Run by: The Great Projects
Reference number: Raja Ampat Diving Project
Located in the Coral Triangle, this project is surrounded by some of the most diverse oceans on earth. The Raja Ampat archipelago consists of around 1500 islands, of which only 35 are inhabited! The lack of human habitation means that the islands and reefs here remain unexplored pristine, making Raja Ampat a premium scuba diving location.
More than 80% of the planet’s coral species can be found in the waters around Raja Ampat, with more than 1300 species of fish calling the region home. Additionally, you could spot any of the 27 varieties of marine mammals here, as well as six out of the seven sea turtles found on earth! This wealth of marine activity cements Raja Ampat’s position as biodiverse, but all this could change if current trends of global warming and pollution continue to get worse.
When volunteering on this project, you will work alongside a team of science officers and conservationists as to gather information about Raja Ampat’s reefs, later passing this information over to local governments and communities to ensure ongoing care of the environment. Habitat mapping, survey dives and community initiatives all contribute to the overall protection of Raja Ampat’s reefs, and the involvement of volunteers enables these tasks to be carried out. With twice-daily dives in some of the most miraculous waters on earth, this project is sure to provide you with memories to last a lifetime.
Your time on this project will be spent engaging in an array of conservation activities, from dives to community initiatives. A list of possible activities for this can be found below, however, if you are looking for a different kind of experience in Raja Ampat, please enquire to learn more about our 7-day 'liveaboard' experience.
Dive training programme
If you are unqualified, your first week on the project will be spent learning how to dive. You will obtain both your PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water qualifications whilst under the supervision of an instructor.
The information you gather is incredibly important in demonstrating the health of the reef, and all data collected will be handed over to the local government who will then work in partnership with the project to create best-practices for the care of the reef.
During your time on the project, you will learn about basic marine biology and ecology, and you will also be taught how to identify the area's endemic coral and fish species. This information will come in useful when you take part in 'pointy dives' - you can learn all about this aspect in your free project guide, available upon enquiry!
Manta Ray Identification
The manta ray season takes place between October and April, and you may have the opportunity to get involved in identification activities, inputting data about these specimens into the project's own database.
Working With The Local School Children
One of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering is working alongside the local community, such as the school children. You will take part in their lessons, teaching them everything from English to dental health - it's these aspects of education which will leave a lasting impact on the children, so it's clear why so many volunteers love this part of the project!
When you're not diving or working alongside the community, you will have the ability to take 'rest days' - something which is not only enjoyable but important for volunteer safety. Sunbathe, unwind by the ocean with a good book, or get involved in a game of beach volleyball - however you decide to relax, you'll find it easy to 'switch off' in this ocean paradise!
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website