With over 700 islands to discover above and under water, there will certainly never be a shortage of wonderful things to explore. To give you the best insight possible on what to expect when diving with us in Raja Ampat we collected a list of some of the spectacular island groups that offer miraculous conditions for diving.
Penemu: Limestone Islands covered in Tropical Rainforest seam to put you back to a land beyond our time.
Diving: pretty walls with lots of critters and well coral covered slopes, medium current. Excellent night dive sites: interesting species of clams, sea urchins, cephalopods, sea spiders and crabs in current protected areas.
Waigeo/Gam: Waigeo is the biggest of the 4 main islands in Raja Ampat and it’s in thick rainforest covered coasts invite to explore it via kayaks. Beautiful anchorages filled with bird noises at sunrise and sunset will knock you off your feet. The very close island of Gam is the only island in the world where the Red bird of Paradise is found.
Diving: Pinnacles, sandy slopes but also steep valleys inbetween islets, in soft coral covered walls with a hard coral reef top. Pegmy Seahorses, Epaulette sharks and rare nudibranches are some of the highlights here, but some ‘biggies’ are often seen cruising by.
Wayag: This island group is one of the most beautiful ones in the Archipelago. The Geology looks a lot like in Palau - turquoise, clear waters gets washed through the shallow waters directly from the Pacific Ocean. Taking the kayaks out you will see parrots, king fishers and also wild orchids and such around the uncountable mushroom shaped cast limestone rocks. A maze of large forested islands and sizable domes or beehive-shaped islets sourround the shallow lagoons.
Diving: Strong current around pinnacles and rocky islets invite big schools of barakudas and tunas to cruise around this area. Overhanging Walls inhabit lots of critters, also big groupers sharks are seen.
Kabui Passage: The islands Waigeo and Gam are divided by a narrow channel, which is nearly one nautic mile long. Reflected by the thick forests the water looks mystic green and in this peaceful area you can hear a huge amount of jungle noises like birds and bugs.
Diving: The Kabui passage is a very special dive and full of surprises… Strong currents wash through the shallow channel and the greenish water easily seams a bit spooky. Mangroves and rainforest cover its shoreline and inhabit archor fishes and colorful soft corals in the shallow waters but also lots of weird looking critters and juvenile fishes. From time to time you also see turtles and small schools of great barakudas cruising by. Also abnormous sized sponges and all different kinds of sea fans, sea pens, hydroids, sea squirts and shrimps make this area to a very unique habitat.
Daram/Efpian: From the surface the islets of black rock seam almost lost – the only habitats above the water level are pelagic birds, snails and chitons. But the clear deep blue water around them is full of marine life:
Diving: Colorful soft corals and black corals cover the rocks and in the numberous sea fans you find pegmy seahorses and spider crabs. Thousands of little reef fishes add one more dimension to this amazing under water landscape.
Often big schools of batfish, bannerfish or red tooth trigger fish are cruising by.
Farondi/Wagmab: Pretty bays and cast limestone islands build the coastline of this region. There are also some interesting caves above and below the water level. Scenbic forested islands hills rise steeply up from the coast.
Diving: Heavy currents make some of the dive sites in between Farondi and Wagmab challenging, but if the visibility is good it is one of the most various and stunning dives you can do. Caves, sandy slopes covered in black coral bushes, gorgonion fans, sea whips etc. Also big schools of barakudas and bumphead parrotfishes are seen on the sites.
Kri/Mansuar: This locations in the centre of Raja Ampat support a diverse reef biota due to its incorporation of several major habits including an exposed steep drop off, algal ridge, reef flat and sheltered lagoons. White sand beaches with palm trees are found all around Mansuar, this area is also very nice for snorkeling.
Diving: Healthy reefs and a huge amount of fish – medium to strong current. Possibility to see Mantas, Blacktip, Whitetip and Grey Reef sharks.
Of course this is only an idea of what you will be seeing when diving in Raja Ampat. Surprise species are found ever again between all those marvellous islands and give new reason to return ever again.
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