Monday, February 12, 2018

Watching Common Paradise Kingfisher in Manokwari

Common Paradise Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea)
Common Paradise Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea) is a beautiful bird that can be watched in Susnguakti forest of Arfak mountains of Manokwari. I saw bird several times at a slope near the birding ground of Lesser Birds of Paradise. The head, back and tail of the bird are blue. The tips of its long tails of the bird have got two round feather resembling racquets. That's why it is also called Racquet-tailed Kingfisher.
Racquet-tailed Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea)
In 1858, Alfred Russel Wallace visited Dorey (modern Manokwari regency in West Papua).  He was able to collect the specimen of this bird. Although it is called Common Paradise Kingfisher, actually, it is not that common. I have been visiting the lower montane tropical rainforest of Arfak mountains for 10 years and I could only see the bird twice.
Susnguakti forest is located in the south of Manokwari city. As a matter of fact, it is in the eastern region of Arfak mountains. To reach the forest, visitors need to go by car or motorcycle for one hour and then continued their trip by hiking steep slopes of Arfak range for 1 hour. There is a basecamp that I and local villagers have prepared for tourists.
Hiking in Susnguakti forest of Arfak mountains - Manokwari
In addition to this paradise kingfisher, visitors can also watch King Bird of Paradise, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Black-capped Lory, Hooded Butcherbird and etc.
If you are interested in watching birds in Manokwari and wants me to organize your trip, please, contact me ((Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sightseeing Tour to Anggi Lakes

Irai village of Arfak Mountains
I have organized numerous sightseeing and hiking tour to Anggi Lakes for visitors who come from Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Austria, China and Indonesia. We visited both Lake Anggi Giji and Lake Anggi Gida. The scenery of the lakes as seen from Mount Kobrey was very beautiful. It was very cold when I stood on top of the mountain for taking pictures.
Arfak range is one of the most important destinations in Manokwari for visitors who like hiking, birdwatching and cultural interactions with local people.
Local people who live in Arfak mountains grow flowers at the front yards of their houses. They also like to grow vegetables such as cabbage, napa cabbage, carrot, spring onion in their vegetable patches. In villages along the Anggi Gida Lake, whose temperature is warmer, we can see local people grow banana, passion fruits,
Lake Anggi Gida
The traditional house of Arfak tribes is called Rumah Kaki Seribu (meaning a thousand leg house). It is a kind of traditional wooden house with a lot of wooden pilars. The frame of the house are made of straight wooden pilars that are tied to other wooden beams using small rattan. The wall and the floor are covered by tree bark with wooden frames support them from outside and below. The roof of the house is made of pandanus leaves. This traditional wooden house is warm at night because the villagers make fire inside the house. Unfortunately, the house does not have a good exhaust system.  Visitors who are not used to thick smoke will not be able to sleep inside the house.
Traditional House of Arfak Tribes in Manokwari
There are several houses that do not have the fireplaces inside them. Visitors can choose to stay in these houses.
As a tourist guide, I can organize a sightseeing and hiking tour for visitors who want to see Arfak range both its scenery, people, and wildlife. The duration of the tour is between 3 to 7 days. Because the cost is quite expensive, I suggest that visitors go in a group of 3 to 4 people to share the cost.
How to go there?

  • First, fly from your country to one of the major cities of Indonesia such as Jakarta, Denpasar and Manado.
  • After that, take a domestic flight from this city to Manokwari city.
  • I will meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay and organize your trip to Arfak mountains.

