Raja Ampat is kayaking destination that few kayakers know about but it’s popularity is growing and deservedly so. Raja Ampat is a Marine Park in West Papua an Eastern province of Indonesia. The name literally translated into the 4 Kings and is referring to the 4 main islands within the 1500 island archipelago. Many of these islands are tiny and tightly clustered, which can feels like your paddling through an island maze., super cool.
Divers have known about the area for some time, with the highest concentration of marine biodiversity in the world and more than 1400 species of fish the area is also very good for snorkeling., a nice way to cool down after a paddling stint.
To get to Raja Ampat you fly to Sorong which in itself isn’t easy.
From Sorong you take a ferry to Waisai and then a bus or taxi to the Kayak4Conservation Base.
Kayak 4 Conversation http://kayak4conservation.com is a non for profit initiative to create employment and revenue for local Papuan people. They’ve built a fleet of fiberglass kayaks (singles and doubles) and these kayaks are available for rent.
They’ve also loaned local communities throughout the region with the money and the expertise to build and run a series of homestays in which kayakers can pay to stay at. These homestays are dotted throughout the archipelago and although they are basic they are comfort and authentic. All funds generated through kayak rental fees and homestay fees goes towards the locals.
Kayakers are encouraged to hire a local Papuan guide to show them the best that Raja Ampat has to offer and to help with the language barrier. Guides have been trained and work through Kayak 4 Conservation.
Although this sounds like a guided trip it isn’t, participants you need to be self reliant and capable of looking after themselves, Kayak4Conversation will simply help to facilitate your kayaking holiday but they are not a tour provider.
This is an incredibly unique and wonderful program and I would highly recommend visiting this area and utilizing what Kayak4 Conservation has to offer.