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Waigeo is located in Maluku
Coordinates0°12′S 130°50′E / 0.200°S 130.833°E / -0.200; 130.833Coordinates: 0°12′S 130°50′E / 0.200°S 130.833°E / -0.200; 130.833
ArchipelagoRaja Ampat Islands
Area3,155 km2 (1,218 sq mi)
Highest elevation958 m (3143 ft)
Highest pointBuffalo Horn
Province West Papua
People in Waigeo

Waigeo is an island in West Papua province of eastern Indonesia. The island is also known as Amberi, or Waigiu. It is the largest of the four main islands in the Raja Ampat Islands archipelago, between Halmahera and about 65 kilometres (40 miles) to the north-west coast of New Guinea. The Dampier Strait (a.k.a. Augusta's Strait) separates it from Batanta, and the Bougainville Strait from the Kawe Islands to its north-west. The "inner sea" that nearly cleaves the island in two is the Majoli Gulf.[1]

The area of the island is 3,155 square kilometres (1,218 square miles); the highest elevations are 958-metre-high (3,143-foot) Buffalo Horn (Gunung Nok) and 939-metre-high (3,081-foot) Serodjil.[2] From west to east the island measures approximately 110 km, north-south about 50 kilometres (31 miles).

The town of Waisai in the east of the island is the capital of the Raja Ampat Regency.


Jorge de Menezes, a Portuguese explorer, landed on Waigeo Island in 1526-27.

Alfred Russel Wallace spent some time on the island and studied the flora and fauna during the late 1850s while on his scientific exploration trip.

Since 1997, the island has been the site of a substantial pearl farming operation owned by the Australian company Atlas Pacific.[citation needed]


Languages spoken on Waigeo include Papuan Malay, Biak, Ma'ya, and Ambel.[3] Their distributions within the island are given below.[4]:5

  • Ambel is spoken in central Waigeo.
  • Ma'ya is spoken in northwest Waigeo.
  • Biak is spoken in the southwest and eastern parts of Waigeo.

Fauna and flora[edit]


  1. ^ Victor Émile van Straelen, Résultats scientifiques du voyage aux Indes Orientales Néerlandaises de LL.AA.RR. le Prince et la Princesse Léopold de Belgique, Musée royale d'histoire naturelle de Belgique, 1933
  2. ^ Pub164, 2004 Sailing Directions (Enroute): New Guinea
  3. ^ Remijsen, Bert, 2001. Word Prosodic systems of the Raja Ampat languages. Utrecht: LOT Publications.
  4. ^ Arnold, Laura Melissa (2018). Grammar of Ambel, an Austronesian language of Raja Ampat, west New Guinea (PhD). University of Edinburgh. hdl:1842/31120.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Waigeo at Wikimedia Commons