Saturday, October 29, 2016

Wildlife Watching in the Rainforest of Arfak Mountains

Arfak mountains have been an important destination for visitors who want to see wild animals of New Guinea. Most tourists who go to Arfak mountains are birdwatchers. Their main goal is to watch birds of paradise.
As a matter of fact, the are other animals which tourists can see while walking in the jungle. Some of them include soa-soa lizards, wild pigs, snakes, frogs, birdwing butterflies, cuscus possum, tree kangaroo, and bandicoot. Insects have also been the focus of attention of some scientists who travel to Arfak mountains.
Trekking and Camping
The best way to explore the bio-diversity of the rainforest environment of Arfak range is by camping in the jungle and do the exploratory walks during the days and nights. The chance to see wild animals is higher if we stay in the jungle and explore deeper forest area. As a tourist guide, I have accompanied a lot of visitors on trekking and camping trips in the forest. They usually stay between 3 to 5 days.

Mabowi Forest of Arfak Mountains
I highly recommend Mawowi forest because it is still in pristine condition. Here, visitors can watch Lesser Birds of Paradise in the morning, explore trees, shrubs, lianas and mushrooms during the day and do night walk to find cuscus possum and Papuan frogmouth bird at night.

Itinerary
Here is a typical itinerary for visitors who want to go trekking and wildlife watching in Arfak mountains:
Day 1
Arrive in Manokwari
Getting Travel Permit (Surat Jalan) from local police station
Transfer to Arfak mountains
Overnight stay in the jungle tent

Day 2
Wake up early in the morning at around 4.30
Drink tea, or coffee. Leave the camp at approx. 05.00 for the display trees of Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor). Watch birds until 09.00.
Return to base camp. Have breakfast. Take a rest.
At 11.00, we can do the exploratory jungle walk to see tropical trees, bamboo, lianas, wild flower plants on the ground and orchids in high trees.
We can return to our camp again during the day or continue our trekking tour deeper and higher into the mountains.

Day 3
We can walk down the forest and continue exploring the forest in the lowland area of Arfak mountains.
We can built tents by a small river and do jungle walk during the day and at night.
Overnight stay in the jungle.

Day 4
We can dismantle our tents and walk back to the main road and return to Manokwari city by car.

Lake Anggi Gida
Price: please, contact me by email
The cost includes transportation between Manokwari city and the entrance point at the foot of Arfak mountains, food in the jungle, local guides.
The cost does not include airfare, travel insurance and hotel accommodation in Manokwari city. I can help you book a room in a hotel in this city.

How to go there?
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
  • Continue your trip to Manokwari city by a domestic airline such as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Express Air, Nam Air. 
  • I can meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay and arrange your trip to the mountains.

Traditional house of Sougb tribe in Arfak range
Customized Itinerary
I could organize a trip for you to Anggi lakes where you could see the villages that exist around the lakes, beautiful flowers, also meet and stay with the indigenous people in their traditional house.
Booking
Please, use the contact form in the top right side of this blog or send your email directly to my email: peace4wp@gmail.com


Flowers and Butterflies in the Rainforest of Klasow Valley

The Great Eggfly butterfly (Hypolimnas bolina)
Butterfly Watching in the Flower Garden
I often organize tours for tourists who want to go hiking in the rainforest of Klasow valley - Sorong regency. Visitors who go there can see colorful flowers that grow in the clearing area of the jungle village and inside the forest. They attract various species of butterflies that come to collect their nectar.
Meadow Argus butterfly (Junonia villida)
It is not difficult to watch these butterflies. Tourists only need to walk around the garden and spot the butterflies that hop from one flower to another. The small one that I could identify is Junonia villida. There are also big butterflies such as Ornitopthera priamus and Papilio ulysses.

Large Fig Parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii)
Jungle Walk and Birdwatching 
Since its introduction as rainforest tour destination in 2014, I have written a lot of articles about Klasow valley as birdwatching destination. There are a lot of birds that live in the valley such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Moustached Tree-Swift, Papuan Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Pinon Imperial Pigeon and Pink Spotted Fruit-Dove. From my previous tours, visitors like to do jungle walk during the day to find birds especially the Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), Yellow-billed Kingfisher and Dollarbird, Northern Cassowary, Helmetted Friarbird, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra and a lot more.
Wild Flower in the Jungle of Klasow Valley

How to get there?
  • Want to visit this forest and see its flowers, butterflies and birds? Here is the flight paths for you:
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
  • Take a domestic airline such as Garuda, Sriwijaya or Express Air to fly to Sorong city. 
  • I can meet you at the airport, arrange your accommodation in the city and organize your tour to Klasow valley.

