Kayaking in Raja Ampat is without a doubt the best way to explore the archipelago. Gliding silently among these spectacular islands without the noise and fume of outboard engines is to experience nature at its wild and beautiful best in what has to be the world’s greatest sea kayaking destination.
Apart from the couple of homestays that have one or two sit-on-top boats available for day paddles in their location, there are currently only two options for true sea kayaking in Raja Ampat:
- Bring your own kayak.
- Go with Kayak4conservation – a community-based tourism venture that can provide everything you’ll need.
Raja Ampat’s maze of islets, peninsulas, bays and inlets provides kayaking opportunities for all skill and fitness levels. The calm, enclosed waters of Gam Bay are a safe environment for a first time paddle while affording plenty to explore. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a challenge, try working your way along Gam’s southern coast against the running tide!
Bringing your own kayak
Unless you own a foldable kayak, bringing your own boat to Raja Ampat isn’t really practical.
Based on the island of Kri, Kayak4Conservation is part of the Papua Diving resort operation.
The K4C team has circumvented Indonesia’s prohibitive tariffs by building their own kayaks, and use homestay accommodation as stopovers on their kayaking tours.
Working with the project from its inception was another expatriate and longtime resident of Indonesia, Halim. An accomplished kayaker, Halim was keen to add Raja Ampat to the list of amazing Indonesian kayaking expeditions he had already undertaken and jumped at the chance to be one of the first to paddle out from Kri. Guided by Paulus Sauyai, Halim and paddling partner Sweena headed for the Kabui Passage and eventually decided to make a complete circumnavigation of Pulau Gam. You can see some great photos and read about this first Raja Ampat kayak expedition at Halim’s Playak page.
Raja Ampat sea kayaking trip information
- Kayak4Conservation offers a number of scheduled trips of varying lengths.
- Maximum group size is six people.
- Both single and double sea kayaks are available.
- Accommodation is local homestay style.
- Camping gear is available for hire for tours in areas not serviced by homestays.
The kayaks: In 2012 Kayak4Conservation’s desire to supply top quality boats for kayakers was given a huge boost by Arthur and Tracey Fincham from Kaskazi Kayaks. Kaskazi donated moulds for their Skua sea kayaks and Arthur and Tracey visited to train the K4C Papuan fiberglass team to build the boats at the RARCC.
Booking a Raja Ampat sea kayaking trip
For current prices, information and to make a booking, contact Kayak4Conservation.
Further information about kayaking in Raja Ampat
West Australian Adrian Gawned contacted us after his November 2013 Raja Ampat kayaking trip – you can see his trip report and photos here at the Sea Kayak Club WA website.
Frits Meyst has also posted some great Raja Ampat kayaking photos at his Adventure4ever’s Raja Ampat gallery.
However you decide to go, seakayaking Raja Ampat will be an adventure you’ll never forget!