Diving in Kakaban. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

Multicolored dive on Kakaban reef

  Borneo: Indonesia + Malaysia - July 2013

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I love the bright colors of coral on a subaquatic blue background. Small immersion, in images, on the splendid reef of the island of Kakaban, in Indonesia, near Borneo.

The girl who takes pictures underwater

There are girls, when they go on vacation, who fill their suitcase with clothes. Me, it's my diving gear and my equipment photo-underwater that take up all the space in my bags.

All this to photograph fish and coral! Yep... 😉

Diving in Kakaban. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.
Diving in Kakaban. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

The pictures you see here were taken in July 2013, near Borneo, Indonesia, during several dives around the small island of Kakaban (see the presentation of this trip at the end of this link : Diving in the blue of Borneo). The beauty of the seabed fascinates me a little more each dive ...

Underwater, then in front of my screen, I am ecstatic to no longer finish in front of the bright colors of the coral - red, pink, yellow, orange - magnified by the lightning of the flash.

Diving in Kakaban. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

I am happy when I managed to capture a ray of light piercing the surface, to illuminate the delicate intertwining of a giant gorgon, to freeze the irresistible movement of a barracudas bench ...

Light effects

Kakaban, whom I introduced to you the amazing jellyfish lake, in the previous post, is really worth the detour.

At midday, the sun falls on the top of the reef, providing a spectacular play of light along the wall.

Diving in Kakaban. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

Diving in Kakaban. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

Diving in Kakaban. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

Coral table in Kakaban. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

Magnificent !

Along the Kakaban wall, there are giant gorgonians everywhere, huge barrel sponges...

The coral is beautiful and my dive buddies gradually accept the life of the underwater model.

Barrel sponge in Kakaban. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

But what they prefer is to pose near the gorgonians... 😆

Barracuda Point

And then Kakaban has a Barracuda Point, which rarely disappoints. The barracudas are almost always at the rendezvous ...

Barracuda Point. Kakaban. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

I didn't do a macro in Kakaban and sometimes I regretted having only my fisheye with me. There's also a lot of fun to be had with the usual small tropical fauna: clown fish, moray eels, scorpion fish, flying scorpion fish, butterfly fish, anthias, exotic shrimps and mini-crabs...

Clown fish. Diving in Kakaban, Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

Kakaban also has some big surprises in store that make the heart beat a little faster: twice we saw eagle rays... From a little too far away, alas, no way to take pictures.

As for sharks and turtles, they are less abundant than Sipadan (Malaysian side of Borneo, which I will talk about later), but we meet regularly.

At each end of the dive, when we go back to the light and the coral garden, it's an explosion of life and colors ...

Diving in Kakaban. Borneo, Indonesia. July 2013.

Kakaban has become my favorite spot for underwater photography in the Derawan Archipelago.


  Borneo: Indonesia + Malaysia - July 2013

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    1. @Amandine: Thank you ! Have fun, with the light and colors of the coral ... But all the sites are not like that in the archipelago of Derawan, alas. Only the drop of Kakaban really packed me.

  1. It is a happiness for all our family to share these unique moments with you. The kids (13 & 15, 45 dives in indo and ds the area) are always looking forward to the next post. Thank you very much 😉

    1. @Thierry: Thank you for taking the time to leave a note, it's really nice! It touches me to know that the next post is eagerly awaited ... I will try to enjoy the weekend to put a new one online!

  2. You are so right, and then how would you put your beautiful dresses underwater 😉
    Thank you again for these items always more beautiful than each other, the baracudas gave me the impression of dozens of small planes in the air!

    Question: By dipping, have you ever been "assaulted" by a jellyfish?

    1. @ Haydée: No, I have never been "assaulted" by anything under water diving ... Otherwise by clown fish or sometimes a ballista titan.
      -> https://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/le-monde-de-nemo-20081130/
      -> https://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/gare-au-baliste-20090106/

      For tips that sting underwater (for example, there is often plankton urticant suspended in the tropical seas, we sometimes have unpleasant surprises by simply bathing), I wear a long suit that prevents me from any bad surprise.

      For jellyfish, they "never aggression" anyone ... You just have to pay attention to some filaments sometimes very long and that can graze under the water. Sometimes, these filaments detach and float between two waters and can sting you (while there is no jellyfish around).

      It happened once to a dive-master with whom I was diving, and who, the poor, was allergic to these stinging filaments. The surface of his body was fortunately protected by his long combi, but a filament grazed his neck and cheek ... It came out of the water with spectacular red patches that itchy and swollen a lot. He was given cream adapted to calm all that, it was beautiful, on the boat, all coated with white cream in the neck and on the cheeks ...

  3. Me who does not dive but happy with snorkeling, you will eventually convince me that I'm wrong Corinne! So there hat. My preference is for 8 and 25. The 8 for its very strange atmosphere and the 25 for this game of transparency quite incredible. I am often quite disappointed with diving photos which are a very delicate art to master obviously.
    Your first remark made me laugh, because I told myself that once seeing a girl traveling with a suitcase heavier than her and another with diving gear. For the first time, diving is dead, she can never!

    1. @Laurent: Yes, diving offers more sensations than snorkeling, and allows to admire coral reefs from another angle, much more spectacular. If you decide one day to try the experiment, think to make you lend a lamp, which allows to illuminate the corals and to discover their true colors, it is spectacular.

      Thank you for the compliments on the photos, it touches me a lot, because I have the feeling of having progressed since my debut, and I am happy that I begin to get to get ... The picture under water, it is exciting. More than on earth, you have to learn to master the light (artificial and natural), it's exciting!

