Nudibranch Homestay, Sawinggrai, Pulau Gam, Raja Ampat

Nudibranch Homestay

Gam - Southern Gam

  • Very good - 4 starfish
  • Very good - 4 starfish
  • Very good - 4 starfish
  • Very good - 4 starfish
  • Very good - 4 starfish
  • (4/5 starfishes)

Vibrant coral reef, blue water mangroves and a spectacular array of nudibranch species make Nudibranch Homestay a macro photographer’s dream.


Rooms
6 x On beach - Room in a bungalow Sleeps max. 2 persons / room
Rates
Single IDR 350,000 / person / night
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Details

Nudibranch Homestay has 3 bungalows of two rooms each. The main bungalow is on stilts on the beach and is huge, with high ceilings, two rooms and a large indoor undercover area with tables, shelves and chairs. Additional tables and chairs are provided on the large undercover verandah at front of the bungalow. The big bungalow also has an indoor combined dip mandi and western pedestal style toilet.

Two smaller two room bungalows sit on stilts on the high tide line of the beach. Each of these has a shared verandah with seating provided. Shared toilet and bathroom facilities for these bungalows are housed in a separate outhouse building which contains a dip mandi bathroom and western pedestal style toilet.

Nudibranch’s kitchen and dining building sits amid the mangroves and is over water at high tide. The dining shelter has a long table and bench seating and is visited at night by cuscus who live in the nearby forest.

Nudibranch Homestay is a ten minute walk from Sawinggrai village where basic supplies can be purchased.

A generator provides lighting at night and the ability to charge devices and mobile phone signal is good.

Paulus has basic English and lives on site with his wife Endang and their children when guests are staying.

Pay by credit card!

As of June 2014, Nudibranch Homestay offers guests the ability to pay by Visa and Mastercard. Credit card payments attract a 2% surcharge to cover bank fees. Note: There’s no guarantee that your particular bank’s credit card will be accepted by the processing bank. The facility is provided by Indonesia’s Mandiri Bank, so if you want to rely on your card for payment it would be wise to check that it will work in a Mandiri ATM before arriving in Sorong. See our Money, Banks and ATMs page for more information about access to cash in the islands.

Transport / Getting there

Nudibranch Homestay has its own speedboat for Waisai transfers and tours. Transfers to or from Waisai cost IDR 1,500,000 per trip and can be shared by up to a maximum of six passengers.

Read more about Raja Ampat boat transport prices here.

Activities

Diving

Paulus is a PSSI qualified dive guide and can arrange equipment hire from Wobbegong Dive Adventures for diving and snorkelling trips. The blue water mangroves in front of the homestay are home to a wide variety of marine life, including the many nudibranch species from which the homestay takes its name. Walking sharks can also be found sheltering among the mangrove roots during daylight hours. The coral reef to seaward of the mangroves is rich and vibrant and has a steep dropoff to explore. Paulus can organise diving and snorkelling trips to any of the other Dampier Strait and Kabui Bay sites you might want to visit.

In addition to varied diving and snorkelling trips, Nudibranch offers a Sunset Lookout trip for IDR 50,000 per person. A 5 minute boat ride and 15 minute walk will bring you to a lookout point perfect for watching the sunset. On the way you can visit a cave containing the remains of Japanese soldiers.

Jungle trekking

Also available is a guided trek from northern Gam Bay across the hills of northern Gam to the village of Kabui. The jungle trek takes around 3 hours and offers panoramic views of both Gam and Kabui Bays. The hike is one way, the assumption being that guests will continue from Kabui village to Warikaf Homestay for the night. It may be possible to arrange a return journey if required. Cost is IDR 1,000,000 per group (5 max) for the Nudibranch to Kabui village section. Extra guests can join for IDR 200,000 each. Boat transport from Kabui to Warikaf Homestay is IDR 700,000 (shared among 5 max) and IDR 200,000 for each extra passenger above 5. The trek is designed for backpackers – if you have more luggage than you can carry, you’ll need to arrange to have it transferred or carried for you.

Birds of Paradise

A tour to see Red Birds of Paradise display is available at Sawinggrai for IDR 200,000 per person. The tours depart at 5.00am from Sawinggrai, which is a ten minute walk along a concete path from Nudibranch. On the way your flashlight may spot the nocturnal cuscus in the pathside trees.

Other attractions

Cuscus! The Nudibranch dining shelter is visited nightly by three wild cuscus (see the gallery photo above). Paula and Paulino are a breeding pair of Waigeo cuscus (Spilocuscus papuensis). Helena is a much smaller, plain coloured squirrel-sized individual. She is either a different species, or Paula and Paulino’s offspring with juvenile colouration. An up close experience with these normally shy nocturnal forest dwellers is guaranteed.

