Misool Eco Resort
On Raja Ampat, this is an intimate tropical hideaway, built on a private island in an archipelago of uninhabited islands. It is 100 miles (165 km) away from the nearest port, blissfully secluded and largely separate from the modern world. No light pollution, no noise pollution, no mobile phone signal… in fact there is very little to distract you from the surrounding natural beauty.
The resort island is leased from the local community, along with surrounding reefs. This No-Take Zone, which is nearly twice the size of Singapore, is patrolled by rangers. All the dive sites are inside this area, which means the reefs are phenomenal: gorgeous corals, massive sea fans, patrolling reef sharks, pygmy seahorses, schooling tuna, giant manta rays, and more.
All the facilities are built of reclaimed tropical hardwoods – no trees were cut down to build the resort. The main resort area is inside a horseshoe-shaped lagoon. There are eight Water Cottages built on stilts over the water, each with a hammock integrated into the veranda and steps leading down into the sea. There are also several DeLuxe Villas if you prefer a more exclusive experience.
The dive center is well fitted out and the restaurant is tucked under the palm trees on the lagoon’s beach, offering a tasty combination of Asian and Western fare. There are four dedicated dive boats as well as a snorkeling boat and kayaks.
Your stay at Misool Eco Resort directly supports their conservation initiatives, their No-Take Marine Zone, as well as the local community. They employ over 120 staff, most of whom come from the nearby villages of Misool. They offer sustainable employment opportunities, entirely decoupled from the extraction of marine resources. Their charitable foundation, Misool Baseftin, maintains a broad approach to conservation, combining environmental, social, and educational elements. One of Misool Baseftin’s main projects is operating the Ranger Patrol and protecting Misool Eco Resort’s No-Take Zone.
Our 828 sq km No-Take Zone is patrolled by a team of 10 local rangers. Using 2 dedicated boats, the rangers enforce the regulations of the area, which include a complete ban on fishing, netting, shark finning, harvesting of turtles or their eggs, bombing, use of cyanide or potassium borate, etc. Thanks to diligent and relentless patrolling, the incidence of infractions is now extremely low.
Kindergarten Project and Fafanlap
In late 2010 the No-Take Zone was expanded to encompass the Daram Islands to the east. As part of the lease agreement with the local community they agreed to build a kindergarten in their village of Fafanlap. The kindergarten is now functional.
Manta Researcher for a Day Program
You can participate in Manta Researcher for a Day Program program, which includes a master class on manta morphology and behavior, a data collection dive, and an evening debrief to ID individual mantas.
Raja Ampat Shark and Manta Sanctuary
In October 2010, they presented the Raja Ampat government with a petition signed by over 8,500 people, encouraging them to protect sharks and manta rays. Together with Shark Savers, they were able to persuade the head of Raja Ampat to establish a sanctuary for the entire 17,000 sq mi/46 million hectares of Raja Ampat. They are currently collaborating with international NGOs and the government to create enforcement strategies as well as to move the law up through the different levels of legislation.
Reef Restoration Project
They have investigated several different methods for restoring reefs which have been damaged. Their first attempt was in 2007, when their staff created an armature using old bits of iron rebar. They invited three generations of underwater-enthusiasts from the local village to help them install the structure. Several years on, the structure is covered in soft corals as well as hard corals.
Reef Restoration Experience
The Dive Centre also runs a ‘Reef Restoration Experience’ for guests. You can enjoy an in-depth presentation about reef building corals, which is followed by a dive on a nearby patch of damaged reef. Together with the guides and sometimes joined by our rangers, you collect small bits of naturally disturbed hard corals and affix them to a stable substrate. It is especially gratifying for repeat clients – how rewarding to check in on how your handiwork has grown between visits!
Ranger Station Project
They are currently building a series of Ranger Stations in strategic areas of our No-Take Marine Zone. These outposts allow the Rangers to camp in areas particularly vulnerable to exploitation, such as turtle nesting beaches and shark nurseries. The base stations also greatly reduce fuel expenditure.
Dive Guide Training Program: The hope is that one day, all dive guides will be drawn from the local community. They have created a training program, offering Open Water diving certificates to interested staff from all departments. From those certified divers, quite a few have shown particular interest and enthusiasm. They have now moved full-time into our Dive Guide Training Program.
School Library Project
They currently support libraries in the local schools. The head of the Ranger Patrol had a great idea to create a mobile library, bringing books from village to village. This program was so popular that ultimately they established permanent libraries in 2 different schools. They have donated furnishings like book shelves, colorful beanbag chairs, wall-sized maps, and of course books to the libraries. They also ask guests to consider bringing a few easy-to-read English language books.
School Teacher Sponsorship
The local villages lack the resources to pay the wages of school teachers. They currently pay for the monthly wages of six teachers in three villages.
Located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia’s West Papua province, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau.
Ways you can help in Raja Ampat
After getting instruction about how to build coral reefs, you go on a dive to a nearby patch of damaged reef. Together with your guides you collect small bits of naturally disturbed hard corals and affix them to a stable substrate. This is especially gratifying for repeat clients – how rewarding to check in on how your handiwork has grown between visits!