TJ BIRA - SELAYAR
Tanjung (cape) Bira nestle at the southeastern tip of Sulawesi, exactly above Selayar. Tanjung Bira is a very dry peninsula with no freshwater river. The area presents white soft sand beach and sparkling from blue water that getting turquoise and clearer as the water goes shallower.
The diving around Bira itself is on nice fringing reefs, but around Kambing island, a kind of massive rock rising out of the ocean between Bira and Selayar Island, is the place where the coral cover the walls and the marine biotas live a fantastic life. In Pulau Kambing is a wall dive that drops down to at least 60m. Sometimes there is a lot of current and the strong one. Here you can encounter white tipped, black tipped sharks on the wall and nurse sharks at the coral garden that starts from about 15m. Schools of mackerels or tunas and great trevallies as well as groups of bumphead parrotfishes also spotted here.
At a site called Shark Feeding, on the depth around 30m you could find traffic of sharks. If you are lucky, you can also encounter manta rays, marble rays, turtles, barracudas, hammerhead, and Mola mola. But watch out for the currents. When the evening come and the sky cast its strong orange color, get ready for a night dive in the coral garden. In the coral garden you might find scorpionfishes, cuttlefish or octopus. Night dives close to Pantai Kecil in the south of Bira harbor is the moment where you could encountered many unique creatures, such as Spanish dancer, lionfish, a sleeping turtle, cuttlefish and octopus. Watchout for the A huge Conus shell (Conus geographus) that hunting for prey such as fish and mollusks. The slug normally shoots extremely poisonous darts at its prey. The venom paralyzes and kills the fish and even humans.
Pasi Island is very delicate for divers beginner. The coral garden is very attractive especially with the busy life of plethora of fishes. With maximum depth around 20 m, this sand bottom site is covered by corals and fishes, such as damsel, angelfish, cardinal, grouper, triggerfish, surgeon fish, boxfish, puffer, and many more are creating a busy underwater city life.
To see all those stuff you must go through a long journey, 6 hours road trip from Makassar to Bira. But all the efforts made are worth it.
Selayar is an island on the south of Sulawesi. Geographically, most of the regency’s area is water, blessed the area with unlimited dive potentials. The island can be reached by land from International Airport in Makassar to the city of Bira, which is approximately 180km distance, and continue, to Selayar by boat that takes around 2 hours. Another alternative is a direct flight from Bali or Makassar to Benteng, the capital city of Selayar, and then driving from Benteng airport to the dive resort.
Diving in Selayar is concentrated on the eastern part of the island where the accommodation and dive facility is located. Most of the dive sites are scatter nearby the resort and it takes around 10 minutes to 1 hour to reach. House Reef is located right in front of the resort, a real good start before exploring the steep wall that the end of it seems like swallowed by the depth.
Its underwater seascape is dominated by sea fan hanging on the wall and postcard view sponges. Sometimes divers can see pigmy seahorse hiding camouflaging in the sea fan. In several location-where some conservations efforts are made due to the trace of damages reef; schools of fusiliers, snappers, and sometimes tunas, manta rays, eagle rays, and sharks can be seen passing by.
The combination of white sand beaches, relaxing atmosphere and the underwater beauty is the reason why divers cannot forget Selayar.