Yanggelo Island sits off the western tip of Gam Island, and it is a fascinating place. The mangroves of Yanggelo offer vibrant kayaking and snorkeling exploration through the strait that separates the island from Gam. Shallow reefs ring the sides of this channel, with soft coral growing on the mangrove trees’ roots. This phenomenon is unique to Raja Ampat as most mangrove habitats on the planet are brackish. The colors, the variety, and the quality of the corals are exceptional around Yanggelo island. There is so much beauty, and not just under the water. The anchorage inside the protected Yanggelo lagoon has mangroves and jungle all around with the birdlife plentiful. Parrots and cockatoos are squawking away, while large herons nest in the mangroves – wonderful weird and different sounds. Raja Ampat truly is a special place.
On the way through Yanggelo Strait and close to Gam island, explore Citrus Ridge, which has one of the best soft coral gardens in central Raja Ampat. The sloping sides feature so much life that divers compare it to swimming through a well-stocked aquarium. If you decide to snorkel or dive, you are sure to find schools of barracuda, turtles, parrotfish, wobbegongs, morays, and blacktip sharks. As you explore above sea level, be sure to note the incredible soundscape produced by sea eagles, hornbills, and cockatoos that consistently fly above Yanggelo. It is no wonder the great western explorer, Alfred Russel Wallace, spent so much of his time here!