Raja Ampat Diving Project

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Raja Ampat Diving Project

from £995
Duration: from 2 weeks to 12 weeks
Countries: Indonesia
Dive the richest marine environment on earth and assist in vital marine conservation.
Summary

Raja Ampat Diving Project

The extent of this project's importance is only just being discovered. Incredibly, the oceans that surround Raja Ampat contain 80% of the world's coral species, 1350 species of fish, 6 of the world's 7 marine turtle species and 27 varieties of marine mammal. Divers here have the chance to encounter sperm whales and watch them feed, witness turtles laying their eggs and dive amongst a kaleidoscope of tropical fish.

Raja Ampat's unique position on the cusp of two oceans - the Indian and the Pacific - is the reason for the area's incredible biodiversity. Powerful deep-sea currents sweep nutrients into Raja Ampat's reefs, the life source for its booming marine populations. The same currents carry the region's larvae across the oceans to repopulate reefs in other parts of the ocean. This area's importance to marine conservation extends far beyond its tropical borders.

This project is working in partnership with the local government and communities to protect these incredible coral reefs and the people that rely on them, from threats such as over-fishing and coral destruction. But these efforts are not effective unless supported by the will of the local people. This is an important part of this marine conservation project, which works to bridge the gap between the reef ecosystem and the local communities.

Start Dates are once a month on a Wednesday.

Itinerary

Day 1

Transfer to the ferry port (opposite the Meridian Hotel) from your hotel and catch a boat to the project site on Arborek Island. Spend the rest of the day settling in, exploring the project site and meeting your fellow volunteers. This is the perfect time in which to take in the beauty of Raja Ampat - one of the most pristine marine environments anywhere on earth!

Day 2-7

A typical week day on the project consists of two survey dives and time spent on one or more of the numerous community projects within the local area. Depending on the weather conditions, volunteers either start the first survey dive at 9 am or visit the local community to assist on a community project.
After lunch, volunteers will complete another survey-dive.

Saturdays are reserved for leisure dives in the morning and free afternoons with Sunday being a complete no dive day to allow recovery time. This time can be spent sunbathing, playing beach volleyball or football, swimming, snorkelling, exploring the island, visiting the local village.

If you are unqualified, you will complete your PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water qualifications this week 

Day 8-22

From this week, you will continue your survey dives and time spent on various community projects. As a PADI Advanced Open Water Qualified diver, you will have the opportunity to complete your Emergency First Response and Rescue Diver qualifications (at an additional cost)  

Day 23

Unfortunately today is your last day and you will transfer back to Sorong for one final night before catching your return flight home or for commencement of independent travel plans. 

Project Activities

On this project, you will get the chance to take part in a wide variety of exciting activities. Below are examples of some of those included in this project. 

Coral reef conservation and monitoring

This will be conducted via two research dives a day from Monday to Friday. The main purpose of this is to produce detailed coastal habitat maps of the surrounding area for use in advising local government and communities on Marine Protected Areas.

Working within local communities

Marine conservation volunteers may be involved with teaching English to the school children and other community members. They may also be involved in a range of other activities including climate change research, livelihood diversification workshops, working within a community medical clinic and providing education on environmental issues and eco-tourism.

Beach Clean-Ups
This is an essential part of the work here as it ensures that the marine environment stays in as pristine condition as possible.

Encourage entrepreneurial attitudes
The ultimate aim of this being to deter local communities from unsustainable destructive activities like shark finning or dynamite fishing.

Manta ray monitor programme

Volunteers wishing to participate in the manta ray monitor programme are trained to recognize key characteristics, markings and behaviours of these gentle giants, as well as their ecology, biology and conservation. Remember however that manta ray sightings cannot be guaranteed!

Scuba Diving
This can not only be done during the daily survey dives but also during your free time. The marine life here is second to none and therefore it is essential for you to get under water as much as possible!


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Details

Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £995

What's included?

• Accommodation
• 3 meals a day, tea, coffee and filtered water
• Scuba diving training courses for divers (ONLY for Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Emergency First Response courses - for Rescue Diver and Divemaster prices, please see the ‘Extras’ tab).
• Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) & Regulator hire for duration of your expedition (unqualified divers only)
• Tanks, air, weights & weight belts (All divers)
• Comprehensive Science Training Programme
• All dives (12 a week in total when possible)
• PADI Emergency First Response course (worth £100)
• Raja Ampat Marine Reserve park fee (worth £70)
• Travel to project site from Sorong (taxi and ferry costs)
• Transfer from Waisai Port to Basecamp
• 24hr field support staff

What's not included?

• Flights
• Visas
• Airport departure tax
• Travel insurance
• PADI manuals and Dive Certification (Positive Identification Card - PIC) - these must be bought before you fly as you cannot purchase either out at Raja Ampat.
• Personal diving equipment
• Additional dive courses (Rescue and Divemaster courses)
• Any personal spending money

Visas

For placements of 4 weeks or under volunteers can purchase a tourist visa upon arrival at Jakarta (or other participating Indonesian airport) for a fee of roughly $25.

For stays of 4 - 8 weeks, volunteers can purchase their tourist visa upon arrival at Jakarta for a fee of roughly $25. This tourist visa can then be extended once by 30 days and the project staff will help you with this using their visa agent based in Bali at a cost of £35.

About The Great Projects

Here at The Great Projects we believe that there is a better way to holiday. Our award winning wildlife volunteer projects and signature tours present you with a truly life changing experience alongside the chance help animal conservation efforts all around the world. Whether you want to work with Orangutans in Borneo, Cheetahs in Namibia, or Tigers in India, we have the perfect project for everyone, and with donations made for each trip, your travel with have a lasting impact on local wildlife and the communities living alongside it.

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