Wednesday, January 18, 2012

6 Hiking Tour Destinations in the Bird's Head Region of West Papua

The bird's head (vogelkop) region of West Papua have got a number of destinations for hikers who want to explore the mountains, the rainforest and the coastal areas of New Guinea - the largest tropical island in the world. Here are some hiking tour destinations that travelers can choose to explore:
Trail 1. Prafi - Mokwam - Minyambouw - Anggi - Ransiki (a walk through the Arfak mountains)
This is the longest trail which you, as hikers, can explore while walking up the Arfak mountains. The whole route can be finished in 4 to 6 days depending on how tough you are. Carry big backpack complete with food and tent along the way. When you have arrived in Anggi, you will be able to see the magnificent view of 2 lakes. The next pathway after the lakes will be down the hills of Arfak mountains to District Ransiki. I don't recommend traveling alone. Hikers need to travel in a group of at least 2 people. It's very cold at night in Anggi lakes, so, don't forget to wear several layers of cloth or thick jacket.
Trail 2. Mountains and slopes in the Mokwam region of Arfak mountains
There are two villages in Mokwam area that have been promoted to tourists as hiking destination, Syioubri and Kwau. There are local guides that can accompany you during your day-trips in the hills and ravines of the Arfak mountains. Hikers will be able to watch magnificent birds of paradise, western parotia, bower bird and various species of butterflies there. Tourists do not have to bring tents because there are guesthouses available in Kwau and Syioubri.
Trail 3. Lowland Rainforest of Warmarway
Although Warmarway as a hiking destination is considered as lowland rainforest, the terrains in this area are not flat. To reach the camping ground, travelers need to climb steep slopes for around 1 hour. Some Papuan villagers in Warmarway have built tents as basic accommodation for tourists who want to explore the Arfak mountains by walking through dense tropical rainforest. Food, cooking gear have to be brought from Manokwari city if you want to stay for several nights in the jungle.
Early in the morning, after walking for around 45 minutes, hikers can watch the Lesser Birds of Paradise (paradisaea minor) dancing on the branches of a tall tree at the edge of a steep slope. For night walk, Yunus Sayori - a local guide who accompanies tourists will imitate the sounds of a female cuscus (a nocturnal marsupial animal) - that is still in the same family as tree kangaroo - to attract a male cuscus to come closer to you so that you will be able to take picture of him. Yunus Sayori can be contacted by cell phone through this number: 081343316087. You need an interpreter who speaks Indonesian language if you want to talk to him.

Trail 4. The lowland Rainforest of Inggramui
I have written several articles about hiking tour in Inggramui forest. You can read them in this blog.
Trail 5. Hiking tour in the North Coast of Manokwari
Asai is a village in the northern coast of Manokwari regency. There is a river that that has been promoted as a hiking trail for hikers who want to enjoy walking along the Asai river while at the same time exploring the rainforest. Birds such as blyth's hornbill, sulphur crested cockatoo and sand piper are the common bird species which travelers will be able to see while walking in the Asai forest.
Trail 6. The Botak Mountain of Ransiki
This is a great place for travelers who want to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Cendrawasih bay. Travelers can walk in the morning from the Botak mountain to District Ransiki. The hiking trip in this area is highly recommended for anybody who wants to meet Papuan villagers along the way and have some nice conversations with them.
There are still more hiking trails that I haven't put in this list that are also good to be explored. I will write about them in my next post. If you are interested in taking a hiking tour in Manokwari, and need a guide like me, please, send a message to my email: peace4wp@gmail.com

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