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Dive Review of Kasawari Lembeh Resort in
Indonesia/Sulawesi, Lembeh Strait

Kasawari Lembeh Resort, Oct, 2006,

by Pat Watson, OK, USA ( 2 reports). Report 3060.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Kasawari Lembeh Resort, October, 2006. Bob and Pat Watson ( Grand Lake, OK. Experience 251-500 dives. Vis. 30 to 60 ft. Water temp. 78 - 80F. Quite windy, so some chop, but never a problem. - - - This stunning, new addition to the Lembeh Strait resorts opened in August, '06, two months before our arrival. When we arrived, there were only three other divers there, all well known underwater photographers who have been "everywhere". Their concensus was that within a year, you will have to book many months in advance to get a reservation. It is that superior, in every way. (See resort pictures at by clicking on the SECOND site there, dated September 16, '06, and then to the "Back to North Sulawesi" entry.) There are only ten villas, accomodating 20 divers. Villas 1 and 2 have decks and gazebos out over the water, and are significantly larger than the others, with ENORMOUS two-sink bathrooms. All villas have both indoor and outdoor state of the art showers with seemingly unlimited VERY HOT water. Rooms are equipped with mini bars and coffee makers, and will have broadband internet soon. We were in Villa #1, which is right next to the infinity swimming pool. Morning coffee in our deck gazebo was so special, watching the sunrise and fishing boats. It's a photographer's heaven. The large camera room is right above the dock. It has 17 work stations, each with two charging points and storage shelf. Crew brings cameras to and from the camera room to the boat in individual baskets which are placed on the boat in locked down storage spots, so that they are secure and protected from other cameras, gear, etc., etc. Crew rinses cameras IN the baskets. The huge and beautifully outfitted dive platform has immense rinsing tanks specifically for wetsuits, cameras, etc., Three dive boats have enclosed front areas for return trip comfort out of the wind. You never handle gear. I am seventy-five, and the crew was SO eager to help me up, lifting the tank and making sure I felt no strain on my back. At the end of every dive, you are greeted with a hot, steaming towel for face and head, a dry towel for wrapping up in, water and fresh fruit. Hot chocolate on night dives! Be prepared: the water can be COLD. My three mil suit, which I have worn comfortably all over Indonesia, even in the cold waters of Komodo, was not enough, and I rented a 5mil from the resort. Bob was fine in his 3-5-3. But other reviews in the Chapbook give warmer water temps, so this may have been colder than usual. - - Staff is totally concerned with meeting your every need. Charming Anita is your hostess, greeting you with her dynamite smile and personality when you arrive, and making sure that everything is to your satisfaction. The dive guides are terrific, and know the area thoroughly, many having come over from other Lembeh resorts.

Lembeh has perhaps the most spectacular muck diving in the world. Chapbook reviews of the other resorts list the hard to find cvritters in detail, so I won't duplicate all that. But Tony's blog review, cited above, is an excellent source of what to expect. (And I highly recommend you check out his website for some of the most glorious underwater photos around!) Particularly memorable for me was the discovery of so many incredibly beautiful Banggai cardinalfish sharing the anemones with a wide variety of anemone fish. I had only seen pictures of them, as they are only found by Banggai Island and lately in the Lembeh Strait. Other outstanding sightings: two free swimming 8 to 10 foot long eels on a night dive, one a lovely white snake eel, and one not in the books, and that no-one could name - -- a lovely greenish blue, with tiny black fins on either side just behind the head. (I have video if anyone wants to help identify him!) Flying gurnards everywhere, sometimes in groups, putting on impressive shows with "wings" extended, a brilliant yellow rhynopias, all manner of frog fish, and a free swimming stargazer, who promptly buried himself in the sand. There are also several lovely reefs where you see all the usual reef fish and beautiful corals.

We flew Singapore Airlines' new Economy Plus, non-stop flight from LAX to Singapore. REALLY roomy, comfortable seats, 80 "movie on demand" channels, knee and footrests, complimentary alcohol and non-alcohol drinks, and those gorgeous and so smilingly attentive flight attendants. (Remember when U.S. airlines cared about service?) Be sure to take advantage of Singapore Airlines' Stopover Holiday program to get half price or more off your hotel, airport transfer, and many other benefits.
From Singapore we flew to Manado and then to Sorong in Papua, as we were revisiting Raja Ampat on the Grand Komodo Tours and Dives liveaboard, Putri Papua (our review is in the '06 Chapbook.) After Raja Ampat we returned to Manado for the van road trip and a short boat ride to the Kasawari Lembeh Resort. The transfer comes with your Kasawari package.) The nicest hotel in Manado is the beautiful, new, Quality Hotel. Most others are pretty pitiful.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Galapagos Islands. Fiji. Indonesia: Komodo, Alor, Wakatobi, Raja Ampat. Caribbean: Grenada, Curacao, Little Cayman, Bahamas, Roatan, Utilla, Cozumel
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 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 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 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 [None]Best ever seen by myself or professional underwater photographers who were there with us. Camera room with 17 stations, each with 2 charge points and storage shelf. Cameras brought to and from boat in individual baskets by the crew and placed in lock-down spots on boat where nothing could bump against them. Rinsed in giant tanks by crew.
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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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