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Dive Lembeh Strait and Bunaken in North Sulawesi

Lembeh Island is a small isle situated to the north of Sulawesi Island in Indonesia. Between Sulawesi Island and Lembeh Island, runs a slender strait referred to as the Strait of Lembeh. Scuba diving in this strait you’ll be able to see a few of the most original and spectacular creatures alive. Lembeh strait is famend for the perfect muck diving in the world.

Bunaken Island, additionally situated north of Sulawesi with crystal clear water and spectacular coral partitions presents great blue water diving and a number of the greatest snorkeling I’ve ever accomplished. Read on if you wish to know all about diving from Lembeh strait and Bunaken; dive websites, accommodation, season, liveaboard options and extra. I stayed in Bunaken first and went from there to Lembeh.

Dive Lembeh strait

Working as a dive instructor whereas touring you hear tales about some spectacular places, the tales of Lembeh placed it high on my dive bucket listing. Famend as top-of-the-line places for Muck diving in the world, the stuff you possibly can see at Lembeh Strait sound to good to be true, it isn’t, I dived there, the stories are true. Muck diving is a subset of Macro diving, don’t let the identify flip you off, you do not dive in sewage, circumstances may be nice.

During muck diving you hunt for small, weird and fantastic creatures, the  identify originates from the underside composition, darkish sediment typically silty, muddy or “mucky” setting. The visibility may be good, just apply good buoyancy not to fire up the bottom! At some of these spots the creatures you discover in these environments could be unbelievable, made even more spectacular by the darkish, uninteresting backdrop. Muck diving is a reasonably new discipline that solely began in the 1980’s, the story goes a liveaboard boat was anchored somewhere of the reef for lunch when some divers testing gear found unreal creatures on the black volcanic ash. The Lembeh Strait has a popularity as one of the best muck diving in the world being residence to a few of the strangest and most uncommon marine animals in existence. This place is any photographer’s dream with creatures many cannot even think about exist and the black volcanic sand provides no glare when utilizing a flash when taking photographs. Arriving at Lembeh it feels more like a river than the ocean, being surrounded by jungle and large timber, with black sand and volcanic rocks in all places.I keep in mind descending onto the black sand not being very impressed by rubbish like wine bottles and plastic luggage on the uninteresting bottom, however seconds later I was amazed by the life right here. Our dive chief was wonderful shortly mentioning a seahorse and our first superb creature of the journey, a flamboyant cuttlefish which I was fortunate enough to capture catching a Myid shrimp! From right here the motion never stopped with bushy frogfish, seahorses, blue ring octopus, mimic octopus, mandarin fish and more draining my digital camera battery.B

There’s some rubbish on the underside, typically internet hosting unimaginable issues!

Season to Dive Lembeh Strait

North Sulawesi has an equatorial climate, so it has  sunny, warm climate all yr. There are solely 2 seasons – the rainy season from November to February and the dry season from March to October. It often only rains for a brief time period about an hour or two per day in the rainy season.

Lembeh Strait might be dived all yr spherical, circumstances and visibility does differ, however a few of the critters are all the time around and visibility is just not such an enormous concern with macro diving. Liveaboard boats dive here in all seasons.

Peak season is July and August with the best variety of critters round, this is also the time when the water temperatures are the bottom at 25-26°C, however probably the most divers are right here and it’s a good suggestion to ebook forward.

Low Season is from January to June with fewer divers and not peak circumstances, but nonetheless very diveable.

October to December period has the most effective visibility, while it’s the lowest in January and February.D

Flamboyant Cuttle Fish catching a Myid ShrimpI was fortunate to catch this Flamboyant Cuttle Fish catching a Myid Shrimp!

Dive Websites at Lembeh Strait

There are more than 70 acknowledged dive websites round Lembeh, some are well known for particular critters, however they transfer between websites and the operators dive right here everyday in order that they know the place to go. My expertise with guides right here was great and I have only heard good things from others that dived right here. These guys know the world very nicely and will take you to one of the best spots to see your bucket record creatures. Listed here are a couple of great websites around Lembeh.

Nudi Falls

Depth 3m to 28m, a mini wall that drops to 20m from here sand slopes to about 28m with coral patches. I liked this website with quite a lot of super fascinating nudibranches, frogfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, a blue ringed octopus and the hawk eyes of our information found a pygmy seahorse!

Coby a Crab

Depth 3m to 27m, a wall that drops to the bottom, sandy coated in rocks with some coral formations. Noticed gigantic frogfish and fascinating nudis, this website can also be well known for mandarin fish and the rare rhinopias, many divers come to Lembeh with the hope to see this scarce scorpionfish.

Giant Frog FishBig Frog Fish

California Dreaming

Depth three – 30m Twenty minutes by boat from Lembeh, twin coral peaks with a sand flat in between. Couple of frogfish, bushy frogfish and big frogfish tiny boxer crabs.  Collection of steps shaped by boulders, lovely gentle corals make a very colorful dive website.


Depth 5 – 28m Sandy slope, nice place to end the times diving in the shallows for decompression, some awesome creatures, scorpion fish, painted frogfish, noticed many seahorses right here.

