Friday, August 16, 2019

Raja Ampat Snorkeling

Yenbuba strait between Kri and Mansuar islands
Snorkeling site in Yenbuba
I organize snorkeling tours in Raja Ampat especially for tourists who like to see marine life of the islands. Snorkeling is the activity of swimming with the aid of snorkel and snorkeling mask. A snorkel is a pipe that connects the mouth of the swimmer and the air. Wearing swimming googles or snorkeling mask, a snorkeler will be able to see reef fish, sea stars, colorful corals and other marine creatures. 
To prevent fogging on the glass surface of the mask during snorkeling, some drops of liquid soap are applied. When rinsing the mask, a snorkeler has to leave very thin layer of the soap on the surface of the mask. With clear mask, we can see everything underwater clearly. Snorkelers usually wear lifejackets, and fins.
Underwater camera is also needed especially for those who want to take pictures or make videos of the fish and coral reef that they see while snorkeling or freediving.  I use Nikon 130 and Fujifilm XQ2 with waterproof casing. In the past, I used Brica B Pro 5 Alpha Edition.
Striped surgeonfish
Coral reef in southern coast of Waigeo

Snorkeling Sites

Raja Ampat islands have got a lot of snorkeling sites. The ones that are closer to Waisai town and can easily be reached by town dwellers are located along the southern coast of Waigeo. A number of beach resorts are operating at this coast including D'Coral, Gurara, Scuba Republic, Putras and Raja Ampat Dive Resort. A new one is being built near Pantai Saleo. Its name is Raja Ampat Flow (RAFLOW) Resort.
In northeast of Waigeo, there are Mamiaef and Waim islands. They are also very nice snorkeling sites. Kri, Mansuar, and Gam have got a lot of coral reef sites too. Going further to the east, we can also find Batanta and Salawati islands. Arborek is frequently visited by snorkelers because it is a transit point to Piaynemo that also has got coral reef areas. Wayag in the west of Waigeo is the famous icon of Raja Ampat. It has got coral reef sites too. Snorkeling in the islands that face open sea can sometimes be dangerous. Make sure there is a motorized boat near you when you swim in the waters whose current is strong. 
Kofiau and Misool have got pristine coral reef too. Unfortunately, it is located in remote region. 

Combined Activities

Pristine coral reef of Waigeo
Coral reef in North-east region of Waigeo
Snorkeling is not the only activity which tourists can do while traveling to Raja Ampat. It can be combined with such activities as hiking, bird and wildlife watching. Trips to villages, river areas can also be organized.
There are tens of homestays and beach resorts which visitors can choose while traveling in Raja Ampat. The famous ones such as Papua Explorers Dive Resort, Kri Eco Resort, Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat Biodiversity Eco Resort have got their own websites which visitors can read before flying to Indonesia. There are also hotels and lodges inside Waisai town (the capital of Raja Ampat regency). However, most snorkeling visitors prefer to stay in beach resorts and coastal homestays so that they can easily have access to the beaches or house reefs.


If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and want me to organize and guide you, please, contact me by e-mail to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Bird Tour in Raja Ampat

Last week, I guided six Singaporean tourists on a bird tour in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. They stayed at Putras, a beach resort in southern region of Waigeo. We enjoyed birding in the forest of Saporkren, at Warduwer beach and along the road side in the southern and eastern regions of Waigeo.
In the forest of Saporkren, the main target birds were Wilson's Bird of Paradise, and Red Bird of Paradise. However, there were other birds which we also saw such as the Common Paradise Kingfisher, Papuan Pitta, Brown-headed Crow, Frilled Monarch, Blyth's Hornbill.
Singaporean tourists at Warduwer beach of Raja Ampat
Singaporean birdwatchers in Raja Ampat
It was quite difficult to watch birds under the canopy of the forest. So, at 10.00, we moved to Wardower beach to watch Hooded Butcherbird, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Spangled Drongo, Willie Wagtail, Torresian Crow, Glossy-mantled Manucode. Because there were more open spaces at Wardower beach, birdwatching activity could be carried out with the use of spotting scopes. The Singaporean birdwatchers brought Kowa and Swarovski spotting scopes. They greatly enhanced our birding experience. We even visited the beach twice - in the morning and in the afternoon.
When we were at the beach, we saw some construction workers were working at the beach. They were building wooden bungalows. Soon, a beach resort would be open at this beach. 
Watching paradise bird in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Red Bird of Paradise
If you are interested in visiting Raja Ampat and want me to organize your tour and guide you, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.