Schools of brightly coloured reef fish are regularly fed from the jetty at Sawinggrai and there is a concrete path that provides comfortable walking between Sawinggrai and Kapisawar, a village further to the west along the coast.

Features

  • Near village
  • Association member
  • Reef dropoff
  • Western style toilet
  • Mangroves
  • Seagrass
  • Hiking available
  • Coral
  • Birds of Paradise
  • English speaking
  • Good house reef
  • Diving available
  • Good phone signal
  • Has own speedboat
  • IDR 0 to 350,000
  • Can pay by credit card

Nudibranch Homestay Location Map

Nudibranch Homestay location shown above. Full page map for Nudibranch Homestay

Nudibranch Homestay Contact Details

  • If the homestay features above do not show that English is spoken, you'll need to use Bahasa Indonesia. In either case, keep it simple! Using the booking form is best for homestays that have one. Please don't use both - confusion will be the only result!.
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  • Please read our How to Book Raja Ampat Accommodation page so you know what to expect.

Name Paulus Sauyai
Phone +6282198667199
Email sauyaipaulus.nudibranch@gmail.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nudibranch.nudibranch

Nudibranch Homestay Reviews

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38 thoughts on “Nudibranch Homestay

  1. Silvia, Raphael, Raphael says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    Nudibranch is perfect for macro-lovers!

    We stayed 2 weeks in the Nudibranch Homestay and had a great time! Food was delicious and plentiful, the cottage was spacious and as described, with a generator in a sufficient distance to have an relaxing evening. We got fresh towels and bedsheets every few days.
    We came there for snorkelling and freediving and that was just mind-blowing. In front of the homestay we saw many things like blue ring octopus, walking sharks, mating nudis and many more, but best were the snorkelling trips with Paulus. He is a true underwater enthusiast and a great expert in finding macro life, especially the nudibranchs. He knows so many good spots and with his great eyes he finds a lot of small stuff. So we saw more than 30 species of nudis within 2 weeks snorkelling, and around 6x a pair of mating ones. Of course, Paulus knows also the Manta point and other famous spots…
    We read in earlier reviews about high prices of this snorkelling trips and do no share these opinions. We payed between 20 and 30 dollars a trip (per person), being in the water for 2-3h or sometimes even more at 2-4 different locations (in one trip). For us it was definitely worth it and considering the fuel prices it seemed a very fair deal.

    We would recommend the Nudibranch Homestay to everyone who is interested in the undewaterworld, especially in macro! Even if you are more of a scuba diver, don’t miss like 7 species of nudis, 1m under surface all on a small rock while snorkelling!

    Thank you Paulus and all the family for the great time we had!!

  2. irina carthew says:

    We stayed 5 nights in June
    We have been to Raja Ampat before and knowing it has world class diving and snorkelling we had to return. Previously we have stayed at both Doberai Resort and Biodiversity Eco resort both of which we highly recommend.
    This trip, after doing considerable research, we chose to stay again at Gam Island again but this time at Nudibranch Homestay because we wanted to focus on Nudibranch and Mandarin fish. We had learned that Paulus of Nudibranch resort was an expert guide in finding many varieties of nudibranch and also the Mandarin fish that could be enjoyed by snorkelling as we do not dive.
    Paulus did not disappoint in this respect and proved to be very expert and passionate about meeting our brief to see the Mandarin fish and as many varieties of nudibranch as possible. Of course, we also saw many other fish, manta and beautiful corals too. We were also able to find a magnificent juvenile Batfish in the Mangroves just by the Homestay along with Pipefish, Parrot Fish, Walking Sharks and much, more.
    The homestay is basic but met our needs. The private bungalow was spacious enough and larger than often found in these locations.
    The mosquito net was very effective and fit completely over the bed unlike some we have found in other locations. Mosquito coils were provided but we did not need them.
    The bed was firm and the mattress basic but the sheets were clean. We loved the vent in the floor under the bed where at times a cooling breeze could be felt at nights. Our bed was made each day which was a very nice touch. We were really happy with our room and felt the rates were good for what we were getting.
    Electricity was available by petrol generator for several hours at night and we had access to plenty of power points in our room which we needed to charge our many batteries.
    The bathroom and western style toilet were in the room next to our bungalow and were extremely basic. The floor in the bathroom certainly needed maintenance but it was adequate. There was a tub of water and pot to wash (Mandi style) and water to flush the toilet along with toilet paper.
    We were provided with bath towels, but they were very thin. A couple of days into our trip we were also given beach towels. It would be much nicer if these were given to us from the start but I am certain if you ask they will be happy to give them to you.
    The meals were served at the ‘restaurant’ a lovely tree covered setting over the water and many times we were joined by wonderful cuscus and were given bananas to feed them. We really enjoyed this and also appreciated that the Cuscus were free to come and go as they chose. They were healthy and robust looking. There was a basic handwashing facility in the restaurant.
    The freshly cooked meals were traditional and a little basic but we really enjoyed them and there was always plenty to eat. We had a cooked lunch and dinner each day and occasional baked goods like local style bread, cakes and buns which were fresh and delicious. Most afternoons we were served a light snack of fresh baked treats for afternoon tea which we really enjoyed. Overall, we enjoyed the food – lunch and dinner consisted of rice, a vegetable dish and freshly caught fish or eggs.
    Drinking water was available at our bungalow and also in the restaurant and boiled water was provided in a thermos so we could help our self to tea and coffee any time day or night.
    We also enjoyed the homestay dogs who were often around but did not bother us. We liked the fact the puppy greeted us daily.

