Friday, February 15th, 2019
Saporkren Village Life
Saporkren is a village on the south coast of the island of Waigeo in the Raja Ampat. It is fast gaining a reputation as being a bird watching paradise. especially for those arriving here by yacht. We discovered there is more to this location than bird watching,
No yacht? Staying locally is so much easier now that Homestays are becoming more available. Advertised on the Internet, Homestays are locally built and operated accommodation. They offer basic facilities but do not cost a great deal. Some, like this one in Saporkren, are getting a wonderful reputation. We have heard though that some let themselves down by double booking.
The industrious local people of Saporkren welcomed us as we walked through their village. They live as they have done for thousands of years, close to nature. They are just one of many indigenous tribes within the region.
Forget all your ideas of a slap dash village houses, piles of litter and the detritus of modern life. The villagers don’t even let falling leaves remain on the street. The Result? A village that is spotlessly clean, neat and tidy. Not sure people in our local village will ever be that industrious.
Happy People of Saporkren
We delighted in watching the lively children playing in streets totally devoid of motorised vehicles. The boat is king hereabouts. Trusty Yamaha outboard motors attached to dugouts fitted with out-riggers are the best way to travel.
Captains are advised to seek permission from village elders or tribal heads before anchoring off villages the likes of Saporkren. The Captain of Prana by Atzaro took diesel and sacks of rice ashore rather than pay cash for anchoring. He knows, that way, that his gifts directly benefit the villagers and that cash is not being diverted elsewhere.
Every day staple foodstuffs are fish and rice Villagers eat what they grow or catch to cut down on transportation costs. Lessons that should be learned elsewhere in the world.
A suite on Prana by Atzaro (pranabyatzaro.com) costs from US$1,120 a night. Charters cost from US$12,500 a day, inclusive of meals, local beer, soft drinks, one spa treatment, transfers from airport to yacht, and all activities.