• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Raja vs Komodo snorkeling

Discussion in 'Snorkeling / Freediving' started by kromak, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. kromak

    kromak Garibaldi

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Copenhagen
    2
    0
    1
    Hello everyone, just signed up to scubaboard! I am rather into snorkeling checking some cool sites in East Africa before 2016 bleachings. Recently I had an idea of doing Padi OWD so I can dive in beautiful corals around Indonesia, but reading about strong currents in both Komodo and Raja I freaked out and dont want to take even the slightest risks.

    Sticking with snorekling, I am torn between visiting Raja Ampat in December or Komodo in second part of November. I would love to see places that are not affected by bleaching with beautiful corals for the last time. Is Melissa Garden or Batu Rufus in Raja great as I have heard or is there anything elswhere comparable?

    Do you have any opinion on Komodo vs Raja for snorekling experience?
     
  2. stepfen

    stepfen Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greece
    476
    253
    63
    Welcome to SB and to the underwater world.

    I've been only to Raja Ampat so can't comment about Komodo at all.

    My suggestion is this:
    - Try to get OW (and if possible AOW) in your home country or somewhere with easier/cheaper access than SE Asia. For example if you are indeed from Denmark a week long vacation somewhere in the Mediterranean (I'm from Chania/Crete BTW ideal place for something like this) would do. In addition to this, try to get as many more dives as you can (local or in another easily accessible location). The more the better but we are not talking here about 1000s of dives.
    - Raja Ampat has indeed some demanding dive sites. I hear that Komodo has more (in number) demanding dive sites. Nevertheless there are also a lot of sites that are appropriate for beginners. Same is true BTW for snorkeling! In any way how demanding is a dive depends a lot on timing/tides.
    - Experienced divers tend to go for LiveOnBoards and hence there might be less space for beginners there. Land based operators usually are much more welcoming to beginners as you can adjust the dive schedule to your needs.

    My point is that if you feel comfortable underwater after your OW certification, I think with even say 10 dives experience a visit to Raja Ampat would worth it. Obviously the more experience you have the better it will be, but I have seen beginners enjoying it there.

    As for snorkeling most of land based operators and accommodation in the area have nice (to very nice) house reefs just in front of them. Going to places like Melissa's garden can be quite difficult. Yes the place is very nice but going all this way just for snorkeling? Better follow my advice above and dive it. Unless of course there are important reasons (eg medical) that you cannot dive at all in which case snorkeling might indeed be your only choice.

    Some secondary but very important considerations:
    - You have to know that there is a very dangerous bug in Indonesia. Once you go there you might get bitten. Its' venom is very addictive! So addictive that even during your departure or your flight back home you will be thinking/planning/dreaming your next visit to the area.
    - Another thing. R4 and Komodo have some of the best diving in the world. If you do them first, you might loose interest to other nice (but not as nice) diving destinations
    You've been warned :)
    All the best!
     
    RABernsRogers likes this.
  3. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,892
    2,205
    113
    Melissa’s Garden is amazing in Raja Ampat. Sawandarek Jetty is also very good. Sometimes, Arborek can sometimes be good but I mostly found it good but overrated. I liked Sawandarek lighting, coral, and life to be better. I’ve been to Raja 2X in 18 months and Komodo once.

    Overall, I find Komodo better for a snorkeler. There are more beaches for you to hang out in between snorkeling and there are more places to swim in the water that are more reminiscent of a tropical location vs Raja. The sites are also more protected and doesn’t have you dropping at a seamount or in more open water, also a safety thing. Additionally, there were more opportunities (places) that posed itself for good snorkeling than Raja Ampat. A nice bonus is that Labuan Bajo (Komodo) is easier to get to as well and there’s more to do in that area in general.

    November might pose a better time water and weather wise for Raja so do ask the op you are looking at for Komodo what their plans are as it is getting into low season there.
     
    nudiibranch and RABernsRogers like this.
  4. kromak

    kromak Garibaldi

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Copenhagen
    2
    0
    1
    Thank you for your insights :) Sure OW certification was something I wanted to do before the travel, but considering the amount of experience required vs the time constrains before the travel I dont think I would be confident enough.

    Indonesian trip was tailored with honeymoon in mind (Bali + Raja/Komodo). Me and my wife are planning a baby soon, so Im not sure how soon I would be back to exotic sites for more diving then. Considering the budget I would definitely choose land based option in Raja Ampat, while Komodo offers some budget and reputable liveaboard tailored for snorkeling.
     
  5. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,892
    2,205
    113
    Given this information about the baby and not knowing when you would be able to return, if it were me, I would try even harder to get certified and accumulate as many dives as I can between now and then. It is worth it, and who knows, when you have the chance to return, I'd like to think Raja is still the same but you never know.
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  6. CJS

    CJS Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney
    112
    36
    28
    I don't know what your budget is, but we were at Misool Resort in November last year and met guests who had been multiple times for snorkelling. These were people who had travelled all over the world. They just loved the snorkelling in RA. Misool runs boats just for the snorkellers. I'm a diver and my only snorkelling that trip was a short time in the resort lagoon, but even there i saw turtles and sharks. Not a cheap trip though.
     
    nudiibranch likes this.
  7. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    6,385
    1,646
    113

Share This Page