Why we love Raja Ampat

Remote, with no sign of civilization and landscapes that makes you feel like you are in a Jurassic world. This is just the tip of the iceberg that draws adventurous divers from all over the world to Raja Ampat.

Raja Ampat, in the far east of Indonesia, is one of the most diverse and sought after dive destinations on our small blue marble. In this huge diversity of marine life, there is something for every diver. Manta Rays and sharks can be found on many dive sites (including the ugly yet beautiful Wobbegong shark), but the big attraction for most divers are the stunning reefs off hard and soft coral in all the colours you can imagine and some more. Then there is off course macro life that is the favorite for most experienced divers.

If macro life is your favorite, Raja Ampat will not disappoint you. On top of the list to see is the Pigmy seahorse. Or mare accurate, Pigmy seahorses. There are at least 5 different species here. That we know off. There are the Satomi, Servens’, Pontohi, Denise and the most photographed, Bargibanty pygmy seahorse. If you are a hawk eyed macro spotter, you might be the lucky one to find a new Raja Ampat specie.

For the nudi lovers, there are a wealth of nudis to be found on almost every dive site. The king of Nudibranchs is the Spanish Dancer with an average size of 20cm (not so macro) but can only be found at night. At night we also look for the shy walking shark and if you are lucky you might find the blue ring octopus.

This macro life is not all that Raja Ampat has to offer. There are still many species of flat worms, soft coral crabs, decorator carbs, squat lobsters and too many types of shrimp to count on one liveaboard adventure.

Charge your camera batteries, don’t forget your memory cards and book your liveaboard adventure with us to explore and discover the colours and macro life of Raja Ampat. The new season sets sail in a few weeks.

Jan Venter, MV Empress Cruise Director