    Paulus is pretty laid back most of the time but his knowledge of the area and its marine life excelled and we cannot recommend his skills and passion in this area highly enough. Where else in the world would you snorkel freely amongst mandarin fish. We saw many colourful varieties of Nudibranch we had not seen in either Raja Ampat previously or in the Solomon Islands, (even though we have snorkeled with expert guides and had expressed our desire to see them).
    Paulus went out of his way to ensure the snorkel trips would meet and surpass our expectations. (Thank you Paulus)
    He did at times have boat troubles which was a frustration but they were resolved and all our needs were met in the end.

    If you want somewhere clean, inexpensive and comfortable enough to stay and if you want an expert guide who will deliver, then we highly recommend you give this place a go.
    This is not a trendy or luxury resort but we enjoyed our stay and with a few tweaks such as thicker towels a few extra hooks in the rooms to hang bit and pieces on, a nice sized bench in the room to place items on and a bit of maintenance in the bathroom -this place would have scored near full points for value and enjoyment. Don’t expect aircon or hot water but that’s not the norm in Raja Ampat. The surrounds were lovely, the house reef behind the mangroves very, very good and nearby snorkelling and diving exceptional.

    We thank Paulus and his wife for looking after us and also the young lads who helped out on our snorkel trips and were also excellent and enthusiastic guides.

    We recommend Nudibranch Homestay

  3. Guy heuillet says:

    • Not bad - 2 starfish
    • Not bad - 2 starfish
    • Not bad - 2 starfish
    • Not bad - 2 starfish
    • Not bad - 2 starfish
    • (2/5 starfishes)

    We (couple) stayed 5 nights In nudibranch. From the 21th of may. We were the only guests of the homestay.
    We were in the new bungalow with a specific design for aeration under the bed. It was great. We did 6 snorkellings (5 nearby and 1 to west mansuar). Food was varied and quite delicious.
    1. positive points
    We really appreciate to share snorkellings with paulus. He get so much experience on gam bay and islands around, faune, local culture, etc. Paulus is a really good guide. We saw Nudibranchs, mandarin fishes, sharks, barracudas, Nice colourful corals, wonderful !
    Paulus loves to share his passion for raja ampat.
    2. Negative points
    2.1. 2 no show on morning snorkellings (on 5, it is not bad !).
    One of the two Explanations was really bla bla. It is not nice to wait the whole morning for nothing without knowing anything (this point have been already mentioned in a previous review).
    2.2. No transparency about price of snorkelling tours. No price list (On website or In homestay). I ask for price of snorkellings, it seemed ok (300k for nearby snorkelling for example). During checkout, we discovered awfully, snorkelling prices was given per person (detail just omitted during briefing !), hopefully we are just a couple ! We were really upset and finally complained to paulus about this unfair process.
    This artefact makes non sense in this context, just getting more money for paulus and his family.
    I told paulus, i will tell this in my review, so I do.
    Endly, paulus did a cash back of 500 k idr, means that nearby snorkellings : 500 k idr (still quite expensive, compared with other homestays), west mansuar 600 k idr (quite ok).

    Our overall feeling about our stay In nudibranch is really mixed : so nice to share with paulus during snorkellings and we appreciate time In homestay, so disappointed by the unfair and ambiguous pricing process, and no show.
    Guy & Martine

  4. Matthew Blakeway-Phillips says:

    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • (4/5 starfishes)

    Nice homestay with huts on the beach behind the mangroves. Some have toilet and mandi, but most share a communal toilet hut. Small restaurant serves very simple food, but veggies are in very short supply. You might want to bring some fruit with you. Beer can be purchased in a shop about 5 mins walk away. Paulus runs day-trips in his boat with site-seeing and snorkeling. They are good value when you consider how much you can see in a day. Mosquitoes are a problem. You can buy 13% deet in the village, but I would recommend that you bring 30% spray.

