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Beginner Divers at Raja Ampat

Scuba diving in Kri island Raja Ampat
Soul Scuba Divers at Raja Ampat @Yann Hartz

Am I ready to dive in Raja Ampat?

Raja Ampat is often considered the holy grail for scuba dive enthusiasts. Home to 75% of the world's coral species and about 2,500 fish species, it’s no surprise so many want to visit.

But when should you consider visiting? Can you dive here after just passing your open water course? What other things should you weigh up when deciding on a trip to Raja Ampat? We’ll help you make a decision with our advice below!

Can I dive Raja Ampat immediately after passing my open water course?

The short answer is yes, you can. At Soul Scuba Divers we teach plenty of people to dive for the very first time and pass many open water divers every single year. But if you want our totally honest advice as experts, just because you can dive here with little to no experience, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Consider the other factors below.

These factors aren’t the rules and requirements of the marine park itself, but rather our own best advice if you’d like to enjoy Raja Ampat properly.

Consider getting a minimum number of dives under your belt

If we’re being honest, we’d advise that you have a minimum of at least 30 dives under your belt. With each dive, you build up vital experience and practice which helps you to fine tune your skills and become an even better diver. After doing a certain amount of dives, you’ll find that the process is becoming second nature – a bit like driving a car. 

This means that when it comes to your dream holiday in Raja Ampat, you’ll spend less time worrying and focusing on diving and more time enjoying it. In short, the more dives you can do before you visit Raja Ampat the better! 

Become a certified advanced diver

For the same reasons we advise getting a minimum number of dives under your belt, we also reckon it’s a great idea to do your advanced diver qualifications before visiting Raja Ampat. This helps you to hone in on several different skills that are vital to master if you’re hoping to dive in this part of the world. Particularly important is your ability to:

  • Be comfortable with currents. There are all kinds of currents out here in Raja Ampat. To really enjoy your time here and see some of the best sites, you need to be comfortable with strong currents, including knowing how to use a reef hook safely.

  • Control your buoyancy. Having full control of your buoyancy at all times is vitally important for a safe, enjoyable dive. Additionally, if you can’t control your buoyancy, there’s a high chance you could accidentally damage some of the pristine corals we have out here in Raja Ampat

  • Manage your air consumption. Everyone breathes at a different rate, but there are certain techniques to help with slowing air consumption. When you’re exploring some of the greatest dive sites on earth, you want to make that tank last as long as you can! Additionally, you don’t want to have to cut a dive short because it’s not just you who’s impacted but the others in your group, too.

With all of this mastered, you’re going to be a much more confident and comfortable diver, which sets you up for a really memorable Raja Ampat adventure! We do a large variaty of dive specialities such as Deep, Drift, and Perfect Buoyancy course, See more options from here

Why does this all matter?

Pristine Coral Garden In Raja Ampat
Coral garden in Raja Ampat @Ben Verdeille

So, why do these things matter? Ultimately, if you’re coming to Raja Ampat for a diving trip then you want it to be the best possible experience, right? Ensuring you tick all of these boxes helps ensure that’s the case. It’ll make you a safer diver, which is always a good thing. Additionally, it will help to protect the pristine coral reefs all around Raja Ampat. Safe and experienced divers tend not to cause so much destruction and damage when passing through the dive sites!

And of course, it’s going to be more enjoyable for everyone else. If you end everyone’s dive through unsafe behavior and inexperience, you may not be the most popular one in the group…

When would be the best time to visit Raja Ampat as a beginner level diver?

Currents get greater on the full moon and new moon period. If you are a beginner try to plan your dives between the moons to get more comfortable while learning to dive with stronger currents. Read more about the moon cycles and check the moon calendar from our previous blog post here.

Practice, practice, practice and see you soon!

Writer Josh Edwards


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