Friday, December 12, 2014

Birding in Sorong regency of West Papua

Male Lesser BoP
There is a birding site in Sorong regency. Its name is Klasow valley. I visited it two weeks ago. The valley is located in the east of Sorong city and can be reached by 4WD Pick up truck. I have organized and guided birdwatchers from various countries in this valley. We stayed for several nights in a jungle village located in the middle of the valley. There was a simple wooden house that was built by the villagers for tourists.
Birdwatching
Northern Cassowary in Klasow valley
During my birding trip in Sorong regency, I was able to hear and watch Lesser Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), Moustached Treeswift, Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus rotatus), Blyth's hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon) and Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Goliath Cockatoo, Western Crowned Pigeon (Goura cristata), Spangled Drongo, Golden Myna (Mino anais) and large fruit eating bats.
The Western Crown Pigeon may be seen when we walk silently through small river. The bird likes to eat small shrimp or fish. 
It was a nice trip and I highly recommend it for anybody who is interested in birdwatching, Papuan wildlife and rainforest ecosystem.
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
in Klasow valley
Other Activities in the forest
In addition to watching birds, visitors who explore the jungle of Klasow valley will be able to experience:
  • Night walk in the jungle to find wallaby (this animal is similar to kangaroo but has got smaller body)
  • A visit to a place where women were processing sago flour from grating the lith to squeezing the sago juice to extract its flour
  • A day walk to see medicinal herbs, plants that contain water, plants that are used as materials for constructing the traditional houses, plants that are used to make hunting gear, traps.
  • Large Fig Parrot in the jungle of Klasow valley
  • Javelin throwing practice tragetting a distant tree (in the past men from Moi tribe did this as a competition to win a girl if they love the same girl).
Extension
Some visitors combine the trekking and birding trip in Klasow valley with snorkeling, island tour, camping and fishing in Raja Ampat islands. I could organize tours to the archipelago for duration of 3 to 5 days. Visitors will be able to watch birds and see coral reef or enjoy fishing and eating fresh grilled fish that has just been caught from the sea by our local guides.

Other Alternative Destinations
In addition to rainforest of Klasow valley, there are several tour destinations that can be arranged from Sorong city.
Visitors can extend their tour to this destination.
  • Rainforest of Sausapor - This is a lowland forest that is similar to Klasow. Visitors can enjoy birdwatching and wildlife tour in the jungle along the banks of the rivers. As of today, there is no guesthouse in the forest. As a tour organizer, we provide dome tents for visitors who want to take a jungle tour to this area.
  • Rainforest of Ases valley - This forest is located in the highland of Tambrauw mountains. There are no villages in the jungle so the wildlife is abundant. Because of its remote location, the minimum duration of rainforest tour in Ases valley is 6 days. We need to go by car from Sorong city to Fef.
  • Rainforest of Waigeo island in Raja Ampat. The birding site is located in the northeast region of the island especially along Warebar river. Visitors will be able to watch birds along the banks of Warebar river. To increase the chance to see more birds, tents will be set up in the jungle where birdwatchers could stay for several days to see birds, butterflies and other wild animals of the island.
Rainforest of Klasow valley
Grey-headed Goshawk in the jungle of Klasow valley
Birds
  • 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)
  • Rainbow Bee-eater
  • 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)
  • Northern Cassowary
  • Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida)
  • and etc.
If you are interested in birdwatching and exploring the rich tropical rainforest ecosystem of Sorong regency and its surrounding areas, you could contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to my cell phone: +6281332245180

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Birds of New Guinea

The newest edition of Birds of New Guinea by Thane K. Pratt, Bruce M. Beehler, Anderton, Szabolcs Kokay has been released Princeton Field Guides.
Birdwatchers and nature lovers who plan to visit West Papua and Papua New Guinea can now order this book from Amazon.



I hope that more visitors will be interested taking birding tour in this island.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Beach Walk and Birdwatching at Amban Beach of Manokwari

Last week, I accompanied some of my friends who went surfing at Amban beach of Manokwari. We rode motorcycles to the beach. The surf spot was around 500 meters from where we parked our motorcycles. So, we had to walk for around 7 to 10 minutes to reach it. The view of the beach was beautiful. Some villagers were seen walking along the beach.
The swells were not too big when we arrived but still strong enough for beginning surfers at that time.I took some pictures of the scenery and also the surfers at sea. They were members of Abasi Surfing and some pilots from Susi Air.
Amban beach is a nice place for birdwatchers particularly for those who like doing beach walk and taking pictures of such sea birds as tern, frigate, swallow, and kingfishers. While I was sitting on the gray sand of the beach, I saw a bird flying over the sea towards a tree some one hundred meters from me. It perched on a branch of the tree. I immediately shot the bird several times using Nikon Coolpix P600. This camera was donated by SDSP Foundation to me and my friends for the pupose of promoting eco-tourism in Manokwari. We hope that this camera will be able to help us increase the intensity of our promotional works.
Back at home, I copied the picture of the bird into my laptop for editing works. I used Adobe Photoshop to resize, brighten it. Then I added some text caption on the picture. It was quite difficult to identify the bird. Finally, I came close to a conclusion that it was PERHAPS a Black Noddy (Anous minutus).

