FAQ

FAQ about Raja Ampat Dive Resort, Raja Ampat Liveaboard, Bira Dive Camp, Komodo Liveaboar. FAQ (Frequently asked questions) will help you if you have any question with us. If you not find the the question, please directly to contact us.


What is the best time of the year for diving?

Scuba Republic is open all year round. Diving and snorkeling conditions are good year round, with water temperatures constantly between 28°-30°C (82°-28°F) and visibility averaging 10-25m.

However, the time from September to May is less windy and from June to August the sea can be choppy for a few hours a day.

The climate of Papua has diffuse seasons with no particular dry or rainy season. It could rain any day. One of this lovely heavy tropical rain showers with warm water that usually last up to half an hour.

What kind of electricity supply do you have?

220V/50Hz with round two prong plug. An adapter should be brought with you since it is not possible to buy on the Island.

What valves do you have on your tanks?

We have tanks with either DIN or A-clamp (INT) valves.

What safety equipment you have on the dive boats?

First aid kit, an oxygen kit, tools, compass, 2 way radio and a chart plotter with GPS.

What can I do at the resort if I don’t dive?

There is fantastic snorkeling around our resort or by joining the dive-boat on the scheduled excursions, you might find there are beach/ island/ mangrove interludes in between diving and snorkelling activities.

Explore the beaches close by or join a birdwatching tour in the jungle, a treck through the jungle with a stop at the refreshing waterfall or take a Kayak and go exploring. In a nutshell: spectacular bays, beaches, coconut palms, dramatic cliffs, birds, amazing nature and flowers, hidden lakes, blue lagoons.

There are amazing photographic opportunities from several view points. Bird lovers will be in (bird) heaven with just the incredible early morning cacophony of bird sounds. You can find quiet spots to do some bird watching.

Hot and steamy jungle treks will reveal enormous ancient hard-wood trees, strange brightly colored wild mushrooms, thick bamboo forests reaching for the sky, mangroves with their bright red crabs, snails and mudskippers. Insect lovers will find a great variety of beautiful and strange critters if they care to take a closer look.

And of course, there is always the urge to relax … particularly on the inviting private patio of your bungalow, where you can read or relax in your hammock or just enjoy the balmy tropical island.

Is Nitrox available?

Unfortunately not yet.

Is there WiFi in the resort?

A WiFi connection is NOT available.

BUT you can buy an Indonesian SIM card in the resort that would provide 3G and then in combination with a hotspot you will be able to check your mails …

How much is the Marine Park permit fee?

As of 2007, it is mandatory for each visitor, divers or non-divers, to purchase a Marine Park tag, which is valid for a whole year. The cost is 1 000 000 Rupiah (approx. 70 € or $75 US) for foreign nationals. Children 12 years and younger are exempt from paying the fee. You could either buy them yourself in Sorong on your way to the ferry, or ask our friendly dive staff in assisting you to find the Marine Park office in Waisai.

What methods of payment can I use?

Your main invoice, deposit and balance are payable via Bank Transfer. Bank charges must be paid by the sender. Advise the bank to transfer the full amount, including transfer fees. Any outstanding balance will be added to the guest’s tab at the resort.

You may also pay via Paypal (PayPal processing – a PayPal account is not required). A 5% charge applies.

Any incidentals at the resort are payable in cash ONLY. We also accept cash in US$ (issued in 2009 or after) Euro/€ and IDR Rupiah.

What do I need to bring along?

Please keep in mind that we are in a VERY remote area.

  • Dive Certification card (mandatory for all divers).
  • Dive insurance (mandatory for all divers). Annual dive insurance policies can be purchased before your arrival. We recommend you consider the Dive Master Insurance, as they are specialists in Diver safety and only cost $5 US per day.
  • Insect repellent & light coloured clothes.
  • Good walking shoes & binoculars (especially if you want to join the Birds of paradise trecks)
  • A warm pullover or jacket. Evenings can occasionally be brisk, and the domestic flights are often freezing and do not provide blankets in the plane.
  • 1 passport photo and 1 copy of your passport for your travel permit which we will arrange for you (see above).
  • Passport valid for 6 months from the time of entry into Indonesia. Nationals of most countries will be granted a free 30-day Visa on Arrival. We recommend you check with the Indonesian Embassy in your home country to confirm.
  • One complete empty page in your passport in which to put the Visa on Arrival sticker
  • Sometimes travellers are asked by Indonesian Immigration officials to show a copy of their airline ticket out of Indonesia within the 30-day period. Happens rarely but is possible.
  • Hat, sunglasses, sun block, insect repellent, extra batteries, a towel and tampons! You can’t find them in Sorong. Our dress code is extremely casual.
  • It is recommended that all travellers bring their own set of medicine (ibuprofen, cortisone, antihistamine, fever, cold, diarrhea, etc) as it is really difficult to get here. You should include antibiotic ointment and band aids to treat all skin irritations as soon as possible to prevent infections.