Marine Life at Lembeh

As talked about a few occasions Lembeh is the place to see the most important variety of unique ocean creatures on the planet, a place that may make you fall in love with muck diving. Pack your digital camera, listed here are a number of the unreal creatures you’ll be able to see at the Lembeh strait;

Mimic Octopus, Rhinopias, Mandarin fish, Pygmy seahorse, Blue ring octopus, Electric Clam, Noticed Porcelain Crab, Lacey Scorpionfish, Bushy frogfish, Big frogfish, Spiny devil, Ghost pipefish, Dragon seamoth.

From Manado I went to Bunaken Island by public boat.  The island is actually lovely, tropical jungle surrounded by mangroves operating into the ocean.

Attending to Lembeh Strait

The closest huge city is Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi, catch a direct flight right here from Singapore or an area flight from Bali or Jakarta. From Manado take a taxi or public bus to Ruko Pateten Pier and take a ship to Lembeh, it is just 20 minutes. In case your dive middle is choosing you up be sure that at which harbor, it could be a special pier.

Lembeh Accommodation

There are a selection of lodging at Lembeh for each finances and style. It’s all the time nice to stick with accommodation that belongs to or works together with your dive operator.

Liveaboard Diving Lembeh Strait

Mix magic partitions and extraordinary critters on a dream liveaboard journey! Eat, sleep and stay diving for every week! Most of the North Sulawesi journeys mix the incredible blue water pelagic diving around Bunaken with the distinctive muck diving of Lembeh, even Dugongs and Mola mola are seen on these trips once in a while! Search right here for a Lembeh Liveaboard Experience

Diving in Bunaken

Bunaken is just not far from Lembeh and is well known for a really totally different sort of diving, blue water, steep partitions with massive fish and different pelagic species. From Manado I first went to Bunaken Island by public boat.  The island is actually lovely, tropical jungle surrounded by mangroves operating into the ocean. Bunaken Marine Park was one of many first marine protected areas in Indonesia established in the early nineties. Steep walls drop into the deep coated by a tremendous variety of sentimental and arduous corals. The drop gives wonderful wall dives, regulate the reef for species akin to mantis shrimp and a variety of nudibranches, go searching you in the blue for many turtles, big Napoleon wrasse and giant pelagics; sharks, tunas and faculties of barracuda. Bunaken is surrounded by shallow reef with a steep drop to over 30m. Many corners and factors make nice dive spots to see passing pelagics from, the shallow part of the reef is nice for snorkeling or doing all of your deco stop.

Marine Life around Bunaken Island

Just shy of 400 species of coral may be found in the crystal clear water of the Bunaken Nationwide Park, undoubtedly one of the colorful dives in the world. Over 2000 species of fish frequent the spectacular walls. A number of of them you’re more likely to see are Massive Napolean wrasse on moste dives, many turtles there are 5 sorts totally different sorts in the park, white-tip reef sharks, tuna is usually seen, plenty of blue-fin trevally, giant bumphead parrotfish, giant faculties of chevron barracuda, solitary higher barracuda faculties of big-eye travelly, big trevally, giant faculties of triggerfish, surgeonfish, fusiliers and education batfish, eagle rays and typically manta rays.

Bunaken Island Snorkeling

From the mangroves a 2m deep fringing reef extends about 50m into the ocean ending in a spectacular drop into the deep. Snorkeling across the island is superb, the shallow fringing reef allows for shallow snorkeling for anyone beginning on the shore. The shallow water, daylight and plenty of coral species create a gorgeous garden for snorkeling with loads of species of smaller tropical fish, we noticed some huge bumphead parrot fish in shallow water and a few massive turtles. The drop-off near shore allows for nice free diving on this superb reef and diving into the deep on the drop-off I saw plenty of turtles, jacks and large Napoleon wrasse.

Bunaken Lodging

  • Novita Homestay – least expensive you’ll discover here, many evaluations, properly rated
  • Sundown guesthouse and bar – very nicely rated finances place
  • Daniel’s Resort –  I loved staying here. Every bungalow has its own hammock, it was good to lie in a hammock and learn when not underwater. Lodging consists of three meals. The meals was OK, a number of rice and hen typical finances South East Asian delicacies.
  • Mid vary
  • Two Fish Dive Resort – well known, wonderful scores, lovely resort, nice dive middle, sister dive middle on Lembeh
  • Pleased Gecko Dive Resort – wonderful score, bungalows with deck, hammock and sea view
  • Luxury
  • Kuda Laut Boutique Dive Resort – 4 star resort and dive middle

Transport to Bunaken

Bunaken Island may be reached by boat from Manado Harbour, which is a 30-minute drive from Sam Ratulangi Airport. From Manado Harbour, it takes a 45-minute boat experience to the island. Many resorts supply an airport pick-up and boat transfer providers at an additional cost, which makes it very straightforward.

Diving Each Bunaken and Lembeh

Bunaken Island could be reached by boat from Manado Harbour, which is a 30-minute drive from Sam Ratulangi Airport. From Manado Harbour, it takes a 45-minute boat journey to the island. Many resorts supply an airport pick-up and boat switch providers at an additional charge, which makes it very straightforward.

More Sulawesi adventures!

  • Heading North. – Funeral ceremonies, hanging graves, espresso farms and a loopy bus chase in Tana Touraja.
  • South Sulawesi. – Not  well known because the north, but Pantai Bira has numerous potential. We did some good dives in the world
  • Central Sulawesi. – Awesome island adventures. Diving on a aircraft wreck, spearfishing and staying with the well-known Bajua individuals (sea gypsies), swimming in a jelly fish lake around The Togian Islands.

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