Monday, March 12, 2018

What is Raja Ampat

What is Raja Ampat?
White sandy beach in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is a regency in West Papua province of the Republic of Indonesia. Its capital is Waisai town. The phrase Raja Ampat means Four Kings (Raja = King and Ampat = Four). Four big islands in this regency are Waigeo, Misool, Batanta and Salawati. There are also hundreds of small islands surrounded by white sandy beaches, coral reef areas.  They become natural habitat of thousands of species of marine creatures. Some of them include pink anemonefish, diagonal sweetlips, moorish idol, striped surgeonfish, lionfish, and even the black-tip shark, manta and hawksbill turtle.
The Richest Marine Biodiversity in the World
According to Wikipedia, Raja Ampat has got around 1,500 islands, 1,508 fish species, 537 coral species, and 699 mollusc species. This wealth of biodiversity attracts the attention of marine biologists, nature lovers, and tourists in general.
Marine Tours (swimming, snorkeling and freediving)
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
There are a lot of snorkeling sites in uninhabited beaches or islands. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and bird/ wildlife watching for several days. Visitors need to bring their own snorkeling mask, snorkel and fins. A waterproof underwater camera is also needed to take pictures of the fish and the coral reef. As a tourist guide I often guide visitors to coral reef sites that are located in remote and uninhabited islands. For birdwatching, a good pair of binoculars and spotting scope will be needed for that purpose.
7 Snorkeling Spots in Raja Ampat
The most famous sites are Wayag, and Pianemo. However, places such as Fish Lagoon and Kabui bay are worth seeing.

Tropical rainforest that covers most of the islands in Raja Ampat is home to a lot of species of birds such as Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) in Misool island as well as Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica) and Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) in Waigeo island. Other birds such as Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Papuan Hornbill, Eclectus Parrot, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooked-bill Kingfisher, Beach Kingfisher, Brahminy Kite, and Eastern Osprey can be watched in the archipelago too.
Where is Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat islands are located in the western most region of West Papua province in the Republic of Indonesia. Raja Ampat borders Halmahera and Obi islands (belong to North Maluku province) in the west and borders with Seram island (belongs to Maluku province) in the south. As an easy reference, Raja Ampat islands are located in the territory of the Republic of Indonesia.
Map location of Raja Ampat
Location of Raja Ampat islands
How to get to Raja Ampat
Most visitors fly from their country to Jakarta city first. After that they can take direct flight served by Garuda to Sorong city. There are other airlines such as Sriwijaya, Nam, Batik, Lion that provide regular flights to Sorong. From this city, visitors can cross to Waisai town of Raja Ampat by fast ferry and then to numerous islands in the regency.
Where to stay? There are dive resorts, homestays, and liveaboards in Raja Ampat which visitors can choose to stay. There are some lodges in Waisai town - the capital of Raja Ampat but most tourists prefer to stay in remote islands so that they could have direct access to pristine coral reef and white sandy beaches of the archipelago. To find a more affordable accommodation in the islands, please, type: stayrajaampat in your search engines.

If you are interested in taking a swimming, snorkeling, birdwatching/ wildlife watching tour in Raja Ampat, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: or for fast reply, contact me by whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Also read: Snorkeling Raja Ampat

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