  5. Rob & Gemma says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    We loved Nudibranch- Paulus put us in the new hut which had a unique floor ventilation system that worked a treat. Food was varied, plentiful & delicious. The setting of the Homestay opposite the mangroves made bird sighting really nice with friarbirds, beach kingfisher & eclectus parrots right there. The cuscus we’re a nightly treat especially when the baby emerged from the pouch to play. The snorkelling with mantas, mandarin fish & hermaphroditic Nudibranchs was great & we saw dolphins, ospreys, eagles, sharks, walking sharks(!) dugongs & minke whales- magic. prof Michael was still there for a couple of days overlap & gave us a great insight into the marine life of Raja Ampat & how it is changing -he is a true naturalist. Paulus knows his marine life & has real insight into the local environment- both he& Yupi were great guides to the marine environment around Gam- great Homestay 👍

  6. Gavin Davies says:

    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • (4/5 starfishes)

    We just stayed one week at Nudibranch. The owner Paulus is a very busy man so we didn’t see much of him but he was very polite. The accommodation over the water is lovely. Nice bed, mosquito net and porch. Toilet Papuan style with dip bath. We are vegan and we had great simple food, plenty of it.
    The Cuscus is awesome and the local village friendly. You can buy a cold beer there. There is a strong current at certain times on the drop off but the best snorkeling it at the jetty – we saw sharks and turtles and big schools of fish. Don’t miss the red bird of paradise tour. You can watch angler fish shooting spiders from the restaurant and ask to see the walking shark from the kitchen. We enjoyed the mandarin fish snorkel tour. Other wildlife highlights were big huntsman spiders and a snake, frog mouth owl near the toilet and various other birds coming and going all day.
    As other people mentioned the bins don’t get emptied and lunch was on two occasions served before 11am so it’s a long time till dinner. But things like that don’t really bother us.
    The boat driver who took us on the mandarin fish tour and to our next homestay was exceptionally friendly and nice to us, he really made our time at Nudibranch more enjoyable.

  7. Asia and Jane says:

    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • (4/5 starfishes)

    My mother and I spent 4 nights at Nudibranch Homestay in March. Paulus showed us so many wonderful sites nearby for nudibranchs, mandarin fish, coral gardens, manta rays and so much more. He had incredible knowledge of the local area and extended region, and a real passion for the marine world and its conservation. His wife Andang provided delicious meals, and his brother in law Yopi offered wonderful friendly assistance on our boat trips. The location of the homestay is surrounded by mangroves, and you can snorkel at high tide through the blue water and the aerial root structures, full of juvenile fish and interesting macro fauna. the sunsets are beautiful and you can look around the mangrove roots for epaulette (walking) sharks, but pack your mosquito repellent! We highly recommend this place and hope to return!

  8. Bernie and Margo says:

    We arrived at the end of our holiday from busy Kri island and stayed only three days with Paulus and his family at Nudibranch in November 2016. This homestay was recommended to us by a diver we met on Kri. What a great little place set on the edge of the mangrove, ecologically different from other places we had been on our month long Raja Ampat holiday.

    Paulus is the king of spotting all things small weird and wonderful. He showed us many varieties of Nudibranch, the shy Mandarin fish, Crocodile fish, walking shark just to name a few. He took us to hidden lagoons, bat caves, outer island reefs all being within close proximity to his homestay. His large boat uses a floating jetty (a big piece of foam) to enter and exit the water. This makes it easier to get in and out of the boat. Many other tours are offered including the Bird of paradise, jungle walks etc. Paulus knows the southern Gam area like the back of his hand and with his great knowledge and happy humour you will enjoy his tours.

    There were only six guest when we were there, after busy Kri island this place was much more laid back and relaxing. The bungalows on the water have two small rooms joined with a narrow common verandah. I would find the rooms too small if you did not have the use of both rooms. There is not much space to put your bags and spread out. Shower and toilet are a short walk from your accomodation. The food was excellent and plentiful but bring some canned milk if like this in your tea and coffee. Being visited by the local Cuscus (possum like marsupial) at dinner or breakfast was certainly entertaining.
    Paulus is actively involved in promoting conservation, education and Eco tourism. His dedication knowledge and enthusiasm make this a great homestay worth visiting. I would happily spend more than a few days here next time we visit.

  9. Francisco Furió says:

    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • (4/5 starfishes)

    Wonderful place in a wonderful location. Paulus is a nice guy and offers many trips fot snorkeling. If you are in the bungalow of his brother, the food might be not so good. Sometimes he forgets the pick up but it works somehow anyway:) Otherwise all perfect!

    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • (4/5 starfishes)

    My boyfriend and I stayed here for 3 nights in September 2016. It was a nice stay. The snorkelling is wonderfull just outside the mangrove bay of the homestay. The current was very strong when we were there, so you are in need of a boat by your side when you want to explore. Paulus has a very nice system of making tours. In the evening he does a briefing about the plans for the day after, and if you want to join, you can join. There are always other people here so you do these tours together. Before starting a tour, he will do a briefing as well. We never found this way of communicating at another homestay, they really are a step ahead of others when it comes to arranging things. Paulus knows everything about the area and he does a lot of good things for the villages next to his homestay.

