Thursday, 2 August 2012

Important information about Malaria

Every traveler should carefully research about potential diseases and illness while traveling abroad. Nobody wants to have a trip to be spoil by being hospitalized. Always remember the prevention is better than the therefore take all precautions, vaccinations and use common sense (like don't drink tap water in the country that has high risk of polluted water, sleep under mosquito net in tropical countries where malaria and dengue are prevalent, use mosquito repellents, wear light long sleeved shirts and pants during early mornings / evenings when there is high risk of mosquitoes etc.)

In this section you will find useful information on Malaria – you find here useful websites, how to prevent and cure malaria, its myths etc. Read carefully and take every precaution to prevent mosquito bites and disease.
  1. GlaxoSmithCline prepared very useful leaflet on Malarone (you can find it by inserting into google: Malarone® 1 2 3 4)
In this leaflet you find the following information:
  • What Malarone is and what it is for
  • Before you take Malarone
  • While you are taking Malarone
  • How to take Malarone
  • Possible side effects
  • How to store Malarone
  1. Here you can find some additional information about Malarone:
  2. Since for Malarone you have to have prescription and you have to pay, you may find the following website useful – it compares the prices of Malarone sellers:
  3. I think everyone who plans travels should read The Malaria hotspots website: – on this website you find which countries are exposed to malaria, what the myths about Malaria are, how to prevent it etc.

  4. Another very useful website: Fit For Travel website is consistent with the TRAVAX website which is an interactive website providing up to the minute travel health information for health care professionals. TRAVAX is maintained and continually updated by the Travel Health Team. It is provided as an NHS resource for health care professionals who advise patients about avoiding illness and staying healthy when traveling abroad. Registration is required for access:  

    The following information is taken from:

    Taking anti-malaria tablets

    • Take the right tablets for the area you are going to (there are number of types of the anti-malaria tablets)
    • Start your tablets before entering a malaria area. This may be a few days or up to 3 weeks before (depending which tablets you choose to take)
    • Take the tablets absolutely regularly, preferably with or after a meal (check for the possible symptoms of taking the tablets and what to avoid)
    • Continue to take them for 4 weeks after leaving the malaria area. This period is reduced to 7 days for Atovaquone/Proguanil (Malarone) – again depends on which tablets you choose
    • No anti-malaria tablet is 100% effective

    Symptoms of malaria

    Malaria symptoms start out similar to flu. Symptoms include fever, shivers, sweating, backache, joint pains, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea & sometimes delirium.
    These symptoms may take a week or more to develop after you have been bitten by an infected mosquito.
    • Seek medical advice if you get malaria symptoms for up to a year after exposure, even after taking anti-malarial tablets.
    • If you are traveling in remote areas for prolonged periods it may be best to carry a malaria treatment with you. Discuss this with your regular doctor.


    Avoiding bites

    Mosquitoes can bite at any time of day. Most bites occur in the evening.
    • Wear long-sleeved clothing and long trousers if you are out at night.
    • Use insect repellant on exposed skin and under thin clothing.
    • Insecticide sprays, mosquito coils and heating insecticide impregnate tablets all reduce the risk of bites.
    • Where possible sleep in screened rooms and use a mosquito net, preferably one impregnated with insecticide.
    • Ultrasound devices, garlic and Vitamin B do not prevent bites.

    From my own experience:
    I have tried to take the Vitamin B Complex with Brewers Yeast (by Seven Seas) 2 weeks before going on holidays, to avoid mosquito bites. I have been bitten all over while my boyfriend did not have one bite. I also bought some oils that should avoid mosquito bites and insect repellents by Jungle Formula. I still got few bites but I guess if I did not use any of those products and used all precautions, I would be bitten even more.


