In the early years of this century a new name caused sensation in the world of marine biologist and divers: “Raja Ampat”! This remote area was newly discovered as the place with the richest variety of marine species in the world and with an ecosystem very well intact. An incredible 75% of all known coral species (537 species confirmed) appear to live in its seas. The amount of fish species count more than 1000. The density of marine life is as well amazing. The reefs of Raja Ampat are just as varied as the marine life. There are vertical walls, reef flats, slopes, sea mounts, mucky mangroves, lagoons and pinnacles.
Kalimantan is the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, the 3rd largest island in the world. The Indonesian part covers some 580.000 km2 the vast area is home to only 12 million people, so most of the provinces, especially the interior is very sparsely populated, and the vast rain forests here is some of the most bio-diverse areas in the world and one of the last few places you can see Orangutans in the wild.
The Borneo rainforest is 130 million years old, making it one of the oldest rainforests in the world and 70 million years older than the Amazon rainforest. Borneo is very rich in biodiversity compared to many other areas. There are about 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of mammals and 420 species of birds. It is also an important refuge for many endemic forest species, as the Asian Elephant, the Sumatran Rhinoceros, the Bornean Clouded Leopard, and the Dayak Fruit Bat.
Kalimantan has a tropical climate with the average temperature ranging between 23 and 31C.
The island has a high annual precipitation, around 3000 mm per year, with a light rainy season between March and May, and a more intense one between November and January.
Diving is concentrated around the Islands of Sangalaki, Kakaban and Maratua Atoll. These Islands are famous for Manta congregations at Sangalaki, the nearby Jellyfish Lake at Kakaban Island and at Maratua Atoll the dive site aptly named ‘Big Fish Country’ where huge schools of Barracuda hang out, as well as Trevally, Eagle Rays, Reef sharks and the occasional Hammerhead or Thresher Shark
Big Fish County is also known as ‘The Channel’ as it is located in the channel that connects Maratua’s lagoon to the outer reef. – See more at: Several island resorts are found along the East Kalimantan coast which make attractive dive destination. Among them are Nabucco and Maratua. The dive sites are famous for the large gatherings of manta rays and a jellyfish lake. But in the reefs in the Berau archipelago also live a lot of very interesting critters, beautiful nudibranchs, hidden crabs and shrimps and unusual fish such as ghostpipefishes, scorpionfishes and more.