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What To Expect On A Bima Liveaboard
Liveaboards to Bima usually visit this area as part of a Komodo Islands itinerary. The city and surrounding area of Bima, are found on the East coast of Sumbawa island which is in the centre of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Bima city is one of the most populous areas in the region and is home to several landmarks and museums. It also has its own ‘Bima language’, which is spoken by the majority of people on the eastern half of Sumbawa.
As well as liveaboard diving the area is also very popular for hiking with the stunning green caldera of Mount Tambora and the lake of angels attracting many visitors. The area also boasts fantastic beaches with perfect surfing conditions such as Hu’u and Maluk. Bima also provides some limited accommodation on land for visitors however it is normally quite basic.
Bima liveaboards take divers to where the best diving is, and is nothing less than a muck diving paradise. It is well known as the place to see several fish, such as rare gobies, that are rarely seen elsewhere in the region. The conditions are also very mild compared to other areas around Bali and Komodo offering a reprieve from the tougher seas elsewhere in Komodo. The currents in Bima can be quite mild in places and the visibility is still good even reaching 30 meters in some places.
The array of critters that can be found here and good conditions also make it ideal for night diving as well. After sunset the reefs come alive with fascinating creatures, positively teaming with life. It is not only rarer animals and critters like harlequin shrimp that can be seen here though, there are some bigger creatures too. If you venture a little further along the coast from Bima Strait, there are deeper drop-offs where you might spot white tips and eagle rays over the side. It is worth noting though that there are much stronger currents along the coast than in the strait.
Dive Sites Of Bima
The premier dive sites of Bima are in the Bima Strait, an area famous for its muck diving. Bethlehem dive site is a frequent stop off for diving liveaboards in the area of Komodo and Labuan Bajo. This makes a brilliant night dive with hordes of critters all over the reef there is always something new and fascinating to look at. The dive is also very shallow, around 14 meters/45 ft. and relatively easy for new divers.
Also inside the Bima Strait, The Unusual Suspects is a dive full of weird and wonderful creatures to enjoy. Macros photographers might never want to leave this dive site with seahorses and ghost pipe fish nestled all over the huge reef. There is also a number of different kinds of squid and octopi including the fascinating blue ringed and mimic octopi putting on a show.
Top Tips for Divers
- Photographers visiting this area should be sure to bring the right equipment for macro photography as this area is prime muck diving territory.
- Diving inside of the strait is usually quite easy but further along the coast don’t be caught off guard by strong currents and deep drop-offs.
- There are stone fish and sea urchins in this area so divers should be careful and consider covering their skin.
Getting To Bima
Bima is an area quite popular with tourists and so has fairly good access and facilities for visitors. Most divers visiting Bima, find a diving liveaboard to be the best option as it offers the chance to be first on site in these popular areas. Also the accommodation in Bima city can be fairly basic for those looking for a more luxurious experience. There are a number of different kinds of liveaboards available in the area from motor vessels to beautiful traditional Indonesian Phinisi. Phinisi are twin-masted sailing vessel, many of these elegant ships have been converted into luxury liveaboard diving vessels.
There are a number of departure options for Indonesian liveaboards in Bima, some depart from Labuan Bajo and disembark in Bima and others go in the opposite direction. This means you can visit both Labuan Bajo and Bima and when you are on board you spend as much time diving as possible.
Reaching the Bima area is fairly easy, it has its own small airport for domestic flights with connections to Labuan Bajo. International travellers can fly to Bali International Airport and travel onwards to Bima from there.