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Wakatobi Announces Reopening

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Plan Your Ultimate Wakatobi Dive Vacation With These Insider Tips

After remaining closed for more than two years through the global Covid-19 pandemic, one of the world’s most-loved dive resorts has announced plans to reopen on June 3, 2022. This news comes as Indonesia eliminates all quarantine requirements for inbound international travelers, and several airlines have now resumed their routes into Bali, which is the gateway to Wakatobi.

And while Wakatobi hasn’t been welcoming guests these past two years, the staff has not remained idle. The staff have kept busy refreshing and upgrading the property and preparing for reopening. Wakatobi’s ‘sprucing up’ efforts extended to many aspects of the resort and dive operation. All the dive boats have been updated; the property has seen a number of significant upgrades; the jetty has been widened and smoothed; and the airstrip received an upgrade under the supervision of a certified runway engineer. In more good news, Wakatobi founder Lorenz Mäder, reports that reefs are in prime condition, and a number of new dive sites have been added to the roster.

With bookings for 2022 and beyond filling up fast, now is the time to start planning your Wakatobi dive vacation. And while Wakatobi Resort is known as one of the world’s top diving and snorkeling destinations, there are still some things about Wakatobi that are not that well known. Some of these perks and opportunities are revealed on arrival but having additional insights ahead of time might make that trip of a lifetime even more memorable. To maximize the Wakatobi experience, here are a dozen insider tips offered by the resort’s staff.

COME BETWEEN THE HOLIDAYS. November and December are months where fewer people travel because it’s a period between major holidays. Airfares may be lower at this time and these months offer great diving and snorkeling conditions at Wakatobi.

DO THE AFTERNOON DIVE. The dive center offers three boat dives a day. After two morning dives, some guests just want to relax after lunch and finish with a shore dive. This often means fewer divers on the afternoon trips. An afternoon dive is also a great option for people who want to sleep in or linger over breakfast and still get in two boat dives a day.

TAKE A FREE RIDE. You can see more of the dive site that’s been called ‘the world’s best shore dive’ by hopping aboard one of the resort’s taxi boats, which will take you up-current for an easy drift dive along the House Reef ending right at the Jetty Bar.

MAKE NIGHT MAGIC ON THE REEF. Night diving is popular at Wakatobi, but you don’t need tanks to get in on the action. Night snorkeling on the House Reef is equally spectacular, and it’s available for all guests to experience.

THIS PLACE IS FOR THE BIRDS. In addition to the incredible diversity of marine life, Wakatobi also rewards nature lovers above the water. The island is rich in birdlife — including an endemic species! Just ask the front office to organize a Bird Watching session for you or other land tours around the island.

PLAY CASTAWAY — IN STYLE. Guests can channel their inner Robinson Caruso with a trip to nearby Sawa island, where they can watch the sunset on a deserted beach while enjoying a delicious aperitivo and hors d’oeuvres. Wakatobi’s concierge team can make the arrangements in advance of your visit.

GET A LOT FOR A LITTLE MORE. Spectacular water views and private dive guides are some of the perks you’ll get when you book one of Wakatobi’s Villas. What many divers don’t realize is that these premium accommodations are just a relatively modest up-charge from an Ocean Bungalow. If you enjoy having a private guide why not consider a Villa booking for a little more.

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE. Wakatobi is known for the mouth-watering spreads prepared by our culinary team. But guest options aren’t limited to what’s on the table. The chefs are happy to prepare your favorite dish on request, including special dietary options such as gluten-free, low fat, or low sodium.

ENJOY LUXURY WITH A PURPOSE. Through sharing the benefits of sustainable dive tourism with the surrounding villages over the past two decades, the people of these local communities have come to see the value of the reefs in a different light, as a source of opportunity and connection. Through their experiences and pride, they have joined efforts to keep them pristine.

REFRESH YOURSELF ON THE HOUSE. Divers who have been out of the water too long and don’t want to jump right in won’t need to rehash their skills drills before coming to Wakatobi. They can take a refresher course right on our beautiful House Reef.