    You can take a walk to these villages easily. There is a small shop, which actually stores a lot of different things! You can buy cookies and all the basics you need there. Next to the homestay they built a jetty above the mangroves. When you are there at night you can see a walking shark. The bungalow is very simple. The food nice, the ladys cook very well. The only thing we did miss during our stay was an afternoon snack. No food between 12 and 19 is a looooong time….. but sometimes there were bananas.

    Overall we enjoyed our stay and recommend others to stay at Nudibranch as well :)

  10. Catherine Griffiths & Steve Firth says:

    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • (3/5 starfishes)

    We stayed for 4 nights at Nudibranch homestay during September 2016, one of 3 homestays we used. We made the booking via text and Paulus was always quick to reply.

    The on beach bungalow was very small inside (by far the smallest of the 3 homestays), but it was clean and the mattress comfortable, with a good mosquito net. They also smoothed over the mattress every day which was nice. We also had a small verandah, looking out into the bay, where we spent time sitting & relaxing. The bathroom, a short walk away, was very basic, but ok.

    Food was good and plentiful. Unlike the other homestays there were no afternoon snacks provided and we did not have hot water at the bungalow, only in the dining room. Not really a problem, but would have been a nice touch. Other small things that would have made the stay better without much extra effort was the fact that neither the bin in the room or in the bathroom were emptied during the whole time we we there.

    Birding around the homestay was pretty good. We arranged to go to the Red Birds of Paradise display site one morning and the birds are close and much easier to photograph compared to the display sight in Waigeo. We also saw beach & sacred kingfishers, many parrots, spice imperial pigeons and much more. Close encounters with the visiting cuscus were also great.

    Now for the snorkelling. Paulus is clearly very knowledgeable about the marine life and has a number of excellent spots where he can take his guests. Unfortunately, during our stay there was another couple who had been staying for a number of weeks, so the trips were very much geared to what they wanted to do. The weather was also not always great, so we ended up doing just two half day snorkelling trips and a short snorkel from the homestay, where we did see walking sharks. I think if the other couple had not been there we may have been able to request/push to be taken to more places, although we totally understand that these guests had spent a lot of time and money with the homestay and they were also a very nice couple, so we didn’t complain! I guess this is just the way it goes when staying in small places with just the one boat.

    Overall, would recommend the guesthouse for Paulus’s knowledge, but if you are really eager to go to certain places during your stay then I would make sure this is possible just before you arrive.

  11. Nat Woolhouse says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    My friend and I stayed with Paulus and his lovely family in June 2016.
    We enjoyed the homestay very much and would return in a heartbeat.
    The accommodation was great, the food fantastic and the trips with Paulus were always fun and adventurous. We got to snorkel with 4 Manta rays on our way to Arborek Island!!
    We both would highly recommend staying at Nudibranch Homestay!!

    A massive thankyou to Paulus and his family.

  12. Johan and Anna Mia says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    We, a family of four, stayed five days at Nudibranch in July 2016. This was our second visit – we visited Raja Ampat and Nudibranch in 2014, and had such a great time that we had to come back. It was as good as we had dreamed of!

    This is the place to have active days. Paulus knows the area extremely well, and as a snorkling guide he has loads of energy, great knowledge and very sharp eyes.

    We made two full days and four half days snorkelling trips. We would have loved to do more. Paulus showed as a lot of different spots, and made sure to give us a very diverse experience – from the loads of fish at Cape Kri to searching for a specific nudibranch species in a specific mini mangrove bay, and everything in between. He has a number of ”secret spots”. As an example: at one of them we could see at least 15 Mandarinfish, starting from 0,5 m depth! A very rare experience. Also, on the way to a snorkling spot, he stopped at a large piece of sargassum weed, and showed us Sargassum Frogfish. Just to name a few of our snorkeling experiences with Paulus.

    Paulus helped to arrange a excursion to see Red Bird of Paradise. We could see the birds very clearly. It was also a great walk. On the way back we saw a number of white Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, a black Palm Cockatoo, a few Blyth’s Hornbill and some different parrots. Highly recommended!

    Since the visit two years ago, Paulus has found a new view point in Gam Bay, great for sunsets. He also has a small raft, which was very fun to play with, for the children as well adults.

    One of the Couscous had a baby!

    We highly recommend Nudibranch to anyone!

    Johan, Anna Mia, Adam (12 years) and Alvin (10 years)

  13. Benjamin Martin Rembert says:

    We stayed at Nudibranch in mid April 2016, shortly after Prof Muehlenberg and crew had left, who run the place with Paulus as a research station for conservation research. The stay was fantastic, the house reef is in excellent condition; marine turtles, various tiny reef bass species, sea snakes and other colorful marine live including walking sharks. On a dive spot we saw giant Manta stingrays and nudibranches just 10 min with the boat away. At night you can watch tree kangaroos (cuscus) while having dinner ;-) Credit card worked fine. We can highly recommend Paulus place for visit as well for life scientist from all branches to enjoy the wonders of taxonomy and marine systematics.

