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Last updated on April 12, 2021
Want to explore a really unique snorkeling spot? Leave the coral reefs of Wakatobi for a while and sink into the lush forest of Kaledupa Island. There, in the middle of the jungle, you will discover the surreal beauty of Sombano Lake, inhabited by thousands of inquisitive blood-red shrimps.
Sombano Lake, also known by locals as Akku’a Nu-lumu, is located at the northwestern tip of Kaledupa Island, in the heart of the Wakatobi Archipelago. The easiest way to reach the lake is to book a boat tour from Kaledupa different villages or Hoga Island.
Once dropped off on the beach, you’ll get to the lake in a short 10-minutes walk. A road, steep and in poor condition, also connects the lake to Sombano Village.
You will enter the water from the lake shore.
The whole lake, which is approximately 500 meters-long for only 10 to 40 meters-wide, can be explored. The average depth in the lake is 3ft/1m, without exceeding 6ft/2m in the deepest areas.
Sombano is a saltwater lake edged by mangroves. It is home to a very specific ecosystem. The seabed is mainly covered with moss and green algae, and in places with some polyps of coral and small sponges. Sombano is the kingdom of red shrimps, which are met by thousands in the lake.
Blood-red, they are usually busy feeding in the seaweed meadows. As locals never try to catch the shrimps (the lake is considered as sacred by Kaledupa’s inhabitants), they are extremely tame. Apart from shrimps, the lake is home to few other species, especially small water snails.
Snorkeling this crystal clear lake, surrounded by mangroves, is a unique experience. The contrast between green algae and red shrimp is amazing and will delight underwater photographers.
There are no restaurants or accommodation near the lake.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Vibrant reef flat and drop off with turtles and a great diversity of reef fish
Vibrant reef flat and drop off with a great diversity of fish
Vibrant reef drop off with corals and colorful fish
Free shore access
Vibrant reef drop off with turtles and shallow seagrass meadows
Free shore access
Vibrant reef drop off and shallow seagrass meadows
Sea turtles and vibrant reef drop off