UK-based Dive Safari Asia have recently returned from a fact-finding visit to a little-dived corner of Indonesia: East Kalimantan, Borneo. The travel company is now offering tailormade itineraries to handpicked resorts and will introduce small group safaris to the region in 2019.
The best diving of Kalimantan is said to be in the Maratua Atoll. Dive Safari Asia have teamed up with two fabulous resorts on opposite ends of the lagoon. Both have day-trip access to several dive sites including the well-known Sangakali, known as a manta ray hot-spot and Kakabun, known for its inland lake full of sting-less jellyfish.
Nabucco Resort, situated on a small private island, sits at the mouth of the lagoon, where, during incoming tides, divers almost always see a school of thousands of barracuda, various shark species, trevally and more. Other nearby sites are characterised by a proliferation of fish, excellent macro life and healthy colourful corals. The resort is relaxed, comprises of 20 rooms, a great sunset bar and a stilted restaurant with magnificent views of the lagoon.
Nunukan Resort, a 30-minute speedboat ride away, is another private island resort, situated on the southern side of the lagoon. The house reef is a 4km long stretch of healthy, lively reef, sloping to about 40m. There is a large turtle population here, as well as many passing pelagics including eagle rays and leopard, nurse and blacktip reef sharks. The reef is generally very fish-dense and offers amazing macro-life spotting opportunities with pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, soft coral and other crabs and leaf-scorpion fish amongst others.
The Dive Safari Asia team rate the diving here amongst the best they have seen… and with very few divers, the sites are often “private”.
A fantastic add-on is the orangutan rehabilitation centre at Samboja Lodge, about an hour from Balikpapan. Here one can visit resident rescued orangutans and sun bears, take a canopy tour on 40m high bridges through the tree tops, take a boat down a river or relax on the viewing deck at the lodge. There is a wide variety of wildlife in the area including proboscis and leaf-tree monkeys, gibbons, macaques, monitor lizards, snakes, insects, and more than 260 species of bird.
Dive Safari Asia will be introducing small group safaris to this destination in 2019 and are already offering tailor-made itineraries to the region. For more information please contact contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.divesafariasia.com or call 0117 369 0443.