Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tropical Rainforest of Arfak Mountains

Tropical rainforest in the Arfak mountains always attracts tourists from around the world. They visit the region to see the endemic New Guinea animals and plants. Located in the south of Manokwari city-the capital of West Papua province, Arfak mountains can be reached by motorcycle or car. Flora and fauna in the low elevation areas are different from the ones that live in high elevation areas. For example, the magnificent birds of paradise and bower birds are commonly found on the slopes of the mountains near the summits. For tourists who want to see tree kangaroos, hornbills and sulphur crested cockatoos, the recommended destinations would be the coastal villages such as Warkapi, Hangow or district of Ransiki. Also read: Tropical Rainforest Preservation in the District of Senopi.
Coastal villages
Last week, I had a one day tour along the coastal villages from Lake Kabori, Maruni, Mupi, Warkapi, Hangow, Oransbari and Ransiki. I traveled by DAMRI bus, a state owned land transportation company. The rainforest condition in Mupi, Warkapi and Hango is still good. From my personal observation, some areas of the rainforest near the villages had been cleared by the indigenous people for cassava and caladium gardens, the main staple food in Papua or New Guinea island. Last January 2010, three Russian tourists went to Warkapi. They did some bird watching tour a long a fast stream river near Warkapi. From their photographs and stories, birds could easily be seen flying around the trees if watched from the open space created by the river. Bird watching activities in the tropical rainforest are usually difficult if they are done from inside the forest especially when we walk through the jungle under the canopy of the forest. Sunlight cannot easily penetrate the canopy that is covered with dense green vegetation of the trees. For taking photographs of birds, we need long lens camera. Don't forget to bring extra batteries because electricity is not always available. I always bring plastic bags in the pockets of my backpack to cover my electronic equipment in case if it rains. Night walk, guided by local Papuan villagers, can also be done in Warmarway if tourists want to see nocturnal animals such as cuscus possum and Papuan Frogmouth (a kind of owl).

Tree Kangaroo
Arfak range is formed by steep mountains and deep ravines. One of the places that I recommend for tourists in Mupi Gunung. It is a new location for visitors who want to see pristine rainforest and wild animals such as birds of paradise and tree kangaroo. As a tourist guide, I highly recommend Mupi Gunung as your destination for wildlife watching in West Papua. But you need to be physically fit to go trekking to Mupi Gunung area of Arfak mountains. Please, read my trip report: Trekking and Watching Tree Kangaroo in Arfak range for more info about it.
After reading this article, you can see that the tropical rainforest of Arfak mountains is not only useful in absorbing CO2 gases that we emit to the atmosphere everyday but also in providing food, recreational areas and herbs for health treatment. If you interested in visiting Arfak mountains, and need more information about the region, you can contact me, Charles Roring, via email peace4wp@gmail.com.
Also read:
Watching beetles in the tropical rainforest of Manokwari
Arfak mountains

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