Cost: On the average, the cost of traveling in Klasow valley is 10 million rupiahs (approximately 697 Euros) for 2 people on the duration of 4 days/3 nights in the valley. I can prepare a customized itinerary with cost calculation if you need one.

Where to stay?
If you want to visit the jungle village of Klasow valley, you can stay at our hut that has been prepared by villagers for guests. It is not a luxurious accommodation like what you see in big hotels in Sorong city but it can be a basic accommodation for anyone who wants to see and experience this full service rainforest  tour.

Contact:
This is my cell phone: +6281332245180 and my email: peace4wp@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Rainforest Flowers in Klasow Valley of Sorong Regency

I often see wild flowers in the rainforest of Klasow valley when I guide tourists on hiking and birdwatching tours in West Papua. The valley is located in the east of Sorong city around 1.5 hours by 4WD car and then another 1.5 hours on foot through the jungle to reach a small village near Klabolo stream. Tropical plants such as iron wood tree, pandanus, ficus tree, lianas, and various shrub plants grow along the paths that lead visitors to the jungle village. Everything looks green in the jungle. However, if we do careful exploration of the forest, we will be able to see various species of flowers that can only be seen in tropical rainforest.
Big Flowers from the Jungle
Rainforest Red Flower Uvaria papua
Early this month I saw a big flower whose petals were red. Its stigma was yellow. I never saw it before so I uploaded on my Facebook account and ask my friends to help me. Some people said that it was Uvaria grandiflora but based on my obsevation, the leaves are different and this flower does not have white color at the base of its petals that surrounds the stigma.  After reading their comments and suggestions, I decided to name: Uvaria papua.

Zinnia Flower and Blue Tiger Butterfly
There are a lot of other flowers that we can see in the forest of Klasow valley. The main problem that I face is the lack of field guide books for Flowers of New Guinea. So, I could only upload them in this blog and hope that readers will help me identify them.

Birdwatching
There are a lot of birds that we can see in the valley. As a matter of fact, I have organized birding trips to this forest numerous times. Some of the birds that I and the birdwatchers saw or heard during the trips are listed below:
Western Crowned Pigeon in
the jungle of Klasow valley
  • Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
  • Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)
  • Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise (Seleucidis melanoleuca)
  • King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius)
  • Lowland Peltops (Peltop blainvilii)
  • Shining Flycatcher (Myiagra alecto)
  • Frilled Monarch (Arses telescophthalmus)
  • Helmetted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides)
  • White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina papuensis)
  • Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta)
  • Moustached Tree-swift (Hemiprocne mustacea)
  • Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis)
  • Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)
  • Papuan hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus)
  • Rufous-bellied Kookabara (Dacelo gaudichaud)
  • Shovel-billed Kingfisher (Clytoceyx rex)
  • Forest Kingfisher (Halcyon macleayii)
  • Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx lepidus)
  • Yellow-billed Kingfisher (Halcyon torotoro)
  • Black Lory (Chalcopsitta atra)
  • Eclectus parrot (Eclectus rotatus)
  • Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
  • Red-cheeked Parrot (Geoffroyus geoffroyi)
  • Western Black-capped Lory (Lorius lory)
  • Large Fig Parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii)
  • Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon)
  • Pink-spotted Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus perlatus)
  • Wompoo Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus)
  • Beautiful Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus)
  • Western Crowned Pigeon (Goura cristata)
  • Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
  • Grey-headed Goshawk (Accipiter poliocephalus)
  • Dwarf Cassowary (Casuarius bennetti)
  • Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida)
  • and etc.

