Diving in Raja Ampat – A Final Frontier: Editor’s Pick of the Week
Just off the coast of Indonesia’s Western Papua, lies a sprawling and mysterious archipelago known as Raja Ampat – or The Four Kings. Raja Ampat truly is one of the final frontiers of diving exploration. This week’s Editor’s Pick, the Raja Ampat Diving Project, is the perfect chance for any intrepid travellers to get a taste of real underwater exploration…
Raja Ampat sits within the ‘Coral Triangle’, a vast 6 million square-kilometre ecosystem that’s home to more types of coral reef than anywhere else on the planet. The Coral Triangle’s seas contain a staggering 80% of the world’s hard coral species, six of earth’s seven marine turtle species, and over 1,300 species of fish. And Raja Ampat is right at the heart of all of this biodiversity.
Many of the archipelago’s islands and cays (of which there are over 1,000!) remain totally uninhabited, and the surrounding seas contain numerous reefs that have never been dived. Who knows what might lurk beneath the surface…
As a volunteer on the Raja Ampat Diving Project, you’ll learn to dive, get PADI qualified, and help to conserve precious reefs by undertaking research dives and monitoring surveys. Plus, you’ll get involved with community work, helping to raise awareness about environmental issues and getting stuck in with beach clean-ups! And in your free time, how about a spot of volleyball?
Here’s why our Editor chose the project as her ‘Pick of the Week’:
‘By diving unexplored reefs and helping to produce detailed coastal habitat maps, volunteers on this project contribute to research that advises local authorities on best-management practices for Marine Protected Areas. This will help ensure that Raja Ampat’s precious aquatic ecosystems are protected. Plus, since so little is known about these reef habitats, the extent of the Raja Ampat Diving Project’s significance is still being discovered – this is your chance to make a real difference and help ensure the project’s long-term success!’
(PS – did we mention that you’ll be living and working in actual paradise?)