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Dive Review of Gangga Divers/Gangga Island in

August, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Rick Cavanaugh, MD, United States
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 3644
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Belize, Bonaire, Bequia, BVI, Cozumel, Dominica, Little Cayman, Florida
Keys, North Carolina, Saba, St Croix, St Vincent, Tobago Cays.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy, currents, noCurrents  
Water Temp
78   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 minutes  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Good Camera Room, Each boat had 1 to 2 rinse buckets for cameras
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
 Getting to Gangga is fairly easy.  Silk Air has flights from Singapore to
Manado several times per week.  Gangga picks you up at Manado airport and
takes you for a 45 minute ride to a dock where you board their boat for a
30 minute ride.

The rooms are very clean and spread out along their white sandy beach. 
Housekeeping makes up/cleans the rooms 2 times per day.  Most of the staff
speaks english and is anxious to speak to a native english speaking person.
 They are limited in what the understand and if it is outside of their
normal dealings, don't expect them to understand.

The food at the resort is very good.  It is a combination of toned down
Indonesian food (not very spicy) and very good Italian food.  Most days
there was a choice of a fish or a  meat (pork, chicken or beef). Each meal
included a soup, pasta dessert etc.  Beer, wine, soda, ice tea and such was
extra.  Their prices for drinks averaged about $5 to $8 US.  The resort is
somewhat isolated so there are no other restaurants to try and explore.

The diving was done from their Indonesian style wooden boats (all resorts
in the area use the same style boats).  The boats are not the most
comfortable but in this area of the world you have no choice.  Each boat
had 1 to 2 plastic containers for cameras and a separate container for
masks.  All gear was brought onto the boat and care for by the staff.

Depth limits stated, but not really enforced.  Typically the dives were a
maximum depth of 80 feet.  My deepest depth was 100 feet.  Most of the good
things to see are shallower than 60 feet.  On one dive the dive guide
continued searching for critters even though 1 diver signaled low air and
started his safety stop.  We joined this diver as he was about to run out
of air.  The dive guide joined us after surfacing and wanted to know why we
did not follow him.

We were there during the full moon.  There were VERY strong currents at
times.  During the night dive the currents were so strong it was hard to
maintain any control.  Within 15 minutes during the same dive, the current
would stop.   During the day dives the currents were not as bad.  

Tidal depth changes about 6 feet.  Low tide is around 12 noon to 1 pm. 
After one dive the dive boat was unable to get to the dock due to the low
water.  They brought us around the to the side of the island and dropped us
off next to the reef.  We had to walk across the exposed, semi exposed and
submerged reef getting cut up in the process.  I still don't know why they
did this as we could have easily swum in next to the dock which had a sandy

The boat is split up and goes out in several groups separated by several
minutes.  Typically there was 2 to 4 divers per dive guide.  The dive
guides did a fairly good job pointing out critters, but they were rough on
the sea life.  You must sign a statement before diving about handling,
feeding and harassing sea life, but this is totally ignored by the dive
guides.  I saw them pickup anemones and  flip them upside down for a
photographer to get a picture of a shrimp.  They handled just about every
crionoid they saw looking for squat lobsters, after you have seen a dozen
or so I feel it is well over do to leave the crionoids alone.  The dive
guides were frequently seen rubbing the remains of the crionoids off their
hands. One dive guide would bring along his own camera  and took pictures
during the dive and thus adding one more person to hog the critter to be

Gangga has one huge advantage over some of the other diver resorts in the
area and that is location.  Gangga is about 90 minutes from Bunaken which
has wonderful wall dives and more fish life.  About 30 minutes from
Sulawesi, 40 minutes from Bangka with pinnacle diving, 60 minutes from
Talisei, and about 90 minutes from Lembeh with wonderful muck diving.  This
one location can allow you to dive all of these spots.  Lembeh and Bunaken
require an additional fee due to the distance.

Generally speaking the area is over fished and there is not much large sea
life.  I did see 1 bump head parrot fish and a Napoleon Wrasse.  I did not
see any sharks or large rays. The largest ray was about 18 inches in

Bunaken had the prettiest reef with a beautiful wall with lots of color and
life.  There was a large turtle that was the biggest I have ever seen
Rambo  My guess is that he was well over 500 lbs. Lots of healthy corals,
nudibranches, crabs, and other critters.

Bangka had very colorful pinnacles with good coral growth.  It did show
some damage from aggressive divemasters trying to find critters.  A fair
amount of the bubble coral and frog spawn / hammer corals shown signs of
necrosis.  The dive guides were rough on this coral trying to find shrimps
and lobsters.

Talisei had some very nice sites as well,  however another guest said that
they saw evidence of cyanide fishing in Talisei during one of their dives.

Lembeh is fantastic muck diving.  We did 2 dives here and they dropped us
off at Lembeh Resort for the second part of our trip.

Overall the diving is excellent for reef and small critters. Poor for large

I just wish they would be easier on the reef so that it will survive
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