Way deeper than the Dampier strait, Misool island sits on an oceanic plateau which stretches from the main island of Papua (geographically named New-Guinee). An average of a 30 meters depth separates the two islands. This underwater plateau gets deeper and deeper going South. In the South east of Misool island
, it ends up falling into the 1000 to 2000 meters depth of the Seram sea. Crossroad of some of the main oceanic currents, the island of Misool gets benefit of some super rich waters. Bringing nutrients to its inhabitants, it hosts some of the healthiest and productive reefs of the planet.
“Misool represents one of the most pristine reef systems left on earth.
One of only a handful of places in the universe where biodiversity is improving rather than declining.”
Marine biologist, coral reef ecologist, and Vice President of Conservation International’s Asia-Pacific marine programs
A Marine Protected Area
The South East of Misool island is a dream destination. Those 425 km2 of Marine Protected Area (M.P.A) have been delineated by the Misool Eco Resort, with the approval from the local local communities. You can get a better idea of the sustainability of their project through the Misoolfoundation website. Extended in 2010 (now 1220 km2), this place offers to divers a festival of huge sea fans, amazing colourful soft corals, and a massive amount of fishes. This pristine underwater wonderland is one of the richest ecosystems on Earth.
Scuba diving and snorkelling in Misool
Extremely high Biodiversity of Fish
On the top of having the richiests reef of the planet, you can find any king of reef fish in Misool. Often congregating in large school, every fish family is represented by many different species. Barracudas, trevallies, coral trouts and groupers, snappers, fusilier, wrasse, surgeon fish and sweetlips are hoovering above the reefs with Napoleon, turtles and reef sharks.
Silverside Bait balls and Squadron of Mobula rays
One unique phenomenon can be regularly observed in Misool. The sudden outbreak of silversides balls creates a true fish frenzy along its dive sites. Pelagic and reef predators are feeding on it, as well as squadrons of mobula rays.
Sharks, Rays and Sea mammals
Both species of manta rays are spotted in Misool. Whale sharks and Oceanic Sunfish have been spotted as well. Unusual shark species in Indonesia, like oceanic black tip sharks, have been reported. Wobbegong shark (even if a larger population lives in the Dampier Strait), and the endemic walking shark (Hemiscyllium henryi) are more commonly seen in its waters. Sea mammals are cruising the area also. Various species of Dolphin, whales, but even Orcas had been observed.
Macro fauna and Pygmy Seahorses
The macro fauna is as rich as the coral itself with a huge number of nudibranchs, crabs and schrimps. Pygmy sea horses are everywhere. Bargibanti, Denise in all shape and colours are living on the countless sea fans of Misool. The “Santa Claus” Denise pygmy sea horse, with its dazzling red colour and its white dots is the one you don’t want to miss.
Those Sample itineraries can be modified depending on the sea conditions, and the vessel needs. They have been written by Konjo Cruising Indonesia to give you an idea of distances and activities. In case of individual booking, they will be reajusted by the cruise director of your selected vessel. For special charter request, we personalise those itinerary to our clients wishes.
Reaching the jelly fish lake is not super easy, but rewarding. A steep and craggy, but quick, hike will be needed to access to the top of the sharped-rock submit. Going down to the lake also require the visitor’s full attention. This isolated ecosystem has a unique water composition, and provides a protected environment for those special species of jellyfish to emerge. The same biotope can be found in Palau, but also in many places in Indonesia.
Without any predators around, jellyfish evolves into a non-stinging organism. Living in a symbiotic relationship with algae, they are rising at the surface when the sun spread its rays into the plunging lake. For the best pleasure of the visitors they can swim in the middle of thousands of jellyfish.
Prehistoric rock paintings
Only reachable by tender, those dramatic cliffs are what make Misool scenery so special. Close from the main island, hidden in a cluster of sharped rocks, stand ancient rock painting. They have been dated a dozen thousand years old by scientists. Large pelagic and other sea mammals, as well as human hands, have been drawn in a red color on some limestone wall.
Stunning Limestone rocks and Secluded lagoon
From the main Island of Misool to the island of Daram, an extended cluster of island stretches from West to East. Tamulol, Farondi and Balbulol are the more impressive. Navigation around with a tender gives you largest scale of this amazing landscape. This natural backdrop of limestone rocks is due to the tectonic plaque movement. Lifted up above the sea level, that rock formation has been shaped into this dramatic scenery, through the action of time, and erosion. Numerousn caves can be found above and underwater. A couple of them can be visited with a dinghy, or a tank.
Ranger Stations and Villages
There is few ranger stations, and they can be visited if you wish. The ranger are always welcoming, and built their advanced post on beautiful beaches, which are not numerous in Misool. Having a walk around gives you the opportunity to strech your legs, and observe the numerous juvenile black-tip sharks swimming around. Some operators like to feed them to give their guests a bit of a show, some don’t like it for conservation reasons.
There is friendly villages around like Fafanlal, Yellu or Tomolol. As they are far from the divesites, its population is not that use to see visitors coming. Some visits can be organized.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it raining a lot in Misool?
With an equatorial climate, Misool get heavy rainfall regularly. Dark cloud, thunder and lightning can rumble above your head for a short moment of time. Depressions can arrive quickly from the Northwest, and leave as rapidly as they arrived. Somehow it can stay for a week, but it is not the common things. Visitors get a 30 degree plus temperature, and a 85% average humidity. There is no big difference between the rain and dry season.
Is there any current in Misool?
Tidal currents can be quite powerful especially the week after the new moon, and the full moon. Some quick entry can be needed on some of the dive sites, in order to be well positioned for the fish action. Depending of the topography some areas are less exposed than other. For insiders, nothing to compare to the fierce currents of Alor, or the Komodo National Park.
Is there a good visibility in Misool?
The visibility, as well as the whole Raja Ampat, is subject to plankton and drifting organism bloom. Another reason for you to wear a full length 3 mm wetsuit. An average of 20 to 30 meters can be expected by divers.
Due to the ending southern monsoon, some upwelling current can reduce the visibility everywhere in Misool during the month of September and October. You’ll find lots of fish action though, but an average of a 15 meters visibility. The area of Farondi and Balbulol, as well as Pele, is a bit more exposed to the Northwestern winds during the high season, and gets often a lower visibility. A general rule says that the visibility is always the best during the month of March-April, and generally better around the Fiabacet Area.
What is the water temperature in Misool?
An average of 28 degrees can be expected. In the month of September and October, the water temperature can drop a bit, but never lower than 26 degrees Celsius.