Where is Gili Nanggu
Gili Nanggu is one of the 26 Gili Islands along Lombok’s coast. The most popular and well-known Gili Islands are party island Gili Trawangan, honeymoon island Gili Air and relax and dive island Gili Meno. These islands are located in north west Lombok, but the Secret Gili Islands, of which Gili Nanggu is part of, are located along the south west coast. See the map below for the exact location.
How to get to Gili Nanggu
Gili Nanggu can only be reached by boat. Most tours include pick up and drop off at your accommodation. It is a 1 hour drive north-west towards Lembar or West Sekotong where the boats depart. The drive was winding and had some interesting rice-fields and scenery along the journey. When we arrived at the jump off spot where we changed the car for a boat, we tried on the rental fins, snorkels, and gear and we were off! From West Sekotong it takes 15 minutes to get to Gili Nanggu by boat and from Lembar it takes around 40 minutes. In almost every tourist office you can find a day trip to (one of) the Secret Gili Islands.
What to expect on Gili Nanggu
The powdery white sand and turquoise crystal clear water welcomed us once we arrived at Gili Nanggu. This is the most famous island of the South-Western Gili islands, but all of them are natural beauties and have unexploited nature.
Because it was still pretty early, we flew the drone to make some awesome aerial photos. From Gili Nanggu you can easily see the surrounding Gili Islands like Gili Tangkong, Gili Sudak and Gili Kedis.
From this perspective you can see Gili Nanggu, Gili Tangkong and Gili Sudak behind it
Two more drone shots of Gili Nanggu
The island has a beautiful stretch of beach around, so you can have a walk along the shore to explore all the corners of this little island. It takes approximately thirty minutes to walk around. You will pass the Gili Nanggu cottages and sea turtle conservation which has been functioning since 1995 on the island. If you are lucky enough, the baby sea turtles are old enough for release. You can take part in this natural conservation activity if you want.
Walking around the island and exploring the beautiful, untouched beaches is a must!
The underwater world is amazing here and absolutely worth checking out! Most tours include snorkel gear, but if that’s not the case with your tour, you can rent masks and snorkels on the island. You will see many tropical fish, and the coral was on some spots beautiful. Unfortunately, a lot of coral has been damaged in the past years due to fishing, tourism and earthquakes. Therefore, you will see so called ‘restoration structures’ underwater where they grow new coral. The reef itself was quite nice but it was the huge amounts of fish and sea stars that made this spot a great place for snorkeling.
Be a conscious traveler
We found a beautiful sea star close to the shore and decided to take our GoPro out to make an underwater split shot as you can see below. Please be aware that if you find a sea star, it KILLS the sea star if you touch it or take it out of the water. Unfortunately, we saw way too many tourists, and even tour guides (!), taking out sea stars from the water. The bacteria, oils, sun screen and many other things on our hands is deadly for a sea star. So look with your eyes and just leave this beautiful creature in the ocean, where it belongs.
The same goes with plastic. There is SO MUCH plastic pollution in Asia. The ocean and beaches are sometimes heavily polluted. Despite this is mainly caused by Asians, tourists can give a great example and help reducing the use of single use plastic water bottles. So bring your own refill bottle and try to inspire as much people as possible to do the same! 🙂
Packing list for a day trip
For a day on this tiny island you need some preparation. There is no restaurant at Gili Nanggu, so if you’re not visiting the other islands as well for a lunch stop, make sure to bring some snacks. Most tours include snorkel gear, but make sure to ask this up front so you don’t have to think about that anymore. Here some more tips on things you might need:
- Biodegradable sunscreen (biodegradable so you don’t damage the coral with your sunscreen full of chemicals)
- A hat to protect your head from the sunshine or a heatstroke
- Enough water. Bring your own refill bottle so you don’t need to drink from plastic bottles. This is a serious and big problem in Indonesia; plastic pollution.
- Swim wear
- Dry snacks
- Camera, Go Pro and drone (if you have one). The aerial view on these tiny islands is beautiful!