Rainforest Tour
Interested in visiting rainforest in Klasow valley to see flowers and butterfly? Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or use the contact form in the top right side of this blog.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Birdwatching in Lowland Forest of Sorong Regency with Swedish Tourists

I have just returned from a 2-day birdwatching tour with two Swedish tourists in the lowland forest of Sorong regency. It was a full service birding tour in Klasow valley of West Papua. I picked them up from Waigo hotel in Sorong city and transferred them by a 4WD car to the valley. It took around 1.5 hours by car and another 1.5 hours of walking through the forest to reach our birding hut located near Klabolo stream.
Birdwatching
Male Lesser Bird of Paradise
One of the participants was a mature lady Inggrid Timle. She used a pair of Swift binoculars to see birds in distant trees. She said that she saw Lowland Peltops (Peltops blainvillii), Papuan hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina papuensis) around the clearing area near our hut.
We also saw Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta), Moustached Tree-swift (Hemiprocne mystacea), Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis), Yellow-billed Kingfisher (Halcyon torotoro), Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), Forest Kingfisher (Halcyon macleayi), Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud), Western Black-capped Lory (Lorius lory), Large Fig-Parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii), Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Black Lory (Chalcopsitta atra), Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon), Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus iozonus), Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus perlatus), and a lot of other birds which I cannot mention in this post.

Pinon Imperial Pigeon in Klasow Valley
Night Walk
In addition to birding, we did a short night walk in search of wallaby. It was a kind of Ground Kangaroo but had smaller body. We saw two wallabies in separate locations. To do the night walk, participants need to bring torch, wear trekking boots or sport shoes and apply insect repellent lotion on their exposed skins. There were also nocturnal animals such as Papuan Frogmouth (a kind of owl), Fruit Bats that we could find in the jungle. However, we felt that we need to sleep early for watching Lesser Birds of Paradise. That's why we returned to the village early.

Flowers and Butterfly
Flowers were blooming along the path of the village
The Swedish visitors saw various colorful butterflies that fly around the clearing area of the lowland forest to collect nectar from flowers that were blooming everywhere. The villagers planted a lot of zinnia and other flowers in front of their jungle huts, church and along the path that connect their village and the main road. Some of them which I could identify were Blue Mountain Swallowtail (Papilio ulysses), Cruiser Butterfly (Vindula arsinoe), Great Egg butterfly (Hypolimnas bolina),  Taenaris catops, and birdwing butterfly (Ornitopthera priamus).

Jungle hut as our simple accommodation in
the forest of Klasow valley
Accommodation
Our accommodation in the jungle was a simple hut made of wood and palm leaves as roof. But there was a toilet with clean water. We provide mattresses, mosquito net. Villagers work as cooks, local guides and porters during the jungle tour.

Rainfores Tour in Sorong regency
As a tour guide, I offer a full service rainforest tour in Klasow valley of Sorong regency. It can be a sole 3 Days/2 Nights up to 6D/5N tour or it can also be combined with 5D/4N Sightseeing and Snorkeling Tour in Raja Ampat.
The number of participant can be as low as 1 person to a big group of 6 - 8 people.
I could prepare a tour for you with a customized itinerary and price.

Our birding hut in Klasow valley near Klabolo stream
How to get there?
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta city (the capital of Indonesia)
  • Fly from Jakarta to Sorong city (daily flights between these cities are served by Garuda, Express Air, Sriwijaya Air, Nam Air)
  • I will meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay and arrange your trip into the jungle of Sorong regency.
Contact Person
Please, contact me, Charles Roring, using the contact form in the top right side of this blog or to my email: peace4wp@gmail.com


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Birdwatching in Lower Montane Forest of Arfak Range

Lower Montane Forest of
Arfak Mountains
in Warmarway village
Arfak range has been famous as birdwatching destination in West Papua. Most visitors go there to watch birds of paradise. There is a village called Warmarway in the eastern region of Arfak. It is a recommended area for visitors who want to watch such birds as Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Papuan Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), and a lot of other birds which I cannot mention one by one.
Local villager Yunus Sayori could guide visitors in the jungle and stay in a camp for several days to watch birds and other wild animals.
Male Lesser Birds of Paradise
He has got special skill in immitating the sound of female cuscus possum to attract the male possum during night walk. When he calls, all torches have to be off. When the cuscus possum has come, he will tell every visitor to turn on the light and take pictures of the possum.
On the average, visitors stay for 3 to 6 days in the jungle. Most of them are interested in everyrhing rainforest.
Itinerary
Day 1
Arrive in Manokwari city
Getting Surat Jalan from local police station
Buying food, bottled water and other goods needed for the trip in traditional market and supermarket.
Transfer to Warmarway village at the foot of Arfak mountains
Walking up steep slopes into the jungle.
Setting up tents
Birding and wildlife watching around the campsite area
Overnight stay in the tent in the jungle

Cuscus Possum
Day 2
Wake up early in the morning at 05.00, have some tea or coffee.
We will leave for the display tree of Lesser Birds of Paradise
We will watch the birds until around 09.00 and then return to basecsmp.
After breakfast will walk up the slopes to explore the forest for its insects, birds, reptiles and other wild animals.

