May 2022 Beyond Bali eNews

Dive Indonesia – Explore Indonesia Through Us

When AMD-B’s ‘Beyond Bali’ Dive Travel Consultants are asked “Where is Indonesia’s best muck diving?”, we recommend Bali, Lembeh, Wakatobi, Ambon, and Alor – all of which can be put together for one amazing trip! With a more limited budget and/or time availability, we suggest narrowing down to Bali or Lembeh (or maybe both!).

So this month we’re talking about Lembeh Strait which separates the island of Lembeh from mainland North Sulawesi, and is a haven for many macro critters.

Dive Sites: Lembeh Strait is a small area. When I visited Black Sand Dive Retreat with AMD-B’s Senior Dive Guide, Ketut Suarta, we spent a lot of our time simply exploring their remarkable House Reef; Hairball 3, TK1 and TK2 are right on the doorstep.

Macro photographers will already recognise the names of many Lembeh dive sites. Take, for example, Nudi Falls; as the name indicates, home to a variety of nudibranchs. Sightings also include Striped eel catfish, Black-saddled toby, Whiteface and Plum-striped waspfishes, Painted anglerfish (frogfish), Banded pipefish, Bartail moray, Princely volute, Leaf scorpionfish, pygmy seahorses, Horn-nosed boxfish, Crocodilefish, Saddleback anemonefish, Starry night and Reef octopus, Dwarf cuttlefish, Anemone crab, Decorator and Anemone hermit crabs. If you’re lucky, you’ll also find the Thread pipehorse (Kyonemicthys rumengani) aka ‘Lembeh sea dragon’ – also found in Bali, Wakatobi and Walea.

Diving Seasons:
Sept to October are the most popular months.
Dec to February is the ‘rainy season’ however Lembeh is comparatively dry so it doesn’t really affect the diving; viz is not bad, currents are typically mild to zero so you can expect a relaxed dive trip.

Thread-pipehorse-aka-Lembeh-Sea-Dragon
Tangkoko-Tarsier

Flights: You can fly to Manado through Singapore or take a domestic flight from Jakarta or Bali.

Return Airport/Resort transfers are usually included in your package:
– For resort on the mainland (in Bitung), it’s a short drive.
– If your resort is on Lembeh Island, you’ll have land and boat transport.

All of Lembeh’s dive centres can accommodate specific dive/critter requests, so the choice comes down to budget and the facilities you need. Just email AMD-B’s Dive Travel Consultants your requirements; they will be more than happy to make recommendations and arrangements for you.

For non-diving/off-gassing day adventures, there are trips to the Tangkoko Nature Reserve to see tarsiers, Black macaque monkeys, Maleo birds, cuscus and hornbills. Or further afield, a Minahasa Highland tour: Visit local weaving and pottery factories, the colour-changing lake, Chinese temples, and – although cemeteries aren’t everyone’s cup of tea – the Minahasan Ancient Cemetery has great historical value.

So, are YOU ready for an on-land and underwater adventure?

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