If you are interested in visiting Amban beach, you have to bring abottle of a STRONG anti insect repellent lotion. For further info about travelling in Manokwari, Sorong and other areas in West Papua, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Swedish Girls in Manokwari

Last Sunday (12 Oct. 2014) I was called by two Swedish girls who had just arrived in Manokwari by Sriwijaya Air. They were Catarina and Cait. They wanted to meet me to ask for information about tourist attractions in Papua. From our conversations that afternoon, I suggested that they go to Raja Ampat. They said that their plan was to go to Asmat. I made a few phone calls to my friends in Jayapura and Mapi regency to get more info about flights to Asmat.
Catarina and Cait - two Swedish girls were tasting red fruit paste in Manokwari
While waiting for their detailed information, I brought them to West Papua Art and Culture Festival in Valeria area. It was the final day of the festival. Fortunately there were still some stands open for visitors.
Most of the participants of the festival were happy to receive these Swedish girls. They showed them how the tradional Papuan cloth was made. There were several stands that exhibit Papuan food. Catarina and Cait were given the opportunity to taste some of the foods.
When they were offered to taste the red fruite paste, I quickly turned my smartphone camera on and took some pictures of them. The women who served these Swedish visitors explained that the paste was good for their skin because it contains a lot of vitamins and other nutrients that were good for human health.
The tour to the festival was only as short trip but Catarina and Cait looked happy about it. The next day, they continued their trip to Sorong and then to Raja Ampat. Perhaps, they would fly to Asmat after spending one week holiday in Raja Ampat. I hope that they will return to West Papua again to explore the Arfak mountains or enjoy snorkeling in Bitsyari bay of Kaimana where they will be able to see whaleshark. Written by Charles Roring/ E-mail: peace4wp@gmail.com

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cruise Ships in Manokwari

Several cruise ships have visited Manokwari this year. They are guided by Oswald from Cruise Asia. The first one was Caledonian Sky. It entered Dore bay in August and was in the harbor of Manokwari from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m..Guests from the ship watched traditional dance at Abasi beach and enjoyed lunch prepared by the indigenous people who cooked the food using traditional barapen style. The villagers burn stones first and then with the hot stones they cooked the food.
Then, they continued their trip to Table Mountain where they walked through and under the canopy of tropical rainforest.
Cruise ship Discovery Explorer in the Dore bay of Manokwari
The second cruise ship that entered Manokwari was Discovery Explorer. This was a small cruise ship that visited Mansinam island on 11 October 2014. It anchored some 200 meters off the coast of the island from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Using a small boat, the crew of the vessel transfered around 50 passengers to the pier of Mansinam for a welcome ceremony. They were received by the village chief, priests from the local church and the villagers.
After that some of the guests went snorkeling and scuba diving around the waters of Mansinam. There are several shipwrecks in the bay of Manokwari. Because the weather was not really good that morning, they could only dive in front of Cross Monument of Mansinam island.
Traditional Dance Performance by people from Arfak Mountains
Most of the guests from the ship was later transferred to Manokwari town to see the West Papua Art and Culture Festival. There they watched traditional dance performance, and handicrafts made by Papuan men and women artists.
We hope that more cruise ships will visit Manokwari in the future and we will do our best to serve the guests who come with the ships.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Rainforest Tour in Sorong Regency

Klasow river in Sorong regency of West Papua
Sorong regency is the "entrance gate" for tourists who want to visit Raja Ampat islands. Many people consider it only as a transit point. As a matter of fact, the regency has got a number of tourist attractions that visitors can see. Most of the suburban areas of Sorong consists of mountains, lowland and swamps. They are still covered with tropical rainforest.
Klasow valley
There is a huge area of lowland rainforest in Klasow valley approximately 1 hour by 4WD pick-up car to the east from Sorong city. There is a village in the valley near Klabolo stream. Various species of tropical trees such as ficus, African tulip, matoa and merbau can be found in the region. It is also the natural habitat of Greater Birds of Paradise, Blyth's hornbill, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Kingfishers and Casuari birds. There are also deers, wallaby and wild pigs that live in the jungle.
Ficus tree in the rainforest of
Klasow Valley - Sorong regency
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo in
the rainforest of Klasow valley
Because much of the land is flat, visitors will be able to enjoy an easy nature walk find while exploring the forest.
Use digital camera with telephoto lens or such bridge camera as Nikon Coolpix P900 to take pictures of Blyth's hornbill, cockatoos, butterflies, terrestrial orchids, cuscus possum, snake, riverscape and wild vines that are seen during the jungle walk.
Blyth's hornbill in the rainforest of
Klasow valley - Sorong regency

