Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rainforest Birding Tour in Arfak Mountains and Lowland of Manokwari

Riverwalk in Mesirrokow forest
Manokwari has been an important birdwatching destination for domestic and international visitors. They come to watch birds that live in the jungle of Arfak mountains and lowland region such as Papuan hornbill, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Hooded Butcherbird, Yellow Faced Myna, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfishers and a lot more.
There are two places in the forest that I offer as camping and birding grounds.
Beautiful Fruit Dove
Lowland Forest of Mesirrokow River
This is an ideal site for tourists or birdwatchers who cannot go hiking in steep slopes of Arfak mountains. Local people call the area the Mesirrokow river-forest. There are no guesthouses in the jungle. Tents, mattrasses, cooking and eating utensils will be provided by local guides for tourists who want to stay here for a few days for watching Eclectus Parrots (Eclectus roratus), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) and a lot of other birds. In addition to birding, visitors can enjoy swimming and fishing in the river too.
Colorful wild flowers that grow in both sides of the river attract butterflies, bees to collect their nectar. Tourists spend between 3 to 4 days camping and watching wild animals.
Camping at Mesirrokow river-forest
Mabowi Forest of Arfak Mountains
This lower montane forest is located in the east area of Arfak mountains and has been a favorite site for watching cuscus possum, lesser birds of paradise and glowing mushrooms. There are no hotels or gueshouses in the middle of the jungle. Tourists will stay in tents are are built by local villagers.
The jungle of Mabowi is the natural habitat of wild pigs, deer, dwarf cassowary, and a lot of species of birds. It is suitable for visitors who are really nature lovers.

Booking
Please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to my number: +6281332245180 if you are interested in taking rainforest tour with me in Manokwari forest.

Birding and Wildlife Watching Tour in Tambrauw Mountains

Hooded Pitta in Tambrauw mountains
The mountain range of Tambrauw is located between Manokwari and Sorong regencies. It is mostly covered by pristine tropical rainforest that is the natural habitat of hundreds of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, marsupials and insects.
There is a very good site for wildlife watching in Tambrauw mountains. Its name is Ases valley. Visitors who go to the valley can see animals such as Birds of Paradise, deer, wild pigs, and colorful butterfies. Birding tour can easily be done along the sides of Ases river.
Adventure tour in Tambrauw mountains
It takes approximately 6 hours by 4WD car from Sorong city to Ases valley. Visitors can stay at the villagers' houses or in tents at the banks of the river.
The average number of days which tourists spend in the valley for watching birds is between 4 to 7 days. To increase the chance of seeing more wild animals, local guides will offer day and night walking tours in the jungle. Nocturnal animals such as wallaby and cuscus possum can be seen in the valley.
Tambrauw Mountains
What to bring:
Darker color clothing for watching birds and wild animals
Digital camera with telephoto lens and some extra batteries
Torch/ flashlight
Binoculars
Field guide: Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler. This book could be ordered from Amazon online store.

Birding
How to get there?
Fly from your country to Jakarta city
Take a domestic flight to Sorong city
I will organize your trip to Ases valley in Tambrauw mountains.

I suggest that visitors travel in a group of 3 to 4 people to share the cost.
Booking:
You could send email to my account: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to: +6281332245180.



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Birding in Manokwari and Sorong

Cuscus Possum in Arfak mountains
I frequently organize birding tours in Manokwari and Sorong for visitors who are interested in watching tropical birds that live in New Guinea's rainforest. The most important destinations in Manokwari are Arfak mountains and Lowland Forest along Mesirrokow river. For Sorong regency, Klasow valley has become the most favorite destination among tourists.