What is the time difference in Indonesia/Raja Ampat?

Indonesia has three Time Zones :

Central Indonesian Time: GMT +8 (Manado / Makassar)

Western Indonesian Time: GMT +7 (Jakarta)

Eastern Indonesian Time: GMT +9 (Raja Ampat)

Please beware of those when taking domestic flights.

What’s NOT included in the packages you offer?

  • Speedboat transfer from Sorong to Waigeo island. The cost is 220,000 IDR per trip.
  • Dive equipment rental. To avoid disappointment, please advise us when booking if you require any rentals.
  • Each guest (whether diving or not) must purchase a Raja Ampat Marine Park Entry permit. This is available for 1,000,000 IDR ($75 US), or 500,000 IDR for Indonesian nationals. The tag is valid for one full year.
  • All other excursions, like kayaking tours, private beach picnics, bird watching, jungle tracks etc.
  • Laundry (not included but available at a reasonable rate in the resort)
  • Your stay in Sorong or anything associated with that stay in Sorong
  • Soft drinks and beer
  • Private dive guides
  • Long distance specialty dive trips
  • Internet Wi-Fi
  • Gratuities

What should I NOT bring with me?

Please plan carefully to minimise your rubbish. Whenever possible, choose rechargeable batteries and avoid bringing things like disposable razors, excessive plastic bags, plastic water bottles, etc. Any non-biodegradable and non-recyclable rubbish will have to be returned to Sorong. We are operating in a pristine environment, and we’d like to keep it that way.

Dive gloves are not permitted on our dives

Fishing/spearfishing equipment. All fishing is strictly forbidden.

What sort of food can I expect at the resort?

Meals are served at our sea view Restaurant. We offer a tasty, nutritious, and whenever possible, organic menu with an emphasis on fresh local food.

Breakfast will be served before the dive trip. Lunch is provided by our kitchen and usually between the second and third dive on the boat. Afternoon teatime features homemade treats and snacks. Dinner service is plated, so your meal is always prepared fresh even if you’re planning a night dive.

What if I get sick or hurt while I’m there?

As mentioned, we are in a very remote location and a long way from the nearest doctor, hospital, or decompression chamber. Your health and safety are of paramount importance to us, so we advise all guests to take utmost care.

All of our dive staff are certified Emergency First Aid Responders and Oxygen is available. In the event of a general medical emergency, you will be evacuated to the nearest hospital, which is in Sorong. In the event of a diving emergency, your diving insurance provider will advise us on the appropriate course of action. Therefor it is mandatory to have a dive insurance that covers emergency evacuation and decompression chamber treatment if you plan on diving with us. We recommend Dive Master, a UK based company who specializes in this sort of thing. We also STRONGLY recommend health and travel insurance.

Should I take precautions against malaria?

We recommend that you always sleep under a mosquito net, wear light-colored clothing, cover up during evening and early morning hours, and use an insect repellent between dusk and dawn.

In which Hotels can I stay in Sorong on my way out?

That depends a bit on your budget. The Belagri Hotel, Royal Mamberamo Hotel and Swiss Belhotel are slightly upmarket.

A cheaper alternative is the Lovensia Hotel.

How do I get to Sorong?

The easiest way to get to Sorong is to fly via Jakarta or Singapore. Domestic travellers can also fly via Makassar or Manado.

From Jakarta: Garuda Indonesia, Express Air, Sriwijaya Air and Lion/Wings operate daily flights from Jakarta to Sorong (with stopovers in Makassar or Manado)

From Singapore: Silkair operates regular flights from Singapore to Manado. From Manado to Sorong regular flights are offered by Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air and Express Air. Please note the flight times are subject to change without prior notification.

Trying to book through most local airline websites from overseas can be difficult because they only accept Indonesian credit/debit cards. Therefor we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance and using a booking agent. However, Garuda Indonesia offers online sales through their website and accepts International credit cards.

