Thursday, September 27, 2012

3 Hiking and Camping Trip Destinations in West Papua

As a tour guide, I have accompanied a lot of tourists on various hiking and camping trips in West Papua. From all of the outdoor adventure trips destinations that I have done, there are three places that I like the most.

  1. Aiwatar hill - It is still placed on the top list of the hiking and camping trip destinations that I recommend it for you. It is located in District Senopi. To reach the hill, you need to fly to Manokwari city and continue your trip by airplane to District Kebar. After that, you can walk or hitchhike a truck to District Senopi. The next morning, if you are fit enough to walk, you can leave the village for the hill. It takes around five hours walking through the jungle and crossing rivers to get to Aiwatar. The scenery of the tropical rainforest with some big and small rivers will make you feel that you are in the middle of nowhere. During your hiking trip in the rainforest of Senopi, you may be able to see deers, birds of paradise, ornate lory, goliath cockatoo, kangaroo,  and various other animals live in the region. 
  2. Asai  - This hiking and camping trip destination is located in the north coast of Manokwari regency. The tropical rainforest of Asai is rich of bio diversity. It is the natural habitat of cuscus, sulphur crested cockatoo and snakes. As you walk deeper into the jungle, you will see more birds, and unique plants. You will be surrounded by green vegetation. Don't forget to bring sleeping bag and waterproof camping tent if you want to stay for several nights at the bank of Asai river.  In addition to hiking, cycling from Manokwari town to Asai village is also possible to be carried out by travelers. I personally have done it twice. On the average, a cyclist needs four hours to reach Asai. Before leaving the town, the cyclist needs to check all the gear mechanism and tires of his or her bike are in good working order.
  3. Camp Dopi of Inggramui forest - This is a hiking tour destination that is not far from Manokwari city. So, it is the cheapest place to go compared to the above destinations. I have guided European and American tourists to Dopi river. Blyth's hornbills usually fly above our heads when we walk through the stream of the river. If you spend at least one night camping at the bank of Dopi river, you will have the opportunity to go to the dancing site of the lesser birds of paradise. Monitor lizards, kangaroo and deers live in the jungle of this river too. You may see them while hiking through the rainforest of Dopi river. If you want to watch birds of paradise, don't forget to bring a pair of binoculars or telephoto camera with extra batteries.
For all of your hiking and camping trips in this tropical rainforest of West Papua, bring tent. If you take a tour from me, the tent will be provided by me. If you decide to bring your own tent, it has to be water resistant. The material should be light. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hiking and Birdwatching in Dopi river of Manokwari

Dopi river is a recommended site for travelers who want to go hiking and birdwatching in Manokwari. The paths are not steep but long enough to be explored from sunrise until sunset. I have conducted several hiking, camping and birdwatching trips in Dopi river since last year. There is abundant avifauna activities in the jungle on both sides of the river including: Longtailed Honey Buzzard, Variable Goshawk, Brahminy Kite, Common Sandpiper, Beautiful Fruit-dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and a lot more.



There are two camps that have been built for tourists who want to stay for several nights in the jungle. To see birds and more wildlife of tropical rainforest, I highly recommend that you stay for at least 2 nights in our camps. Although there are abundant bird life in the rainforest around Dopi river, they are not the only animals that you can see. Snakes, deers, cuscus, kangaroos, and boars live in that jungle too. Butterflies often visit our camp when we enjoy our lunch. 
The average cost for hiking and bird watching trip in Dopi river is around 85 US dollars/day. Don't forget to bring insect repellent lotion, and blanket or sleeping bag. We can provide mosquito net if you don't have one. We have got cooking utensils, and rechargeable lamps to serve you in our camps during the hiking and camping tours. We also grow bananas, vegetables around the camps to make sure that we will always have fresh ingredients in our food. Please, contact us by e-mail to peace4wp@gmail.com if you are interested in taking a hiking and camping trip in Dopi river. by Charles Roring 
Here are some birwatching scopes that you can order from Amazon online store to watch birds or other wild animals in the jungle.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Watching Birds of Paradise in the jungle of Arfak mountains

