Coordinates: 0°12′S 130°50′E / 0.200°S 130.833°E / -0.200; 130.833
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Waigeo is located in Raja Ampat Islands
Location in Raja Ampat Islands
Waigeo is located in Maluku
Location in Papua
Coordinates0°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
ProvinceSouthwest Papua
The Raja Ampat Islands
People in Waigeo

Waigeo is an island in Southwest 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 Mayalibit Bay, also known as the Majoli Gulf.[1][2]

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.[3] From west to east the island measures approximately 110 km (68 mi), north–south about 50 kilometres (31 miles).

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


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

Islam first arrived in the Raja Ampat archipelago in the 15th century due to political and economic contacts with the Bacan Sultanate.[4] During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Sultante of Tidore had close economic ties with the island.[4][5] During this period, Islam became firmly established and local chiefs had begun adopting Islam.[5]

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.[6] Their distributions within the island are given below.[7]: 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]

Protected Areas[edit]

  • Waigeo Barat Timur Nature Reserve protects much of the island's interior.[8]
  • Raja Ampat Marine Park covers Mayalibit Bay in central Waigeo, and parts of the southern and southwestern shores.[9]


  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. ^ "Mayalabit Bay MPA". Raja Ampat Marine Park. Accessed 8 August 2021
  3. ^ Pub164, 2004 Sailing Directions (Enroute): New Guinea
  4. ^ a b Wanggai, Toni V. M. (2008). Rekonstruki sejarah umat Islam di tanna Papua [Reconstruction of the History of lslam in Papua]. Syariff Hidayatullah State Islamic University Jakarta (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  5. ^ a b Slama, Martin (2015), "Papua as an Islamic Frontier: Preaching in 'the Jungle' and the Multiplicity of Spatio-Temporal Hierarchisations", From 'Stone-Age' to 'Real-Time': Exploring Papuan Temporalities, Mobilities and Religiosities, ANU Press, pp. 243–270, ISBN 978-1-925022-43-8
  6. ^ Remijsen, Bert, 2001. Word Prosodic systems of the Raja Ampat languages. Utrecht: LOT Publications.
  7. ^ Arnold, Laura Melissa (2018). Grammar of Ambel, an Austronesian language of Raja Ampat, west New Guinea (PhD). University of Edinburgh. hdl:1842/31120.
  8. ^ UNEP-WCMC (2021). Protected Area Profile for Waigeo Barat Timur from the World Database of Protected Areas. Accessed 8 August 2021. https://www.protectedplanet.net/555635894
  9. ^ Raja Ampat Marine Park. Accessed 8 August 2021

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Waigeo at Wikimedia Commons