Monday, August 22, 2016

Birdwatching in Manokwari

Manokwari has been a popular destination for visitors who are interested in birdwatching. As a tourist guide, I have accompanied a lot of visitors on various birding trips in Arfak mountains and lowland rainforest of Manokwari.
Birding Sites
There are several birding sites in Manokwari which birdwatchers can choose. Some of them are listed below:
Lowland Forest of Manokwari
Large-tailed Nightjar in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
This is located in the west of Manokwari city. Visitors can walk along the banks of Mesirrokow river-forest area to find tropical birds such as the Lesser Birds of Paradise, Yellow Billed Kingfisher, Yellow Capped Pygmy parrots, Rainbow Lorikeet, Blyth's hornbill, Western Crowned Pigeon, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Dollarbird, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Large-tailed Nigtjar, Yellow-faced Myna, Moustached Treeswift, Variable Goshawk, and a lot more. The lowland rainforest of Manokwari is also the natural habitat of various colorful flowers, and butterflies.
Birding in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
Flowers such as Monochoria vaginalis, Faradaya splendida,  Spathodea campanulata grow near the shore of the river.
Birdwatchers can spend between 3 to 5 days birding in the lowland forest of Manokwari to see those birds. As of today, there are no guesthouses in the area. As tour guide, we provide tents for visitors. Cooking and eating utensils as well as the solar powered lamps will be provided.
Birding in lowland forest of Manokwari, particularly, along the sides of Mesirrokow river-forest area is very easy to be done. Visitors can enjoy walking along the shore of the river and watch the birds using binoculars and spotting scopes.
Western Crowned Pigeon (Goura cristata)
Lowland Forest of Manokwari
Mount Mabowi of Arfak Mountains
The forest in Warmarway can be considered as Lower Montane Forest. It is the natural habitat of Lesser Birds of Paradise, Papuan Frogmouth, Blyth's hornbill, Western Parotia, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and a lot more. The forest in Warmarway is part of Arfak mountains.
In addition to birds it is also a nice place for watching beetles, butterflies, and other insects. Warmarway is located in the south of Manokwari. Its forest is also the natural habitat of cuscus possum which visitors can watch a night.
For Booking your Birding Trip in Manokwari, here is my contact details:
Charles Roring, Email: peace4wp@gmail.com Cell Phone: +6281332245180 (whatsapp)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Trekking and Watching Wild Animals in the Jungle of Arfak Mountains

I have received several emails from tourists who want to go trekking in Arfak range of Manokwari. Watching wild animals in their own natural habitat is sometimes easy but more often difficult. I used to guide some tourists on a night walk in the jungle to see Cuscus Possum. Early in the mornings, Lesser Birds of Paradise are usually active. In the afternoon, birds such as Papuan hornbills, or Sulphur Crested Cockatoo can be seen flying in the sky.

Arfak mountains
Destinations:
There are 3 trekking destinations which you could choose:

Mupi Gunung (only suitable if you are physically fit). It is located in Arfak mountains.
We need to walk through dense forest for around 7 hours to reach it. Usually, we leave early in the morning at around 6.00 by car to reach the stop point. After that, we will continue our trip into the jungle by walking up and down 2 steep mountains and crossing some rivers.
If 7 hours are too long, we could split them into 2 days. On the first day, we explore the lowland forest which is the natural habitat of Lesser Birds of Paradise, Papuan hornbills, cockatoo, cuscus possum, wild pigs; and deers, on  second and third days we walk up steep slopes to reach the jungle house which is the base for exploring the upper elevation forest. It is the natural habitat of tree kangaroo and other species of paradise birds, on the last day we explore the lowland forest again before walking back to the main road.

Warmarway
One of the destinations that I really like is Warmarway. It is located in the south of Manokwari at the foot of Arfak mountains. I have guided a lot of tourists in the jungle to see cuscus, birds, butterflies, and tropical plants.
Local people who own the land/ miuntains always help me. If we want to stay for a few days, we need to bring food, tents, mattrasses, cooking and eating utensils and flash lights.

Dopi River
Another destination for rainforest tour is the lowland forest of Dopi river in the west of Manokwari. It is not in Arfak mountains. Here, visitors will be able to watch Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Western Crowned Pigeon, and various colorful butterflies. Deers, wild pigs, and wallaby also live there.
Taking a break after watching birds

Food: because we will go trekking in the jungle, meals that are prepared will be the simple ones such as bread, cheese, peanut butter, biscuits, rice, stir fried vegetables, smoked fried fish and canned fish, noodle, omelette, fruits; tea and coffee.
Tents: In places such as Warmarway and Dopi river, camping gear, eating and cooking utensils will be provided by tour guide.

Duration
On the average, visitors stay for 3 to 4 days, sometimes more.

