Sulawesi North, Lembeh Island, Nad-lembeh Dive Resort

Written by on June 6, 2012 in Sulawesi Dive Centers with 0 Comments

Sulawesi North, Lembeh Island, Nad-lembeh Dive Resort


The Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, is famous the world over for its reputation as the finest “muck diving” location in the world. Although, many people ask: “What is muck diving?”

Muck Diving is the term used to describe a very special and unique sort of diving that can be found throughout the world in strange and out of the way locations. From Wikipedia: Muck diving gets its name from the sediment that lies beneath most dives: A normally muddy or “mucky” environment. Other than the muddy sediment, the standard muck dive may consist of dead coral skeletons, discarded fishing equipment, tires and other man-made garbage. In addition, the visibility is usually subpar to the reef or wreck sites of the area.

Typically a “muck diving” location is characterized by certain features such as mud or black sand slopes, a relative lack of current, sparse or no hard coral cover and usually located in inshore estuaries, bays, or straits near human habitation. Lembeh Strait is known as one of the best locations for this sort of diving as it hosts all of these features in droves. The local volcanic mountain range (Manado is a famous area for sightseeing Dormant Volcanoes) is the source of a fine black sand that is found throughout the strait and creating a perfect environment for the weird and wonderful critters encountered here. Coupled with the fact that Sulawesi lies right in the middle of the “coral triangle”, an area encompassing the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, our area hosts the largest number of fish and invertebrate species in the world!

The typical dive sites here start near to shore and slope gently into the depths with a fine sandy bottom and the occasional coral bommie. The list of animals that may be encountered is endless: mimic octopus, rhinopias scorpionfish, nudibranches galore, flamboyant cuttlefish, pygmy seahorses, hairy frogfish, stargazers, mandarinfish, bangaii cardinalfish.. the list is endless! We truly are a macro lover paradise. For many folks, The Lembeh Strait is considered the “Eden” of macro photography.

The vast majority of our sites feature little to no current and the best subjects are found relatively shallow. Our dedicated staff of dive guides are always on hand to show you our cast of critters, many of which are difficult to spot due to their cryptic nature. At NAD-Lembeh we pride ourselves in being able to offer you as much freedom as possible on your dives as opposed to the 45 and 60 minute time limits often found in other locations.* We also limit the diving groups to a maximum of 4 people to one dive guide.

Our schedule typically consists of a two tank morning trip departing at 800am with snacks, coffee, tea, and water available during the surface interval. The boats return to the resort after the second dive for a tasty lunch before heading out on a third dive at 2.30pm. Mandarinfish and night dives are available every day for folks who are interested in an evening dive. Our fantastic house reef is available to guests staying more than 5 nights doing 3 dives a day free of charge (without a guide) throughout the day (those on less than that only pay a small fee for the tank fill).

*Time limits may be needed when trying to accomplish 4 dives in a day or if weather or water conditions require it.

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