RUNWAY-TO-REEF-SERVICE.  Did you know that Wakatobi provides a private guest flight from Bali to our own runway on Tomia Island? Our guest flights cut travel time from Bali to our remote island paradise to just 2.5 hours. This eliminates multiple air, land, and sea transfers, and you skip the crowds and long lines. Our guests also enjoy VIP lounge service at Denpasar airport, where they can relax with a full breakfast and a range of amenities before boarding the flight.

SAIL INTO SUMMERTIME. The months of June, July, and August are known for ocean breezes and slightly cooler temperatures. These are also the months where we offer kite surfing, which is something many guests are delighted to see and eager to try.

These are just a sampling of the special moments that await you at Wakatobi. Their team is known for outstanding service so don’t be shy about asking for something special no matter how big or small the request. If it is a special occasion trip — birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, graduation, or retirement ­– let them know, they will make your visit extra special.

For more visit the Wakatobi website.

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World Shootout winners revealed at Boot

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The World Shootout winners were announced at this years returning Boot show.

Producer David Pilosof initiated the first World ShootOut online competition in 2011, breaking all boundaries and introducing an international competition as never produced before.
Hundreds of photographers from around 40 countries around the world take part in the World ShootOut competition year after year, submitting thousands of images and videos, ranging from those that capture the calm lakes of the Nordic countries and Canada, showcase the exotic secrets hidden in Alaska and introduce the great dramatic white shark in the Gulf of Mexico.

Claudio Ceresi from Italy won the top valuable prize for best picture of the year $10,000 worth of 3 weeks diving vacation for 2 people, in Papua New Guinea.

The winning video can be seen here:

We have featured a few of the category winners in the gallery above. To see all the images placed in this competition, visit the World Shootout Website

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New book by diver aims to inspire teens to protect sharks and the ocean

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A new book by experienced diver Christine Edwards has just been published, which aims to inspire children and young people to better understand sharks and become advocates for ocean and environmental protection.

Sharks Are Scary Aren’t They? tackles themes such as the human impact on the environment and the protection of sharks and their habitats. The story depicts the emotional journey of Charlie Parker, a fearful twelve-year-old boy, and Jane Jones, a retired dentist and scuba diver, who meet by chance on a beach. Despite the years that separate them, they discover they are more alike than they could have imagined.

Sharing the world through the eyes of sharks, hearing about the struggles and dangers they face and how they are on the brink of extinction, brings the two friends closer together. In this book there are stories of shark encounters, the majesty of the underwater world and how the impact of human activity and plastic pollution is affecting their habitat. Most of all, the two characters learn about the power of the human spirit to change in the face of adversity.

Author Christine Edwards was born in Chester in 1962. She read psychology at Warwick University, then worked as a teacher for twenty years. In 2004 she trained at Birmingham Theatre School to become an actor. As a teenager Christine feared the sea and the sharks that swam there. After trying a scuba dive in 2006 and making 1,200 dives around the globe, everything changed. She now adores sharks, hence writing this book.

Christine says: “Conquering a deep rooted fear of the sea and terrified of the sharks that roamed there, I made the astonishing decision to try a scuba dive in 2006. The moment I sank beneath the waves and glimpsed at the world below the surface, I was well and truly hooked. Since that first plunge underwater, I have accomplished over 1200 dives in seas and oceans around the globe. My fear of sharks has turned into a passion for them. Whenever I would describe my shark encounters to friends or family they invariably expressed concern and questioned why anyone would dive with such a dangerous species.”

Christine continues: “My book came out of the need to redress the balance for this wonderful fish. Sharks have existed for 450 million years, well before the dinosaurs, and still exist today. They are being hunted and cruelly killed for their fins and are probably one of the most misunderstood creatures on our planet. The knock-on effect of their demise will be catastrophic. Oceans without sharks will cause negative changes to other species – without this apex predator keeping other fish in check, our coastlines and reefs will ultimately suffer. The oceans need sharks!”

The paperback of Sharks Are Scary Aren’t They? (ISBN  9781915352613) is out now and was published on 28th January 2023 by The Book Guild, an imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd. Priced £8.99, the book is available from https://bookguild.co.uk/bookshop/ as well as at bookshops and through Amazon and other retailers.

Check back for our review of Sharks Are Scary Aren’t They? soon!

Header Photo credit: Jane Davies Photography. Photo of Christine Edwards on a dive.

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