Saturday, October 21, 2017

Watching Lesser and King Birds of Paradise in Arfak Mountains

Arfak mountains have been considered as an important tourist destination for watching birds of paradise. One of the birding sites in Arfak range that is often visited by birdwatchers is Mount Mabowi. It is located in the eastern region of the range, approximately one and a half hour ride from Manokwari city.
I and local villagers have built tents for visitors who want to stay for several days in the jungle to watch such paradise birds as Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) and King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius). There are also other birds that we could watch including the Papuan Frogmouth, Common Paradise Kingfisher and Hooded Butcherbird. In addition to watching birds, visitors who do night walk guided by local villagers may also see other animals such as cuscus possum, soa-soa Lizard, bandicoot and snake.
Itinerary
Cuscus Possum
2 days/ 1 night hiking, birding and wildlife watching trip in Mount Mabowi
Day 1 
We can go to Mount Mabowi by taking public transportation from bus terminal at Pasar Wosi. We will find a minibus that goes to Warmarway village. Before going, we need to buy some food materials that we need for tue trip such as canned fish, instant noodles, eggs, tempe (fermented soybean) and some bottled water. It takes 1 hour to reach the village. We will pick up some local villagers who will work for us in carrying our food, and bags as well as photographic equipment. The car will take us to the foot of Mount Mabowi. We will continue our trip by walking up steep slopes for 1 hour to reach the basecamp that is located in the middle of the jungle. The basecamp is ready to be used. Cooking and eating utensils such as knives, cooking pans, boiling pans, spoons, forks and glasses are available in the forest. After having lunch, we can go hiking in the afternoon at 15.00 local time to find Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor). Before dark, we can return to the village. After having dinner, we can continue our jungle tour by doing night walk. Local guide will bring us to certain places in the forest where he will call male Cuscus Possum by immitating tue call of female cuscus possum.  Sometimes, we may also find Soa-soa Dragon Lizard during the night walk. At approximately 22.00, we will return to our basecamp to sleep.

Soa-soa Dragon Lizard

Day 2
We will wake up early in the morning at 05.00 and do short walk again to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise. This is a second attempt. At approximately 08.00, we can continue our birding walk to find King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius). After the morning bird trip, we can return to our basecamp to have brunch (combined breakfast and lunch). Usually there are various species of butterflies that like to fly around our basecamp. We can take pictures of them while drinking coffee or tea after the long morning walk.
In the afternoon, we will walk down the slopes and catch a public minibus that will transport us back to the city again.
As a tourist guide, I offer hiking and camping tour to this lower montane forest for tourists who want to explore the natural bio-diversity of Arfak range and see birds and animals that I mention above. The average duration of the tour is 2 days/ 1 night to 3 days/ 2 nights.
Visitors who want to go hiking and watching paradise birds have to be physically fit. The path from main road to the basecamp is steep. It takes approximately one hour of walking up steep slopes from main road to the basecamp. The basecamp is large enough to accommodate 4 to 6 visitors.
Don't forget to bring torch, a good pair of binoculars, and camera with telephoto lens if you want to take pictures of birds, butterflies, and other wild animals in the forest. We will provide cooking and eating utensils for visitors.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my whatsapp number: +6281332245180 to book your trip.


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