Monday, 9 July 2012

USEFUL TIPS for travelling in Sulawesi

  1. Flight booking: some Indonesian airlines (like Express Air) will not accept non-Indonesian credit or debit cards. Therefore you will need to use a local agent to make a reservation for you. I have booked number of flights via an agent in Makassar, Mr Lili from Cempeka Travel. He was very helpful – he always provided me with choices, prices and times of the flights. I only gave him names, times and destinations and he reserved the tickets. As soon as he reserved he sent me PayPal link to pay the invoice. As soon as I paid, within few hours I received an email with PDF flight etickets. I only presented those bookings at the airport and it was all fine.
  2. Malaria: Many books and doctors inform about malaria risk in Sulawesi. I think every tourist MUST take precautions as malaria is a very serious illness. Ask the locals in every area you travel about the malaria risk, they will tell you. Don't forget to carry own mosquito net as some places do not offer one. Many people told me that Dengue is quite spread disease. It is also transmitted by mosquito.
  3. Sunshine: even when it is cloudy, make sure you put sunblock as you might get seriously burnt.
  4. Currents in Bira: I would suggest you only ask about diving and snorkeling the divers in Bira (dive instructors and the divers living there) as the Bira is famous for very strong currents which might be very dangerous. There has been already some dive accidents, when 5 Japanese divers were swept out and away from Cape Bira. Take extra precautions around Kambing Island.
  5. Baboons: on a way to Bara beach, via the forest path, you might be encountered with baboons. Be aware and careful. If you decide to climb a hill view point (from Bira Village), you might find baboons too. Stay calm and distanced.
  6. Motorbike hire: if you are staying in Bira for few days, I would suggest you rent a motorbike (ask at Salassa guesthouse in Bira) and you just tour round small villages (drop me an email and I will send you a map). Always ask for the directions if you are not sure. And when you ask, re-confirm it with another passer-by!
  7. Language Barrier: always carry with you basic Indonesian Phrases (for the directions) as it will be very useful for you becasue not many people in the villages speak English (drop me an email and I will send you basic Indonesian).
  8. Food: I experienced that the best lunches were in small local paces, called Warungs. When you enter village and you want to have lunch, just ask for Warung (have ready some basic food phrases). The portions are enormous and the prices are local.
  9. Photography: I found out that people in Sulawesi like when the picture is taken of themselves or they ask to take picture with you. Be patient and take picture with people if they ask you. Sometimes it took me like 1 hour session when the whole family of 20 people wanted to have a picture taken.
  10. Safety: As s woman, I felt very safe. Just use common sense.
  11. Money Exchange and ATMs: I would suggest to change money in Makassar airport – they offer good rates and they always have enough money to be changed. There is no money exchange in Bira, Bau Bau or Wakatobi. There are ATMs in Bira and Bau Bau, but if you need to exchange cash then you must do it in Makassar. There is no ATM in Hoga Island, you find ATMs in Wanci.

    This is me collecting valuable information for all of you...Travellers around Sulawesi and Wakatobi:) 


In this part I would like to share information about the Travel Agents / Tour Operators which I either met, used their services or just exchanged number of emails.

USEFUL WEBSITES AND CONTACTS in Malaysia and Indonesia

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS in Indonesia / Sulawesi

1. Cempeka Travel
Contact: Mr Lili
Notes: Mr Lili was very helpful when I requested information about Sulawesi, travel around and booking the flights. He was always ready to help and answer all of my questions. He booked all the flights for us from Lion Air, Express Air, Merpati and if needed others too. He arranged safe payment method (via paypal) and issued us the tickets the very next day. Each time I had tickets in the PDF in my email.
TRIPS: They can organize trips all over Sulawesi as well as in Bali, Raja Ampat and Papua, Lombok and Flores. The prices of the trips depends on the number of tourists in the group and the accommodation type (hostels or hotels)
LANGUAGES: English, French, Indonesian, French, Italian, Gemran and Japanese (however, in places such as South East Sulawesi and Wakatobi , there are guides that speak only English)
TRANSPORT: they can arrange transport for tourists but the driver speaks only Indonesian
FLIGHTS RESERVATIONS: yes, with no extra commissions (except Air Asia and Merpati airlines they add up 20.000 Rp per ticket)
PAYMENTS: bank transfer and PayPal secure system. 80 % of their customers choose to pay with the credit cards – they pay for flight tickets, tour packages, dive trips, hotels, car rentals
AIRPORT PICK-UP: yes, they can arrange the pick up from/to the airport (except to Cantral Sulawesi and Gorontalo)