  14. Johan and Anna Mia says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    We – a family of five, age 8-73 – spent five days here in July 2014.

    We stayed in the three-room bungalow, which is great for a family, with two living rooms, attached bathroom, a great terrace, a nice living room with coffee table books about Raja Ampat.

    Paulus, who runs the place, was absolutely fantastic! He handled our family – with kids and hardcore snorkellers and grandmother – in a way that gave us all great experiences. Snorkeling at different spots, Gam Lagoon, caves, view points, beautiful lunch spots. This was our last stop, after four weeks in Raja Ampat – still Paulus managed to surprise us on every day trip. Paulus is also strongly engaged in the life of the village and the development of eco tourism in Raja Ampat.

    The house reef is good and the jetty in the village is worth exploring (even though it is not as spectacular as the jetty in Arborek). The mangrove is good to explore. Our neighbours had brought dive torches and spotted a few walking sharks.

    In the evening, couscous came to the restaurant.

    Nudibranch was the only place where we could pay with credit card (in 2014).

    (Also see our comments on the other places we visited: Yenkorano, Piyanemo, Kordiris and Lalosi)

    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • (3/5 starfishes)

    Four of us stayed at Nudibranch for 3 nights and for the most part enjoyed it very much. We shared a large pavillion with two bedrooms, a large common area and deck, and it was nice to have chairs to enjoy the evening out there. Meals were a short walk to the dining area where we were visited several times by a couple of cuscus. The lagoon in front of the lodging went almost completely dry during low tide, but when water was in it was short snorkel along the mangroves to a nice reef around the corner. Lots of walking sharks around and a long snorkel to two villages was possible with an easy walk back on a concrete walkway.

    We saw kingfishers, black cockatoo, and lots of other birds from the deck and around the homestay of Paulus and his two cousins. Paulus seemed much pre-occupied and we felt very much as if we got just a pinch of his time when he outlined possible excursions for us. His cousin Christian was a lot more talkative and friendly and has another homestay just down the beach. Christian and Paulus both took us on excursions to snorkel, see bats, and see the bay and lagoon.

    Paulus’ wife was gone and a relative was cooking. Breakfast was stale bread and bananas, and the other meals were ok and the usual repetitive eggplant, fish, rice, maybe greens, but they had a fryer and the fish was the best we ate while in Raja Ampat. Side dishes not so much.

    While we enjoyed seeing the cuscus, we didn’t so much enjoy the odd bench seating that didn’t allow us to comfortably socialize and placed us under the animal (especially when it urinated overhead in the dining area). If they want to continue to feed it they might set up a station to get it bananas a short distance from the dining area for the well-being of human and animal?

    Visiting the bat cave was cool, but I was disappointed that we were encouraged to walk all the way in and completely disturb the bats. We had a great view of them from the boat, but when folks walked in the bats just flew about frantically and were tough to see. One even left the cave. Doesn’t seem like a good idea to disturb them this much.

    Christian took us to see manta and to snorkel. Unfortunately some divers with big filming set-up chased them and the mantas left. Nobody briefed us or apparently the divers on manta etiquette. Christian also took us to a reef and oddly did not have fins bug stood on coral heads, hopping from one to another. Since this reef goes dry at the top he probably wasn’t doing a lot of additional damage but it wasn’t a good example for protecting coral health. Paulus took us to see the spectacular mandarin fish on another snorkel.

    There are archer fish in the mangroves by the dining area and we delighted in seeing them spit water at spiders to try to knock them into the water. Very cool fish that most of us have only read about.

    Overall it was a good experience and I loved the intersection of mangrove and reef and the thriving life there.

  15. Andrea und Alex says:

    Wir besuchten Paulus und seine Familie Ende Dezember bis Ende Jänner , und durften die wunderbare Küche von Endang genießen.Traumhafter Platz und Infrastruktur in der Nähe.
    Die Unterkünfte sind sehr sauber und komfortabel.
    Paulus ist ein sehr guter Dive Guide.Er kennt so ziemlich alle Tauchreviere wie seine Westentasche. Unsere Tauchgänge mit ihm waren immer ein Erlebnis.Absolut empfehlenswert! Wir kommen gerne wieder.
    Andrea und Alex

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    thanks so much paulus & family. beautiful place, pristine and marvellous marine life! fantastic hospitality & food. we’ve had a great time at nudibranch. highly recommended! bernd, fabio, martin and marco

  16. Me and my friends stayed with Paulus last week. Nudibranch was a fantastic homestay and we were well taken care of. Paulus and his family made sure all our needs were taken care of; water flasks in our room were always topped up, breakfast was always brought to our room before we even woke up. The homecooked food there was above our expectations as well, compared to the previous homestay we were in before Nudibranch.

