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Dive Review of Sangalaki Dive Lodge in

October, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Rick Tuss, DE, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 290
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
All over
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Time limit normally of 60 minutes per dive  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
No fresh water bucket on boats. Cameras were protected by laying them on an
open life jacket in rear of boat. Did have separate fresh water troughs on
shore to soak cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Good: Mantas, mantas, and more mantas. Dived and snorkeled with 10's of
mantas every day. They constantly feed in large numbers around the island.
I had to snorkel with them nude... I am now known as the Great White Manta!
The locals thought I was crazy.

Turtles, turtles, and more turtles. Not quite as many as Sipadan, but
plenty. This is one of the few marine parks in Indonesia that actually has
a warden to look out for them. Obverved females coming and leaving shore to
lay eggs. Assisted many newborns to the ocean... wonderful helping newborn
turles make a good start to their lives.

If you want to see mantas and turtles, this is definitely the place to go,
but be prepared to rough it a bit.

The other marine life was abundant and the corals quite healthy. Saw
multiple large groupers on one dive... a rarity in Indonesia as most get
consumed! Great wall diving on close by islands. Jelly fish lake to snorkel

The vis wasn't fantastic, but the plankton is why the mantas are there.

The accomidations aren't 5 star, but ok for a dedicated dive resort. The
people were extremely friendly and wanted to please.

At the end of the earth. International flight from Singapore to Balipapan
then domestic to Berau (ever flown an Indonesian domestic flight??).
Serious weight restrictions on the domestic flight... be prepared to pay
additional for your dive gear! 2.5 hour boat ride from Berau to Sangalaki.
The boat trip back was even worse in a small speed boat in rough seas...
Everything needs to be brought into the small island of Sangalaki,
including fresh water a couple times a week. It's kind of like being on a
large liveaboard, only it doesn't rock all the time (the island is only
about 5 acres).

The food was marginal. It greatly improved at the end of the week... they
hired a new cook and she was really proud of her cooking. 

No shore diving! It's a shame because the house reef is great with super
critters including mandarin fish, nudibranch, etc. SDL needs to put in a
getty out to the reef.
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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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