When is the best time of year to visit North Sulawesi?
You can dive year-round in North Sulawesi. (Our boats have a canopy, in case of rain.) The sunniest season is April to October. That’s when the sunbathing is best, but you can also still get rain at any time of year. The nice thing about the rain is that it’s warm.
If you’re coming to visit the rain-forest or go rafting, we actually prefer the rainy season (but again it is year-round) because that is when the forest and highlands are watered and are at their most lush.
Where, exactly, is Lembeh Strait?
Lembeh Strait is located on the North East side of North Sulawei, Indonesia. We are situated 87 miles north of the equator.
How do I get to the resort?
Once you arrive in Manado’s Sam Ratulangi International Airport, our staff will meet you at the airport and escort you to our resort by private air conditioned vehicle. This scenic drive takes approximately 80 minutes. Also see: How to get to North Sulawesi.
Not too much thermal protection is required, however we suggest a 3mm or 5mm one-piece (or dive-skin for those who don’t get easily chilled) – make sure it’s full arms and legs, to protect against any stinging hydroids.
It’s normally shorts and T-shirt by day (even if it rains, because it’s warm tropical rains) and at night in town the dress code is casual, nothing more than light trousers or jeans and a golf shirt is required. There is no need whatsoever for a sweatshirt.
What is “Muck Diving”?
So called “Muck Diving” is a term the was made up to denote diving on barren bottoms or places other than coral reefs. It also usually means that you are looking for small marine animals. Don’t let this term fool you, most of our “muck” diving is on clean black sand bottoms. Over the years, we have found that a lot of the “weird critters” people like, spend their lives out on these underwater plains of black sand.
Do you do dive other places besides “muck”?
One of our strengths at Kungkungan is the great variety of our diving. We have the best “muck” diving in the world but that is not all. We have 3 WW II ship wrecks, beautiful hard coral gardens, and pristine soft coral vistas. And yes, you can even do wide angle photography on many of our sites.
What Voltage and types of plugs are in the Resort?
We have 24 hour power. Power is 220V and the plugs are the European two-prong circular plugs. We have adaptors for US, UK and other countries. At the Dive Center, in our Camera Room, we also have US 110V outlets for those who require them.
What is the visibility?
The visibility in the Strait varies with the tides and the location of the dive site. Most of the critter divesites enjoy visibility of 30-50 feet. In the beautiful coral gardens at the ends of the Strait, visibility is 50-100 feet.
What is the water temperature?
July through to November our water temperature averages 76 to 78 degrees (26 C). The rest of the year the water temperature averages 82 degrees (28 C) We recommend at least at 3mm wetsuit. Some divers, who dive frequently may want a heavier suit, a thin hood, or thin dive undergarment.
Do I have to follow your Dive Guides?
We highly recommend that you do follow our dive guides. Our dive guides are specially trained to spot the hard to find critters. If you do not follow them then you will miss a lot of the animals. Solo diving is strictly prohibited though it is permitted for you and your buddy to dive without the guide, so long as you stick to the predetermined depth and time restrictions set out in the briefing.
How long is the boat ride to your dive sites?
The longest boat ride to our sites is about 15 minutes. The average boat ride is about 5 minutes.
Where can I get more information on North Sulawesi?
The most complete resource is the North Sulawesi Tourism Organisation website, www.north-sulawesi.com.
What is your advice on Malaria?
North Sulawesi is tropical and so malaria cannot be discounted. We suggest you follow your doctor’s advice regarding malaria tablets. Officially, North Sulawesi is non-malarial, but if the tablets don’t bother you too much it’s always best to err on the side of caution. We also recommend that you spray anti-mosquito spray onto your arms and legs before going out at night. The grounds at Kungkungan Bay Resort are sprayed at least once per week and all rooms are air-conditioned.
What about health care facilities?
There are plenty of chemists and dentists in close by Bitung and the general hospital in Manado has a good recompression chamber.
How do I pay for things in North Sulawesi?
If paying in cash, payment should be made in USD. Should you wish to pay in another currency, we also accept Euro, SGD and GBP cash, but will convert from USD at the day’s bank exchange rate.
Alternatively, payment can be made by Visa or Mastercard credit card, in Rupiah, converted at the day’s bank exchange rate.
You can draw cash in Rupiah from the ATMs at the local banks using your PIN (personal identity number) and you can draw up to 3,000,000 Rupiah on Visa or Mastercard at the local banks but only before 2pm (you must present your passport with your credit card). Banks and ATMs offer a reasonable exchange rate.