Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Kasawari Lembeh Resort in
Indonesia/Lembeh Strait

Kasawari Lembeh Resort, Jan, 2008,

by Doug Segar & Elaine Stamman, CA, USA ( 2 reports). Report 3893.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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 you’re 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 you’re 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, you’re 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 strait’s 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!

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

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 79-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-60 Ft/ 6-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments The camera room is a photog’s 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 rinse.
Was this report helpful to you?
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 1206 dive reviews of Indonesia and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Dive Discovery Indonesia
Dive Discovery Indonesia
Diving this stunning diverse country leaves you breathless and wanting more. Divers have returned time and time again, rewarding happy photographers.
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest
is an agency for travelers that scuba dive. Looking for Biodiversity, critters, Komodo, Raja Ampat, temples? We specialize in adventures to Indonesia.

Want to assemble your own collection of Indonesia reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Undercurrent Home

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2020 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.09 seconds