2. Mr Eko Harwanto
Mobile : +628124259136
TRIPS: he can organize trips in every region in Sulawesi – South Sulawesi: Tana Toraja – funeral ceremony, traditional house of tongkonan, mountain panoramas, rice fields. Central Sulawesi: Togian Islands, snorkeling and diving, North Sulawesi: Bunekan Island, vulcano track, endemic animals
LANGUAGES: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German but in high season from June-August, they offer only English speaking guides.
TRANSPORT: they can arrange transport for turists
FLIGHTS RESERVATIONS: yes, with no extra commissions
PAYMENTS: bank transfer

3. CV Sulawesi Marendeng Tours and Travel
Yakobus Uddu is a tour operator who you can find in Makassar airport at the counter desk at the arrival hall

Citra Sudiang Indah F3 / 09 Makasaar 90242 / South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Yakobus Ambalembang - he is from Tana Toraja
Tel: ( 62) 411 550340
Fax: ( 62) 411 552387
Cell: ( 62) 813 4238 4455
Alternative email address:

Toraja Office:
Jalan Pembangunan no 29 Rantepao
Tel / Fax :( 62) 423 21313

they have one office at the Makassar aiport and another one in Toraja
they arrange trips to Tana Toraja, Bira – from transport, accommodation to cultural events
TRIPS: Cultural tours in Sulawesi, Trekking, Birding tours, Orchide tours, Butterfly / Insect tours, Cycling tours, Diving and Snorkeling (for individuals and the groups). They specialise in Eastern part of Indonesia – Sulawesi, Halmahera, Maluku, Papua, Kalimatan but they can also arrange a stop over in Bali or Java. Prices of the trips depend on the tour conditions – class of accommodation, the number of the turists in the group and lenght of the trip
LANGUAGES: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German and Japanese
TRANSPORT: they can arrange transport for turists (ac coach) such as a Mini Van (Toyota 4WD, Land cruiser, Micro Bus and Super Bus)
FLIGHTS RESERVATIONS: yes, but only for the customers (need to book a tour) / with no extra commissions
PAYMENTS: Advanced payments for the tour will be requested (minimum of 10% of the total tour cost). They accept Bank Transfers to their bank account in Indonesia. The remaining balance is paid on arrival (either to a tour operator or at the office). To reserve a flight, the full payment must be sent before the eticket is sent.
AIRPORT PICK-UP: yes, Makassar aiport to the hotel in center: 125.000 Rp / one way (by Mini van max 7 people) / Makassar airport to Tana Toraja: 1.100.000 Rp / one way (by Mini van max 7 people)

5. Alvin Tours and Travel
Yonathan – Tour Guide / he is based in the Makassar airport in teh arrival hall

6. WAKATOBI – Hoga Island – Operation Wallacea
if you would like to pre – arrange any accommodation and food in Hoga Island contact Ilu Rubiah on
IMPORTANT: IThe best time to visit the Hoga island is between October and February when it is empty form the students, in March / April – during the Easter holidays it can get pretty busy and therefore there are no tourists in the resort. In June / July / August and September – it is very busy with 200 students around and therefore no possibility of staying in Operation Walacea resort. I would always suggest to contact Ilu and check with her when exactly the resort is students-free.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

WAKATOBI Marine National Park

WAKATOBI Marine National Park / Pulau Kaledupa / Pulau Wangiwangi / Pulau Hoga

If there is a tourist magnet in this area, it is Wakatobi Marine National Park. Wakatobi and Pulau Hoga in particular are said to be a superb diving location. 

The public-transport way to Pulau Hoga involves quite a bit of island hopping: From Bau Bau (Pulau Buton) to Wanci (Pulau Wangiwangi), from there to Ambeua (Pulau Kaledupa) and from there to Pulau Hoga. It's possible to get to Pulau Kaledupa by speed boat from Pasarwajo (Buton's east coast), but most people prefer the slower (and safer) boat from Bau Bau. This leaves in the evening and takes 9..11h depending on weather conditions.