Where is Klasow valley?
Please look at the following map to see where the valley is located.
Map of West Papua Province

How to get there?
  • If you are still in your country, fly to Jakarta
  • Then continue your trip to Sorong city by a domestic flight. Check the websites of Garuda Air, Sriwijaya Air, Express Air, and Lion Air for flight schedule between Jakarta and Sorong city.
  • At least, one week before flying to Sorong, please contact me Charles Roring by calling or sending text message to my cell phone number +6281332245180. I will arrange a 4WD pick up truck, prepare the logistics, and contacting local villagers for your trip in Klasow valley.
Cost
Every tour in the rainforest is unique. The cost depends on the number of participants, the number of days visitors want to stay in the jungle and the distance visitors want to cover while walking in the jungle. We can customize the tour based on the duration of stay and the number of participants of the forest tour.
We can calculate the cost including chartered 4WD car, food, cook, local guides, chartered boat, snorkeling mask, camping gear, cooking and eating utensils, rechargeable lamps and etc. Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com for further information about the cost and itinerary of the tour.
What you need to prepare
Because you are going to have a tour in the rainforest, do not expect to stay in a comfortable hotel. You will stay in a tent or a camp. Bring a thin sleeping back that will cover your body from insect bites. Buy a bottle of insect repellent lotion and apply it on your skin. 
Terrestrial orchids in the forest of Klasow valley - Sorong regency
The villagers of Malakutuk are still in the very early stage of developing their eco-tourism. So, visitors are advised to be more tolerant to their lack of skills and experience when serving you as visitors. We greatly hope that the villagers of Malakutuk in the Klasow valley will stop logging activities and preserve their precious environment for future generation of Papua. You could do the rainforest tour in this valley alone or with your friends before or after visiting Raja Ampat.

Wildlife Tour in ASES river valley of Tambrauw Mountains
Another land tour that can be arranged from Sorong city is the Wildlife Tour in the tropical jungle of Tambrauw mountains. Visitors need to be physically fit to do the trip. The tour will include trekking in the pure jungle, camping, swimming in the clear water of Ases river, watching birds of paradise.
The Ases valley is located in remote area. That's why the transportation cost is very expensive.
See an oval green shape below Fef. It is an approximate location of Ases river

The duration of the tour is 7 days with itinerary as follows:
Day 1 Leaving Sorong city for Fef town
Day 2 Trekking to Ases valley
Day 3 Trekking and wildlife watching
Day 4 Trekking and wildlife watching
Day 5 Trekking back to Fef, overnight stay in town
Day 6 Transfer to Sorong city, overnight stay in a hotel
Day 7 Transfer to airport

If you are interested in taking a rainforest tour in Sorong and Tambrauw mountains and still need my help in providing more info about costs or in arranging your trip, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my cell phone: 006281332245180

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Watching Tree Kangaroo in Arfak Mountains

According to reports from the indigenous Papuan people who live in Mupi Gunung, there are three species of tree kangaroos in Arfak mountains of Manokwari regency. Their population is decreasing rapidly due to hunting by villagers for their meat, the conversion of forest into agricultural land and logging activities. The prevent these animals from extinction in their own habitat, I and some villagers in Arfak range offer hiking tours into the jungle where tourists can watch tree kangaroo and birds of paradise.
Ursine Tree Kangaroo in Arfak Range (Dendrolagus ursinus)
Gray Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus inustus)
There are 2 villages that can be visited by tourists, i.e. Warmarway and Mupi Gunung (also called Bray). But the "kangaroo watching" itself has to be done far into the forest. For instance, in Mupi Gunung area, visitors have to walk through dense tropical rainforest for 9 hours to reach the watching site.
Arfak range
Arfak range is a nature reserve with a total area of 68,325 hectares. It is also the natural habitat of birds of paradise, birdwing butterflies, cuscus, wild pigs, deers and various species of reptiles.
If you are interested in watching tree kangaroo in Arfak mountains, please contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com
by Charles Roring

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Arfak mountains

Here is the picture of Arfak mountains that I took from Mansinam island two days ago.
Arfak range - photo by Charles Roring Sept. 2015

Please contact me by email to:  peace4wp@gmail.com if you plan to go trekking to see various vegetation, insects, birds, of tropical rainforest of the range.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rainforest Tour in Arfak Mountains near Warmarway Village

Steep road near Warmarway village
Arfak mountains have been a favorite destination for tourists who want to see and experience everything about rainforest. There is a coastal village in the easternside of the mountains that frequently receives tourists. Its name is Warmarway. Visitors can take a public transportation from Terminal Wosi in Manokwari city to the village.