How to get there?
It is easy to come here.
Fly from your country to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia
After that fly to Manokwari by domestic airlines such as Garuda, Sriwijaya, and Express Air.
I will meet you at the airport and organize your trip to Arfak mountains or the lowland forest of Manokwari.
Prices: Mupi Gunung is the most expensive destination. It may cost you 600 Euros for 5 days trekking in the jungle. The most affordable location is Warmarway and Dopi River which is around 300 Euros for 4 days/ 3 nights. I highly suggest that you travel in a group of at least 2 to 4 people or even more to share the cost.
Booking, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com if you are interested in taking a rainforest tour in Manokwari.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Early Morning Rainforest Tour in Arfak Mountains

It was 04.00 when I and ten Catholic priests were having breakfast at the first floor of Aston Niu hotel of Manokwari. We planned to visit Arfak range to see its rainforest and its Vogelkop Bowerbird. Fifteen minutes later, all of us were already inside 3 4WD cars heading for Mt. Soyti. It was still dark when the cars were slowly leaving the frontyard of the hotel.

Tourists from Jakarta were taking pictures of mountain scenery of Arfak range


Most of the priests were from the Diocese of Jakarta. When the cars reached the main road, they increased their running speed. It took approximately one hour forty five minutes for the cars to reach their destination which is the guesthouse of Mt. Soyti. Four Papuan villagers were waiting for us. We walked to the guesthouse located around 50 meters from the road. I asked the priests to form 2 groups. The younger ones would walk up steep slopes to reach the birding hut some three hundred meters above the guesthouse where as the older ones would go to the birding hut around 5 minutes walk from the guesthouse.
They would watch Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis innornatus) from the biding huts (also called blinds) from 06.00 to 08.30.
At the set time, the villagers walked back to the blinds to pick the priests up back to the guesthouse. They looked happy to see the birds. Some who were not really interested in birding were also happy because they could enjoy the morning jungle walk.
We returned to Manokwari that morning with a lot of pictures of the mountains, the forest and the birds.
Birding inside the tropical rainforest of Arfak range has been a favorite tourist attraction in Manokwari since approximately fifteen years ago.
However, there are more things which tourists can see including tree kangaroo, cuscus possum, soa-soa lizard and birding butterflies. There are also glowing mushroom, orchid flowers and a lot of giant trees in Arfak mountains.
If you are interested in trekking in Arfak mountains of Manokwari, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Trekking and Birdwatching in Lowland Rainforest of Manokwari

Manokwari has been a famous birdwatching destination in West Papua. Birdwatchers from all corners of the globe visit Manokwari regency to see birds in Arfak mountains and in lowland rainforest along the northern coast of the regency. Watching birds in dense forest is difficult because birds usually perch on the canopy of the forest behind leaves, branches and twigs of trees.
Western Crowned Pigeon from the forest of Dopi river
There is a forest in the west of Manokwari where visitors can watch birds. Its name is Dopi river. Local people cut trees to grow agricultural crops. The clearing area which is created by farmers is a good spot for watching lowland birds of New Guinea. From my previous birding trips along the banks of Dopi river, we were able to watch Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Papuan hornbill, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Spangled Drongo, Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Birds of Paradise, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Grey Crow, Pesquet Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, Western Crowned Pigeon and many other birds that I haven't been able to identify.
Beautiful Fruit Dove in the forest of Dopi river

Wild Animals
In addition to birdwatching, visitors may be able to watch cuscus possum, wallaby, soa-soa monitor lizard, and deer. Beetles and butterflies can be found in the forest too. Some of them include Cruiser butterfly (Vindula arsinoe), Birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera priamus), Silky Owl (Taenaris catops), Blue Mountain Swallowtail (Papilio ulysses).
Dopi river of Manokwari

Swimming
Dopi river is also a good place for swimming. Visitors can enjoy swimming after hiking and birding for a whole day.

Snorkeling
At the beginning or at the end of the birdwatching trip in Manokwari, visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkeling to see coral reef and a lot of species of ornamental fish in Manokwari. There is a guesthouse at the back of Mansinam island where visitors can stay for one or two days to enjoy swimming and snorkeling.
If you are now planning to visit Manokwari (the capital of Papua Barat province) and need me as your private guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com. I will be happy to organize your trip and guide.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Rainforest Tour and Snorkeling Trip in Manokwari

Manokwari has been a must see destination for birdwatchers who want to see birds in the jungle of Arfak mountains and the northern coast of Manokwari. However, it is not only birds that visitors can see in the forest. There are a lot of attractive trees, creeping plants, wild flowers, mushrooms; insects and mammals and marsupial animals that make the rainforest as their natural habitat.
a beach in Manokwari

Manokwari also has got a few coral reef sites that are good for snorkeling. Coral reef can be considered as tropical rainforest of the sea. Fish, seastar, seahorse, urchin, seashell, Christmas tree worm thrive there.
Tourists who are interested in visiting Manokwari can enjoy snorkeling or go trekking in the forest. As a tourist guide, I offer these nature tours. The duration of the combined rainforest and snorkeling tours is between 6 to 9 days.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com for customized itinerary and tour prices.

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