Our 15 hour journey from Bau Bau to Kaledupa and then to Hoga Island

FROM Wanci Wanci to Hoga or Tomia Islands:
  • Head to PELABUHAN MOLA before 10.30am when all passengers arrive from the airport
  • Take public speed boat to Hoga or Tomia (to Hoga between 9am and 12pm and to Tomia between 9am and 10am)
  • It is difficult to charter a boat from Wanci to Tomia without making any arrangement before
Arrive to Wanci Island by Plane
Wanci has a small airport which can be reached from Makassar (Ujung Pandang) with a stop in Bau Bau. It takes only 20 minutes to reach Bau Bau and around 1 hour from Bau Bau to Makassar. There are number of airlines that fly – we flew with Express Air. It is a very small plane for only around 35 people.
There is no public transport between the Wanci airport and the Center. You will need to take a taxi (dont take a motorbike as the roads are bumpy and not safe) for 100.000 Rp. The journey takes around 30 minutes. When you leave the airport, you must pay the airport tax (I think 20.000 Rp)

Wanci (Pulau Wangi Wangi)

Wanci has a surprising amount of hotels and guesthouses, several are along the busy and narrow road that leads south from the harbour to the market, others are scattered about town. Expect to pay Rp 5,000 for an ojek trip within town.

Wanci Accommodation (Mar-2008)

  • Hotel Setiana : 13 fan rooms with attached mandi at Rp 100,000
    Spacious rooms, very nice and clean. TV in common room.
    In the evening, a cafe / bar operates on the top floor.
    Hotel guests may rent a Toyota Kijang car for Rp 400,000 per day. Drive yourself.
  • Hotel Wakatobi
    4 AC rooms with attached bathroom at Rp 125,000 / 175,000 / 200,000 / 250,000
    5 fan rooms with attached bathroom at Rp 70,000
  • Penginapan Nirmala - popular
    1 AC room with attached bathroom and TV at Rp 150,000
    2 fan rooms with attached bathroom and TV at Rp 100,000
    8 fan rooms with shared bathroom at Rp 50,000
  • Hotel Al-Azizyah
    2 AC rooms with attached mandi and TV at Rp 100,000
    2 fan rooms with attached mandi and TV at Rp 75,000
    2 fan rooms with shared mandi at Rp 50,000
    2 fan rooms with 2 bunk beds each (4 people per room) at Rp 65,000
    Clean, very spacious, a large function room covers all of the third floor
    This is the southernmost hotel in Wanci
  • Penginapan Jelli - my choice
    2 fan rooms with attached bathroom and TV at Rp 70,000
    4 fan rooms with attached bathroom, 3x Rp 50,000 and 1x Rp 40,000
    Friendly place in a quiet area with attached cell phone shop.
    Free tee and sweet treats for breakfast.

  • Penginapan Nita Sari
    1 AC room with attached mandi at Rp 60,000
    2 fan rooms with attached mandi at Rp 40,000
    5 fan rooms with shared bathroom at Rp 30,000
  • Penginapan Lamongan
    2 fan rooms with attached bathroom at Rp 65,000
    4 fan rooms with shared bathroom at Rp 50,000
    A cell phone shop is attached to this penginapan,
  • Hotel Rahmat Indah
    A large facility with 24 rooms, all have attached mandi, price range is Rp 30,000 .. 50,000
    Rooms are not the cleanest, upstairs there's karaoke. This is as close to a red-light district as can be.
  • Hotel Gajah Madah II
    A total of 7 fan rooms (all attached bathroom) at Rp 55,000
  • Melati Indah, Rumah Makan & Penginapan (near Gajah Madah)
    Very basic and in need of renovation. Fan on request, shared bathroom, Rp 20.000 per person
  • Wisma Samudera
    5 fan rooms, 3 with attached bathroom, 2 with shared bathroom at Rp 30,000 per person
  • Penginapan H.Abdullah
    9 rooms (no fan, no AC) with attached bathroom at Rp 35,000
    This place is closest to Mola Utara
  • Penginapan Ratna
    10 fan rooms with shared bathroom at Rp 25,000

PATUNO RESORT – beautiful and luxury resort – visit:

Room rates from 575.000 Rp to 1.725.000 Rp
They arrange the dives (400.000 Rp without equipment)
Bike Hire for 115.000 Rp half day or 180.000 Rp full day
They also organize Wanci trips / they have Banana boats, Jet Ski and Manta Tows
For any more information contact or 0062 (0)8114002221





Places of Interest on Pulau Wangi Wangi

  • Pasar Sentral, the Wanci central market and also Pasar Malam (Night Market) – selling only food and great cakes and sweet treats/
  • Wanci's main harbour, boats to Bau Bau depart here
  • Mola Utara, about 1 km south of the main harbour. Mola is a Bajoe Village in Wanci – worth a visit

    The "northern jetty". Boats to Pulau Kaledupa depart at 9:00 am, the fare is Rp 50,000
  • Taman Rekreasi Umum - A public picnic site about 8 km north of Wanci. Some dilapidated wooden structures, access to the sea, lots of rubbish there.
  • Caves with freshwater springs inside
The island of Wangiwangi is actually quite nice for a little cycling. There are flat, hilly and mountainous areas and a good mix of roads. It's not a big island, so one can go around in a day. This is what I do. There are some nice beaches along the way and the occasional cave with a fresh water spring inside. In various places on the island new roads are being built, so by the time you read this, you should have some more road cycling options.


Stay on Hoga: 20.000 Rp per person (per entry not per day)

From the Kaledupa police station, get a permit to visit Hoga (if you don't have a photocopy of your passport, visit Ambeua's "computer shop" first). Then find the owner of a hut (usually Kaledupa people, ask around). The owner will then find a boat, get the hut ready and carry over not only you and your gear but all your supplies (water, food, candles, oil, batteries, ..) for the planned number of days. Then he will walk you to the Wallacea office where you register (or get sent back if no permit from the Kaledupa police). The owner of the hut will then return. You will see him again on your planned departure day, when he will come and pick you up.
- the above information might be a little but outdated as it is form 2008. We were on Hoga Island in May 2012 and we did not request any permission to stay. We paid 20.000 Rp per person when we were leaving.

More facts about Hoga:

What makes a stay on Hoga difficult is the lack of fresh water. All wells on the island have semi-salty water that may be acceptable for a shower but not for drinking. Fresh water is brought over from Kaledupa and filtered on Hoga. Bottled water is an alternative.
Hoga has no shops, kiosks, warung, restaurants. Particularly outside the season when resorts are shut down and Wallacea operates with a minimum of staff, it's essential to plan ahead and bring enough supplies. It is still possible to get hot meals at the Wallacea center but should tell staff one day early. The best way is to arrange the accommodation and the meals is to contact them in advance and make booking (see below).
They have around 140 huts available. The setting of the huts is very nice / by the coast line and also in the 'jungle'. Note that after the rain you may encounter many lizards on the paths where they stay during sunny days.
Hoga is a small island with no cars, motorbikes, bicycles. There are foot paths in the south-western part of the island, but the rest of it can only be reached by walking along the beach (during low tide) or by boat.
There are about 150 huts on Hoga and these are mostly owned by Kaledupa people. Hut owners may rent out directly to visitors and provide water / food. Wallacea owns a few huts but may also rent out other huts and then compensate the owners.
If you are coming for diving then I would recommend to arrange diving with the Operation Wallacea as they have all equipment in very good condition and they offer re-freshers as well as the diving courses (reservation is a must during off season). It is not recommended to go there during peak season (Easter holidays and after mid June till around end of August) when they receive around 200 students around the world who come there to dive and to conduct research.

If you walk along the beach (left from the jetty), then you will find few more huts which belong to Tukangbesi Divers ( or

Hoga is just 2 km from Ambeua / Kaledupa and half the distance is shallow water. Transport between the two islands is by small motorboat (called "Johnson"). The school boat goes at 6:00 am and 13:00 hours (returns rightaway, is based in Kaledupa) but there can be other boats going. The official fare for visitors is Rp 50,000 per boat.