MANOKWARI
Arfak Mountains - lower montane forest
Birds that can be found in the jungle are Common Paradise Kingfisher, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Hooded Butcherbird, Magnificent BoP and a lot more. There is a camping site at Mount Mabowi which visitors can stay for several nights. Hiking activities can be done in the mornings to watch birds and in the nights to find cuscus possum and dragon tree lizard.
Hooded Butcherbird (Cracticus cassicus)
 in Mount Mabowi of Arfak Mountains
Mesirrokow river - lowland forest
This forest area is located in northwest territory of Manokwari regency. Birds such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Papuan Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus), Little-ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius), Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus), Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii), Eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus), Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot (Micropsitta keiensis) can be seen along the banks of Mesirrokow river forest.
However, it is not only birds that visitors can see in the jungle, there are various species of lizards including the soa-soa monitor lizard, deer, wild pigs and colorful butterflies.

SORONG REGENCY
Klasow valley is relatively new among visitors who want to watch birds in West Papua. Most of the land is flat but the path to the lek of Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) is steep and slippery.
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
 in Klasow valley of Sorong regency
Birdwatchers like to visit the area because there are a lot of birds that live in the forest of the valley. Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon), Large Fig Parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii), Black lory (Chalcopsitta atra), Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus perlatus), Beautiful Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus), Red-cheeked Parrot (Geoffroyus geoffroyi),  Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud) are some of the birds that we could see in Klasow valley. Sometimes wild Northern Cassowary bird enter the jungle village in to ask for food from local villagers. There is also King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) in the forest near the village but visitors need to use a good pair of binoculars such as the 10x42 or the 12x50 ones to see the small bird properly.

Tour Duration
On the average, visitors spend between 1 to 2 weeks to watch birds both in lowland forest of Manokwari, and Klasow valley of Sorong regency.

Booking
If you are interested in taking a birding trip in Arfak mountains of Manokwari and Klasow valley of Sorong regency and want me to organize your trip and be your guide, for itinerary and cost, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to: +6281332245180.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hiking Camping and Wildlife Watching in Arfak Mountains

Camping in the jungle of Arfak mountains - Manokwari
I have organized hiking and camping tours in Arfak mountains for tourists who want to watch birds, cuscus possum, tree dragon lizard and colorful butterflies. Tourists who take the tours come from Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. Some of my guests were single traveling ladies such as Natalia from the Philipines or Kathrine from Germany or Georgina from the UK. There were also group visitors who came to watch butterflies or birds.
Tree Dragon Lizard in Arfak Mountains
Staying in Tents
The most favorite site in Arfak mountains for wildlife watching is Mount Mabowi. There is no luxurious gueshouses in the jungle. As a tour guide, I provide camping gear such as tents, sleeping bag, cooking and eating utensils for visitors who want to stay for a few nights. Our camping ground is located near a small stream.
Nature Lover Paradise
In the jungle of Manokwari, visitors can see wild flowers, various kinds of mushrooms, butterflies, birds, lizards, glowing mushrooms, cuscus possum and a lot of tropical plants.
Duration of Stay
Most Tourists who go to Mount Mabowi of Arfak mountains spend between 3 and 4 days in lower montane forest before continuing their trip to do hiking and camping tour in Mesirrokow forest of Manokwari or snorkeling tour in Dorey bay.
Common Paradise Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea) in Arfak Mountains
Wildlife Watching Equipment
To enhance wildlife watching experience, I highly recommend that each tourist bring his or her own binoculars. I provide a good pair of 10x42 binoculars and a 20-60x60 spotting scope with a tripod.
Birdwatching
Arfak mountains have been famous among birdwatchers as a famous birding destination. The tropical rainforest that covers the mountain range is the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds including Common Paradise Kingfisher, Hooded Butcherbird, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Papuan Blyth's Hornbill and etc.
Visitors who go birding in Arfak mountains could buy Birds of New Guinea as their field guide. The book was written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler.
Booking
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to +6281332245180

Birdwatching Hiking and Camping in Manokwari

Camping at the bank of Mesirrokow river
I have organized and run birding tours in Manokwari for years now. Early this year, I introduced a new birding area called Mesirrokow. It is a lowland forest area in north-west region of Manokwari regency. There are a lot of birds that can be seen in the forest of Mesirrokow river area such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Large-tailed Nightjar, Black capped Lory, Papuan Blyth's hornbill, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-billed Kingfisher and a lot more.
In addition to watching birds, visitors who take the birding tour to the area can also see colorful butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers, and other insects. Wild boars, wallaby, deer, snakes, and soa-soa monitor make the forest of Mesirrokow river as their natural habitat.


