|Dutch students camping in Susnguakti forest|
We went with Charles to the Manokwari jungle hills in the summer of 2018. All in all it was an amazing experience that I would recommend to any nature lover. In the end of the afternoon we left from Manokwari. Charles, who is fluent in English and Indonesian, took us to a local market first to buy our food for in the jungle. Afterwards, we spent about 1 hour in the car on a road along the coastline. In the middle of nowhere you get out and take off. Don't expect a grant-maintained path, signs or other people. From the coastal road you just have a 1-hour, steep climb up straight into the jungle hills. This climb often involves pulling yourself up by your hands and can be a bit thrilling. Not to the locals though, they guide you barefoot effortlessly. When we arrived at the base camp in the midst of the jungle, some wooden platforms with tents awaited us. No shower, toilet or beds. Instead a little stream, some tarantula's and the most beautiful sound of hundreds of animals. Together with some locals, Charles prepares a nice meal on a camp-fire.
Afterwards, a night-hike is scheduled. After holding our breath and sitting in the dark for 20 minutes three times, our patience was rewarded. One of the local guides had lured a Koeskoes Oppossum (Australian marsupial) straight to our location. Furthermore we saw lizards, birds, many big spiders, frogs and many more animals. Be prepared to get very dirty and walk through many spider webs. Part of the experience! In the morning we went to look for the famous Birds of Paradise, which was an amazing experience. The local guides know how to get you really close to the birds and have an amazing eye for spotting them. After a good lunch we went back to civilization. Seeing the jungle in sunlight was amazing and the trip resulted in many beautiful pictures and even more unforgettable memories. A must-do for anyone who is not scared to go back to basic and Charles become one of the best friends we made in West-Papua