Raja Ampat is considered to offer the best diving in Indonesia. And a survey was conducted to confirm that theory. In 2002, The Nature Conservancy conducted a scientific survey of the Raja Ampat Islands to collect information on its marine ecosystems, mangroves, and forests. The survey stated that the scientists found 537 species of corals diving in Raja Ampat – that’s an incredible 75% of all known coral species. In addition, 828 fish species were recorded, raising the known total for the area to an amazing 1,074!? The Raja Ampat government declared in 2010 their waters to be a shark sanctuary and outlawed the capture and killing of sharks, turtles, dugongs and rays.
This is part of why the marine life in Raja Ampat is so incredibly rich. Another reason for this is the currents that are running through the region. It brings in big stuff migration like oceanic mantas, whales and also a lot of nutrient for the reef fish. To reach all the hot spots of Raja Ampat a liveaboard trip is preferred. With our budget liveaboard in Raja Ampat we do 7 days 10 day trips to cover all the best dive sites in our itinerary. And to experience the best diving possible we’re very flexible to match our dives with the tides.
Some dive sites are better in rising tide and some are better in falling tide. We try to take this in consideration when we plan our dives. Ideally we want to find the spot of the dive site where the current is coming in. with a current check we can decide which side is best to jump in, to then descend down to “the split”. This is the area where the current splits up by the reef and goes left, right or on top. This is where the reef fish feed on the plankton. This behavior also attracts the bigger fish who arrives to hunt, which makes it the perfect place to get the most fish action. The diving in Raja Ampat is characterized by this diving style and when you manage to hit a dive site at its best time you will understand the hype about Raja Ampat.
Of course, there are many dive sites that doesn’t get as affected by the strong currents. For example, Melissa’s garden is one of the most beautiful dive sites in Raja Ampat and this dive site usually offers calm diving but with big chances to spot sharks, mantas, schools of fish and stunning coral reef. Diving in Raja Ampat suits everybody but we do recommend to have your knowledge and skills refreshed before coming. If you need more information about our budget liveaboard in Raja Ampat, go to www.mikumbadiving.com and don’t hesitate to contact us directly for the best deals.