Birdwatching Activity
Visitors can enjoy birding along the sides of the river by using binoculars and spotting scopes. In the mornings, Yellow-faced Myna, Eclectus Parrot, Willie Wagtail, and Hooded Butcherbird like to sit on the branches of trees.
Walking deeper into the jungle, visitors can watch more birds including Lowland Peltop, Dollarbird, Brahminy Kite, and Little-ringed Plover.

Birding Gear
Birdwatchers usually bring a good pair of 10x42 roof prism binoculars, a spotting scope with tripod or a D-SLR camera with telephoto lens. I have got binoculars which visitors could use to enhnace their birding experience in Manokwari

Camping and Hiking
There are no guesthouses in Mesirrokow forest. As a tourist guide, I provide tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment and eating utensils for tourists who want to spend several days birding and camping in the forest.
As we walk further into the river-forest area, we will dismantle our tents and rebuild them in our new birding site. Visitors could also enjoy swimming, and fishing along the river.

Large-tailed Nightjar
Duration of the Birding and Camping Tour
On the average, visitors spend between 3 days/ 2 nights and 5 days/ 4 nights camping in the area. After the tour, visitors could extend their trip in Manokwari to a few more days by birding in Arfak mountains or snorkeling in some islands in Dorey bay.

Booking
If you are interested in hiking, camping and birding in Mesirrokow forest or other places in Manokwari, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Friday, April 28, 2017

Birding Tour in Arfak Mountains for May 2017

Cicinnurus magnificus
I will conduct a birdwatching tour in Arfak mountains of Manokwari based on the following itinerary:
High Elevation Forest of Arfak mountains
11 May
We will begin our hiking and birdwatching trip in Arfak mountains by getting travel permit from local police station and by buying some fresh food materials in a traditional market of Manokwari. After that, we go directly to Arfak mountains by 4WD car. If we arrive before 3 p.m. we will stil be able to watch Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis innornata)

Amblyornis innornata
12 May
We will wake up early in the morning to watch Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata). Sometimes, Cinnamon Ground Dove (Gallicolumba rufigula) walks into the same dancing ground of the birds.  After that we will explore the forest to find Feline Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles insignis) and see unique vegetation of Arfak mountains. In the afternoon, we will walk into the jungle to spend one night at the house of a villager located in the middle of the jungle that is close to the birding ground of Magnificent BOP.

Parotia sefilata
13 May
We will wake up early in the morning at 05.00 to walk to the birding hut of Magnificent Birds of Paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus), most often birds such as Spotted Catbird, Blackfantail and Wattled Brush-turkey comes to the same birding ground.

14 May
Hiking to the top of Mount Soyti of Arfak mountains

15 May
We will do review of our birding activities where we will choose to watch birds that we haven't seen well.

16 May
Birding walk to Maibri village.

17 May
In the morning, we will watch Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)

18 May
We will try to find Superb Bird of Paradise (Lophorina superba)  and Mask Bowerbird, Plum faced Lorikeet (Oreopsittacus arfaki) and other birds that are endemic to Arfak mountains

19 May
We will do some birding walk along the ridge of the mountain in the morning
After lunch we will be transferred to Manokwari city by 4WD car.
End of Tour

There are still 2 seats available for tourists who are interested in joining the tour. Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message/whatsapp message to: +6281332245180.
Please, consider the above itinerary as reference only, we will adjust it based on the weather condition.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Snorkeling and Jungle Tour in Raja Ampat Islands

