What we do
Stay Raja Ampat is a non-commercial, not-for-profit website that was born from two desires:
- To support Raja Ampat community efforts to build a sustainable, locally owned ecotourism industry by providing local accommodation owners on the islands with an internet presence that they couldn’t otherwise arrange or afford,
- To provide travellers to the islands with the information we wished had been readily available to help minimise the stress of a first time experience like ours.
Why we do it
The international conservation community has recognised Raja Ampat as being one of our planet’s richest cradles of marine biodiversity and has mobilised resources to assist protection of the region from unsustainable resource extraction and development pressures.
A robust low-volume, high-return eco-tourism industry that directly benefits local communities is essential to ensure the conservation of Raja Ampat’s incredible biodiversity and to avoid the dispossession and overdevelopment seen in places like some of the Thai islands and Bali.
The people of Raja Ampat have long been aware of the importance of natural resource conservation and the Sasi provisions of their customary law form the framework upon which international conservation efforts in the region are based. With conservation of their environment and way of life in mind, communities in Raja Ampat have been quick to embrace the potential of a sustainable eco-tourism industry. Hopefully their commitment will be rewarded.
Successful conservation of Raja Ampat depends on the empowerment of local communities and we want to do all we can to help.
How we do it
Employing our skills as a photographer/project manager and a web developer, Stay Raja Ampat was a labour of love from its inception in 2011 until December 2013.
This new development provides us with the resources to do some serious research, invest the time required to make Stay Raja Ampat a better contributor to the success of Papuan ecotourism ventures, and to bring you the best possible resource for planning a visit to Raja Ampat.
A Stay Raja Ampat history
Our first visit to Raja Ampat was in April 2011, at a time when the only websites offering accommodation information were those of the foreign owned dive resorts and a single site advertising a locally owned homestay on Pulau Kri. We’re not divers and couldn’t afford the prices being asked by the expat establishments, so we booked a two week stay at the homestay.
We tried to confirm our stay a couple of weeks before arriving in Raja Ampat, but the mobile contact number was no longer working. We were concerned but determined, so we went anyway. On our arrival at Waisai the promised boat pickup wasn’t there. While we were arranging our unexpected night’s stay in Waisai we met a local guide who told us that the place we’d booked was fully occupied by the cast and crew of the French edition of the TV show Survivor and that the guy whose contact number we had was no longer working there!
A moment’s panic ensued until our guide told us that there were plenty of homestays available and that he’d organise to get us to one in the morning. We had a great trip, met a lot of wonderful people and promised we’d try to help them out by building them a website.
The result was the launching of the original Raja Ampat Homestays in August of 2011.
May 2014 saw the third revision of Stay Raja Ampat go live, and v4.0 was deployed in January 2018. Hopefully the redesign and expanded search and filtering functions will make finding the information you want a whole lot easier.
Stay tuned for the addition of more homestays, information and news from Raja Ampat. If you’d like to receive updates about Stay Raja Ampat via social media, you’re welcome to follow our facebook page. Here’s our Twitter feed, and our Raja Ampat Travellers’ Forum facebook group provides a venue to meet fellow visitors, exchange information and arrange transport sharing.
Raja Ampat: Enjoy your stay!
Doug & Amber
Stay Raja Ampat founders