Aerial photos from Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat, located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia’s West Papua province, is known for its biodiversity-rich marine environments. The archipelago consists of over 1,500 small islands and islets, and its waters are home to a significant number of coral and fish species. Despite its remote location, Raja Ampat attracts researchers and diving enthusiasts who are drawn to its extensive coral reefs and vibrant underwater life. The area is also important for its cultural heritage, with local communities closely tied to the sea.

In February 2023 and January 2024 I spent time in Raja Ampat, diving and snorkeling, visiting communities and conservation projects, and hiking in the forest. On the second trip, I was accompanied by several members of the Mongabay and Mongabay-Indonesia teams, as well as a film production team from an Indonesian NGO.

Here are some of the drone photos from the trip: Raja Ampat gallery.

I plan to add more photos from the ground and underwater at some point in the future.

And a few highlights:

During my trips, I visited Batanta, Waigeo, and Kri islands.

Two particular highlights from a drone perspective were Kali Biru and Wallace’s Passage.

By Rhett Ayers Butler

Rhett Ayers Butler is the Founder and CEO of Mongabay, a non-profit conservation and environmental science news platform. He started Mongabay in 1999 with the mission of raising interest in and appreciation of wild lands and wildlife.