Waim Island of Raja Ampat
I will conduct a snorkeling and jungle tour in North-East region of Raja Ampat islands from 6 to 10 May 2017 with the following itinerary:
6 May 2017
Leaving Sorong city for Waim island by motorized boat. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach the island. Our destination is Isanak beach where we will enjoy snorkeling to explore the wealth of marine bio-diversity of Raja Ampat that is the natural habitat of a lot species of tropical fish including trevally, striped surgeonfish and etc.
Continue trip to the nearby village
Village Tour to see Papuan people in their daily life
Overnight stay
7 May 2017
Wake up early in the morning, We will go by motorized boat to Warafar forest - We will go hiking and watching Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Back to homestay - brunch
Snorkeling at Mamiaef island
We could enjoy fishing
We can stay one night in tents in the island or stay in the village.
Isanak beach in Raja Ampat
8 May 2017
Hiking and camping in the forest near Fish Lagoon
9 May 2017
Hiking and camping in the forest and wildlife watching
10 May 2017
Walking back to the beach
Transfer by boat to nearby village - wash
Going back to Sorong

Cost: 6 million rupiahs/ person
Fish Lagoon
The cost includes transportation by motorized boat between Sorong and north-east Raja Ampat islands, food, payment to local guides, and land owners, basic accommodation at the villager's house and in tents in the jungle.
The cost does not include: entrance fee paid to Dept. of Tourism of Raja Ampat, airfare, accommodation in a hotel in Sorong before and after the tour, travel insurance and other personal expenses.
Please, bring:Your own snorkeling equipment, binoculars, flashlight, sun-block-lotion, clothing that is suitable for beach, and tropical weather.Tourists who are interested in joining the trip can contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by sending text/ whatsapp message to +6281332245180

Riverwalk Camping and Birding Tour in Manokwari

Lowland Forest of Manokwari
Most birdwatchers who go to Manokwari choose Arfak mountains as their destination. But Manokwari also has got lowland forest that is good for visitors who want to relax and swim in the river and also do birwatching. The name of the forest is Mesirrokow. It is located in northwest region and can be reached by car or motorcycle. Visitors still need to walk into the jungle for approximately 2 hours to reach Mesirrokow forest. The river forest area is the natural habitat of Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus), Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous bellied Kookaburra, Large-tailed Nightjar, Willie Wagtail, Little-ringed Plover, Yellow Faced Myna (Mino dumontii), Golden Myna (Mino anais), and a lot more
In addition to birds, other animals that live in this lowland forest area is soa-soa lizard, deer, wild pig, and snakes, and colorful butterflies.

Large-tailed nightjar
Riverwalk and Birding Tour
The best way to see the beautiful scenery of the river is by walking along its sides and its water. High green trees grow on both sides of the river providing homes to various kinds of animals. There are trees that provide fruits for the birds and marsupial animals and there are shrub plants that provide sweet nectar for butterflies, and birds from their flowers.
Because the river is wide, visitors will be able to watch birds that fly over or sit on the branches. To enhance birding experience, we will bring a pair of binoculars 10x42, 20-60x60 spotting scope and laser pointer during the trip.
Birds are usually active in the mornings and in the afternoons. At night, we could do night walk to find Large-tailed Nightjar.
Birds such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Papuan Hornbill, and Pinon Imperial Pigeon can easily be seen while they fly or sit on the branches of trees.

Fishing and Swimming
Visitors are allowed to do fishing. There are fresh water fish and also seawater fish that enters the river.  Freshly caught fish is delicious if we fried it. The river in Mesirrokow forest is also a nice place for swimming. Visitors can enjoy swimming or sunbathing. Don't forget to apply insect repellent lotion on your skin and also sunblock lotion.

Our tents at the bank of the river
Camping
On the average, the duration of the birding tour is 3 days/ 2nights to 4 days/ 3 nights. We will build tents at the side of the river to see the beautiful scenery and then dismantle them as we move deeper into the jungle. Visitors can swim or enjoy fishing.

