Selayar – South Sulawesi’s underwater haven


I’m back home for almost one week and still haven’t get used to the lack of light in Luxembourg during the winter time. One way to forget about it is to work on the photos from the trip. Now it’s time for the first report for those of you longing for the sun like me and of course for all the others as well.

Selayar is a hidden paradise and as most of these places long and almost impossible to get to. A 4 to 5 hour ride by car brings you from Makasar to Bira, a small port south east where a ferry boat leaves daily to Selayar island, 80 km long, thin, covered in thick forest. Most of the people live on the west coast which offers unbelievable sunsets. Benteng the main town lies as well on the sunset side.

Beach at Selayar Dive Resort

The Selayar Dive Resort, on the other hand lies on the east coast at the southern tip of the island admist a lush forest on a beautiful 1 km white sandy beach. No roads bring you there. The fast resort speedboat awaits the guests in Bira and rushes along the hillside eastern coast down to the resort within 2 hours.

beach2

The eight bungalows are well hidden under the trees on the beach so that you can barely see them upon arrival. On the jetty Jochen, the German owner, welcomes you. The stuff deals with your heavy luggage while Ifa in the restaurant is serving a fresh welcome drink.
The traditionnal Indonesian style bungalows are designed by divers for divers. A concrete bassin to wash off the sand from your feet features at every bungalow. Lots of electric plugs for your lamps, computers, photo gear,…but the real luxury in the room are the three large tinted windows filling almost the whole front wall of the bungalow. Through the trees you can enjoy the sunrise over the ocean, even from your bed.

DIVING

Mostly all dives lie within 10 min by speedboat from the resort. The housereef is simply breathtaking. A healthy wall falls down to the endless blue and on the wall you can find anything from pygmy seahorses to colourful nudibranchs, surrounded by all sorts of reef fish, huge lobsters and crabs at night, batfish around the jetty. Don’t forget to have a look in the open blue as the occasional reef shark or eagle ray may pass…

pygmy DENISE

featherstar

saron

Jochen takes his guests out with the speedboat two times a day. Dive times are scheduled by the sun and the moon, the tides bring strong currents at full moon periods and with them big fish.

deep

Depths down to 55m are on daily menu for the deep blue fans to get an even bigger chance to meet hammerheads, grey reef sharks, mantas, eagle rays,tunas, trevallies…Sharkpoint and Carl’s corner are the topspots for the big stuff, as are Opera and Steps.

wall

elephant ears

Netz is a nice wall dive where you can look for cool critters in an old fishing net hanging on the wall.

the net

The reef top at all dive sites lies in between 9 and 3 m and is the ideal place for your decompression/safety stop. Nudis, morays, turtles, endless reef fish play in the current.

moray eel

anemone fish

reef

Do you want to experiment a “real” night dive at 11pm or an early morning dive, I mean really early before sunrise at 4 am. Just gear up. Walk down the jetty and jump! The housereef is open 24 hours (unguided).

jetty

After a couple of days, we realized that there were no “electric” sounds : no TV, no mobile phones, no music. The only rhythm comes from the sound of the waves, interrupted by the geckos.

gecko

The buzzling sound of the moskitos reminded us that after all it can’t be paradise, but can we get any closer?

beach3

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Find out more about the Selayar Dive Resort

You can find all my photos on flickr.
Go and get wet!

5 thoughts

  1. Wow! Just amazing! I especially love the old fishing net encrusted with life. I kept wondering “What gorgonian grows in such an organized pattern?” I suppose I should read the text, but I was just so captivated!

    The feather stars are just amazing too. Well, EVERYTHING is amazing. I especially love the little seahorse. Do you know what species? It looks like Hippocampus denise, but I’m not sure.

    Like

  2. inexplicably some people get homesick while away… I suffer the reverse – i still have not quite got home after selayar. Every word is true – it’s paradise and the dives are magic…

    Like

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