Dr. G. Allen set his record for 283 fish species on a single dive in 2001. No other resort can beat that!!!
The resort allows guests to experience some western comforts in a traditional Papuan setting. Simple yet modern the resort has now one central building with a lobby, office, restaurant, kitchen, library, internet lounge, shop and storage units. The main building has a spacious dining area with splendid view over the bay and WIFI to supply internet access as well. The restaurant is serving up three different menus daily. The resort has 24h energy supply from 2 generator units, telephone and internet connection. Next to the resort a Research and Conservation Center is in the makes. PAPUA DIVING is committed to conservation and takes it seriously!
Guests are welcome to visit the premises and will be informed about projects they are currently working on. At time of construction in 2004 the area was being landscaped underbrush was cleared, however most of the original trees and bushes have remained. Uniquely the buildings are integrated into nature and partly hidden by lush vegetation.
The area is literally carpeted with ground orchids and plenty of birds within the resorts grounds. The resort is orientated towards underwater photographers. There are plenty of electrical outlets and tables for those who need space to set up strobes and camera equipment. The deep lagoon is a great place for snorkeling, swimming or diving.
The rooms are in a natural setting, lush flora and fauna just at the door to the bungalows. There are seven in total, with all western amenities and comforts for the modern diver. The resort was built by divers, with divers in mind.
THE SENTANI BUNGALOWS
The Sentani is the small of the two types of accommodations offered. Each one is sixty-five square meters. Each bungalow includes a nice balcony for reading and relaxing, a bedroom with a table and chairs. The bathroom is attached, and all are built facing the sea. The rooms are VERY photographer friendly. Each room has a 60 x 330 cm table especially for camera work with good light. The tables are supplied with 110V and 220V build-in electricity outlets. The camera tables each consist of a built-in sink and with running water. Each bungalow features air-conditioning, hot showers, television and refrigerators.
The Kaimana bungalows are much larger in size, measuring ninety square meters. Each bungalow has a balcony, a living area, bedroom and bathroom. All Kaimana bungalows are facing the sea for a pleasant view. Each bungalow is decorated and furnished in a special Papuan style using museum quality artifacts. All bungalows feature air-conditioning, hot showers, television, and refrigerator. The bungalows also have camera tables that contain plenty of room for camera equipment. Each bungalow has a back entrance and back yard for your privacy. It is a great place to hang wetsuits and wet gear and allows for the rooms to stay sand free for if you enter in the back entry the next room you step into is the bathroom. The cabins are all connected by a two meter walkway which is romantically lit at night so that you can make your way around the resort.
Three custom built boats take you to top notch diving locations. They are: 7m with 1 x 115 hp outboard, 9m with 2 x 115 hp outboards, and 11m with 2 x 200 hp outboards. The boats are very sturdy and made of fiberglass construction and have first aid kits, oxygen, a compass, GPS navigation and VHF radios. It is possible to have your tanks filled with Nitrox if you are a certified Nitrox diver.
DAILY DIVE SCHEDULE
Each day is different and may include from 2 to 5 dives (3 day dives + 1 night dive being the average) depending on the divers’ desires. Many sites are within 5-30 min. of the resort; however some special sites are further away. Divers may choose to return to resort between dives (from the nearby sites). For the farthest sites from the resort, multiple dives (2-3) are planned and a packed lunch I supplied to enjoy during a surface interval on one of the finest deserted white sand beaches you will ever experience. Saturday is a day of rest for the staff.
A night dive can be made on Saturday night, but not on Friday night. There is no Saturday daytime diving. On Saturdays there are opportunities to explore the area with a visit to a waterfall, walk through the jungle, visit a local village or just relax in the peaceful resort.
Most dives are drift dives due to strong currents in the area. The currents provide nutrients for the outstanding quantity and variety of fish life and corals in the area. A fabulous variety of colorful soft corals and plenty of reef fish are found at most sites. Large schools of fish are known to populate some areas, pelagics such as sharks, Manta and Mobula Rays, dolphins, whales and turtles are frequent sights.
Papua is frontier diving. One of the last truly wild places on earth, it has yet to succumb to the pressures of overfishing, coral bleaching, exploding tourism and overpopulation. The diving reflects this. Topside there are few roads, even few boats ply the water in the Raja Ampat Islands on the “bird’s head”, the far northwestern end of Papua where Papua Diving is located. Underwater, the life is wild, extraordinarily plentiful and for the most part, unexplored. The resort is located in the midst of gigantic reef systems with more dive sites than you could map in a lifetime!
From the resort, virtually hundreds of sites with diverse topology and life can be reached with relatively short boat rides. From mucky shallow bays with shrimp gobies, octopus, nudibranchs and “twilight zone” critters; to lagoon channels overhung by rainforest; to rock islands undercut by the sea and covered with a kaleidoscope of tunicates and corals; to offshore reefs with raging currents supporting an unbelievable variety of colorful soft and hard corals and FISH, lots and lots of large fish, the diversity of sites seems endless.
For those who love macro and are in hunt of the ever so famous pygmy seahorses the Hippocampus bargibanti in both the yellow and purple versions, Hippocampus denise which has been described first in March 2003, and Hippocampus pontohi which was recently newly discovered in Bunaken National Park but has now also been located on three of the nearest dive locations!
Manta Rays are present almost permanently at three locations close to the resort and guests thoroughly enjoy seeing them up close. Often they are at touching distance and it is normal to see 10 to 15 Manta Rays during one dive. There are many dive locations where Manta Rays are found, amongst them is the house reef Cape Kri!
Furthermore there are a great number of breathtaking reefs that are truly teeming with life; many of the guests boast that they have never sen such an abundance of fish anywhere else in the world. The wreck diving in the area is superb as well. The wrecks here haven’t been plundered as in Truk Lagoon, PNG, the Solomons, Vanuatu and other well-known wreck diving areas. Most of these WWII wrecks were not seen by humans again until the day they were discovered by the divers at the eco resort and are therefore they are nearly completely intact. Over 50 years of marine life growing on and around them has turned them in beautiful gardens.
By special arrangement, diving can be arranged to the wrecks in the Manokwari area (on the east side of the bird’s head). Although there are plenty of wrecks all around the area, the wrecks in Manokwari are in shallow, clear water with plenty of coral growth and sea life surrounding them.
This cruise is undertaken every saturday just before sunset or in the afternoon. You will visit a small neighbouring village by boat (30 min boat trip) followed by 30 minute hike to the birding location to see the endemic Red Bird of Paradise. This trip is complementory (free boat transfer to starting point of the start of the 30 minute hike to the birding location) however each participant is kindly requested to donate Rp. 200,000. (about 22 – 23 US$ or Euro 17) to protect the birds and assist in local healthcare initiatives. Bring binoculars and walking shoes!