Wicked Diving guides are sure to give you the experience of a lifetime, their local knowledge, joyful disposition, and uncanny abilities to find hidden treasures will open you to new ways of seeing. With irreplaceable local knowledge and enthusiasm, experience the best Komodo diving experience with local guides!
Meet Komodo Dive Guide Fauji
Fauji is the oldest of nine siblings. Before becoming a Dive Guide, he was increasingly concerned about how he would support his family as his father became older. As a resident of Komodo Island, his options were limited. Now, with the support of Wicked Good, Fauji’s life has turned around…
Fauji joined our programme in July 2013. Hard working, professional, dedicated to learning , Fauji quickly became an instructor favourite. In November 2013, Fauji began training as an SSI Dive Guide. Alongside required activities, Fauji joined unique events such as assisting with swimming lessons at the local tourism school and attending manta ray workshops provided by MantaWatch and Reef Check Indonesia. Fauji excelled in language skills and is very confident. However, just ask about his swimming tests for the course. You will be answered with a groan of ‘Aduh!’ (‘Oh no!’). Don’t fear – Fauji is a strong swimmer these days. He faced challenges and met them head on. For Fauji this was a life changing opportunity. As a resident of Komodo village, opportunities are scarce and the community is still isolated from the growing tourism industry, reaping few of its benefits. Providing the best Komodo diving experience with local guides is a huge source of pride.
Meet Komodo Dive Guide Gafur
Gafur joined our programme in June 2013 as one of the first ever students and his huge personality and enthusiasm quickly made him one of the most memorable. Throughout his training, Gafur showed himself to be the ‘can-do’ guy, practical and focused. He is a born leader and quickly became a respected member of the team. However, while Gafur excelled with hands-on skills and was like a fish in the water, the academic side was often very challenging for him. Watching him dig deep and persevere was inspiring.
In November 2014 Gafur became the trip leader on Wicked Diving’s daily boat and continues training to hone new skills. Gafur also hopes to give talks in his village about manta rays and conservation. We are working with him to make this a reality. With his personality, it would be easy to be fooled that life is a big playground for Gafur, but that is not the case. When Gafur joined our programme he was looking for ways that he could have a more stable future for himself and his family. Gafur is married with two young children, but as is customary in Indonesia, often found himself supporting extended family too. Now that Gafur has full-time employment in a stable industry, he has the means to save for his own children’s education and he is also supporting the education of two relatives.
Whether he’s sharing stories about Komodo folklore, teaching Bahasa Komodo (which is one is the least spoken in the world) or giving you crazy high 5s after showing you a blue ring octopus, Gafur does it with passion. He’s always the first one to get involved with a beach or street clean and collects lots of data about manta rays.
Meet Komodo Dive Guide Ilham
Ilham joined the Wicked Good program in September 2013, when we started teaching in his school SMKN1. At first the students were a little bemused – ‘why are we being shown videos of fish and talking about the sea?’ However, Ilham was on board from the first lesson.
Ilham became one of only two students from a total eighty six who progressed to the higher tiers of our programme. So far he has reached the level of Rescue Diver and logged over 50 dives. He is serious, dedicated and enthusiastic too and every time we work with him we feel we see a new part of his personality. He is truly dedicated to providing guests with the best Komodo diving experience with local guides.
Observing his progress has been inspiring – in fact the name Ilham means inspiration. He is naturally a shy character, so seeing him talking with guests freely in English is great delight. He’s had a tough time too and learnt the hard way sometimes, but he’s always ready to admit his mistakes and learn from them. This is where his dedication really shines through. To us Ilham is the definition is an ambassador. He has learned a lot from our lessons about marine conservation and actively shares these messages with his peers. Any conservation project that comes up, he throws himself into it. He is genuinely passionate about protecting his country’s natural wonders. He’s a team player too, always helping out his fellow trainees when they need it.
By offering internships and scholarships, we facilitate the training and development of a new generation of local adventure guides. Not only does this gift the community with valuable opportunity but it also allows our guests to experience Komodo in the most authentic way possible and have the best Komodo diving experience with local guides.