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Dive Review of Grand Komodo/Raja Ampat Dive Lodge in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Grand Komodo/Raja Ampat Dive Lodge, Mar, 2010,

by Maurine Shimlock, tx, usa ( 1 report). Report 5408.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Just about every tropical location around the world
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We were encouraged to stay within safe sport diving limits and spend about 60 minutes bottom time
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments The resort is still in the "soft opening" stage. There is a well set up camera room in the main building with 110 and 220 outlets. Fans and voltage stabilizers are in the process of being installed. We charged and downloaded in our room, but that was a personal choice. Crew learned quickly how to handle our cameras and were helpful in carrying them on and off the boat.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The Raja Ampat Dive Lodge is the latest offering from Grand Komodo. Located on West Mansuar Island in the Dampier Strait, RADL is a wonderful new choice for land-based diving in northern Raja Ampat. Set back a bit from a picturesque white sand beach, the lodge's strategic location is perhaps one of its best features. The manta aggregation sites are a mere 10 minutes away, and RADL is equidistant from Dampier's Sardine and Blue Magic as well as Yangeffo's Mayhem and Citrus Ridge, which we rate as some of Raja Ampat's top dives.

Dives are done from comfortable, shaded fiberglass speed boats with decent ladders, we had a knowledgeable, English-speaking divemaster, an experienced boat driver, and another helper to handle cameras and gear. Nitrox is not currently available.

The boat leaves at 8 am for two morning dives, and again at 3 pm for an afternoon dive. We also dived at the newly constructed jetty, and saw cuttlefish, various nudis, batfish, etc. Without a doubt, the jetty will be quite a nice site in a couple of years. I got some great reflection shots at low tide just off the jetty and could have dived there more than once, but got distracted by other fabulous sites and just ran out of time! I don't need to rave about Raja Ampat diving as most readers know we wrote the guide, and think it's the best tropical reef diving on the planet.

The dive center has good rinse facilities and showers, and nice racks for drying gear.

Accommodation is in duplex, wooden AC bungalows with tiled ensuite bathrooms. Each room has a nice porch, small table, desk, and a couple of chairs. Rooms have either king or twin beds and ample closet space. The generator runs 24-7.

Food was served buffet-style and was mostly Asian, but there were a few western selections, especially at breakfast. Portions were beyond ample. You won't go hungry here! Coffee and tea is always available. Beer and soft drinks are extra, but reasonably priced. The kitchen and waitstaff were anxious to please and tried their best to handle special dietary requests

Transfers from Sorong take about 2 1/2 hours, and are included in the package if you arrive and depart on Friday. On other days there is a surcharge.

The Raja Ampat Dive Lodge is an excellent value for the quality of facilities it provides in this remote location. Construction is still ongoing; they currently can accommodate 8 divers. In a few months they will be able to handle 16. Maximum occupancy is planned for 20.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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