Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Snorkeling in Tropical Island of Manem in Indonesia

Coral reefs in the tropical island of Numfor and Manem in the Republic of Indonesia are good destination for snorkeling. As a tourist guide, I accompanied two Finish tourists to Numfor island from 30 June to 4 July 2011 on a birdwatching and snorkeling trip to Numfor island and its adjacent satellite islet called Manem. The underwater world of the marine environment in Manem was really wonderful. Numfor is a twenty minute flight from Manokwari city - the capital of West Papua province. I have snorkeled in tropical island of Manem several times. Yet I have never been feeling bored with it. Various types of corals including table coral, brain coral, and staghorn thrive at depths of 1 to 10 meters below sea level. In these corals, snorkelers can see large and small marine fish such as the eel, surgeon fish, clown fish and barracuda.
When we wanted to go by an outrigger wooden boat to Manem islet, the weather actually was not friendly at all. In addition, the low tide in the lagoon of Warido village made it difficult for us to leave the Numfor island for Manem islet. Usually people only need one hour boat ride but it took us more than two hours to reach Manem.
Marko and Rita did not bring waterproof case for their camera. So I lent them my Dicapac flexible waterhousing that is suitable for most pocket cameras. With this simple but robust waterproof case, they were able to shoot various species of tropical fish and coral reef that thrive off the shore of Manem islet.
Compared to my usual snorkeling trips in Manokwari bay, this snorkeling experience in Manem islet was more challenging. But it was worth it. We saw more fish and more marine life. The corals there are also more various.
Manem is not well promoted in the marine tourism industry across the globe but it is a potential place for snorkeling and even scuba diving. Unfortunately, there are no diving centers in Numfor that provide snorkeling or diving packages to tourists. Anybody who wants to go to Numfor and Manem must bring their own gears.
Travelers who snorkeled over the coral reef of Manem islet knew that it was one of the best tropical islands in Geelvink bay of New Guinea. However, it is not suitable for beginning snorkelers due to sea current and waves. For taking underwater picture, snorkelers must move slowly over the coral reef to keep the fish calm. With slow movement, tropical reef fish can be photographed more easily. To give you an idea of how beautiful the coral reef of Manem islet is, just see the underwater pictures that I have added in this post. They are beautiful, aren't they? Dives to deeper water can be done at the walls that are also covered with coral reef. If you are interested in taking an adventure trip to Numfor island and snorkeling in Manem islet, and need me as your guide or travel companion, please contact me at

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