We stayed at the Operation Wallacea resort. If you would like to pre – arrange any accommodation and food in Hoga Island contact Ilu Rubiah on
IMPORTANT: The best time to visit the Hoga island is between October and February when it is empty form the students, in March / April – during the Easter holidays it can get pretty busy and therefore there are no tourists in the resort. In June / July / August and September – it is very busy with 200 students around and therefore no possibility of staying in Operation Walacea resort. I would always suggest to contact Ilu and check with her when exactly the resort is students-free.
If you are a diver – they can rent you diving equipment or snorkels
1 dive cost – 400 000 Rp including the equipment which is in very good state
Meals – 40.000 Rp per meal – you can pre-arrange every day how many meals you want to have
Renting a hut – 100.000 Rp per hut (50.000 Rp per person)
The resort has around 140 huts, common area, area for diving equipment, they have few boats, they can arrange the transport to Kaledupa and take you to Bajoe Village too.

There is also another resort (only around 200m from Wallacea) called Hoga Island Dive Resort, formerly called Tugangbesi Diving - their website is also
- accommodation in traditional wooden-style huts built on stilts overlooking the beach / sea;
- they charge 1 000 000 Rp for 1 night / 2 dives / breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • to arrange the reservation call Wia on 085241628287 or
  • Geertjie organizes the diving knows the site well
- When you have a few days’ left for sightseeing it is worth while to stay in Bau Bau at the Hill house owned by your English speaking hosts Ibu and Pak Kasim. Their travel agency Wolio Tour and Travel Call: +624 022 1189, Fax: +624 022 4316 can organize interesting trips in and around the nice little harbour city Bau Bau. The Hill house is situated in the old Wolio fortress on top of the hill where the view is magnificent the temperature cool and the diners delicious. From the balcony one can spot and hear lots of birds and other wildlife. Your hosts can tell you about the rich history of Buton – we have not had experience with this couple – this information is from here:

There is another resort called LaBaba Resort (none there, I think closed?) I am not sure if it is possible to stay there any more.

The map of Hoga was taken from here:
Places of Interest on Pulau Hoga

* Wallacea center, Tukangbesi Diving operation, jetty = jembatan - where most people arrive
* Well with slightly salty water = sumur mandi
* LaBaBa Resort (not sure if it is still opned?)
* Island Garden Resort (not sure if it is still opned?)
* Fishing village = kampung
* Area with lots of huts = pondok tamu
* Large government houses

The places on the west coast of the island are accessible either by footpath or by walking along the beach. Going further north to the fishing village is only possible along the beach during low tide, with an occasional climb over rocks between two sand beaches. One can walk on past the village and reach more nice beaches until rocks block the way. The area from the Wallacea center past the many huts and on to the government houses is nicely done with sealed footpaths, beyond the government houses there's no way to continue. To fully go around the island, a boat is needed.

Wallacea has worked out rules that make sure the activities in the area are a win-win situation for locals, for the government, for visitors, for the environment and for them. For example, visitors have to respect certain rules (behaviour, dress) as not to do damage to the environment, offend locals or reflect badly on the organization - individuals that don't follow can be expelled / students sent back.
Then, prices for a number of services have been fixed to avoid destructive competition.
As a compensation for the local communities' cooperation (a lot of student projects involve visits to villages and interaction with locals), a part of the income must be used to fund projects for the benefit of these communities.

Prices on Pulau Hoga (May 2012)The nearest ATM is at Bau Bau, bring enough cash !

* Transport b/w Hoga and Kaledupa on any boat: Rp 50,000 per head - payable to boatman
* Motor boat rental for a trip b/w Hoga and Kaledupa: Rp 50,000 per boat - payable to boatman
* Hut rental: Rp 100,000 per night and hut - payable to hut owner or to Wallacea office
* Meals: Rp 40,000 per head per meal - payable to Wallacea office
* Rental of snorkeling gear: Rp 60,000 per day and set - payable to Wallacea office (great Informative BLOG!!! but some information might be outdated)

    • Walk around the Hoga island when low tide
    • Take a day trip to Kaledupa and visit: Visit Bajo Sea Nomad village of Sama Bahari (Sampela) in Kaledupa, Visit Kaledyupa and see local vawers, Walk to the TOP of the HILL and see the village of Sampela, Snorkel in Sombano brackish water lake
    • Day trip to Tomia Island? (2 hours by boat, from Kaledupa to Tomia = 1 hour)
+62 852 4162 8287 and +62 853 9429 0576 – might be difficult to arrange


