Raja Ampat the Amazon of Oceania
The heart of the coral triangle
Jacques Yves Cousteau once said “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Everybody who has ever dived Raja Ampat will definitely understand where he was coming from. Raja Ampat casts a spell on all who visit – scientists, photographers, novice and experienced divers too. This realm of the marine beauty consists of groups of majestic islands, located in the northwestern tip of Indonesia’s Papuan Bird’s Head Seascape. Exactly in the heart of the coral triangle, the most bio-diverse marine region on earth.
Diving The Raja Amapat
The Four Kings which is the literal translation of Raja Ampat is stunningly beautiful above water as it is below. On the dive you will see startling diversity of marine life and the soft and hard coral will change with every fin stroke you will do. One will never stop to explore in Raja Ampat. The wavy slopes of karst cliffs of Wayang and Uranie, nutritient-rich bays of Mayalibit, Alujui and Kabui, the blue water of the mangrove channels in Kofiau together with the plankton-rich upweling areas of Misool and the Dampier Straight create the most impressive list of species ever compiled for a coral reef system of this size.
“Raja Ampat is the virtual species factory” M. Erdeman.
Biodiversity Features in Raja Ampat and the greater Bird’s Head Seascape (2012)
- 1,628 species of reef fish in the Bird’s Head Seascape
- 1,430 species of reef fish in Raja Ampat
- 42 species of endemic reef fish found only in the Birds Head Seascape
- 603 species of hard coral recorded in the Bird’s Head Seascape
- 75% of all known coral species in the world
- 10 times the number of hard coral species found in the entire Caribbean
- 57 species of Mantis Shrimp in the Birds Head Seascape
- 13 species of Marine Mammals in the Bird’s Head Seascape
- 5 species of endangered sea turtles in the Bird’s Head Seascape
“There is no better place that I could recommend for underwater photographers and reef fish afficionados…the Raja Ampat islands boast an impressive array of fish inhabitants un-surpassed by any other area of similar size. There is also growing evidence that the region is also a hot-spot for reef fish endemism, in other words there are a host of species confined to this area and found no-where else. The survey results have generated considerable international publicity….and focused attention on the area’s unparalleled marine biodiversity. There are few places on earth where pristine rainforest is abruptly bordered by amazingly rich coral reefs” Dr. Gerald Allen, Ichthyologist
Coming to Raja Ampat you better get ready for rich and colourful coral ‘bommies’ dripping with soft corals, unblemished reefs teeming with life, pristine blue water mangrove ecosystems, glass calm waters, dolphins and whales, adrenalin-filled drift dives, walls and slopes, giant Manta rays, Wobbegong sharks and walking sharks, muck critters, Pygmy seahorses as big as a grain of rice. In OK Divers we are able to arrange diving holiday in Raja Ampat all year round. For trips we use liveaboards or land based diving operators. If you feel like wanting to see this beautiful place have look in our Papua Diving Safari and email for more details. OK Divers can’t wait to take you there.