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Raja Ampat vs Komodo

I am underwater photographer and had great opportunity to visit Komodo, Wakatobi, and Great Barrier Reef in the past. Raja Ampat was always on my wish list of places to dive, but I always postponed this trip due its duration and expenses.

 

Could you please share with me your experience of diving Raja Ampat from underwater photography point of view? Is marine life in Raja Ampat much different from Komodo?

 

I am not interested in sharks, rather macro life and soft corals.

Edited by vkholo

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The macro/invertebrate life is not as good in RA as Komodo, but it does have some good macro life, lots of pygmy seahorses etc. But Komodo much better for the little stuff.

 

Where RA stands out is the fantastic colours of the soft corals as well as great schooling fish behaviour especially fusiliers and sweetlips.

RA and Komodo are the top two locations in Indo for sheer variety of things to shoot.

 

If you want macro life... stop in Lembeh Strait before or after your trip to RA, you can fly direct to Sorong (RA) from Manado where Lembeh is

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as mike said, Lembeh is one of the places for great macro, but so is Ambon. If you get to Komodo and can get down south, great macro stuff (ladybug amphipods for example).

Bill

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Another oft less mentioned place for macro/corals is Lembata, Pantar and the Alor area. Some great macro dives and even very interesting soft coral formations in the sand. Then the coral formations around Alor/Ternate are pretty nice as well.

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The main problem, from my point of view, is that there are too many amazing destinations but not enough funds or time off to get to all of them. :-)

Edited by seafan
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Raja Ampat vs Komodo

 

I am underwater photographer and had great opportunity to visit Komodo, Wakatobi, and Great Barrier Reef in the past. Raja Ampat was always on my wish list of places to dive, but I always postponed this trip due its duration and expenses.

 

Could you please share with me your experience of diving Raja Ampat from underwater photography point of view? Is marine life in Raja Ampat much different from Komodo?

 

I am not interested in sharks, rather macro life and soft corals.

 

i have dived in R4, Komodo, Ambon and yes....Lembeh!

 

as u said in yr thread, macro life? between Ambon and Lembeh ? i would pick Lembeh as it involves less travelling (from Singapore).

 

i dive Lembeh on average 4 times a year and it has never, ever disappointed me. last i was there it was frogfish galore!

 

Ambon has its Wow factor but there are only 2 DC's there. and one of them did not impress me much ( shania twain style)

 

if you need to shoot corals as well then i would recomm that you dive with a DC in Manado where Bunaken and Lembeh is accessible then you would have covered all 3--manado, bunaken and lembeh?

 

all said, if you travel here, everywhere is great diving...

Edited by decimal86

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Ambon has its Wow factor but there are only 2 DC's there. and one of them did not impress me much ( shania twain style)

 

So did you meet Elvis or Brad Pitt?

Did you go where I advised? Actually there are 3 DCs operating in Ambon,and more Rhinopias you could even expect in Lembeh.

 

 

if you need to shoot corals as well then i would recomm that you dive with a DC in Manado where Bunaken and Lembeh is accessible then you would have covered all 3--manado, bunaken and lembeh?

I find the corals and the bottom scenery around Ambon are terrific, though it's more gorgonians than soft corals. For the best softcorals in NorthSulawesi, I'd rather think of Bangka.

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Thank you for all comments.

 

I would like to get your opinion on duration of stay at Lembeh Strait for an underwater photography enthusiast.

Edited by vkholo

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It's all good but I'd like to say that IMHO Raja Ampat is about the Dampier Strait.

 

I've seen more animals under the jetty near Cape Kri than I saw in all the rest of Raja Ampat. However, there is a ripping current, which is why it is so good for animals but tough diving. Max Ammer is a very special man too.

Edited by John Bantin

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I would like to get your opinion on duration of stay at Lembeh Strait for an underwater photography enthusiast.

Well depends on how much time you have and what you are after. As a start, I'd say 10-14 days is a good intro to the area, IF you are into critters for most dives. There are some corally sites there but up north in Bangka,Bunaken etc it's better for coral diving. It really depends on the moon phase and time of year for species etc.

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I have never dived Raja Ampat, although it's on my list of placces to go but, I have dived PNG a bit and you definitely need 10 to 14 days to really get a feel for the place.

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