Tukangbesi Diving: (former) or at present they are called Hoga Island Dive Resort – we dont know in what state they have the diving equipment.
Cost: 1.000 000 Rp including 2 dives, 1 night and full board

Operation Wallacea – contact Ilu for reservation:
Cost: 400.000 Rp per dive including the equipment

You can also snorkel around Hoga Island which is really spectacular. Jump off the jetty (from Wallacea side) and snorkel/swim right of the jetty for around 50 meters till you reach coral walls. 

A good place for both snorkelling and diving is at the jetty of the Wallacea centre, where there's a steep drop off with lots to see just a few meters from the beach. This is what makes Hoga so special.



There are number of ways how you can reach Hoga Island. Few years ago it was really complicated but nowadays there are many more options.

You can fly from Makassar to Wanci via Bau Bau (Express Air – you can book with Mr Lili – very good experience)
The ticket price depends on sub-class fare, start from IDR. 650,000 to 1,900,000 per one way
From Wanci Island to Hoga Island: From Wanci airport a short taxi ride takes you to the harbour for the 2-hour ferry ride to Kaledupa Island where one of our boats will transfer you to the Resort (boat around 50.000 Rp per person).
A more economical way to get to the Hoga Island is to fly to Bau Bau and then take the night ferry 8.30pm to Wanci, Wangi-Wangi Island (Rp103,000), then the morning speed ferry to Kaledupa (Rp50,000) and final transfer to Hoga Island (Rp50,000). On a couple of days each week there is a direct overnight ferry from Bau Bau to Kaledupa (120.000 Rp). We took it on Friday. For availability check with us via sms/ text message: +62-852-4162-8287. When you arrive to Kaledupa, you will arrive to Buranga and then you take ojek to Ambeua (beautiful short journey) – around 10.000 Rp per person/per ojek
To return from Hoga Island you will need to pre-arrange morning boat (at 5am) to Kaledupa and then take the boat at 6am or 7am from Kaledupa to Wanci (50.000 Rp) which takes 2 hours. From Wanci you can either take boat to Bau Bau or pane to Bau Bau / Makassar.

The PARADISE of Hoga Island 

PULAU KALEDUPA and the Ambeua Village

Kaledupa is a bigger island than Hoga Island. It belongs to Wakatobi National Park. On Kaledupa there is not turist infrastructure at all – there aren't any hostels or we have not seen any warungs. I have read that you can ask local families to rent a room. There is a fish market in Lau Lua. If you want to rent a motorbike, be careful of the scammers as people will charge you a lot! You can take ojek (motorbike – kind of local taxi) to take you around. If you wish to visit number of places, rather arrange with one ojek driver then to negotiate each time as it might cost much more. Note, that it is not cheap to travel around Kaledupa as people are used to turists from Hoga Island and therefore they charge a lot of money.
In Kaledupa, Ambeua village, there used to be Wallecea office (house) too where you could stay overnight. There was also some Library project but everything is now closed. Wallacea did not renew the rental contract and therefore they do not have the office there any more. The students came there more for social research rather than marine – marine research is on Hoga Island.
In Ambeua, there is a big school with a green field – it is really nice and lively around there. Just walking around the village is very pleasant. If you want to visit fish market, you can walk from Ambeua harbour straight up to the hill, when you reach the end of the hill (there is a T junction) you turn right and you walk for around maybe 20 minutes (ask to Pasar Ikan) ask for Lau Lua and its Pasar Ikan (Fish Market). If you have a motorbike it is easy and fast to get there.

