Kayaking in Raja Ampat

Kayaking in Raja Ampat

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

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.

Newly built Kaskazi sea kayaks at kayak4conservation

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!


Add Comment
  1. Dianne Heesom-Green on

    Been there, done that and want to go again! Best trip of my lifetime.

  2. Holger van gent on

    Hello Raja Ampat travelers, We will be in Raja Ampat from 1 Feb. 2018 until 19 feb. We will bring a 2 seater Klepper folding kayak with us to make a tour with it around Gam. The Kayak is an old one but still in good condition. It´s fully equipment with a sail, outriggers, paddles en two lifejackets. After 19 feb. we will leave to the highlands in Papua. We don’t want to make the trouble to take the kayak with us. Is someone interested in the kayak? It isn’t worth very match and I don’t ask a lot for it. If you interested contact me on Facebook and I can send you some pics. Greatings from Holland

    1. Jerry on

      hallo, can I ask about this?

      1. Holger van gent on

        Hello Jerry,
        Yes of course.

    2. Denis on

      Hi. I might be interested. Can you contact me at my email address dcor@gmx.ch. Cheers

    3. Juliette & Matteo on

      Hi Holger!
      My boyfriend and I are planning a kayaking trip in Raja Ampat in April, where we’ll bring our own gear. Would love to hear about your experience, maybe schedule a call/Skype?!

      Looking forward hearing back!
      Juliette & Matteo

  3. Tami Ellis on

    Hi…I’m thinking of doing a s kayak/camping without guide in this area…Has there been any changes to renting kayaks since the last post?

    1. Hi Tami –

      To the best of our knowledge the above information is still current. K4C doesn’t hire kayaks without guides.

    2. shaun miller on

      Want to do this ourselves… rent the Kayaks and stay at home stays…is it possible yet ?

      1. Hi shaun

        Yes. K4C has been in operation for many years and provide this service. As we told Tami though, K4C’s kayaks are hired out with a guide. Contact K4C for confirmation and further information. (Link provided above.)

  4. Gerard on

    We are trying to rent 2 ocean kayaks in Raja Ampat for a solo trip, not a guided tour. At this moment K4C are not renting their kayaks for privately-run trips. Is there any other option?

    1. Sorry Gerard – like we said above, it’s either K4C or bring your own.

    2. Amy Robillard on


      I see you tried to rent kayaks on a non – guided trip.

      My husband and I are looking to do the same thing. We are avid kayaker and I have been in one too many guided trips in Indonesia. Please let me know if you found an outfitter.

      Many thanks,


  5. Luke on

    Hi, in case kayak4conservation is already booked out, can you advise of any other options to rent a kayak? Do any other homestays or resorts have kayaks that can be rented for multiple or single days?

    1. Hi Luke –

      There’s nowhere else we’ve heard of that rents proper sea kayaks like K4C’s Kaskazis. Piaynemo Homestay has some available for guests, but as far as we know, they’re sit on tops and are not made for open water or available to hire out.

  6. Franz on

    Rented a kayak from kayak4conservation in April 2013 – great kayak and great trip – can only recommend it

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