    Nudibranch is partially surrounded by a mangrove, which provided different spectacles at different timings of the day. Just snorkelling around the mangroves was already a breathtaking activity.

    We did 8 dives with Paulus as our guide and we managed to spot many things thanks to him. He has an incredible eye for macro stuff, and we would have missed alot of things without him.

    As a host, he always tried to find the best arrangements for us and was very accomodating to our requests. His command of english was good as well, so there was not much difficulty in communication. In all, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay, and left our hearts there when we left. If you are looking for an unforgettable experience in Raja Ampat, this is definitely the place to go to.

    • Hi Evans,

      Thanks for your review.
      I’m about to stay at Nudibranch also next month.
      May I ask the name of dive sites Paulus took you to?

      Adil

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    My mother and I stayed with Paulus earlier this year and found Nudibranch Homestay to be a great place. Paulus was a very good host, and his wife Endang was a fantastic cook – thank you for everything.
    Their children are also extremely sweet. We went on lots of snorkelling excursions with Paulus and his drivers Soni and Christian who are both very nice and also good guides themselves. Paulus is very good at spotting creatures especially the nudibranch which I became very fond of and made it my mission to photograph every single slug I saw! One day Paulus even spotted a pontobi seahorse which was very small so it was hard to sea with naked eye but Paulus took some photos on my camera which we examined later and looks very cool – thank you Paulus. The nearby village is small and there are some dogs down there which I personally was a bit scared of but I am not great with barking dogs so we didn’t go for a stroll down there. Paulus has dogs at the homestay but they are very calm and friendly and no worries there. The visiting cuscus were lots of fun to feed bananas to when they came to the restaurant area as well. Thank you so much to all for our stay, and sorry for not writing the review earlier.
    Best wishes, Emily :)

    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • Good - 3 starfish
    • (3/5 starfishes)

    We spent one day on Nudibranch Homestay. The bungalows are spacious and quiet and they are very near to the reef. A good place to make snorkel. Paulus, the owner, is a very nice person that speaks good english. On the other hand we arranged two trips in Gam wiht Nudibranch. The first one, to watch paradise birds. We woke up at 5.00 am but the guide didn’t come. So we lost our opportunity to watch paradise birds. The second one, snorkel in the lagoon. It was a good snorkel but Paulus arrived more than one hour late. So, be careful if you arrange excursions in Nudibranch.

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    My mother and I stayed at Nudibranch for a night in November and wish we had stayed for a week! Paulus and his family were so friendly, the food was amazing, and the rooms are so clean. The location is perfect for snorkelling, or a short walk to the near by village. The village was very clean and the children were so friendly. We would highly recommend staying at this location. We stayed at 4 other Homestays and this is the one we would return to with out a doubt – absolutely fabulous!!! Thank you again Paulus for your incredible hospitality – I will never forget feeding the Couscous!! With Kind regards Janie and Shirley!!

  17. David Pennington says:

    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • (4/5 starfishes)

    I only spent one night at Nudibranch during a kayaking trip throughout the islands. The bungalows are spacious and private. I had very good meals while I was there. The reef nearby is excellent for snorkeling.

    • David Pennington says:

      On a side note… Yes, they have a big sign that states they except credit card. However, when it came time to pay by credit card I received blank stares. Everyone who was there at the time got the same reaction. I would bring the appropriate cash and not depend on the credit card machine. It may have been broken.

  18. Hi!

    I’m planning a trip to Raja Ampat on mid march and i would like to know
    how much does the dives costs here with rental gear?

    Ps. thank you for a such a brilliant site! :)

  19. Steve Anyon-Smith says:

    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • Very good - 4 starfish
    • (4/5 starfishes)

    We stayed six nights at Nudibranch in November 2014. Paulus, the owner, is fun the be with and is well organised. His tame cuscuses are stunning! We found the house reef snorkelling, nearby birdwatching and the adjacent village atmosphere hard to beat. Paulus’s excursions by boat are reasonably priced and well managed. One thing that really impressed me is that the Homestay sponsors a weekly rubbish clean-up in Sawinggai village and surrounds.

  20. Joakim & Helena says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    We ended our marvelous month (july-august 2014) in Raja Ampat with three days at Nudibranch – and so we loved it! The reef outside the Savinggrai village is great, and the mangrove just outside the bungalows is host to many walking sharks, including the famous Nudibranch (not so easy to spot though). Paulus has basic english and is a great and generous person and with him as guide and driver we did excursions to Cape Kri (wow, don´t miss!), plus cruised the lagoons of Gam. We also enjoyed being neighbours to the Savinggrai Village that was connected to another village by a concrete pathway. As with the other homestays we visited and enjoyed (Kordiris, Yenkoranu, Lalosi and Piaynemo), going there is supporting the local economy plus helping the preservation of Raja Ampat´s marine life. The little eating house is nicely located along the mangroves with visiting Cuscus eager for bananas at dinner-time. Extra fun for children:) Do go there!

