Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Birdwatching in Arfak mountains

Male Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti Forest
The mountain range of Arfak is located in the south of Manokwari city. It is a popular destination for watching various species of paradise birds and other tropical birds that are endemic to rainforest of New Guinea. There is a birding and wildlife watching site that I highly recommend for birdwatchers. Its name is Susnguakti forest (located in the eastern side of the mountains).
As a tourist guide, I have organized numerous tours to this forest for visitors who come from European countries such as Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.
There are also tourists who come from the United States, South Korea, China, and Australia. Some Indonesian tourists visited this forest too.
Most of them went to Susnguakti forest to watch paradise birds during the day and cuscus possum at night. The location of Susnguakti forest is approximately at around 400 to 700 meters above sea level. Visitors who go there need to walk up steep slopes of Arfak range to reach it.

Hiking, Birding and Camping

Jungle hut for tourists
Susnguakti forest is a great place for watching lower montane forest birds such as Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Hooded Butcherbird,  Common Paradise Kingfisher,  Beautiful Fruit Dove,  Rufous-bellied Kookaburra and Coconut Lorikeet and a lot more.
The birds of paradise can be watched early in the mornings and late afternoons. The birding sites are within the walking distance from our basecamp approximately 10 to 15 minutes. I and local villagers have built huts for tourists who want to stay for several days in the jungle watching birds, and other animals.

Birding Binoculars

Swarovski SLC 10×42 WB binoculars
Because birds of paradise like to dance or perch on high trees, visitors need to use a good pair of binoculars to watch them. There are a lot of birding binoculars that are available on the market. The ones that produce sharp images are Swarovski EL 8.5×42 and the multi purpose Swarovski SLC 10×42 WB. There is also Canon 15×50 IS UD binoculars that are powered by image stabilizer technology. Binoculars that are made of high quality materials such as Extra-low Dispersion Lenses and Bak4 prisms glasses will produce sharp and rich color images of birds, butterflies, wild flowers and anything in the jungle.

Booking

If you are interested in traveling to Arfak mountains of Manokwari to watch paradise birds in the jungle, please, contact me (Charles Roring) -  by email: peace4wp@gmail.com or send whatsapp text message to my number +6281332245180.