I’ve just returned from the most fabulous trip throughout South Sulawesi, this place is really special. I was diving from the Wakatobi group of islands, mainly the surrounding reefs around Wangi Wangi Island. Wakatobi is an acronym of the four main Tukang Besi Islands – Wangi Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia & Binongko – it received world heritage status in 2005 and for good reason. This island chain is located at the heart of the coral triangle, playing host to a staggering 396 species of coral. A first glimpse into the blue and this is clear to see.
I was diving from a new resort called Patuno. Just offshore the barrier reef plunges to 80m plus and is incredibly rich in marine life. In many ways it’s similar to Bunaken Island in North Sulawesi but in terms of diversity, general reef condition and scale I really felt Wakatobi had the edge.
Whilst this area is also perhaps not so well known for its big fish I was lucky to see plenty of eagle rays, black and white tip sharks and schooling fish like jacks and barracuda. Whilst wall diving is the norm there’s also the chance to dive on pinnacles and ridges blanketed in soft corals and giant see fans.
In the next series of blogs we’ll be posting more snippets from the trips including plenty of photos and video. I also made my way into central Sulawesi to get a glimpse of how people live in this remote corner of Indonesia.0