      As for my luggage, yes, it's been a long time that I do not travel more in "light" or "backpacker" mode ... But no matter, I think it's worth the lugging all this cumbersome equipment, given the pleasure that me provide scuba diving and underwater photography.


    2. And the diving equipment that can be rented on site? Not terrible ? I guess it's like in many sports, we're happy at first, but once reached a certain level, we prefer to use his equipment that we know well.

    3. @Laurent: the quality of rental equipment may vary, from one center to another ... But, as for any activity, we prefer after a while to have his own gear. Underwater, I like to have my mask to me, adapted to my face, a regulator that gives good air, fins to my size, a combi in which nobody pee, etc. etc.

  4. whaooo!! What an explosion of colors ! I have a weakness for the gorgonians : I find it majestic ! Well, the schools of barracudas too, and... Well, everything else ! Normal for a diver ! 😆

  5. The colors are really beautiful. I look forward to doing photos and videos here also around the island of Reunion ... it must be worth the detour too I guess.

    1. @Chris: Three dives ? So you are at the very beginning of your discovery of the underwater world... 😉 I have behind me more than 500 dives, mainly in Asia. Of course, it allowed me to discover a lot of wonders under water...

  6. magnificent photos, as usual, which console me for not having dived for the season (pierced eardrum then a hellish stroke a few days before my departure for a week of diving on the Chausey archipelago) 😡 !!!!
    I just accompany my friends on the boat and it's a bit frustrating !!
    continues to make us dream 🙂

    1. @Laurence: Pierced eardrum ??? 😯 Oh dear, I hope I'll never experience that... Well, obviously, Chausey is not the same kind of diving as Borneo. Good recovery, Laurence, I hope you can go back to make bubbles in the Channel or elsewhere very soon !!!!

  7. Hello,
    your photos are beautiful, bravo!
    The nose in the air, sailing in the starry sky, we lose ourselves in dreaming of other worlds,
    other lives so different ... Let us forget that we only have to bend down and get wet a little to touch them.

    You are working brilliantly to repair this error, but it remains for me a pleasure at a distance,
    always a little impossible. In my country it would be rather the bath of crowd.

    Too jealous so :) Big thank you for sharing.


  8. Hello Corinne, I come back to you to thank you for all the valuable advice you kindly give us before our departure to Raja Ampat. 3 weeks of pure happiness !!! It's truly a heavenly destination: 2 weeks cruising with Wallacea cruise, then a week at Papua Paradise on Biri Island. I put pictures on my flickr site, I exploded in photo, what a wealth!
    images on: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yvonleblond/sets
    I do not know where we will go this year ... but it may be around ...

    1. @ Yves: how happy I am with this good news !!! Delighted that Raja Ampat did you the same effect as me. Many thanks for the link to the photos, always a pleasure to see again these landscapes ... And, yes, what wealth! Me too, I want to go back there. There is so much to see (and to see again).

  9. These are pictures that make salivate .... Kakaban, what club were you with? I'm just starting our research. See you soon - Isa and Marco

    1. @IsaM: Sorry for not answering earlier ... I can not keep up with the flow of messages! During this July 2013 stay in Derawan, I opted for Derawan Dive Lodge from Tasik Divers:

      I am a little mixed. Good for diving (super guides) and boats, well suited for diving, with good engines to reach distant sites. But accommodation and food, I found it very expensive compared to the rates charged by guesthouses and restaurants around. But it's also my fault, I made a mistake of beginner: I had not made it clear in my e-mail exchanges if meals were included in the price ... And as they do not Finally, I did not pay the high price (compared to local rates) for a very ordinary food ... Nothing serious, but it's still a little unpleasant. As for the comfort of the room, it was ok, but nothing fabulous either (I expected better seen the rates charged).

      Otherwise, the atmosphere and the staff were kind of cool. However, I had the misfortune to be in the room closest to where the staff was staying, so I had the right to music and conversations until late at night ... Some even settled on my terrace , with a little embarrassment. I could tell them that I wanted to sleep and make less noise, they apologized very kindly, but it was a bit boring every night to have to tell them again ... I was also at a transitional period for management, it seems, from where a certain "relaxation" ... Things have perhaps improved since?

      In short, I would recommend staying elsewhere (there is an embarrassment of choice on the island) and only use them for diving ...

  10. Hello Corinne, thank you again for your beautiful reports with your valuable advice.
    After Komodo in early May, I'm still your tracks, this time Sipadan and mabul 4days early July with Billabong. 2 days in Sipadan.

    For the descent to Derawan I chose an air option, see below, not necessarily more expensive, and which requires less than a day, with a connection to Tarakan. For Derawan I only stay 2 days and if I understood correctly it is especially Kakaban which is worth the detour for its fall, and le.lac, the mangas of Sangalaki having unfortunately made the expenses of the illegal fishing ... and Maratua having undergone from fishing to dynamite ... I hope it has not deteriorated further since 2013 ...

    After Sipadan and Mabul, rather than having to take the ferry from noon to about 300000Rp from Tawau (1h drive from Sempurna) to Sabah and arrive 4h later in the late afternoon to Tarakan and be forced to sleep there , to spend the 2nd day in the transports sea + route + sea where to try his luck by joining a speedboat towards Derawan (3-4h) between 2 and 4 million (the prices depending on the sites where I look), I chose a option much faster and not necessarily expensive, at least at a fixed price, in the same day:
    -Tawau-Tarakan with Malaysia Airlines. 10h30-11h10. 490000Rp
    -Tarakan-Berau with Kalstar. 13h45-14h10. 540000Rp (instead of 7h mini by the road or 3-4h in speedboat, which in the end can be more expensive if poorly filled)