Who We Are
A bunch of ocean loving divers and animal loving landrats. The dive operation wouldn't be possible without our dedicated guides and instructors, who would drop everything in an instant to share their passion with you on a dive.
And yet, we are way more than that. We employ around 15-20 local staff who know the island, know the market and the ocean. They work tirelessly to serve you excellent food, clean our messes, drive our boats, tend to the animals and work their magic in the background fixing and buying things for us.
We work like a clockwork and nothing brings us greater joy than seeing our guests happy, the island and ocean thriving and the community healthy.
What's In A Name?
Born in 1969, Josephine Lutwala was a decendent of both the last Acholi King and a former President of Uganda. Of the Acholi tribe, Josephine and her family struggled through the Idi Amin era of genocide, losing several family members along the way and living the terror-filled life that most of us believe to be from times long past. Eventually meeting a brave Italian priest working as missionary in Uganda, Josephine was smuggled out of the country in an attempt to save her life. She found herself a political asylum seeker in the United Kingdom, alone, until she was eventually put in contact with the Perry family, who had ties to her family in Uganda. Josephine was adopted into the family who helped her come to terms with the loss of her family and home. Attending university in England, she educated herself in preparation for returning to Uganda to aid her people. She was never to make this journey home. Sadly Josephine succumbed to cancer in 2005. Lutwala Dive was created with her help, inspiration, support and her dreams and is named in her loving memory.
The Lutwala Team
A Toast To Those Making Your Perfect Dive Experience Happen
Owner of Lutwala
Having enjoyed her first dive at the tender age of ten, Lutwala’s ‘Big Boss’, Fern, has been diving for well over half her life. In this time she has dived exotic locations around the world – Indonesia, South Africa, Mozambique, Philippines, Australia and Egypt to name but a few – but it was Gili Trawangan that stole her heart and she has been based here for more than 8 years. Scuba diving is truly Fern’s passion and she has qualified herself to an exceptionally high level. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, a TDI Advanced Trimix diver with numerous dives well beyond 100m, a TDI Advanced Wreck Penetration diver and a TDI Extended Range instructor. She also offers many DAN speciality courses; Oxygen Provider, Neurological Assessment and Hazardous Marine Life Injuries. Fern now splits her time between Gili Trawangan and her home country, South Africa, where she runs Nomad & Lutwala’s Dive Safaris.
If you call or visit Lutwala Dive and Bungalows, chances are high you’ll meet Tori Taylor, our General Manager. She is an invaluable member of our staff with the experience and personality to boot. Tori is a dive industry veteran and can teach anything from Open Water to Divemaster, with a huge array of Specialities in between. She also takes fantastic pictures if our customers ask for it.
Her second huge passion are animals and you can safely bet, that Tori will be taking care of a sick, orphaned or abandoned animal at any point of time. She created Horses of Gili and has become a respected advocate for proper horsemanship on the island.
Joe Taylor came alongside Tori and if there is any technical question, he is your man. Aqua Lung Reg Tech and gear maintenance are his middle name and when not sorting out out mechnical problems, he is an outstanding Instructor in the water, including people's favourites: Deep and Wreck. Above all, he is Lutwala's in-house photographer and always happy to use one of his giant camera set-ups to document your visit. He will also gladly show you the secret technique to create bubble rings under water! ;-)
Our Local Team
Lutwala is lucky to be supported by an excellent team of Indonesian staff who are friendly, smiling and always willing to help you with whatever you might need; kitting up on the boat, organising transport to and from the island, taking your order in the Lutwala Cafe or advising you on what to do whilst on Gili Trawangan.
Since Day One
Fern was always an animal lover and it would have been impossible to persuade her otherwise: but ever since Lutwala's dawn, she took in orphaned and sick cats to take care of them. With Tori's arrival thing turned into a more organised endeavour. As a veterinary technician, Tori can do minor procedures and recommend the right medications. She also established a good working relationship with the local vets from Lombok and Australian organisation Animals Abroad. Together they hold several horse and cat clinics each year.
Cats of Gili and Horses of Gili are two charities that work hard to improve the living conditions for every animal, but they do survive on donations alone. If you are interested, check out their websites and consider dropping by their shops when on the island.
The Tipsy Goat
The bar is open daily and offers a selection of fresh baguettes and burgers along with a variety of hot and cold refreshments. Ideal for lunches and in between dive snacks, the bar fills orders swiftly and to suit the schedule of our divers. What better way to end an action-packed diving day than with an ice cold beer on the beach at sunset?