RAJA AMPAT NATIONAL PARK
Welcome to - The
Realm of the Four Kings
Raja Ampat casts a spell on all who visit – scientists,
photographers, novice divers and crusty sea-salts alike. This group
of majestic islands, located in the northwestern tip of Indonesia’s
Papuan “Bird’s Head Seascape,” lies in the heart of the coral
triangle, the most bio-diverse marine region on earth.
As stunningly beautiful above water as it is below, Raja Ampat
(which literally translates as “The Four Kings”) has a startling
diversity of habitats to explore. Each of these – from the stark
wave-pounded slopes that drop away beneath the karst cliffs of Wayag
and Uranie to the deep, nutrient-rich bays of Mayalibit, Kabui and
Aljui to the “blue water mangrove” channels of Kofiau and Gam to the
plankton-rich upwelling areas of Misool and the Dampier Strait – are
home to unique assemblages of species that, when taken together, add
to produce the most impressive species lists ever compiled for a
coral reef system of this size.
Marine tourism, as a sustainable alternative to overfishing, mining,
and logging, has the potential to play a key role in the
conservation of Raja Ampat’s spectacular underwater realm, while
also creating real benefits for the local communities. This website
was designed as part of a larger effort to support the growth of
sustainable marine tourism in Raja Ampat and the conservation of
these magical islands.
Please explore this site to find information on breathtaking diving
opportunities, travel logistics, Raja Ampat’s new tourism entrance
fee (which directly supports conservation and community
development), and the tremendous conservation effort taking place in
The roaring engines fixed to a large wooden boat are finally quiet.
Nothing can be heard but the rifting little waves, lapping against
the vibrant paint on the sides of the vessel that gracefully slows
down. Native birds hop on the tip of a small tree in one of the
deserted islands in the distance.
Raja Ampat or ‘Four Kings’, is the name given to these islands and
comes from a local myth. The four major islands found here are
Waigeo, Misool (which is home to ancient rock paintings), Salawati,
Underwater enthusiasts flock to this region because it offers the
world’s best marine sights. Two days earlier, some of these
travelers had been at a deafening corner of a tourist trap in Bali.
Once they took their flight to the bird head of the island of Papua
everything changed as they embarked on a diving tour of a lifetime.
In the Raja Ampat islands, divers can explore vertical underwater
walls. The thrill of drift diving is another great challenge. These
are the awesome experiences you will find in Raja Ampat.
Meanwhile, on this tour several divers were well equipped and looked
advanced. The territory within the islands of the Four Kings is
enormous, covering 9.8 million acres of land and sea, home to 540
types of corals, more than 1,000 types of coral fish and 700 types
of mollusks. This makes it the most diverse living library for
world’s coral reef and underwater biota. According to a report
developed by The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International,
around 75% of the world’s species live here. When divers first
arrive here their excitement is palpable. It’s common to hear people
praise God as they take in the remarkable scenery. Others prefer to
remain in silence taking in the overwhelming sight of so many
islands with crystal clear water that softly brushes over the white
“Disini bagus!”, says the friendly local guide who had been
appointed by the tour operator who runs an eco-lodge in Raja Ampat,
indicating that they have arrived at one of the most fantastic
diving sites. On other days, this guide is just a simple fisherman.
The local fishermen here are accustomed to foreigners and are
friendly, especially when offered pinang (betel nuts) or some sweet
candies. These are very popular and offering these sweets is
considered polite and a good way to win an instant smile. The
fishermen usually eat this snack during Para-para Pinang, or social
chatting and exchanging funny stories while chewing Pinang. In many
respects, like nature, culture, and history, these fishermen are
closer to the Moluccas.
"No doubt about it, Raja Ampat is definitely the richest place for
fish that I have ever been." -
-Dr G.R. Allen
"I was like a five-year-old, seeing a reef for the very first time.
I was awestruck, held by the incredible power of this richest reef.
We must, with all available resources, preserve the beauty of Raja
Ampat. This may be the last frontier." --Michael Aw
"I love the people, I love the diving, it's super! I've never been
for a second time to the same dive destination but now I'm thinking
about going back for the third time! Should I say more?" --Peter van
While the landscape may look like a dream, this is not an illusion.
As you embark on your dive, the phrase ‘Attention to detail’ takes
on new meaning as pigmy seahorses swim around your fingers. Manta
Rays and wobbegongs will glide right by you. Tuna fish, giant
trevallies, snappers, and even barracudas are there to complete your
underwater ‘meeting list’. Not to mention the friendly assistant of
the dugong, and a busy colleague, the turtle. Natural and untouched
beauty is the main attraction here. With no unnecessary adages, the
sky, the lush islands, the sea, and everything above and under it is
genuinely saying ‘Welcome to Raja Ampat Islands; your personal
Disneyland of diving sites’.
More facts about the Raja Ampat Conservation Area:*
Biodiversity Features in Raja Ampat and the greater Bird’s Head
1,606 species of reef fish in the Bird’s Head Seascape
1,397 species of reef fish in Raja Ampat
35 species of endemic reef fish found only in the Birds Head
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
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
RAJA AMPAT DIVE