Destinations we offer > Indonesia

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Photos © Fotofish (Peter & Beate Lange)

Indonesia.

An Underwater Photographers Mecca, if you can't come back with great pictures from here throw that camera away........

Introduction to Indonesia

Indonesia is a long chain of tropical islands offering a mixture of cultures, people and scenery unmatched in South East Asia. With over 13,000 islands it is impossible for us to be an expert on the whole country. Therefore we have chosen a mere three, but for what we lack with quantity we sure make up with quality. The islands and resorts offer varied diving including muck, reef and wreck with all offering unrivalled oppotunities for the underwater photographer.

Our Indonesia Holidays

Lembeh Cottages, Sulawesi
Lotus Bungalows, Bali
Gangga Island Resort, Sulawesi
Liveaboards, Panunee
Maratua Island Resort, Kalimantan

Indonesia - our rough guide

History

It is generally believed that the earliest inhabitants of the archipelago came from India or Burma, while later migrants came, known as Malays, came from southern China and Indochina. This second group is believed to have populated the area over several thousand years.

Beginning in the 7th century Buddhist and Hindu empires ruled over Java and Sumatra for six centuries. These gradually gave way to the spread of Islam until the arrival of the Europeans in the form of the Portuguese in 1511. The Dutch superceded them in the early 1600s and ruled much of Indonesia until the WW2. After the Japanese were defeated the Dutch struggled in vain to assert their authority for four years until Indonesia's independance was recognised in 1949.

The fledgling country struggled in its early years to form a coherant goverment. It's first recognised president, Sukarno, united the nation but his weak economic directive led to his downful and he was removed from office by Suharto in 1966. His tenure lasted for over 30 years and brought stability to the country.

Indonesia is now a stable and democratic country.

Geography

Indonesia has an area of 1,475,000 sq km scattered over about 13,000 islands. Parts of Indonesia are still vast, barely explored regions of dense jungle and many islands have extinct, active or dormant volcanoes. Apart from whole islands within its territory Indonesia also presides over large swathes of Borneo and New Guinea.

Diving

 

The NE corner of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi is world famous for its exotic marine life in a part of the world that is the epicentre of marine diversity. The Lembeh Strait is the main shipping lane to the port of Butang and it was underwater photographers that first realised the wonderful potential in the black volcanic sands, the detritus of mankind and the corals that are home to some of the weirdest marine animals on the planet. These have evolved over millenia to survive by blending into their environment. These are truly hidden depths!

Underwater Photography

A note from Len .....

For the underwater photographer it is a macro paradise where fishes and invertibrates will amaze with their adaptations to their surroundings.

North of the Lembeh Strait is the island of Gangga. This is one of my favourite dive locations in the world. With only one dive resort on the island the dive sites that it serves are not overdived and some known only to that resort. Occasional dive boats will travel round from Lembeh and Manado and live-aboards may also drop by but you are unlikely to arrive to find you are sharing a site with another dive group. The sites have beautiful coral reefs and also to my mind some of the best muck diving to be found anywhere.

Highlights

  • Bunaken Marine Reserve - Sulawesi
  • Lembeh Straits - Sulawesi
  • Liberty Wreck, Tulamben - Bali
  • Sangalaki, Inland Sea - Kalimantan, Borneo

Climate & Weather

Draped over the equator, Indonesia is hot year round with wet and dry seasons. Generally the wet season starts later the further south east you go. The wet season for Bali, Sulawesi, Borneo and further south is from November to March. Outside of these periods the weather is hot and dry with the coast pleasantly cooler.

General Information

  • People: Malay race
  • Religion: Mainly Muslim with pockets of Christian & Hindu
  • Language: Bahasa Indonesian, US Dollars widely accepted
  • Visas: On arrival valid for 30 days for UK passport holders.
  • Health: No requirement to enter, check with your local GP
  • Time: GMT + 8 hours.
  • Electricity: 220 Volt, 2 pin round & 3 pin flat sockets
  • Clothing: Light cotton clothing to keep cool, women should dress conservatively
  • Currency: Indonesian Rupiah.
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