All images below, are uncropped frame grabs from our 6K & 4K film stock footage.

(Please note: Active words are linked to more information and trip adviser/other reviews.)

Oh..... Raja Ampat...... with the Barker Friends & Co, on our Favourite Liveaboard, the Seven Seas and all the fabulous staff........we waited for Two years for this magical trip and boy, was it fantastic! How very fortunate have we been to be able to join the Barker Friends and Co. group once again! Yahooo! AND, we also added a few days, on land, at the stunning Papua Explores Resort

 Flying with our favourite airline, Singapore Air from Cape Town to Manado and then the final domestic leg with the very competent Garuda Indonesia from Manado to Sorong, we could not wait to be reunited with our Barker friends and all the Seven Seas friendly staff. 

Arriving in Manado, too late to catch a connecting flight to Sorong, we stayed overnight at Novotel Manado Golf Resort and convention centre and then flew off early the next morning to Sorong where the friendly Seven Seas staff picked us up and transferred us to the liveaboard boat. We spent 12 nights on the Magical Seven Seas. Do read a few independent reviews from our co divers Sonia Google, Sandy Kelly and a wonderful poem by Rob Barker.

We truly love being on the Seven Seas Liveaboard and can highly recommend it to anyone wishing to dive in Indonesia. The chef's, food was fantastic, thanks Totok Sugiharto for going out of your way to ensure that we always had a vegetarian alternative meal.

The Diving was unbelievable, as usual and with the added knowledgeable assistance of Karl, Irwan and Jefry we once again were shown so many wonderful Marine life treasures. It was lovely seeing Karl Klingeler, Captain Mr. Wahyudin Ismail and Mr. Abdul Rifai H. Djudje, and all the friendly, highly competent cruise and office staff, Candra and Guteri again.

From the time we were picked up at the airport to the time we were safely handed over to our transfer to Papua Explores Resort, we were so well looked after, it felt as though every step was taken to ensure a smooth, happy, magical time.

Thank You to you ALL! We did find that the Dive sites are much busier than they were two years ago and we congratulate Karl and his team for always booking dive sites whenever possible, choosing and sometimes changing sites to ensure we had great dives.

We hope that Raja Ampat will be closely controlled, so that it does not turn out to be another Red Sea, with far too many boats and divers in the water. This precious environment needs to be protected at all costs. We thank the Seven Seas for another mind blowing trip and have booked our next one already. Roll on the Forgotten Islands. We can not wait to share time with you all again!

Our hard working camera gear supported us all the way. Prepping, charging, filming, rinsing, data retrieval and then all over again, 4 to 5 dives a day. Our RED Dragon and Blackmagic Production camera’s, Keldan underwater lights and Dive and See monitors never skipped a beat. Not to mention their respective Nauticam underwater housings that protected the camera’s under hard working conditions, strong currents and at depths of down to 40m.

 …………..We then transferred over to Papua Explores Resort for 9 nights in a tastefully decorated water bungalow, where we so enjoyed 7 days of fantastic diving and met the truly dedicated team of Raja Ampat SEA Centre, lead by co-founders Tunc Yavuzdogan, Selen Yavuzdogan, Lynn Lawrance, Arnaud Brival, Tresye Marlessy and by the well trained Coral Gardeners Tomy Kumanireng and Yermi Mambrasar. They have been incredibly successful in Coral Rehabilitation, including rehab on unstable coral rubble. We were blown away by their success and have been so privileged to film their work. We wish them everything of the very best. Related Blog Post.

A HUGE THANKS to Arnuad and his team for such a magical dive experience!!

It was so encouraging to see how Papua Explores have embraced the local community and are continually working with them in so many wonderful ways to uplift, protect and conserve. Their use of Eco Safe shampoos, sunscreen etc. is encouraging to note and we hope that many other resorts and liveaboards in all marine areas will follow suite soon. Papua Explores also hosts two members of staff from MMF, so that they can continue to do their ongoing scientific research. Just another reason to support Papua Explores. Congratulations, we were so impressed that we will share your good vibe and encourage everyone to support you, in all your great efforts. We can not wait to return!

 Too soon and it was time to head back home again.

 Raja Ampat you hold a special place in our hearts and we do hope that your future will be protected at all costs.


Tips for Raja Ampat:

  1. Do not forget your Insect repellent

  2. Use ONLY Eco safe detergents and sunblock.

  3. Pick up any litter you may come across and get it disposed of correctly. Lets start making a difference...every single one of us!

  4. Booking Garuda Indonesia Flights online, even from South Africa was super easy and we received all flight changes via email promptly.

  5. Indonesian people are so warm and friendly, learn some words in their language and make a connection.

  6. Your Raja Ampat Marine park fee gives you a years access, so if you are moving around Raja you can use the same paper work and disk and there is no need to buy a new one at each resort/Liveaboard etc.

Until next time……..

This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Raja Ampat SEA Centre

We have just completed a short Showcase Film for the Raja Ampat SEA Centre that covers all the FANTASTIC work they have done to date and will hopefully assist with fund raising and sponsorship for the mammoth task ahead of them.

The Raja Ampat SEA Centre, is based at the stunning Papua Explorers Dive Resort, in the midst of the Dampier Strait, in West Papua, Indonesia, which places them slap bang in the heart of the Coral Triangle.

During the late 1990's and early 2000, Raja Ampat was the scene of many illegal and destructive fishing methods like dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing and Shark finning. In 2000, Conservation International, along with the Indonesian Government and local communities, managed to put an end to these practices, by establishing marine parks and protected areas, but the long term damage to the coral reef structures had already been done.

For the past 2 years, the SEA Centre team have been working hard, researching and developing methods for reef stabilization and restoration. At the same time, the local community have been eagerly participating in training to be Coral Gardeners and building, positioning and populating the test site with over 5000 coral fragments. All of this has been undertaken with the support of Conservation International, KEHATI Indonesian Biodiversity Conservation Trust and Kabupaten Raja Ampat Regional Council.

24 months down the line and over 500m2 of coral reef, in the waters directly in front of the resort, have been successfully restored.

What Now?

Work has just started on replicating this successful pilot project, in front of the village of Arborek, where the villagers themselves will be doing the majority of the rehabilitation. This restoration will take place over the next 24 months or so.

What then?

Well, would you believe that the Raja Ampat SEA Centre's long term goal is to restore a 500 hectare portion of reef over the next 5 to 10 years. Looking at what they have achieved so fer, we feel that this is well within their ability, should funding become available.

Showcase Film coming soon, currently submitted to film festivals.