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Beaches & Seas

Raja Ampat, Papua

This is one of Indonesia’s natural wealth in the eastern of this country. Raja Ampat is located in Papua, the Papuans often referred to it as County Islands because there are 610 islands. The archipelago is situated at the western end of Papua Islands, to be exact about 50 miles northwest of Sorong seas. There are many islands, but only 35 are occupied by residents, and there are only 4 major islands of the most many of its people, namely Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo where there Waisai City as a center of government of the Raja Ampat regency. For inter-island transportation, Raja Ampat Islands peoples using sea transport as the only transportation.

■ Raja Ampat Maps

Because the position and location, Raja Ampat is indicated as the richest marine biodiversity on earth. Islands that are still this is very natural, has the most amazing natural beauty coupled with a wealth of marine based on surveys and research of International Institute of Marine Ecosystems, in which there are 537 types of coral. This amount already represents 75% of coral species on earth. In addition, in Raja Ampat there are 828 species of fish from a number of 1074 is expected to spread over the Raja Ampat Islands and 700 types of mollusks. This is also supported by research of Dr. John Veron (reef researchers from Australia), Team of Experts from Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Oceanographic Institutions (LON) Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), who had conducted a rapid assessment in 2001 and 2002.

■ Raja Ampat Coral Reefs

■ Raja Ampat Fishes

For the divers, Raja Ampat is a paradise that contains the natural beauty beneath the sea. There are several areas of coral reefs that are still very good conditions with the percentage of live coral cover to 90%, there is in the Dampier Strait (the strait between the Waigeo Island and the Batanta Island ), Kofiau Islands, South East Misool Islands and  Wayag Islands. Types of coral reefs in Raja Ampat are generally as contour of sloping the edge to steep coral reefs. But it was also found atoll type and burns or taka types. In some places, like the Saondarek Village, when the lowest tides, coral reefs can be seen without a dive and with his own adaptation, the corals can still life although in the open air and direct sunlight. Unique species that can occur during diving is some Dwarf Seahorse species, Wobbegong, and Manta rays. There are also endemic fish in Raja Ampat, namely Eviota Raja, which is a kind of Gobbie fish.

■ Manta Ray

At Manta Point which is located in Arborek Dampier strait, you can dive with  some Manta Ray is benign such as You dive in Derawan Islands, East Kalimantan. If you dive at Cape Kri or Chicken Reef, you can be surrounded by thousands of fish. Sometimes a colony of Tuna, Giant Trevallies and Snappers. But those tense when we are surrounded by a colony of Barracuda fish, although in fact it’s relatively harmless (which is dangerous if we’ll see solitary  Barracuda or alone). Reef Sharks are also frequently seen, and also see the Turtle is eating Sponge or swim around you. In some places like in Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo also seen Dugong or Mermaids. You can do drift dive, following a strong flow with water very clear through a colony of fish. This is possible because the Raja Ampat Islands area there are many islands and narrow straits causes some diving spot at a particular time has a strong flow.

■ Dive Raja Ampat

■ Dive Raja Ampat

■ Dive Raja Ampat

In the Misool cluster area found prehistoric relics in the form of hand stamp that is assigned on a rock wall. Uniquely, this hand labeling located very close to sea level and not in the cave. According to estimates, the age cap is hand-stamped about 50,000 years and became part of a set of instructions for people path distributing from the western region of the archipelago to Papua and Melanesia. Also found in several diving spot like on the Wai Island, the rest of sunken plane of World War II.

■ Waigeo Reef

To go to Raja Ampat the nearest airport is  in the Sorong City and then proceed by using the speed boat approximately 1.5 hours. Hotels is only available on larger islands. Do not forget to enter Raja Ampat into your plan trip. And if you come to the Raja Ampat during the full moon season, you will find beatifull seaside views and you will be greeted hordes of dolphins that will jump up high on the side of your speed boat.



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June 2011
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