Thursday, December 6, 2018

Adventure in Raja Ampat

Adventure tour for snorkeling and birding as well as sightseeing in Raja Ampat
Adventure in Raja Ampat
As a tourist guide, I offer adventure tours for tourists who are interested in exploring the islands, beaches, coral reef, karst and rainforest of Raja Ampat. The tour will be started from Sorong city which is the gate to the islands. We will cross the sea by fast boat, first, to Waisai town (the capital of Raja Ampat regency). It takes around 2 hours to reach it. After that we will go to a guesthouse located at the beach.
After the long boat trip, we could take a rest for 1 hour to refresh our body. We can enjoy snorkeling and freediving at the house reef of the guesthouse. Participants of this tour need to bring their own mask, snorkel and fins.

Snorkeling, freediving and Taking Pictures and Videos Underwater

Sweetlips and reef fish in Raja Ampat
Diagonal Sweetlips
A good underwater camera or action camera is also useful for taking pictures of the coral reef, fish, blue sea star and other marine creatures in the water. I personally use Nikon Coolpix W300 or Fujifilm XQ2 with waterproof housing. In the past, I used an action camera, Brica B-Pro5 Alpha Edition. Taking pictures underwater is quite challenging especially for those who do freedive for the first time. There are waves, water current. The light in coral reef is less than on land. Freedivers usually use weights to help them go into deeper water. I don't use weights. The maintain a stable position while taking pictures in the water, I hold my breath for a little bit more than one minute and then hold a hard coral with my left hand. My right hand will be then one that holds the camera and press the shutter button.
There are a lot of species of fish which snorkelers and freedivers can see in the coral reef including damselfish, goatfish, black-tip reef shark, trevally, wrasse, parrotfish, blenny, gobby, dottyback, puffer, frogfish, and a lot more. To take pictures of them, I position myself as lower or flat as possible in the water so that I will be on the same eye level with the fish. This is quite difficult because of the buoyant force that pushes me to the surface. Holding rock, and making my body as calm as possible will help me to attract fish. When fish are closer and within a good shooting distance, I will aim my camera and shoot them. After spending around 1 hour snorkeling and freediving, we will go back to the beach and take a rest.


Male Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Red Bird of Paradise
In the evening, just before the sun disappears in the west, we can see more activity of birds in the forest edge. Birds such as Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Red-cheeked Parrot, Great-billed Parrot, Violet-necked Lory, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Sacred Kingfisher, and Willie Wagtail are quite active along the forest edge and coastal area.
Visitors need a good pair of binoculars to watch them. I personally use Visionking 10×42mm to watch birds. The famous brands that birdwatchers use are Swarovski, Leica, Nikon. Bringing a spotting scope with a tripod will also enhance the birdwatching experience.

Sightseeing Tour

Adventure trip to Piaynemo karst
Piaynemo Karst
The next few days will be spent in various parts of Raja Ampat. We will go by boat to karst islets that are quite far from the guesthouse where we stay. We will also visit sand bank located at sea, and swim at the beach of tropical islands. A trip to a coastal village can also be organized. Because most of this trip will be conducted by boat, participants of the tour must bring waterproof bags that can protect their cameras and other electronic devices during the trip.
Raja Ampat islands and Papua as a whole are beautiful. There is a pop song in Indonesia whose lyrics say: Surga Kecil yang Jatuh ke Bumi meaning Little Heaven that falls on earth.
It is important for us to preserve its rainforest and marine environment. Ecotourism is one of the solutions that can generate alternative income to the local people. When people get positive benefits from this environment, they will protect it.

If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and want me (Charles Roring) to organize your tour in these islands, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
Also read:
Tour to Uninhabited islands of Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat Adventure Tour for Nature Lovers
Raja Ampat Adventure Tour

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