Please, contact me by email to: or whatsapp: +6281332245180.
Also read:

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Exploring Rainforest and Coral Reef of Manokwari

White Orchid in Arfak mountains
Tropical rainforest of Manokwari can be seen in Arfak mountains. It is the natural habitat of a lot of species of plants such as catappa, banana and mango trees in the coastal region to wild orchids, rhododendron, passion flowers, dahlia, lily, canna flowers, and myrmecophyte in mid-montane and higher montane forest of Arfak range. There are also a lot of species of mushrooms on the forest floor particularly during rainy season.
Glowing Mushrooms in Arfak mountains
One unique mushroom that visitor can see in Arfak mountains is the one that glows in the dark. While watching the glowing mushroom, visitors may also see fireflies with their glowing light flying in trees and shrub pants.
There is a believe that fairies like to play among the glowing mushrooms at nights. The glowing mushrooms are seen as the symbol of hope in the darkness of the night. When someone visits the mushrooms and makes a wish or small prayer, fairies who listen to the prayer will work the universe to help him or her to realize the dream. However, the wish has to to be in line with the will of nature that demands harmony.
A favorite site for tourists who like nature is Susnguakti forest. It is located in the eastern region of Arfak mountains approximately one hour ride from Manokwari city. There, visitors can also watch Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) and Cuscus Possum. The usual duration for exploring the bio-diversity of Susnguakti forest is 3 days.
Coral reef in Manokwari
After exploring the forest, visitors can continue their exploration of nature by enjoying snorkeling in the coral reef of Manokwari. There are several coral reef areas that can be explored by visitors. Visitors need to bring snorkeling mask, flippers/ fins and an underwater camera to take picture of fish, sea-star, table coral, and a lot more.
Booking: Please, contact Charles Roring by email to: or by whatsapp: +6281332245180

Friday, January 26, 2018

Lesser Birds of Paradise of Arfak Mountains

Lesser Birds of Paradise in Arfak Mountains
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) is a very beautiful bird that lives in lower montane forest of Arfak mountains. Tourists who want to watch the birds can go to Susnguakti forest located in the eastern region of the range. There is a basecamp that has been prepared by local guides for visitors. Visitors can spend one or two nights to watch the birds, see butterflies and exotic plants that exist in the forest. The trails to the basecamp are quite steep. But we have prepared steps and railings made of bamboo to make sure that visitors could walk safely to the destinations.
We provide plates, glasses, spoons and forks as well as cooking and boiling pans in the jungle so that we can prepare and cook food for everybody who participates in the rainforest tour.
As a tourist guide, I have organized numerous tours to Arfak mountains for visitors who are nature lovers. They spend between 3 to 5 days in the forest to see the bio-diversity of the rainforest.
Your trip to the mountains can be combined with snorkeling trip in Manokwari where you can see coral reef and fish. For more info, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: or whatsapp: +6281332245180
Also read:
Birding Tour in Susnguakti Forest
Watching Lesser and King Bird of Paradise

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wildlife in Arfak Mountains

Lesser B.O.P
Susnguakti is the name of a tropical rainforest area in the eastern region of Arfak mountains. It is the natural habitat of several species of birds of paradise such as Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), and Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus). There are also other birds in the forest such as Blyth's hornbill, Dwarf Cassowary, Hooded Butcherbird, Papuan Lorikeet and Common Paradise Kingfisher.
Susnguakti forest of Arfak range is home for wild pigs, deer, bandicoot, cucus possum, soa-soa lizards, snakes, spiders, butterflies, moth, beetles, fireflies and etc.
For plants, there are bamboo trees, fern, ficus tree, palm tree, rattan, lianas, and a lot of creeping plants, and orchid flowers that live in the forest.
To see plants, watch birds and wild animals in Susnguakti forest, tourists usually spend 3 days/ 2 nights camping and hiking with local guides.
We have prepared tents, simple shelters, cooking and eating utensils in the forest.
Cruiser Butterfly
How to go there?
  1. Fly from your country to one of the big cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar or Manado.
  2. After that take a domestic flight served by Sriwijaya Air, Batik Air, or Garuda to Manokwari city.
  3. I will be happy to meet you at the airport and organize your trip to the area. 
Vogelkop Dragon Lizard
What you need to bring and wear
  • Flashlight/ torch 
  •  Binoculars and camera
  •  Anti insect cream/ lotion 
  •  Hiking/ sport shoes 
  •  Short and long pants/ jeans + t-shirts
Because we are going to watch wild animals in the forest, there is no guarantee, that we will be able to see them. Sometimes we are lucky and sometimes we are not. Our adventure in the forest to watch wildlife is usually carried out early in the mornings, in the afternoons before sunset, and at nights.
For night walks, we may see cuscus possum, vogelkop dragon lizard, bandicoot, and snake.
For morning walks, we may see Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise and Magnificent Riflebirds as well as other birds that like to eat fruits, nectar of wild flowers of trees around our basecamp.
Booking: Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or text message to my whatsapp number: +6281332245180.