Booking
Please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to: +6281332245180

Monday, April 10, 2017

Rainforest Tours in Raja Ampat

Tropical Rainforest in north-east Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is the name of a regency in the western tip of the Province of Papua Barat in the Republic of Indonesia. There are 4 big islands (Waigeo, Salawati, Batanta and Misool) and hundreds of small islands in the region. Most of them are covered by tropical rainforest and mangrove forest which are the natural habitat of hundreds of birds, reptiles, insects, marsupials and mammals.
As a tour guide, I offer hiking tours to the forest of Raja Ampat particularly in Waigeo island.

Tropical Rainforest of Waigeo Island
During the tour, visitors will be able to watch birds, see tropical trees and shrubs as well as taking pictures of butterflies and wild flowers.
There are 2 rainforest areas in eastern region of Raja Ampat islands that I am now promoting as tourist destinations. The first is Wararaf forest (located in the northeast tip of Waigeo island) and the second is near The Fish Lagoon. Terminalia tree, rattan, strangler fig tree, iron-wood tree, and palm tree are some of the species of tropical plants which visitors can see while exploring the forest of Waigeo island. Coastal forest of north-east Raja Ampat is mostly covered by mangrove trees, cattapa trees, palm and coconut trees. I also saw some orchid flowers while climbing a cape in the Fish Lagoon.
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Birding
During my previous trips to the forest and coastal areas, I watched Red Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra), Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Brahminy kite (Haliastur indus), Western Black-capped Lory, Radjah Shelduck, Tern, Pacific Swallow, Plover, Willie Wagtail, Eclectus Parrot, Frigatebird, Kingfisher and a lot more.
To take pictures of birds and sceneries, I used a bridge camera Nikon P500 but later I changed it with Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR.
I also brought a pair of 10x 42 Visionking binoculars.
Exploring the Forest of Fish Lagoon
While in Fish Lagoon, I was able to explore deeper area of the forest by walking through a new road that was being constructed by local government. Local villagers do not have cars or motorcycles. When they want to travel to the coastal villages, they use their motorized boats. Thats why the road was empty. There were some bulldozer, trucks and pick-up cars that belonged to the construction company at that time but they did not work.

Queen Orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum)
Rainforest Tour
The average duration of rainforest tour in Waigeo is 3 to 4 days, depending on how long visitors want to explore the forest. We could stay in the villager's house and do day hiking every day or we bring tents and camp inside the forest during the whole trip.

Things to Bring:
Visitors who are interested in taking rainforest tour with me in the jungle of Waigeo should bring the following things:

  • Anti mosquito/ insect lotion
  • Clothing that is suitable for tropical climate.
  • Snorkeling mask and bathing suit if they want to enjoy snorkeling at the beach.
  • A waterproof camera for taking pictures underwater
  • A digital camera with telephoto lens if they want to take pictures of wildlife in the jungle
  • A good pair of binoculars or spotting scope

Booking
If you want me to organize and guide you during your rainforest tour in Waigeo island, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to peace4wp@gmail.com or text/ whatsapp message to: +6281332245180. I could prepare a customized itinerary and cost for you.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Snorkeling Vacation in Raja Ampat Archipelago