Day 3
We may build tents in higher elevation forest to explore the jungle. We can do night walk to find Papuan frogmouth.

Day 4
We can walk down to our first camp again to take arest before going back to the village to explore its lowland forest. There are orchids, unique glowing mushroom as well as colorful insects.

Day 5
Walking down the jungle and explore the lowland forest. Built tent near the river. Birding and wildlife watching.

Day 6
Walking back to the main road and return to the city.

For price, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email: peace4wp@gmail.com.

Related Post:
Rainforest Tour in Arfak Mountains near Warmarway Village

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Birding with Two British Birdwatchers in Sorong regency of West Papua

From the sea of Raja Ampat to the jungle of Sorong
From 2 to 4 October 2016 I guided two British tourists in the jungle of Sorong regency. They were Brian and Claire. Previously, they spent several days snorkeling and birding in Raja Ampat. After that they crossed the sea between Waisai harbor and Sorong town by fast passenger ferry Marina Express. I met them in the afternoon at Pelabuhan Rakyat and transferred them to the rainforest of Klasow valley. We went there by a 4WD car and arrived at the edge of the forest at 19.00 local time. It was dark and raining when we began walking into the jungle to reach a village that was located near Klabolo stream. I carried two bags loaded with food, clothes, and birding devices, other local guides also helped me. Together with the British tourists, we walked along muddy path to the village. It took around one and a half hour to reach it.
Watching Paradise Birds
We had simple food that night. Our meals were rice, noodle and sardine. Because we were so tired, we slept early. The next morning, we woke up early at around 04.30. It was still dark when we left the village. We were guided by two young men from the village. They were Daniel and Yulianus. We turned on our torches and began walking up steep slopes in the south of the village. We reached the display trees of the paradise birds at around 06.15. When we stopped under one of the trees, we saw two males of Lesser Birds of Paradise and several female birds. Brian and Claire took their binoculars and watched the birds. They also took their digital camera and video recording device. I saw Brian recorded the sounds of the birds using a special recording device with a microphone that looks like a long stick.
Because I had seen the birds during my previous trips, I decided to sit on the ground. It was good to keep the birds in the trees. The male birds of paradise were dancing from one branch to another and showing their beautiful feather in order to attract their female counterparts. It was a competition among the male birds. Sometimes they were fighting.
Birding Walk
After watching the morning performance of the paradise birds, we walked back to the village. We still did the birdwatching along the way. We saw brown cuckooshrike, rainbow lorikeet, palm cockatoo, spangled drongo, pinon imperial pigeon, and a lot of other birds both at the bank of the Klasow river and under the canopy of the forest. Claire said that she saw a King Bird of Paradise. She also said she saw a female Magnificent Riflebird flying across the river. Our local guide Yulianus confirmed that he saw King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) dancing on the branch of a tall tree. At the hill near the village, we saw a wompoo fruit dove, and beautiful fruit dove.
In addition to birds, we also saw colorful butterflies such as Ornitopthera priamus and Taenaris catops in the jungle. After having brunch, they weather suddenly changed and rained for around 1 hour. But we saw glossy swift, moustached treeswift and a forest kingfisher in the clearing area of the village. Brian told me that the forest kingfisher was a migrant bird coming from Australia and is usually found in southern New Guinea. It's good to see it here in the northwest region of the island.
The Biggest and the Smallest Birds of the Day
In the afternoon in the final day of our birding trip in Sorong, we saw cassowary, yellow billed kingfisher, black lory, eclectus parrot. While we were sitting on a log at the bank of a river in the north of the village, we successfully spotted a Papuan Dwarf Kingfisher. It was amazing to see the biggest (Cassowary) and the smallest bird (Papuan Dwarf Kingfisher on the same day.
I could not take pictures of all the birds because my camera was not equipped with super telephoto lens. So, I was satisfied enough with some pictures of wildflower, butterfly, and paradise bird. As of today, I still cannot identify the species name of the red flower that is shown above.
Want me to be your private guide?
As a tour guide, I offer birding, snorkeling, camping and sightseeing tours for visitors who want to visit West Papua region especially in areas like Raja Ampat, Sorong and Manokwari, Triton bay, and Numfor island. If you are interested, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by cell phone/ whatsapp +6281332245180.

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