Ferry Schedules:

  • Sunday – Saturday : Sorong to Waisai (9.00 AM – 11.00 AM)
  • Sunday – Saturday : Sorong to Waisai (2.00 PM – 4.00 PM)
  • Sunday – Saturday : Waisai to Sorong (9.00 AM – 11.00 AM)
  • Sunday – Saturday : Waisai to Sorong (2.00 PM – 4.00 PM)

What are the baggage limitations?

Some international carriers provide baggage allowances for Scuba equipment, however domestic airlines do not provide a dive gear allowance.

The exception is Garuda Indonesia. They are a member of the Sky Team alliance, such as Air France, Alitalia, Air Europa, Delta, KLM and Korean Air. If you arrive with any of those carries, you may be able to check your baggage all the way through to Sorong. In this case, Garuda currently allows 32kg for domestic flights as well.

  • Garuda: 20 kg
  • Lion Air / Wings: 15 kg
  • Sriwijaya and Express Air: 20 kg

Any excess luggage has to be paid in Indonesian Rupiah at the airport on check-in. Rates for excess baggage are subject to change without notice and vary depend on the airline, aircraft type and location.

Where is Komodo?
Komodo National Park consist of 3 major islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar. Komodo National Park is in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, and is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores at the border of the Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTP) provinces. The total size of Komodo National Park is presently 1,817 km2 from where 603 km2 of land.

How do I get to Komodo?
Epica Liveaboard is a 7day/8night return adventure trip from Gili Trawangan, Lombok spending 3 full days in the Komodo region. We can also arrange pick ups from other Gilis or Lombok. Getting to Gili Trawangan is easy with a fast boat service from Bali (Ngurah Rai International Airport) or from Lombok (Lombok International Airport).
Current Junkies Liveaboard operates from Labuan Bajo, Flores. Labuan Bajo has a domestic airport with several connections to multiple destinations around Indonesia. Regular local ferry is also available departing from Benoa Harbour (Bali) to Labuan Bajo. Alternatively, you can come through land transportation from island to island. From Bali you would have to cross through 2 islands, namely Lombok and Sumbawa.
Scuba Republic team is also happy to recommend airlines, fast boat companies, other activities and accommodation before and after your trip.

What does Scuba Republic offer in Komodo?
At the moment Scuba Republic has 2 Liveaboards operating in the Komodo region offering world class diving to suit all different levels from beginner to advanced.

What can I expect to see there?
Komodo National Park boasts over 1000 different species of fish, 260 different types of reef building coral and 60 different types of soft coral.
For example
Mantas
Pelagics such as large Dog Tooth Tuna, GT’s, Bluefin Trevally, Spanish Mackerel and Eagle rays
Beautiful Reef Fish
Hairy Frogfish, Mimic/wunderpus, Dragonets, Nudi’s

What is included in Scuba Republic Liveaboards?
Professional, informative and friendly crew guiding and taking care of you
3 meals a day with snacks, coffee, tea and drinking water

What is not included?
Transport to join the vessel
Dive Equipment, rental is USD20 per day
National Park Fee

Can I see Komodo Dragons?
Epica Liveaboard visits the Komodo Dragons on the Rinca Island.

What is the weather like?
The climate here is tropical, averaging 25C to 30C. Water temperatures range from 25-29C in the North and 22-28C in the South and can change rapidly due to tidal movements and currents.
The region has a dry and wet season that alternates each year. Generally, the wet season is from November to March and the dry season from April to October. Heaviest rainfalls are usually recorded in December, January and into February, with high humidity conditions. Even in the height of the rainy season, the rain rarely falls all day

What is the best time of the year for diving?
Bira Dive Camp is open all year round. Diving and snorkeling conditions are good year round, with water temperatures constantly between 28°-30°C (82°-28°F). Visibility is always good sometimes even 50m+.
Bira is most famous for its great variety of sharks and other pelagic which visit throughout June – November.
September in Bira is on average the month with most sunshine. The wet season has a rainfall peak around January and the dry season is around the month of September

What kind of electricity supply do you have?
220V/50Hz with round two prong plug. An adapter should be brought with you since it is not possible to buy on the Island.

What valves do you have on your tanks?
We have tanks with A-clamp (INT) valves.

What can I do at the resort if I don’t dive?
There is fantastic snorkeling around our resort you may also join the diving excursions.
Bira is well known for its traditional boat building by the Bugis people. And it’s very interesting to see and learn about the centuries old handicraft skills.
Or why not just take it easy. Bira is situated “off the beaten track” with not many tourists with pristine white sand beaches so relax in a hammock and let the gentle sea breeze sing its lullaby.