I must say that the villages, the roads and the houses are absolutely beautiful on Kaledupa Island. The motorbike drives are spectacular – very colourful!
There is a small Bajoe Village – Sampela - just off Ambeua (you can see it form Hoga Island). You can arrange a boat ride and they can take you into this Bajoe village (50.000 rp per boat). The Bajau people are often described as Southeast Asia’s sea gypsies. Their skills as sailors, skin-divers, and fishermen are admired, while at the same time they are reviled for willfully destructive practices such as fish bombing and the use of cyanide in coral reefs. You can read more on Bajoe peope here:

        Bajoe Village of Sampela near Kaledupa 

How to reach Kaledupa Island

You can take a night boat from Bau Bau to Kaledupa (only couple of nights a week) – 120.000 Rp and it takes around 15 hours (doesn’t stop in Wanci). If you take a boat from Bau Bau to Wanci (every night at 8.30pm – 103.000 Rp and arrives at 6am to Wanci) and then you take a boat to Kaledupa (50.000Rp per person). To/from Hoga Island you can take local boat (20 minutes / 50.000Rp per boat)

DIRECTIONS on Kaledupa Island

Kaledupa - First to the northern end of the island. The road is narrow, steep and most of it in very bad condition. It passes gardens and patches of forest. Eventually reach Sombano, a tidy little fishing village with a white sand beach.
The southern part of the island: Buranga, Tanome, a waterfall, Peropa, Pajam. The roads in this area of Kaledupa are better than the one to Sombano and the ride to Pajam area is fun. There is a beautiful view in Palea hill view over another Bajoe village and over the Kaledupa south island. If you carry on down the hill you will reach Peropa which is apparently very nice beach too (we have not visited though)

note that not many people speak English on Kaledupa island so have some basic Indonesian language phrases ready – to negotiate the prices of ojeks or get directions. Bring enough water and food as you might not find many shops. Don’t forget to arrange the boat from Hoga and back - the last boat pick up is around 3-4pm as the tide on Hoga island get very low and it may cause problems to reach the island.

We were very lucky meeting Ola (hp 081-543116284) who told us and directed us from Kaledupa to Hoga.

Lau Lua Fish Market in Kaledupa


Tomia Dive Center:
3 Days 2 Nights Package* includes 3 times Diving
- Non Air Con. (AC) IDR 1.705.000,-/person.
- With Air Con. (AC) IDR 1.815.000,-/person.
4 Days 3 Nights Package* includes 5 times Diving
- Non Air Con. (AC) IDR 2.750.000,-/person.
- With Air Con. (AC) IDR 2.915.000,-/person.

- All prices in Diving Package is valid for a minimum of 2 licensed divers
- Diving license card/book need to be shown on arrival for security reason
- An additional IDR 100.000,-/ person / day will be charged for single traveller
- Advance notice is needed for night dive trip
- Diving equipment can be rented for 150.000,-/ day / person
Monica: +62 816 861 954
Max: +62 858 2459 2755

Activities on Tomia Island

1. Bird watching or with luck : Whale Watching
2. City tour : Kahyanga, Puncak Tomia, Tewali, Local Fish Market
3. Snorkeling : Table Coral Reef, Roma, Marimabuk, Waitii, Waha, Pulau Sawa
4. Visiting Bajo/Bajau village
5. Island Hopping : Nda’a, Pulau Sawa, Onemobaa
6. Beach Hopping : Runduma, Honduwei, Waha


Arrival to Tomia island
Wangi-wangiTomia : regular boat – daily 9am | price : IDR 100.000
Wangi-wangiTomia : chartered boat | price : IDR 2.000.000 – IDR 8.000.000 | from Wanci (Wangi-Wangi) directly to Tomia only you and your group on the boat (private).

From Bau-bau :
Bau-bau - Tomia : regular boat – 9pm | price : IDR 130.000/person/oneway
  • KM Wisata Indah 2, ONLY AVAILABLE every Friday night.***
  • KM Wisata Indah 1, ONLY AVAILABLE every Wednesday night.**
  • KM Azam Raya 1, ONLY AVAILABLE every Monday night.**
  • KM Permai, ONLY AVAILABLE every Tuesday night.**
  • KM Wahyu Samudra, ONLY AVAILABLE every Sunday night.*

Departure Tomia island
TomiaWangi-wangi : regular boat – daily 8am | price : IDR 100.000
  • Tomia – Wangi-wangi : chartered boat | price : IDR 2.000.000 – IDR 8.000.000 | from directly Tomia to Wanci(Wangi-Wangi) only you and your group on the boat (private).