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We operate in following months:

September – early July
(second half of July – end of August ->South Monsoon, Shakti’s maintenance period)

September – January
(February ->North Monsoon)
Perfect for Misool (south Raja Ampat) itineraries.

 Raja Ampat enjoys an equatorial climate meaning year round air temperatures of 26-30 degrees Celsius and rain every few days. Water temperatures vary little around 28 degrees C / 82 degrees F

Most liveaboards depart Raja Ampat during April and May to avoid the South Monsoon. Shakti specializes in North Raja Ampat itineraries during this time, offering spectacular protected anchorages and deserted diving, giving you the feeling of being the only adventurers for miles around.

Located off the northwest tip of Bird's Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays and shools surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. It encompasses more than 9.8 million acres (40,000 km²) of land and sea, which also contains Cenderawasih Bay, the largest marine national park in Indonesia. It is a part of the newly named province of Papua Barat (West Papua) of Indonesia which was formerly Irian Jaya.

According to the Conservation International Rapid Assessment Bulletin the marine life diversity is considerably greater than all other areas sampled in the Coral Triangle of Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. The Coral Triangle is the heart of the world's coral reef biodiversity, the seas around Raja Ampat are possibly the richest in the world. The area's massive coral colonies show that its reefs are resistant to threats like coral bleaching and disease - threats that now jeopardise the survival of corals around the world, though the area is remote and relatively untouched by humans. In addition, Raja Ampat's strong ocean currents sweep coral larvae across the Indian and Pacific Oceans to replenish other reef ecosystems. Raja Ampat's coral diversity, resilience, and ability to replenish reefs make it a global priority for marine protection, as human activity here has the potential to be catastrophic.

Over 1,070 fish species, 537 coral species (a remarkable 96% of all scleratinia recorded from Indonesia are likely to occur in these islands), and 699 mollusc species, the variety of marine life is staggering. Some areas boast enormous schools of fish and regular sightings of sharks, such as wobbegongs, white- and blacktip reef sharks, grey reefs and occasionally silver tip sharks. Also you are likely to have memorable encounters with rays such as manta rays, marbled rays or even eagle rays.

The habitats in the Raja Ampat archipelago are incredible various - some sites like the Passage, as it is known, you feel like you're on a river, skirting a maze of little rocks, islands, and patches of mangrove, with thick jungle alive with birdsong on the banks.

When the sun is shining, it lights up soft corals and rocks, large fans and oversized barrel sponges. Catch it on a day with good visibility – best on a flooding tide – and it truly looks like a living kaleidoscope. Every time your eyes move, you discover new shapes, patterns, markings, eyes – marine life at its richest. Soft corals, huge sponges and gorgonian fans grow up to the surface and even beyond on the low tide, as if trying to kiss the jungle fronds above. Fallen trees are immediately taken over and inhabited by sponges, worms, soft corals, shellfish and invertebrates. Life is fast in this channel – eat or be eaten.
Finding a quiet spot in one of the niches, we will definitely take some time to check out some of the well camouflaged critters. Juvenile cuttlefish or octopi, luminous nudibranches or squat little lobsters are common sightings in the channel. Out in the middle, you might chance upon the bizarre looking wobbeygong sharks or yellowtail barracudas or sea turtles.
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 also 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.
The Raja Ampat trips start and end in SORONG - located on the West coast of the birds head – in the province of Papua Barat, Indonesias Eastern most province.


Your choices in terms of international flights are:


Denpasar Bali
Jakarta
Singapore
Makassar
Kuala Lumpur


If you are flying from Jakarta, you can take a six-hour flight to Sorong with a stopover in Manado or Makassar.
Flights in Makassar or Manado are offered by:
Garuda Indonesia
Express Air
Lion Air
Sriwijaya Air


All foreigners visiting Indonesia are required to have a visa. The cost and validity of the visa depends on your nationality, please check in advance. There is no special visa required for Papua Barat.
Generally, visas on arrival are issued for 30 days (25US$) and are not extendable.


To get to Sorong, the main routes are:


1) Singapore - Manado - Sorong
2) Bali - Ujung Pandang (Makassar) - Sorong
3) Jakarta - Ujung Pandang (Makassar) - Sorong
4) Kuala Lumpur - Manado - Sorong
5) Kuala Lumpur - Ujung Pandang (Makassar) - Sorong




Please contact us if you need assistance / our service to book your internal flights.
Raja Ampat
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