Is there WiFi in the resort?
A WiFi connection is NOT available.
BUT you can buy an Indonesian SIM card when you get here if you don’t already have one. SIM Cards are fairly cheap and so are packages (available daily, weekly and monthly) including internet. Signal is good with TSEL.

What methods of payment can I use?
We don’t take any deposit or down payment to secure your booking. Full payment is due at the camp in CASH only IDR (Indonesian rupiah). ATM (BNI and BRI) are found in the harbor which is either 10min drive or 45min walk away. BNI and BRI take most credit and debit cards with VISA but it’s good to do a withdrawal before coming to Bira to be sure the ATM’s except your card. There is no money exchange facilities so make sure to change your money before or latest in Makassar if needed.

What do I need to bring along?
Please keep in mind that we are in a remote area. There is local shops and Indomart where is possible to do basic shopping

  • Dive Certification card (mandatory for all divers).
  • Dive insurance (mandatory for all divers). Annual dive insurance policies can be purchased before your arrival. We recommend you consider the Dive Master Insurance, as they are specialists in Diver safety and only cost $5 US per day.
  • Insect repellent & light coloured clothes.
  • A warm pullover or jacket. Evenings can occasionally be brisk, and the domestic flights are often freezing and do not provide blankets in the plane.
  • Passport valid for 6 months from the time of entry into Indonesia. Nationals of most countries will be granted a free 30-day Visa on Arrival. We recommend you check with the Indonesian Embassy in your home country to confirm.
  • Sometimes travellers are asked by Indonesian Immigration officials to show a copy of their airline ticket out of Indonesia within the 30-day period. Happens rarely but is possible.
  • Essentials such as hat, sunglasses, sun block, insect repellent, extra batteries, a towel and tampons! You can’t find them in Bira. Our dress code is extremely casual.

What is the time difference in Indonesia/Bira?
Indonesia has three Time Zones :
Central Indonesian Time: GMT +8 (Manado / Makassar / Bira)
Western Indonesian Time: GMT +7 (Jakarta)
Eastern Indonesian Time: GMT +9 (Raja Ampat)
Please beware of those when taking domestic flights.

What’s NOT included in the packages you offer?

  • Evening meals, only breakfast and lunch.
  • Transfer from Makassar to Bira. There is no local airport in Bira so all flights arrive in Makassar.
  • Dive equipment rental. To avoid disappointment, please advise us when booking if you require any rentals.
  • All other excursions
  • Laundry (not included but available at a reasonable rate in the dive camp)
  • Soft drinks and beer
  • Private dive guides
  • Long distance specialty dive trips
  • Internet Wi-Fi
  • Gratuities

What sort of food can I expect at the resort?
Meals are served at our onsite restaurant. We offer a tasty, nutritious, and whenever possible, organic menu with an emphasis on fresh local food.
What if I get sick or hurt while I’m there?
We are “off the beaten track” and so closest medical assistance is around half an hour away. Your health and safety are very important to us and so we advise all guests to take utmost care.
All of our dive staff are certified Emergency First Aid Responders and Oxygen is available. In the event of a general medical emergency, you will be evacuated to the nearest hospital. In the event of a diving emergency, your diving insurance provider will advise us on the appropriate course of action. Therefor it is mandatory to have a dive insurance that covers emergency evacuation and decompression chamber treatment if you plan on diving with us. We recommend Dive Master, a UK based company who specializes in this sort of thing. We also STRONGLY recommend health and travel insurance.

Should I take precautions against malaria?
We recommend that you always sleep under a mosquito net, wear light-colored clothing, cover up during evening and early morning hours, and use an insect repellent between dusk and dawn.

How do I get to Bira?
The easiest way to get to Bira is via Makassar.  Makassar is the third largest city in Indonesia and several domestic and international airlines fly there.
We can arrange an airport pick up. Price for the journey is 700.000IDR per car (up to 4 people) and takes about 5 hours. Fuel and fees are included in the price. Or you may take a taxi but be sure to negotiate the price carefully before starting the journey.
There is bus from Mellengkeri Bus Terminal in Makassar, price around 70.000 IDR. Public Transport departures are from 7am until 6pm.
Alternative way to reach us is by a direct ferry to Bira from Flores, Labuan Bajo. The ferry leaves once a week and takes around 24 hours. Labuan Bajo to Bira Tuesday 2pm. Bira to Labuan Bajo Sunday midnight. One way is 125.000 IDR. There is sometimes cabin available (ask for it once on the ferry) for a small “fee”.