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Dive Review of Eco Divers/Kima Bajo Resort in
Indonesia/Sulawesi

Eco Divers/Kima Bajo Resort, Dec, 2009,

by Mona Cousens, CA, United States (Contributor Contributor 12 reports). Report 5357.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving South Pacific, Australia, Caribbean, South China sea, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth was restricted and time was strictly enforced at one hour max.
If the divemaster wanted to come up at 55 minutes, that was enforced as well.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments There is some macro on the reefs. Not much in the way of wide angle. You really needed to look for the photo subjects and it all depended on the attitude of your personal divemaster as to whether or not you saw anything interesting on each particular dive.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments It is official. The world has discovered Manado. The dive resort of Kima Bajo has an onsite franchise of Eco Divers who have recently ended their association with KBR in Lembeh.
Here at Kima Bajo they are catering to those who wish to discover SCUBA.
You may find yourself on a boat with people who have 6 dives under their belt and some with 30 dives (we had both).
This is fine, but it means that the divemasters are mostly interested in watching you for a potential problem instead of pointing out things. It is mandatory that you stay with him and try to surface as a group. The dives were strictly limited to one hour. We were, however, allowed to stay the hour even when the new divers had to surface early.
Also they have snorkelers which they put on the same boat with the divers.
They did not request them to get out of the water before the divers. This meant at times a 7-10 minute wait on the surface while they loaded them first and then went to pick up the divers.
There are so many boats in Bunaken Marine Sanctuary that your boat could barely locate you. None of the dive operations used handy safety sausages with the dive resort name conveniently printed on them so that each resort could recognize their group. You came up and hoped that one of the 20-30 boats within your view recognized their divemaster so that they could come to pick you up.

The walls are nothing special. As always, some dive sites were better than others. We did see areas of spectacular hard coral pans but also we saw some destroyed reef areas. We found some orangutan crabs, different nudibranchs, and some shrimp in a sponge. The reef on top was quite shallow around 15 feet and still very pretty.

The resort is quite attractive with lovely bures laid out in a garden setting. Only about 25% of the rooms have an ocean view. There is a spa for relaxing massage and a nice pool area for all the people who brought the myriad children. There is a nice restaurant and bar area but the food was just alright. As it was all buffet they sometimes ran out of things. They would bring more if you asked but it usually required a wait.

If you wish for a destination dive resort which caters to true divers in Manado this is not it. It is fine if you wish to bring the family and want some activities for the kids.
We thought it would be a nice place to relax after our trip to Raja Ampat on the Paradise Dancer but having all the kids around for us is just not relaxing.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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