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

Grand Komodo/Raja Ampat Dive Lodge: "Diving the Dampier Strait", Oct, 2014,

by Dan Purnell, WA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 8035.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Raja Ampat still has some of the finest diving in the world. My journey began in Portland Oregon, to Jakarta and then to Sorong. I highly recommend taking the direct flight from Jakarta to Sorong. It is a fast and efficient way to get to Sorong. From Sorong, you take a 2 hour boat trip to the Raja Ampat Dive Lodge, situated right on the Dampier Strait.

I was excited to return to the current swept Dampier Strait. I had last visited this area 10 years ago when Raja Ampat was just being opened to recreational divers. During that trip, there were only a couple dive resorts and liveaboards. As we plied the waters, we saw no other divers or boats during our 12 day adventure. There has been a lot of development during the past 10 years, but the diving is still incredible!

The Raja Ampat Dive Lodge is a great place to stay and enjoy great diving. Most of the rooms are right on the water, the food is good and everybody is very friendly and helpful. Everything is kept very clean. I liked the chattering birds from the surrounding jungle. The dive area has fresh water tanks for cameras, and it is conveniently located near the dock and dive boats. Most of your gear stays on the dive boats during the week. Nice and easy!

There are 2 morning dives, 1 afternoon dive and a night dive offered each day. The night dives are all on the House Reef. The Dampier Strait diving is outstanding! The hard and soft coral gardens were amazing and generally pristine. Some of the table corals and sea fans were two times my body length wide. There were fields of acropora / staghorn corals, smothered with waves of anthias, stretching as far as you could see.

The healthy coral reefs and walls pulse with life. When the currents are running, the reefs go wild. Schools of fusiliers are so dense, that they can impair your vision. Hunting schools of jacks would cause mayhem, scattering thousands of fish. With the recent protections, we saw black tip and wobbegong sharks on almost all our dives. Commonly sighted were sweet lips, napoleon wrasses, turtles, groupers, barracudas, trevallies, angel and butterfly fish, pigmy sea horses, pipe fish, bat fish, glass fish, scorpion, unicorn, bumphead parrot, leaf fish and so many, many more. We were also fortunate to see a few mantas, toad fish and Spanish dancers. I had sensory overload on a number of Dampier Strait sites. It is hard to take in the blizzard of activity. This is a very fish place!

If you are comfortable with current, and you have good buoyancy skills, Raja Ampat is a great diving destination. Unlike 10 years ago, the reefs are now getting a lot of diving pressure. During my brief stay, I saw a lot of coral being damaged by inexperienced divers and photographers. We divers, are going to have to do a much better job, avoiding contact with the reefs, if Raja Ampat is going to remain an amazing place to dive 10 years from now.
Websites Grand Komodo   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving PNG, Raja Ampat, Banda Sea, Bali, Halmahera, Yap, Palau, Bonaire, Honduras, Little Cayman, Red Sea, Washington, Oregon, Flower Gardens - Texas, Fiji, Galapagos
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There Jakarta to Sorong

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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