Monday, August 22, 2016

Birdwatching in Manokwari

Manokwari has been a popular destination for visitors who are interested in watching birds of New Guinea. 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:
Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata)

Dopi River
This is located in the west of Manokwari city. Visitors can walk along the patch to find birds that make the rainforest along Dopi river as their natural habitat. From my previous birding trips in the river, I and my guests saw Lesser Birds of Paradise, Kingfisher, Pygmy parrots, Rainbow Lorikeet, Blyth's hornbill, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Dollarbird, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Hooded Butcherbird, Grey Goshawk and a lot more.

Warmarway
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, 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.

Mupi Gunung
I have organized rainforest tour for visitors who want to see pristine tropical rainforest and wild animals. Mupi Gunung can be considered one of the best destination. It is the natural habitat of flame bowerbird, vogelkop bowerbird, blacksickle bill, magnificent birds of paradise, western parotia.
The vocal point of trekking in Mupi Gunung is actually watching tree kangaroo. So, if you are physically fit enough to explore pristine rainforest with its wild animals, my recommendation will be going to Mupi Gunung

Here is my contact details:
Charles Roring
Email: peace4wp@gmail.com Cell Phone: +6281332245180

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

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