Monday, November 23, 2020

Raja Ampat Snorkeling Season

This is now a good time for snorkeling in Raja Ampat. Starting from October, November, December, January until June, the waters in southern, and western region of Waigeo are relatively calm. The sea around Kri, Mansuar, Arborek and Batanta as well as Misool is calm. Local people can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the coral reef of the islands.

tropical reef fish in Mansuar and Kri island
Diagonal Sweetlips (the ones with yellow tail) in Yenbuba strait of Raja Ampat

Domestic tourists from cities and towns can now travel to Raja Ampat to enjoy snorkeling. However, they have to take rapid test. Laboratories or hospitals that provide the tests will issue letters which state that their holders are not infected with Covid-19 virus. 

In general, the number of visitors traveling to Raja Ampat is still low. Foreign tourists are still banned from visiting Indonesia. We are hopeful that in 2021 this country will be opened to international travelers again.

Snorkeling sites in eastern region of Waigeo such as the Waim and Mamiaef islands are great places for those who want to enjoy snorkeling in islands that are not crowded with a lot of tourists. This can also be seen in coral reef areas inside Kabui bay. 

Most of the beach resorts, and homestays in Raja Ampat are empty or do not operate in full capacity. I highly recommend that visitors bring their own snorkeling equipment such as snorkel, mask, and fins as well as underwater camera if they can enjoy their holiday in Raja Ampat or other places in West Papua. 

traveling to Waigeo island
Wilson's Homestay in Raja Ampat

As a tourist guide, I organize a combined snorkeling and rainforest tour to Raja Ampat and mainland West Papua. Because I was born and grew up here, I know this province well. If you are interested in taking such tour in 2021, and want me (Charles Roring) to organize your trip, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Dive Resorts in Raja Ampat are trying hard to survive

Dive resorts in Raja Ampat are trying hard to survive during the Covid-19 pandemic. Indonesian government have not allowed foreign tourists to travel across this country to prevent more infections among its citizens. Local government of Raja Ampat regency opened their territory for domestic visitors again on 22 August 2020. The number of visitors traveling to this archipelago is still lower than before the pandemic. Owners of dive resorts and homestays in Raja Ampat are facing difficulties in paying monthly wages of their workers and in doing maintenance of their accommodation and other service facilities. 

Raja Ampat archipelago is one of the most important destination in the world for marine tourism because its waters have got the highest marine biodiversity.

The lack of tourists in Raja Ampat waters, according to reports from workers who decide to stay in beach resorts during the Covid-19 pandemic, actually brings positive impacts to the marine environments. More big marine animals such as manta, and dolphins can now be seen on the surface of the sea closer to islands. However, some people who see the phenomenon says that ecotourism brings positive impacts to the environment because local people can generate income. They will preserve coral reef and rainforest. 

Also read: Dive Resort in Raja Ampat