As a tour guide, I offer snorkeling tour package for visitors who want to spend their vacation in Raja Ampat archipelago. There are a lot of coral reef sites which tourists can visit to see such tropical fish as groupers, butterflyfish, moorish idols, anemonefish, parrotfish and etc.
Unconventional Destination
Fish Lagoon in Raja Ampat islands of West Papua
There are unconventional tourist destinations in Raja Ampat where most tourists hardly ever know. One of them is Fish Lagoon. It is located in the north-east region of Raja Ampat archipelago. There are karst islets near the main Waigeo island that form protected waters for various species of tropical fish and coral reef to thrive. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling in this area as well as other small islands in the same region. My favorite sites are Isanak beach, and DPL reefs.
Anemonefish in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is located in a huge zone that is called Coral Triangle. Raja Ampat is also famous because it has got the highest marine bio-diversity in the world. To enjoy snorkeling, don't forget to bring snorkeling gear such as mask, snorkel pipe and fins. A water resistant/ underwater camera is also good for taking pictures of fish and coral reef. Avoid standing on table corals. If you cannot swim, I will provide life-jacket so that you could still see the beauty of the underwater world of Raja Ampat.
In addition to swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing, visitors who join the tour can also participate in hiking tour in the jungle in the north area of the lagoon. The hills in the lagoon are covered by tropical rainforest that is the natural habitat of colorful flowers and butterflies and a large varieties of song birds.
Hiking and Birdwatching
After snorkeling in Fish Lagoon, visitors can continue their trip into the nearby forest where they can enjoy hiking and birdwatching. Birds such as Papuan hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), kingfishers and a lot of coastal birds. To enhance your birding experience, don't forget to bring a good pair of binoculars. For birding activity, I usually bring my roof prism 10x42 binoculars from Visionking and a 20-60x60 spotting scope.
Visitors who like taking pictures of birds could bring their camera with telephoto capability.
Meeting the Villagers
During the tour, we will also visit some coastal villages and see the Papuan people in their daily life. We may also stay with them. Most of the villagers catch fish and other marine products such as lobster, sea shell and sea-cucumber. They don't use modern scuba diving equipment. They only do free-diving. They sell their catch to Sorong city.
Duration of the Tour
On the average, the duration of the snorkeling vacation in north-east region of Raja Ampat is 3 days/ 2 nights and can be extended into 4 or even 6 days.
Cost
I highly suggest that visitors who want to participate in this trip should be a group of 4 to 6 people to share the cost.
Booking
If you are interested, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text / whatsapp message to my smartphone: +6281332245180.


Birdwatching and Snorkeling Tour in Raja Ampat

I went to Raja Ampat islands last week where I enjoyed birdwatching to see red paradise birds and snorkeling to see tropical fish. I also had a short tour in the forest of the island and then continued my trip to Sopen village.
Watching Red Paradise Birds
The next day I woke up early in the morning and left the village for Wararaf forest in the north east area of Waigeo island by boat. We entered a river and then continued our trip on foot to the birding ground of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). I was an amazing trip, I was able to see several male and female paradise birds in a high tree. To watch them I used a pair of Visionking 10x42 binoculars. The lek of the paradise birds was approximately one hour walk from the place where our boat landed and the path was flat with some small river crossings.


Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
River entrance to Wararaf forest


While watching for the Red Bird of Paradise, I could also hear the sounds of Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and Papuan Blyth's hornbill. We watched the birds for around 1.5 hours and then returned to the boat again. It was a great experience. On the way back to Sopen, I saw some sea birds including several Radjah Shelduck that I saw at the beach. While waiting for lunch, I saw some Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) and hawks flying over the village.

Visiting Fish Lagoon and Hiking in The Jungle of Waigeo
After lunch, I continued my trip to Fish Lagoon that was similar to Piaynemo or Wayag islands. Small karst islets covered with green tropical trees form a protected waters for fish and coral reef to thrive. The landscape was so beautiful. I also had a hiking trip through the jungle near the lagoon where I saw more birds such as Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Western Black Capped Lory and Butcherbird. Local government was constructing a road that connects coastal villages.

Most of the villagers in north-east region of Raja Ampat still use motorized boats to travel from one village to another. They do not have motorcycles or cars. So, when I was walking along the road I could only see trucks and bulldozer that belong to the road construction company. At the time there were no activities from the company. So, the forest was quiet. Only the sound of birds that I could hear.
Fish Lagoon in Raja Ampat
Snorkeling Experience
Raja Ampat archipelago was one of the best marine environment with the highest marine bio-diversity in the world. I enjoyed snorkeling in several coral reef areas of the islands. White sandy beach with colorful coral reef and tropical fish were the typical scenery of Raja Ampat. I enjoyed snorkeling at Isanak beach, and DPL reef and Mamiaef island. They were so beautiful,  fantastic! After spending one night walking at a small wooden house near a beach, I left Raja Ampat for Sorong city again.
White Sandy Beach in Raja Ampat
The eastern region of Raja Ampat has not been developed into a tourist destination. So, we would not see beach hotels or guesthouses in the villages where we visit. Visitors who are interested in visiting the region could stay in the villagers houses.

