SORCE has a research and conservation facility based within the Gita Nada Marine Park in the Sekotong region of Lombok. Gita Nada MPA is teeming with life and has a rich biodiversity, which ranges from the very small, like the pygmy sea horses – infamous residents of sea fans – to the very large such as passing sharks and a very elusive yet magnificent family of dugongs. Whilst the marine park is protected on paper, enforcement is lacking and the area is under threat from unsustainable fishing techniques, climate change, and the development of irresponsible tourism. There is also a great deal of restoration work that needs to be done resulting from historic dynamite fishing and bleaching events. Empirical data on the biodiversity of the area is also lacking and this is just one of the issues that SORCE is working to remedy.
The SORCE facility is based right on the beach, on the South-West spit of Lombok in a region called Sekotong. Due to the fact that tourism has not yet fully discovered this region the islands here are known as the Secret Gilis and are relatively unspoiled. We find ourselves hugely lucky that we rarely ever see other dive boats when we are out conducting our research and conservation activities, let alone other divers on the same reefs.
Whilst at our facility you will spend the majority of your time in a large communal space known as “The Den”. This is the main hub for socialising, eating, and learning. Here is where dive briefings and some practical training sessions take place during the day and where we show movies and documentaries in the evenings. You will also find a number of books and games to enjoy in your spare time. Right next door we have our beautifully constructed bamboo classroom in which we will pass on a wealth of knowledge through our training and lecture series’ and course materials. Our dive equipment store is located close to the beach and is made from locally sourced sustainable materials including Bamboo.
We have a Hammock and beanbag chill-out area on our beach for relaxing during your downtime as well as a fire pit for evening hangouts. Adjacent to our Den we have the Kitchen where all meals are prepared, and for use on Sunday Funday, we have our very own pizza oven and BBQ area! Behind our Recycling zone attached to the kitchen, there is a toilet shower block with individual shower cubicles and toilet/wash facilities.
Behind this, you will find the expedition student accommodations. We have gone all out to make your stay as comfortable as possible so that you can really give your all for the activities you do here. Accommodations consist of traditional Lombok-style huts made from sustainably sourced local Bamboo and Alang Alang (grass thatching). Each guest has their own private room with a balcony and each room has a large single bed, fan, shelves, clothes rail, and bedside table with hand-painted Nudibranch (because what eco-room would be complete without one?).