MOST MARINE BIO-DIVERSE PLACE ON EARTH
Lying in the heart of the Coral Triangle, the Raja Ampat holds the prestigious title as the most marine bio-diverse place on earth – quite a title; but also a fact. At its most recent count in 2011 the region was recognized to contain 1427 reef fishes, over 600 coral species (75% of the world’s coral species can be found here), not to mention the pelagic life that is abundant in the area.
To dive in Raja Ampat is breathtakingly spectacular, and truly unforgettable. Hard and soft corals compete for space on reefs that are bursting with life and colour. Swarms of small fish such as damsels, fusiliers and anthias mill about on the reef flats, while not too far away from the large schools of tuna, trevally and mackerel congregate. Batfish, surgeonfish and barracuda aggregate around jetties and reef points, while angel and butterflyfish decorate both the reef flats and jagged coral towers that are home to abundant marine life. Large fish species include napoleon wrasse, bumpheads and giant sweetlips, and being in shark sanctuary, not a day goes by where divers don’t spot one of the many species of reef shark in the area. And of course, there are the manta rays: reef mantas at nearby cleaning stations, the majestic oceanic manta in open water, and during the right season any given dive site may yield magnificent mantas gliding by. There are really no words to describe diving in this region; it must be experienced and is truly unforgettable. There are over 50 sites in the area and enough sea life to satisfy the most discerning scuba diver.