Also read: Camping and Birdwatching in Arfak Mountains

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Short Tour in Manokwari

On a water taxi in Dore bay of Manokwari
Last week I guided a Portuguese tourist, Mr. Peixoto, on a short trip around Manokwari. I met him at the airport and by a chartered car, we had a tour to several important places in Manokwari. We stopped for a while at Mansinam Beach Hotel where he had his lunch. He was with a travel agent from Central Sulawesi. After that we went to Mansinam island by water taxi. It took around 15 minutes to reach the island. We visited the Gospel Landing Monument where 3 German evangelists Carl Wilhelm Ottow, his Wife and Johan Gottlob Geissler. They landed on the island on 5 February 1855 to preach Christianity to the indigenous Papuan people.
Mansinam island
When we were inside of the monument, we took some pictures and saw relief painting on the background wall of the monument. The relief depicts the long journey of German Missionaries from the Netherlands to Mansinam island. We also had a short walking tour around the village of the island where we met some children who were playing a plastic ball. They were very enthusiastic when they knew that the tourist was from Portugal. It was the country where Christiano Ronaldo came from.
After visiting Mansinam, we returned to mainland and continued out trip to
Pasir Putih Beach
Pasir Putih Beach. There he had the opportunity to taste rujak - a spicy fruit salad that is very popular "snack" at the beach.
We headed to Anggori where we tasted durian fruit. It smells like hell but it tastes like heaven.  Mr. Peixoto tried some durian but he said he did not like it very much. We stopped for a while at Catholic Church of St. Thomas Aquinas in Amban area and then at the front gate of Univeristas Papua. It was a stated owned university.
The clouds in the sky was getting darker. Soon it would rain. So, we decided to conclude our short tour in Manokwari by going to Swissbel Hotel where this Portuguese visitor would stay for one night. We still had dinner at a cafe in town before saying good bye to one another. It was a short but memorable trip.
If you are interested in taking a short tour around Manokwari and need a tour guide, you can contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or send text by whatsapp to my number: +6281332245180.

Anggi Lakes of Arfak Mountains

Lake Anggi Giji in Arfak range of Manokwari
I returned from Anggi Lakes yesterday. I spent two days traveling along the lakes to see their beautiful landscapes, meet local villagers and take pictures of colorful flowers. There were two big lakes in Arfak Mountains, i.e. Anggi-Giji (meaning lake man) and Anggi Gida (meaning lake woman). There were tens of villages along the shores of the lakes. The villagers planted spring onion, mustard, cabbage, carrot, shallot, and other kinds of vegetables around their houses. Fruits such as "Dutch tomato," passion fruits could also be seen in the gardens of the villagers. The villagers sold their agricultural produce to Manokwari city or Ransiki town. Since the cost of ttansportation was quite expensive, villagers could not earn a lot of profit.
Landscape view of Anggi Lake in Arfak Mountains
In addition to vegetables and fruits, we could see a lot of varieties of flowers in the region. Some that I could identify were Rhododendron konori, Rhododendron laetum, canna, dahlia, lily, terrestrial orchid, and passion flowers.
As a matter of fact, Arfak mountains have got numerous species of flower plants that are very potential to be cultivated for their essential oils. Unfortunately, the extraction of essential oils need expertize and sophisticated equipment which the indigenous people do not have.
Dahlia Flower
Because of their beautiful sceneries and high bio-diversity of flower plants in the mountains, Anggi lakes are very potential to be developed as eco-tourism destination.

How to get there?
  • It is easy to visit Anggi Lakes. First, fly from your country to major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta or Surabaya or Manado. 
  • After that, take a domestic flight to Manokwari city
  • I could meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay and organize your trip to the lakes.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or send text to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.



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