    • Eddy Torremans says:

      Hi Joakim & Helena,
      I’ll be going to Nudibranch on january 5 and stay 3 nights as well. I’m just concerned how to get to the Homestay after my arrival on Waisai. Did you arranged a pick-up boat transfer by Paulus ? If so, how did you managed to do so please ? I have been calling him but there was no possible way of communication, let alone make arrangements prior to arrival.
      I’m travelling solo, so I heard that its quite pricey too if picked up by Paulus.
      Since I will be there just 3 nights, made a long way to get there, I just do not want to waste time. I hope to get some feedback from you folks,
      Eddy

  21. Todd Peterson says:

    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • Amazing - 5 starfish
    • (5/5 starfishes)

    Paulus is such a nice person and his homestay is in a fantastic location. He also has a biodiversity scientist from Germany there who has a field station with the homestay. We learned a ton from them when we snorkeled. Amazing once in a life experience. Paulus built a dining room just as we arrived. This new addition was great. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome and taken care for.

    We also noticed in the IMAX movie Journey to the South Pacific, about Raja Ampat, that the film crew stayed at Nudibranch while filming some of the movie !!

  22. Tristan Stafford says:

    Paulus is simply awesome. I dived many times with him and cannot state how safe i felt as he maintained superb dive profiles and was very aware of all divers in the water and balanced safety with exploration of the sites perfectly . His ability to find all kinds of Macro species is out of this world. His knowledge of the dive sites meant we rarely encountered any difficult currents. I cannot wait to return and continue the amazing journey of the Raja Ampat dive sites with him. Thank you Paulus. Here is one of the Pygmys from Manta Point. As soon as i have processed the rest i will send you the link.

    • Stay Raja Ampat says:

      Thanks for the feedback Tristan – it really helps :)

      Great photo too – we look forward to seeing the rest!

  23. This is our own review:

    On the southern coast of Pulau Gam, sheltered from the ocean swells and tidal rips of the strait between Gam and Mansuar by a belt of blue-water mangroves, lies Nudibranch Homestay. The establishment’s primary function is as an ecological research station, but the bungalows there are available to rent whenever scientists and students are not using them. We were the first guests at Nudibranch Homestay and had the good fortune to arrive while the research centre’s founder and a team of postgraduate students were in residence.

    Professor Dr Michael Mühlenberg is the Director of the Centre for Nature Conservation in the Department of Conservation Biology at Georg-August University in Goettingen, Germany. Professor Mühlenberg told us that he approached the nearby community of Sawinggrai about the possibility of establishing a research station on the site because of the variety of ecosystems in close proximity. It’s easy to see: Draw a 200 metre long line at ninety degrees to the shore with the station at its center. The line will join deep ocean, coral reef communities, blue water mangroves, tidal seagrass flats, littoral zones and tropical jungle. The people of Sawinggai were enthusiastic and the centre was established on land belonging to Paulus Sauyai and his family who now run the homestay.

    The research centre is a joint project between Georg-August University’s Dept of Conservation Biology, the Centre for Papuan Biodiversity and Conservation and Jayapura’s Universitas Cenderawasih and is a great place to stay if you have an interest in ecology, biodiversity and conservation. It’s also a well appointed place for a completely relaxing getaway. The village of Sawinggrai is a short walk away and offers ready access to transport, supplies and activities such as dawn jungle walks to see the morning displays of Gam’s Red Bird of Paradise. Paulus is an excellent guide with superb knowledge of Gam and its attractions and wildlife.

    If you book a stay at Nudibranch, please remember that the homestay is a research station and you should defer to the needs of the researchers if you find yourself sharing accommodation with them.

    By the way – if you’re looking to do a double degree (Master of International Nature Conservation), Georg-August University offers one in association with New Zealand’s Lincoln University at Christchurch. Click here for information from Lincoln University or download the course information PDF from Georg-August.

    It’s hard to imagine a better lab or lecture theater than Nudibranch Homestay!

    • Hi all.
      Wea re a couple travelling to Raja4 next March .
      We are goint to spend some days in Nudibranch homestay, and we are interested in the guided trek from northern Gam Bay across the hills of northern Gam to the village of Kabui and then spend a night or two in Warikaf homestayin Kabui bay (We have been already there and the location is awesome, and it is near of the Passage , fantastic location and wonderful snorkell) We arE looking for partners interestyed in join us , to share the cost of the boat transpor between Kabui and Warikaf and Kabui -Gam
      Thanks a lot