First in a new series profiling dive centres, resorts and liveaboards right here in the UK and abroad.
Centre name: Lumbalumba Diving – Manado.
Location: Jalan Trans Sulawesi, desa Mokupa (25 minutes south of Manado on the main land).
Facilities: Dive resort with own accommodation, restaurant/bar, pool, dive centre.
Day trip/liveaboard information: Daily dive trips to Bunaken National Marine Park.
Background: Juud and Roel, two Dutch PADI instructors, decided to change their hobby into a profession in 1992 and went to the Maldives. From there, it was Sri Lanka and in 1995, Indonesia became their new home. After a trial-and-error period of a few years, they decided in 2000 to create the ultimate diver’s dream – Lumbalumba Diving.
Together with their dedicated staff, it is their mission to make your stay one you will remember with pleasure. With a warm heart for nature, they see conservation of Bunaken’s reefs as one of their primary tasks. Warning! Once you have been diving and staying with them, you will want to come back!
Q: What makes you different from your rivals?
A: Lumbalumba Diving is an informal, small and comfortable dive resort.
With no more than six luxurious chalets (nine rooms), we offer a familiar and flexible atmosphere.
Lumbalumba Diving is a complete resort with own accommodation, excellent cuisine, bar, infinity pool, dive centre on private jetty and spacious dive catamaran. Located on a 3.5-hectare mountain slope surrounded by lush botanical gardens, we also have one of the most-spectacular views you can find in Manado.
Q: Funniest experience at the centre?
A: Lots of things, but what made us all smile for some time was the guest who thought it was normal to bring your own weights – 36kg of lead weights for the whole family!
Q: Worst experience at the centre?
A: We went diving with a just-certified Open Water Diver. The dive site was famous for its critters, so the Divemaster states in his briefing: ‘Here we will only see small stuff’. Some 20 minutes into the dive, we suddenly encounter this huge whaleshark only inches from the freshly certified diver. Instead of enjoying this once-in-a lifetime event, he decided that this was the time for an emergency ascent and went up! Luckily his training skills kicked in and the Divemaster was near, so it all ended up in a controlled way. But he gave us a bit of a scare! Ever since, no matter where we dive, we end our briefings with: ‘and while diving with Lumbalumba, you never knows what lies around the corner!’
Q: Why people should dive with you?
A: We can only survive if you are satisfied. This is why we choose to be small. That way we are able to give you the extra service and attention you are looking for. The spectacular and world-famous diving reefs of Bunaken Marine Park are all around us. That is a present from Mother Nature. The rest we do. For us, you are not just another tourist. For you, we are not just another dive resort.