East Raja Ampat Tour Package
As a tour guide, I offer a tour package for visitors who are interested in swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, taking island tours in Fish Lagoon as well as hiking and birdwatching in tropical jungle. In other words, we will explore the coral reef and rainforest of Raja Ampat to see its wildlife. Because there is no regular ferry service, we need to go there by motorized wooden boat.
Coral Reef at Isanak Beach of Raja Ampat
Booking
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to my smartphone: +6281332245180 for customized tours.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Tropical Birding Tour in Sorong Forest

Large Fig parrot
Sorong regency is an important gate for tourists who want to go to Raja Ampat. But this city is also an important hub for visitors who are interested in birdwatching. There is a huge forest area relatively near Sorong city approximately 1.5 hour ride to the east. Its name is Klasow valley. Hundreds of species of birds live in the tropical rainforest including Cassowary, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Lowland Peltop, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Magnificen Riflebird, Moustached Tree Swift and a lot more.

Western Crowned Pigeon in Klasow Valley of Sorong regency
Guided Birding
I have organized birding tours to this forest for more than 3 years and I see that the number of visitors is increasing every year. Birdwatchers can enjoy birding for 3 to 4 days exploring the bio-diversity of the forest. Guided birding tours to Klasow valley can be done for visitors who plan to watch tropical birds and other animals such as butterflies, wallaby (a kind of kangaroo but has got smaller body), deer, snake, and wild pigs.

Paradise Birds
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) is the vocal point of birding in this valley. But there are also other species that occur in Klasow valley including King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird and Twelve-wired Birds of Paradise.
To watch these birds, we need to wake up early in the morning to find it.

The Great Eggfly Butterfly
Butterflies
There are a lot of species of butterflies from the small ones such as Meadow Argus butterflies to the bigger ones such as Ornitopthera priamus and Blue Mountain Swallowtail (Papilio ulysses) and New Guinea clipper. Visitors can watch them easily by having tea or coffee from the verandah of the garden house or walking around the clearing area of the jungle village.

Klasow valley in Sorong regency of West Papua
Watching Wallaby
I mention about wallaby. To watch this little kangaroo, we need to do night walk. The easiest way is to walk along the path that connects the jungle village of Klabolo stream and the main road.

What you need to bring
In general, most birdwatchers know what they need to bring. Here are some of the equipment that visitors need:
  • Binoculars - usually roof prism with magnification 10 x 42 mm.
  • Spotting scope with a good tripod (if you have)
  • Reference book Birds of New Guinea, written by Thane K. Pratt, Bruce Beehler, and friends
  • Flashlight/ head torch
  • Laser Pointer
How to get there:
Fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
There are regular daily flights served by such airlines as Garuda, Xpress Air, Sriwijaya Air, Nam Air between Sorong and Jakarta.
When you have arrived in Sorong city, I could meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay and organize your birding trip to Klasow valley.

Booking:
For customized itinerary and cost, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by sending whatsapp message to my number: +6281332245180.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tropical Birding Tour in West Papua

Pinon Imperial Pigeon
As a tour guide, I have organized numerous tropical birding tours in West Papua for birdwatchers. Visitors can be a solo traveling birdwatcher or even a big group of avid birders who want to see such birds as dwarf kingfisher, large tailed nightjar, sulphur crested cockatoo or even cassowary bird.

