What is the best time of the year for diving?
Bira Dive Camp is open all year round. Diving and snorkeling conditions are good year round, with water temperatures constantly between 28°-30°C (82°-28°F). Visibility is always good sometimes even 50m+.
Bira is most famous for its great variety of sharks and other pelagic which visit throughout June – November.
September in Bira is on average the month with most sunshine. The wet season has a rainfall peak around January and the dry season is around the month of September
What kind of electricity supply do you have?
220V/50Hz with round two prong plug. An adapter should be brought with you since it is not possible to buy on the Island.
What valves do you have on your tanks?
We have tanks with A-clamp (INT) valves.
What can I do at the resort if I don’t dive?
There is fantastic snorkeling around our resort you may also join the diving excursions.
Bira is well known for its traditional boat building by the Bugis people. And it’s very interesting to see and learn about the centuries old handicraft skills.
Or why not just take it easy. Bira is situated “off the beaten track” with not many tourists with pristine white sand beaches so relax in a hammock and let the gentle sea breeze sing its lullaby.
Is there WiFi in the resort?
A WiFi connection is NOT available.
BUT you can buy an Indonesian SIM card when you get here if you don’t already have one. SIM Cards are fairly cheap and so are packages (available daily, weekly and monthly) including internet. Signal is good with TSEL.
What methods of payment can I use?
We don’t take any deposit or down payment to secure your booking. Full payment is due at the camp in CASH only IDR (Indonesian rupiah). ATM (BNI and BRI) are found in the harbor which is either 10min drive or 45min walk away. BNI and BRI take most credit and debit cards with VISA but it’s good to do a withdrawal before coming to Bira to be sure the ATM’s except your card. There is no money exchange facilities so make sure to change your money before or latest in Makassar if needed.
What do I need to bring along?
Please keep in mind that we are in a remote area. There is local shops and Indomart where is possible to do basic shopping
- Dive Certification card (mandatory for all divers).
- Dive insurance (mandatory for all divers). Annual dive insurance policies can be purchased before your arrival. We recommend you consider the Dive Master Insurance, as they are specialists in Diver safety and only cost $5 US per day.
- Insect repellent & light coloured clothes.
- A warm pullover or jacket. Evenings can occasionally be brisk, and the domestic flights are often freezing and do not provide blankets in the plane.
- Passport valid for 6 months from the time of entry into Indonesia. Nationals of most countries will be granted a free 30-day Visa on Arrival. We recommend you check with the Indonesian Embassy in your home country to confirm.
- Sometimes travellers are asked by Indonesian Immigration officials to show a copy of their airline ticket out of Indonesia within the 30-day period. Happens rarely but is possible.
- Essentials such as hat, sunglasses, sun block, insect repellent, extra batteries, a towel and tampons! You can’t find them in Bira. Our dress code is extremely casual.
What is the time difference in Indonesia/Bira?
Indonesia has three Time Zones :
Central Indonesian Time: GMT +8 (Manado / Makassar / Bira)
Western Indonesian Time: GMT +7 (Jakarta)
Eastern Indonesian Time: GMT +9 (Raja Ampat)
Please beware of those when taking domestic flights.
What’s NOT included in the packages you offer?
- Evening meals, only breakfast and lunch.
- Transfer from Makassar to Bira. There is no local airport in Bira so all flights arrive in Makassar.
- Dive equipment rental. To avoid disappointment, please advise us when booking if you require any rentals.
- All other excursions
- Laundry (not included but available at a reasonable rate in the dive camp)
- Soft drinks and beer
- Private dive guides
- Long distance specialty dive trips
- Internet Wi-Fi
What sort of food can I expect at the resort?
Meals are served at our onsite restaurant. We offer a tasty, nutritious, and whenever possible, organic menu with an emphasis on fresh local food.
What if I get sick or hurt while I’m there?
We are “off the beaten track” and so closest medical assistance is around half an hour away. Your health and safety are very important to us and so we advise all guests to take utmost care.
All of our dive staff are certified Emergency First Aid Responders and Oxygen is available. In the event of a general medical emergency, you will be evacuated to the nearest hospital. In the event of a diving emergency, your diving insurance provider will advise us on the appropriate course of action. Therefor it is mandatory to have a dive insurance that covers emergency evacuation and decompression chamber treatment if you plan on diving with us. We recommend Dive Master, a UK based company who specializes in this sort of thing. We also STRONGLY recommend health and travel insurance.
Should I take precautions against malaria?
We recommend that you always sleep under a mosquito net, wear light-colored clothing, cover up during evening and early morning hours, and use an insect repellent between dusk and dawn.
How do I get to Bira?
The easiest way to get to Bira is via Makassar. Makassar is the third largest city in Indonesia and several domestic and international airlines fly there.
We can arrange an airport pick up. Price for the journey is 700.000IDR per car (up to 4 people) and takes about 5 hours. Fuel and fees are included in the price. Or you may take a taxi but be sure to negotiate the price carefully before starting the journey.
There is bus from Mellengkeri Bus Terminal in Makassar, price around 70.000 IDR. Public Transport departures are from 7am until 6pm.
Alternative way to reach us is by a direct ferry to Bira from Flores, Labuan Bajo. The ferry leaves once a week and takes around 24 hours. Labuan Bajo to Bira Tuesday 2pm. Bira to Labuan Bajo Sunday midnight. One way is 125.000 IDR. There is sometimes cabin available (ask for it once on the ferry) for a small “fee”.