Suit is always recommended and we at Neptune Scuba Diving provide Dry Suits as well as Dry Suit Specialty courses.
Speaking about depth, the cleaning stations are normally at approximatley 35 to 40 meters deep ( 115 – 131 feet ), an even better reason why an Advanced Open Water or Deep Diver Specialty certification is needed.
2018 has been a great year, season has really started in August, despite of the early May start in 2017. Now, at the end of this year’s season we look back and can only remember the close encounters sometimes with 3 to 5 Mola Mola sightings in one day.
For next year, we keep in mind the locations described above but like always, the best times to come to Bali for getting a chance at spotting these amazing creatures will be the ever present months of August – September.