Cuscus Possum in the jungle of Arfak mountains
Trekking and Wildlife Watching
Guided by local villagers, visitors can start walking up steep slopes of lower montane forest to a basecamp deep in the jungle. Lesser Birds of Paradise, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Blyth's hornbill, Papuan frogmouth, Black capped lory live in the lower montane forest of the range.
Local villagers have gota special skill in calling cuscus possum. This nocturnal animal goes out to find food at night. He will imitate the sounds of female cuscus to attract the male one.
When I went trekking with some tourists from Belgium and The UK, I saw petals of ylang-ylang or cananga flowers on the ground. The flowers are important raw materials for making essential oil. Other tropical vegetation include terminalia cattapa, iron wood trees, bamboo trees and mushrooms that glow at night.


Locations of Mupi Gunung and Warmarway
in the eastern region of Arfak mountains
How to go to Manokwari?
  • From your country, take an international flight to the capital of Indonesia - Jakarta city
  • After that you can continue your trip by taking a domestic flight to Manokwari city (the capital of West Papua province). Domestic airlines that fly to Manokwari city are Garuda Indonesia, Express Air, Wings Air, and Sriwijaya Air.
  • I could meet you at the airport and organize your rainforest tour in jungle of Arfak mountains.
Booking
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by sending text message to my cell phone: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wildlife Tour in Arfak Mountains

The mountain range of Arfak is home to various species of animals. Some of them are tree kangaroo, cuscus, and birds of paradise.

MUPI GUNUNG
This is a small village that is located in the middle of the jungle. Tourists who come to Mupi Gunung will be able to watch tree kangaroo and birds that are endemic to vogelkop region such as bowerbird and western parotia, brown sicklebill, black sicklebill and Arfak Astrapia. The recommended duration of wildlife tour in Mupi Gunung is at least 1 week.

WARMARWAY VILLAGE
This village is only a 1-hour ride from Manokwari. Here, visitors can watch several species of coastal and lower montane forest birds such as kingfishers, blyth's hornbill, sulphur crested cockatoo, brahminy kite and lesser birds of paradise. At night, you can see glowing mushrooms growing from decaying bamboo. Your D-SLR Camera should be set to capture subject at low light condition in order to take picture in the dark. Tourists who only have between 2 to 3 days in Manokwari can visit Warmarway for the wildlife tour.


Where is Warmarway ?
This coastal village is on the eastern region of Arfak mountains, in the south of Manokwari city.


How to get there?
  • Take an international flight from your country to Jakarta city
  • Then take a domestic flight by Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya or Lion Air to Manokwari city.
  • When you have arrived in Manokwari, go to Terminal Wosi and find a public bus to Warmarway village. If you go as ordinary passenger, the cost is approximately 3 US dollars/ passengers. But if you rent the whole bus, the cost is around 30 US dollars (one way). Tell the villager that you want to meet Yunus Sayori. He is a local guide that will accompany you to the jungle of Arfak mountains.


I promote this rainforest and wildlife tour to tourists to economically empower the indigenous Papuan people who live in Arfak mountains and help them preserve the environment.

Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Trekking and Birding Site in Arfak Mountains

Last week I arranged a trip for 2 Dutch tourists, Herman and Elizabeth to Arfak mountains. I introduced Mupi Gunung to them. It is a new trekking and birding site in Arfak mountains of Manokwari regency.  They were the first tourists who visited the area. They stayed in Mupi Gunung for 2 weeks and were able to watch paradise birds and tree kangaroo. 

The slopes leading to the area are steep and slippery. It took 9 hours of walking through densed forest to reach Mupi Gunung. Fortunately, they could reach their destination.
Mupi Gunung is a small cluster of families in the middle of Arfak mountains. There are only 3 families living in the area.  So, the rainforest is not much influenced by human activities compared to other villages in Arfak mountains that have much larger population and more hunting or slash and burn farming activities.

Visitors who go there will be able to see more wild animals in greater varieties. Both Herman and Elizabeth highly recommends Mupi Gunung for anybody who wants to see the wildlife of New Guinea.
Please contact me by email peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my cell phone: +6281332245280 if you want to visit Mupi Gunung of Manokwari.

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