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Dive Review of Kasawari Lembeh Resort in
Indonesia/Lembeh Strait

January, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Doug Segar & Elaine Stamman, CA, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 3893
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomons, Philippines, Vanuatu, New Caledonia,
Palau, Australia, Hawaii, Red Sea, Caribbean (various), California, UK
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, no currents  
Water Temp
79   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
The camera room is a photogs delight with 21 individual spaces, shelving
underneath, towels, outlets with both 110 and 220, and compressed air.  It
is well-lit and locked at night with security guards nearby. You signal
that your camera is ready by putting it in a bin in the camera room, the
staff carry it to the rinse tank for your water inspection, take it to the
boat in the bin where it is well protected, hand it to you in the water,
and then repeat the process, taking it to the camera room for you after its
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
This was our sixth trip to Lembeh, having always stayed at Kungkungan Bay
(KBR) in the past.  Kasawari is a beautiful resort that offers the perfect
situation for photographers.  The resort is centrally located in the
strait, which makes for short rides to all the best sites on very
comfortable boats.  It is compactly laid out so trips to your room, dive
shop, camera room, dining, and dive boats are mercifully short for older
divers.  Nestled between lush rainforest and the local village, you feel
safe while still feeling tucked away in an ideal setting.  There are 8
villas laid out around a central garden with coconut trees and tropical
plantings.  Two additional villas have decks and gazebos that overlook the
strait.  We stayed in both of these, Villa 1 with two queens; Villa 2 with
one king.   These rooms are huge with a desk, sofa, two closets, a safe,
mini-refrigerator, AC, ceiling fan, bathrobes, coffeemaker, and WiFi access
(nominal fee  bring your own computer).  The bathrooms are huge with a
two-sink vanity area, tons of hot water, and a door to a private little
garden with an outdoor shower.  Villa 2 is next to the rainforest, while
Villa 1 is a footstep from the infinity pool with Jacuzzi jets and a
waterfall.  The other villas are equally beautiful, just a bit smaller and
without the location overlooking the strait.  The dive area is spacious.
Gearing up areas are in a large covered open-air space next to the pool.
Huge rinse tanks are dedicated for cameras and for wetsuits, and there are
hot showers and toilets/dressing areas.  The routine is a continental
breakfast, first dive at 7:30am, full breakfast, second dive at 10:30am,
lunch, third dive at 2:30, snack, dusk or night dive if youre still game,
dinner, and sleep!  You put your gear out when you first arrive and you
never have to deal with it again.  The staff assemble your gear, fill the
tanks on board the boats between dives, and rinse your gear at the end of
the day.     Boats are stable, covered, and have a dry area upfront.  There
is a bin under your tank for your fins and mask, so you simply put your
tank on while seated, then take one or two steps, and giant stride off the
low boat deck and youre in the water.  The boat crew is incredibly
helpful, being particularly considerate of those with back problems or age
issues.  As soon as you are out of the water, crew provides water to drink,
hot towel for your face, a dry towel, and fresh fruit.  Food is more than
ample and quality is quite good, a mix of asian and western offerings,
ordering off an extensive menu or selecting from a buffet when there are
more guests.  The bar/dining area is upstairs with a view of the strait.
The staff are the best!  We have known the manager, Nuswanto Lobbu (Nus),
for ten years since he was just a terrific dive master at KBR.  He is
personable and is doing a great job running the resort (and still does a
great job finding critters when he has the rare chance to dive).  He has a
degree in engineering and is very resourceful, even doing an emergency
repair on an auto-inflate for us.  Nus has assembled a wonderful team,
including office and dining staff, housekeeping and grounds crews.  Of
course, the diving team is phenomenal.  With the exception of a few of the
newest staff, we know all of the dive guides, both at Kasawari and the
other resorts from our many previous trips. It is great fun to see all of
them again, whether boating past them, at a site, or even underwater!  At
Kasawari, we consider Ali a friend, and simply the best dive guide we have
ever had (sorry, Nus, youre second!).  He sees even the smallest and best
camouflaged critters and can find anything. He is incredibly enthusiastic
(even underwater) and never seems to tire of looking for something new to
astound you.  He is a super-hard worker, and mentors the other dive guides,
both through words and example.  While we love Ali, all the other guides
are also experienced in Lembeh and very adept at finding the straits
secret critters.  As evidenced by our trips back to Lembeh, we cannot say
enough about the wonders of the strait.  On this trip alone, we saw
frogfish (5 species, many actively fishing), cuttlefish (flamboyant with
some hatching from their eggs, pygmy), octopus (hairy, mimic, blue-ringed,
cyanea, coconut or blue-margined  one living in a waterbottle), ribbon
eels (blue, black, and yellow), many species of scorpionfish, including
Rhinopias (2 species, colors orange, purple, and red), several waspfish
species, sea snake, cockatoo flounder and other flatfish, lionfish (at
least 3 species), juvenile batfish (2 species), numerous species of
pipefish, ghost pipefish, Pegasus, pygmy and other seahorses, flying
gurnards, fingered dragonets, electric clam, crabs (decorator, Porcelain,
orangutan, zebra), squat and hairy lobsters, many species of shrimp
(including harlequin),  and many species of nudibranchs (including a
Spanish dancer, solar nudi, Melibe, mini-solar nudis).  Habitat is at such
a premium, in one small hole, we saw 5 eels (3 species), a large swimming
crab, 2 species of cleaner shrimp, cleaner wrasse, and domino fish!  Even
above water, we were treated to what was obviously a mating congregation of
large frigate birds circling the land.  If you have any doubts about Lembeh
diving, feel free to visit our website ( to see slide shows
of  some of the marvelous critters you will encounter.  We simply cannot
give any higher recommendation to photographers interested in rare critters
than Kasawari  shoot away in luxury!
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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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