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

Eco Divers/Kimo Bajo, Apr, 2010,

by Henry O Ziller, CO, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 26 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 5454.

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

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 20 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay with the divemaster and limited in depth per your certification.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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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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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