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Dive Review of Eco Divers/Kimo Bajo in
Indonesia/Manado Sulawesi, Indonesia

April, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Henry O Ziller, CO, US
Sr. Contributor   (23 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5454
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Bahamas, Caymans, St. Kitts, Tobago, Dominica,
Curacao, Hawaii, Pohnpei, Palau, Florida, Southeastern Sulawesi.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry  
calm, surge, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay with the divemaster and limited in depth per your certification.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
At Kimo Bajo there is a large camera only bucket on the boat and at the
dive shop. There is a large camera room at the dive shop for charging
batteries with 110 and 240 volt outlets.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
We stayed four nights at KBR before moving on to Kimo Bajo Resort for five
nights. We were taken to the airport in Manado by KBR and their staff
stayed with us until we made the transition to Kimo Bajo personnel. When we
got in the vehicle we asked how long it takes to get to Kimo Bajo and the
driver said he does not speak English. It takes about fifteen minutes to
get from the Manado airport to Kimo Bajo Resort. A resort orientation is
given while you sip on cold coconut water. The resort is built on a
hillside and walking from your room to the restaurant /dive shop is
strenuous and somewhat of a long distance. It feels a lot longer if it is
pouring down rain. Take the umbrellas from your room if it is threatening.
If you dont get around too well you probably do not want to stay here. We
are assigned unit 24 in the long house. Units 6-10 are much closer to the
restaurant/dive shop and are quite luxurious. The room is large enough, but
no shelving or drawers to store clothes just a closet with hangers. There
is a safe in the closet. The Spa is really great! The beach area really is
disgusting, there is trash everywhere; there was also garbage floating on
the water on the way to dive sites. Carol actually commented tongue in
cheek that if you ever get left at sea you only need to follow the path of
the garbage to find your way back to shore.  The resort does a great job on
the grounds but not on the beach. We decided to pass on the romantic
candlelight dinner on the beach that is offered. The locals have been
casting their garbage into the ocean for hundreds of years and many of them
dont see the advantage to keeping their garbage on land, the government is
trying to make changes.  We both came home with bacterial infections in our
ears. Antibiotic drops twice a day cured us.
The restaurant is on the top of a three level building that has the Sunset
Lounge on the second level and dive shop on the first level. Meals are all
buffet. There is a combination of Asian and western food, not great but you
can always fill up with something. Sodas and alcohol are extra otherwise we
had an all inclusive plan. The lounge has free coffee, tea and cookies or
some treat from 4 PM to 6 PM with Happy Hour from 6 PM to 7 PM. Bintang
beer (22 ounces) for half price ($2.25US) and a drink of the day for
$6.00US. Wine is out of a box for $10.00US. The Spanish peanuts with a
touch of garlic included with happy hour are great! Dinner is at 7 PM. 
The dive orientation is given by Marco with ECO Divers and is quite good
and Susan checked our C cards. You place all you dive gear in a basket
outside your room and they take it to the boat. They wash your gear every
day and place it back on the boat set up and ready to go. You just check to
make sure it is OK. They hang your wet suit after the final dive of the day
and our skins were dry every morning. The dive routine is two dives in the
morning leaving around 8:15 AM, but if everyone is on board at 8 AM they
will leave early. First dive is on a wall about one hour from the dock.
Second dive is also on a wall. Third dive after lunch is a muck dive about
10 minutes from the dock, you return to the dock by 3:30. There was always
less that 8 divers on our boat and that left lots of room. The boats are
very much like the boats at Wakatobi except maybe only 50 feet long and
these have two 115 hp outboards for power. I think they should be 250 hp.
They all have heads on deck level and a shower on the fantail. Oxygen,
first aid kit, life preservers, GPS, radio all were noted onboard. Coffee,
tea or hot chocolate is available and cups are numbered so you can use the
same cup. I suggest placing it in the overhead storage so you get the same
one. Cookies and fruit were always available. Towels are available on the
boat. Entry is by back roll and hand up fins weights and BC if you want
then climb up the ladder.
The dive team did a great job of finding the neat stuff for us, however
much of the poking and prodding of the sea life was unnecessary. We know
there is pressure to make the customer happy but a little less hands-on
with the critters would have been just fine.
The wall dives had 80-100 feet visibility and sometimes strong current.
Divemasters would change direction if current was too strong.  We saw lots
of reef fish, octopus, squid, several types of pipefish, scorpion fish,
flying gurnard, a shark, barracuda, and turtles on the wall dives. The muck
diving was great here with lots of sea horses, nudis, cuttlefish, ribbon
eel, etc.  We did a mandarin dive here also; Henry preferred this to the
one at Lembeh as it was over lettuce coral and much prettier. If you are
doing the mandarin fish dive or a night dive they may make you sit out the
third dive of the day. We did not have to but others did.
Try to dive a site called Labasong to see some tiny seahorses only seen
here and named for the divemaster that found them.

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