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Raja Ampat Kayaking and Homestays

Kayaking within Raja Ampat we believe you can find whatever you are looking for. Making use of local Papuan guides and guest houses, you can independently discover the biodiversity of this region. Engaging in eco-friendly tourism, you can kick back and relax on a beautiful white sandy beach. Experiencing Raja Ampat by sea kayak is easily one of the best ways to explore the rich biodiversity and beauty of the islands.

With paddle in hand you can see more of the area then on any speed boat, giving you the chance to explore every beach, island, and reef you come across at your own leisure, and all in the quietude and serenity of the nature around you. It also allows you to take full advantage of the wealth of knowledge and resources in the local community, where Papuan guides can assist you to discover Raja Ampat’s unique wildlife, geography, and culture.

Raja Ampat islands encompass approximately 1500 Islands covering 4 million hectares of land and sea area. The four largest are Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool.With the exception of some low coral islets, the majority of the islands have rugged and steep coastline covered mostly with virgin forest. The shorelines are deeply indented with bays and inlets, the beaches backed by dense forest without any communicating tracks. Limestone mountains form the interior of Misool, Batanta and Waigeo. The waters immediately surrounding these islands are greatly encumbered with small islets, rocks, shoals, and detached reefs. The few inhabited islands are but sparsely populated.

Raja Ampat kayaking routes

Kayaking in and around this area is not only breathtakingly beautiful with stunning nature scenes waiting around every nook and cranny,  you will also get to interact  with  local Papuans.

Tried and tested routes have been mapped by our experienced kayakers, please take a look at the map. The routes encompass the island of Kri, Mansoar, Gam and Waigeo. depending on your skill level and intended duration, the following routes suggestions may help you begin to envisage your perfect adventure.

3 to 5-day route:

Easy kayaking between Kri, Mansoar and Southern Gam. This will allow you some time explore small bays, beautiful mangrove area and shallow reefs where you may be lucky enough to meet up with Manta rays. All these options are marked in green on the map.

5 to 7-day route:

You can kayak around the Island of Gam. These routes can be slightly more challenging and you would need to be more confident in sea kayaks. The northern end of Gam has got very little beaches but virgin forest meeting the coast line. This option is marked red on the map.

7 to14-day route:

If you are more of an adventure seeker and have some time at hand, we can suggest heading up north in Kaboei Bay or head far west to the Fam islands. A lot of time will be spent in the kayaks but with every dip of the paddle as a new and exciting experience. Both Fam Island and Kaboei Bay are well known for their sharp limestone cliffs running into the crystal clear blue waters covers with soft coral and shoals of fish. These routes are marked black on the map.

Location:

Kri Island is located about 75 km northwest of Sorong, at the tip of the Bird’s head seascape in West Papua. To reach Kri by boat will take approximately two hours from Sorong. The main ports to Sorong are Jakarta, Makassar or Manado. Sriwijaya Air and Express Air operate regular flights to this region.

 How do I get there?

The closest airport is in Sorong on the mainland of West Papua. After flying into Sorong you will make your way to Waisai, the capital of Raja Ampat, on Pulau Waigeo. There are two ferries running daily from the main harbor of Sorong to Waisai, both departing in the early afternoon (typically around 13h00-14h00), and costing Rp. 100,000-120,000 depending on the speed of the ferry. Your accommodation in Raja Ampat will arrange transport from Waisai to their location, or it is also possible to charter a boat yourself.

Marine Park Fee:

IDR 500,000 per person strictly payable in Rupiah cash. This tag is valid for one calendar year. Expected to be increased to 1 million Indonesian Rupiah mid-2013.

Climate Information:

Raja Ampat has a micro-climate due to its proximate to the equator and being protected by several mountainous land masses.

The equatorial weather makes for good kayaking all year round; however from June to August it is slightly windier which brings some larger swells. We do not advice novice paddlers to plan their trip during this period. The biggest concern throughout the year is always sun exposure.

We have composed a checklist for your reference.

Additional equipment can be obtained, please submit you requirements with your enquiry.

Please submit the following information with your enquiry:

Name,group size, duration skill level, equipment requirements

Where can I stay?

There is a variety of accommodation in the area for different budgets and comfort levels. Kri island, where the trip starts has two lodges, one upmarket, and there are village homestays or guesthouses along all the kayak routes. Homestays from cost 300,000 IDR per night including food.

How much does it cost?

The costs for the overall trip are highly varied depending on what you choose to include and in what style you decide to travel. For the basics, kayak rental will be €35 a day, with additional costs for other gear rental. The prices for the guest houses / homestayshave all been set at an agreed upon rate with the owners at IDR 300,000 per person per day, and an additional IDR 100,000 to include three prepared meals. Arranged guides will charge a rate of IDR 300,000 a day, being paid directly to the guide in Rupiah. As these prices have been arranged prior with the local community with respect to the costs of the services provided, we ask that you please not bargain with the guest house owners or the kayaking guides for a lower rate.

Can I bring my own kayak?

If you are an experienced kayaker and want to bring your own kayak you are more than welcome, but please be aware that due to Indonesian tariffs and customs regarding small water craft it is very expensive to bring a kayak into Indonesia, and will end up costing you much more than renting a kayak here. Some people have circumvented this by bringing foldable kayaks disguised as tents or other camping gear.

What if there is an emergency?

Prevention is better than cure! We are quite far away from any major medical facilities and thus we encourage people not to be negligent or take any unnecessary chances. We also send you with a Spot Beacon II device that can transmit messages and GPS coordinates if there should be an emergency, in which case we can come retrieve you via speed boat.

Do I need to be in top physical condition to go kayaking?

You don’t need to be an athlete to kayak Raja Ampat, but you will be relying on your body and your upper body strength particularly to get around and will require a basic level of physical exertion. The waters of Raja Ampat are very calm and you can easily go at your pace almost anywhere around the islands. Isn’t it good to be healthy and fit anyway?

I want to see Mantas/Birds of Paradise/Bamboo Sharks/wildlife/etc., is it possible while kayaking?

Yes! This is why we love kayaking, gliding through the water while not disturbing or polluting the area around you with noise, you can come very close to some of the most beautiful creatures of Raja Ampat. There a particular spots around the islands which are more reliable for certain kinds of wildlife, which is why having a local guide is very handy.

Are there crocodiles?

Should we tell you what you need to hear, or what you want to hear?  The fact is that there are some Salt Water crocodiles in Raja Ampat, although they are not very common. There are some areas (mainly mangroves) where they have been found and we advise people to stay clear of these areas (deep inside Pef’s Hidden Bay and the Western Wall or around the mouth of Besar Bay), and can mark these spots for you when you plan your trip. They are something to be aware of but not afraid of, and can easily be avoided with a little caution.

 

Raja Ampat Homestays

If you don't fancy kayaking around, you can catch a ferry from Sorong to Waisai every day for around 100,000 IDR ($10 / €7.60) and then arrange to be picked up from your homestay from there. The cost of this will depend wher your homesay is. A transfer from Waisai to Koruna Fyak on Pulau Kri, for example, will cost 525,000 IDR for two (about $27 / €21 each). Accommodation with three meals starts at 250,000 IDR pppn ad goes up to 500,000 depending on the homestay. 

 

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