Walking up the steep slopes of Arfak mountains was a tough experience for Simon and Sofie. That morning I picked them up at Swiss-Belhotel of Manokwari. We left the hotel at 4 a.m. It took around 1 hour by car to reach Warmarway village and another fifteen minutes to reach Warkapi beach - the starting point where we would walk up steep slopes through the tropical jungle of New Guinea to watch the lesser birds of paradise. This is perhaps the most famous species in the avian world.
Rain and slippery paths did not discourage us. We stopped several times under the canopies of the tropical trees and bamboos. Behind us was the sounds of waves from Cendrawasih bay. The waves were landing on Warkapi beach around 400 meters below us. It was 6 a.m. we still had to climb more slopes for around one hour to reach the dancing site of the birds of paradise. If the weather is good, male birds of paradise usually fly to some trees at a cliff of Warkapi to perform courtship dance and show off their beautiful feather to attract female birds of paradise.
We arrived at the trees at around 7.15 a.m. They had been dancing for one hour. I could see some female birds flying over our heads to chase the female birds. Some jumped from one branch to another. It was perhaps the first and the only experience which Simon and Sofie had to watch the birds of paradise in their habitat. I did not shoot the birds of paradise that morning because my telephoto camera had been broken since my last visit to Iris strait. But I still have got some pictures of these birds that I took in the same spot when I guided two Spanish tourists last year. The above picture is one of them. Birds of paradise and other tropical birds in the jungle of New Guinea play very important role in supporting the ecosystem of tropical rainforest. They disperse seeds from the fruits which they ate. Some species of smaller birds help the pollination of flowers.
Every birdwatcher needs optical devices such as telephoto camera to see birds or animals in high trees.
Longer Stay
In addition to watching paradise birds, visitors can also see other birds such as Blyth's hornbills, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Black Capped Lory, and other birds that make Arfak mountains as their natural habitat. At night, visitors may see cuscus possum and Papuan frogmouth (a kind of owl) if they do jungle walk guided by local villagers.
This is a unique hiking and birdwatching package that I offer to tourists who want to see tropical rainforest with big trees, bamboos, palms and any plants that grow in Arfak mountains. Please, contact me by e-mail to peace4wp@gmail.com for reservation. by Charles Roring
Also read: Birdwatching in Aiwatar Hill of District Senopi

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Trekking the Pami river

A few days ago, I guided three tourists on a full day trekking trip in Pami river. While walking through the river, we saw some Blyth's hornbills whose wing span can reach a length of around 1.5 meters. Their wings created fluttering sounds when they flew over the canopy of the tropical trees. We also saw sulphur crested cockatoos that quacked many times when they saw us walking up the stream.

The tour program is created to introduce the natural beauty of the tropical rainforest in Manokwari regency to anybody who wants to see or experience it. You have to be physically fit to buy this full day tour. Wear water shoes (usually used by scuba divers) to walk in the water.  Please, contact me by email: peace4wp@gmail.com for detailed itinerary and rates. by Charles Roring

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Adventure Tour in Triton bay of Kaimana

I went to Kaimana town last week. This town is famous for its sunset. I accompanied a Canadian who wanted to see the Iris strait, Bitsyari bay and Triton bay. The waters between Cape Bitsyari and Namatota island is the site for watching whaleshark. The landscape and seascape of Triton are very beautiful. I saw various species of birds (including Blyth's hornbills, sulphur crested cockatoo, black butcher bird, bats), butterflies and fish.
The waters of Bitsyari bay, Triton bay and Iris strait have got tens of sites covered with pristine coral reef and thousands of species of fish including the whale sharks and the Triton bay's endemic walking shark Hemiscyllium henryi.
White Sandy beach in Iris Strait of Kaimana
Looking at these pictures, you will think that they are worth visiting. Yes, you should go there if you are planning a trip to West Papua of Indonesia. You can swim at a river or at a secluded white sandy beach where no other tourists around. Or you can walk through the tropical jungle of Aiduma island. Don't forget to bring mosquito repellent lotion and tents.
How to get there?
If you want to visit Kaimana, please, contact me first by email.
After that I will make a calculation of the budget based on the duration of the tour and places that you want to visit. When you agree with the cost, you could transfer the money to me so that I could make preparation of the trip for you.
Fly from your country to Jakarta, after that continue your trip by flying to Ambon. Garuda, and Lion Air (Wings Air) have got flights to Kaimana.
Sunset in Triton Bay of
Kaimana regency West Papua
You will always remember Kaimana after having a trip to the region. You could travel alone as a single visitor or travel as a group at least 4 people to share the cost of boat and accommodation.
Raja Ampat Snorkeling Tour
I also offer snorkeling and sightseeing tour to Raja Ampat islands where visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the landscape and the underwater marine environment of the regency.
There are two different itineraries:

  • The first one goes to Kri - Mansuar - Kabui bay or The Passage - Pianemo.
  • The second one goes to northeast Raja Ampat, particularly to Yenbekaki - Warebar river - Yenandau beach - Mamiaef island - Dolphins lagoon

Don't forget to bring snorkeling mask, fins, and underwater camera if you want to take the tour.
So, please, contact me by e-mail to peace4wp@gmail.com if you want to go there. After visiting Kaimana, you could continue your trip to other places in West Papua such as Sorong for jungle tour in Klasow valley. by Charles Roring

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