Birding Destinations
  • Numfor Island - It is located between Manokwari city and Biak island. Visitors can reach the island by plane or ferry boat. The vocal point of Numfor is Numfor Paradise Kingfisher.
  • Manokwari lowland forest
  • Manokwari lower montane forest
  • Manokwari middle elevation montane forest - This is one of the most popular destinations in West Papua. Mount Soyti of Arfak range is a recommended site. Here, visitors can watch Magnificent Birds of Paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus), Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata), Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis innornatus)
  • Sorong lowland forest in Klasow valley
  • Raja Ampat lowland and lower montane forest in Waigeo island
  • Ases valley of Tambrauw mountains (suitable for a group of tourists of at least 2 to 3 people).
I recommend that visitors go to Manokwari middle elevation montane forest, Sorong' Klasow valley and Raja Ampat's Waigeo island to cover the vocal points of birds in the region. It will be cheaper to go as a group of at least 3 people in order to share the cost.
However, if there is a solo traveling birdwatcher who is interested in watching birds with me as a guide, I will be ok with that as long as the minimum cost is covered.
Booking:
For customized itinerary and cost, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or text/ whatsapp message to: +6281332245180



Watching Eclectus roratus bird in Sorong Forest of West Papua

Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) - female
Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) is one of the tropical birds which visitors can watch in the jungle of Klasow valley. The male has got green and red colors whereas the female - red and blue. This parrot, as well as other birds such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo; Palm Cockatoo; Black capped Lory; Rainbow Lorikeet, lives in the lowland forest of the valley approximately 1.5 hours ride plus 1.5 hours walk from Sorong city.
A lot of birdwatchers from Europe, Australia, North America and Asia have visited the valley to watch tropical birds. They came as solo traveling lady or as a group of nature lovers who want to see not only birds but also the beauty of tropical rainforest.
Birds are usually active in the mornings and in the afternoons. They can be watched using a good pair of binoculars and spotting scope. Large fig parrot, (Micropsitta desmarestii) usually fly in groups and sit on the branches of fruiting trees. Pinon Imperial Pigeon is more solitary but sometimes fly as a couple or in a big formation of more than ten birds. There are also red cheek parrot and a lot of lorikeets in Klasow valley.

Butterflies and Flowers
Villagers grow flowers around their houses and along the paths that connect their village and the mainroad or the nearby rivers. These flower plants attract butterflies such as the cruiser, the silky owl, the blue mountain swallowtail and the New Guine clipper butterflies.

Wildlife Watching Devices
I highly recommend that visitors who want to watch birds and other wild animals in Klasow valley of Sorong regency to bring such equipment as:
  • Roof Prism Binoculars 10 x 42
  • Birds of New Guinea fieldguide book written by Thane K Pratt and Bruce Beehler.
  • Digital camera with telephoto lens
In addition to birds, visitors who take birding trip to Klasow valley may also see colorful butterflies and wild flowers, dogs, cassowary bird, soa-soa lizard, wild pigs, deer and snake.

Location of Klasow Valley in the Map
To give an idea of the the Klasow valley is, please, see the following map. Klasow valley is located in the east of Sorong city and can be reached only by 4WD car.

Booking
If you are interested in birding in Klasow valley, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to: +6281332245180.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Rainforest Tour in Mesirrokow River of Manokwari

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo in Manokwari
I guided two French tourists, Guillaume and Jessica last weekend. We went hiking, camping and birdwatching along the banks of Mesirrokow river in the northwest region of Manokwari. The river-forest environment was the natural habitat of birds, insects, marsupial and mammals that are endemic to New Guinea.
To watch them, we need to walk along the banks and through the shallow water area of the river. I brought 2 pairs of binoculars and my old Fujifilm HS50EXR.
Eupholus schoenherri beetle
During the 3-day/ 2-night rainforest tour, we saw such birds as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Papuan Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Grey Goshawk (Accipiter Novaehollandiae), Willie Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover, Western Black-capped Lory, Rainbow Lorikeet, Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) and a lot more.
We also saw beautiful butterflies such as New Guinea Clipper, Blue Mountain Swallowtail, the Silky Owl Butterfly, and other butterflies which I could not identify. There was one beettle called Eupholus schoenherri sitting on a leave. Its colors were so beautiful. I made some pictures of this unique insect. There were also flowers which I don't know its species name.
If you are interested in visiting Manokwari and exploring the bio-diversity of its rainforest, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com

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