Project - Frequently Asked Questions

Q? How do I get to the project site in Raja Ampat


The best way to get to Raja Ampat is from Jakarta the capital of Indonesia. Once you have taken your international flight to Jakarta, you will need to take an internal domestic flight to Sorong on West Papua. This is the closest airport to Raja Ampat and operators that fly there are: Lion Air , Sriwijaya Air, Garuda Air and  Express Air. (all have stopovers in either Makassar, Ambon or Manado, except Express Air which is direct flight)

Volunteers MUST be in Sorong of the morning of there expedition start date, though we recommend you arrive the day before. The meeting point on the start date of your expedition is the Meridien Hotel opposite the airport. The ferry to Waisai the capital of Raja Ampat leaves Sorong at 9am . A Barefoot staff member or representative will collect you at 8am from the lobby of the Meridien hotel and take you to the ferry, with takes approx 2 hours to get to Waisai. Our boat will meet you on arrival in Waisai and take you on the final 40-60 minute boat ride to your home for the duration of your expedition.

Barefoot Conservation can help you with all internal flight bookings, and advise on international flights. Please do not hesitate to contact us when booking both international and domestic flights.

Q? Do I need a visa to enter Indonesia


Yes. Most nationalities will need a Visa when entering Indonesia. Please note in most cases a Visa On Arrival (VOA) can be obtained at the airport for US$35 (approximately £25, $50 AUD) or can be purchased in your home country before departure. The VOA is for a total duration of 30 days only and can only be extended once in country, for another 30 days (approximate cost US$60 or £40).  If you are joining an expedition for more than 30 days we recommend you purchase a 60 day tourist visa or 60 day social visa from the Indonesian embassy in your country. Please contact one of our helpful trip advisers before applying for this visa, as we can provide you with all necessary forms and information to process the application. 

*Please note there is now a FREE 30 day visa on arrival option for most countries. This visa however can NOT be extended when in Indonesia. Please check you local Indonesian embassy to see if your country is on the list.

Q? What kind of insurance do I need


You will need both scuba diving and travel insurance that covers you for the duration of your expedition and for scuba diving up to 30 meters. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ADEQUATE SCUBA DIVING INSURANCE YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE EXPEDITION. 

We strongly recommend you use Divers Alert Network (DAN) for your insurance as they are by far the best and most reasonably priced. Please visit for further details.

Q? Do I need any vaccinations


It is important that you consult with your local physician 4-8 weeks before joining the expedition. This is so you can get up to date information on vaccinations and general health concerns when travelling to East Indonesia. In general you will need to make sure the following vaccinations are up to date: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Polio, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies and Tetanus-Diphtheria.

While the site does not generally have a major issue with mosquito's (due to the beach front location and cool breeze), we still recommend you take precautions against Malaria. However we do not recommend you take Lariam (mefloquine) tablets as these can have side effects that could be mistaken for Decompression Sickness.

In all cases please consult your local physician for up to date medication advice. 

Q? What is the weather like in Raja Ampat


The temperature is around 27-30°C all year round. Generally the coastal regions are hot and muggy, but the project site has a nice cool breeze on one side and is protected on the other. The most rain falls between May and September, however most spells are short and never for more than a few days at a time.

Q? Can I be contacted whilst in Raja Ampat


One of the beauties of Raja Ampat and our project site is the remoteness and the feeling of getting away from it all. However there is one local mobile phone operator that does have coverage in the region. At present only Telkomsel has reception in our area, so if you really do want to be contacted it is possible to purchase Telkomsel SIM cards and use them in your mobile phones while on site.

There is limited 2G internet access at the basecamp via smart phones. Volunteers have been able to access emails, Skype, Whatsapp, BBM, and even book flights and do online banking, through their smart phones and Waisai now has 3G. Please remember how remote the island is, and that patience is needed when trying to get online.

At the Expedition Leaders discretion it is possible to go to the capital to use the internet on Wednesdays when we are collecting volunteers or supplies.

No mobile phones are permitted during Scuba/Science lectures or while attending any community projects.

Q? Whats does the science training involve


The science team at Barefoot Conservation has put together a detailed science program for you to undertake. You will learn key fish families/species, corals, invertebrate and plant life. Our science team will teach you how to identify these, first through classroom presentations and then through in-water spot dives. Following these presentations/dives there will be tests (both classroom and in-water) on each of the above sections. 

You will also learn all about Manta Rays and how to monitor them, thanks to the Aquatic Alliance our new partner in our Manta Ray Research Programme.

There will also be advanced science presentations on various subjects for those who wish to attend.

Q? What tests will I have to take


We make your safety our top priority, so for these reasons you will need to pass the scuba diving tests for PADI Open Water and Advance Open Water before we let you go on survey dives.

It is also very important that the data you collect from these survey dives is accurate. This data will be used to show the health of the reef to local government, project partners and the local community. It will also be used to suggest best practices for the community and government, to maintain a healthy coral reef and ecosystem for the future. Therefore you must also pass the relevant science tests to ensure you have the knowledge and skills to collect accurate data.

There will be in-water tests as well as class room ones, on identifying fish families/species, Corals, Inverts and Plant Life. 

Q? What community work will I do


At Barefoot Conservation we put a lot of focus on working with the community and making them a big part of our work; after all we are only visitors in their home.

Our Community Manager, together with the Community Officer, will work with the local government and community to discuss, create and manage suitable community projects. These are projects where all parties feel your help and money is needed the most. These projects could range from providing clean water, renewable energy, waste management, English lessons and providing medical healthcare/treatments. 

You will be involved in providing education to all local communities, about the importance of sustainable non-destructive fishing techniques.

Other major projects you will be involved in are, encouraging entrepreneurship and educating/preparing the communities for ecotourism and globalisation.

Q? Can I leave the project site, or leave early


Due to safety and logistical reasons it is not possible for you to come and go from the site when you please. However, there may be opportunity to go to the capital Waisai on Wednesdays (45 minutes by boat) should a member of staff need to go there. We understand that, when on a remote expedition some mild cabin fever can set in. So, when possible, the expedition staff will try to arrange trips to the capital or off site to other locations.

If you decide you no longer wish to stay on the project and leave early, please refer to our cancellation policy in our terms and conditions, using this link, for more information on this. 



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  • Barefoot Conservation will offer me the opportunity to dive some of the most pristine waters in the world, whilst contributing to the marine environment's conservation...bring on my expedition!! 

    Dave Hope-Thomson MSc
  • Barefoot Conservation is leading conservation efforts in one of the Earth's last pristine marine environments, by working not only to assess biodiversity value of the ecosystems but also working with local communities to raise awareness and capacities to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources into the future.  

    Joel Scriven PhD