Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Birdwatching and Land Tour in Tambrauw Mountains

I will have a birding tour program in March 2016. The destination is the tropical rainforest of Tambrauw mountains, located approximately 6 hours by 4wd car from Sorong city. One participant has already asked for the trip and there are still 3 seats available.

How to get there?

  • Fly from your country to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
  • Take a domestic flight to Sorong city
  • I will meet you at the airport and arrange your transfer to Tambrauw mountain.

During the trip, we will stay in tents in the jungle to watch birds and other animals. If you are interested, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email: peace4wp@gmail.com

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Trekking and Wildlife Watching in the Rainforest of Klasow Valley

by Charles Roring
Visiting Lowland Forest
Klasow valley is located in the east of Sorong town. It has been a favorite travel destinations for visitors who are interested in taking a jungle tour as an extension from their trip to Raja Ampat. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to reach the valley by a 4WD car and 2 hours on foot to reach the guesthouse that is in the middle of the jungle. Early this month, I guided 2 visitors from the United States. They were father and daughter Indian American visitors who wanted to see birds of paradise. We went to the valley. We spent 3 days/ 2 nights exploring the lowland rainforest to see its birds, wallaby, and plants. We stayed in Malagufuk village.
Grey-headed Goshawk in the forest of
Klasow valley of Sorong regency
Jungle Walk and Birding
Klasow valley has been a preferred rainforest tour destination in Sorong regency for visitors who return from Raja Ampat. During the trip to the valley, we were able to see Lesser Birds of Paradise, Twelve Wired Birds of Paradise, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Blyth's hornbill, Spotted Goshawk, Golden Myna and other tropical birds that make Klasow as their natural habitat.
Accompanied by some local guides, we were able to spot some Wallabies in the jungle near during a night walk.
Soa-soa Monitor Lizard in the jungle of
Klasow valley of Sorong regency
After completing this land tour, they continued their trip to Raja Ampat islands where they would stay in Papua Paradise Eco Resort.
Rainforest tour in the valley can be done all year round for visitors who are interested in seeing the wildlife and tropical plants of West Papua.


Itinerary
Day 1 Pick up in Sorong city, walking through the rainforest to reach the jungle village.
Day 2 Trekking, birding and wildlife watching
Day 3 Walking back to the main road, we still have the chance to watch wild birds, tropical plants and butterfly along the way, transfer to Sorong city by 4wd car.
A customized itinerary can be prepared upon request.

Raja Ampat Snorkeling and Sightseeing Tour
Your tour can also be extended to Raja Ampat where you will be able to see coral reef and tropical fish of the best marine environment in the world. As of 2011 counting, Raja Ampat, according to marine biologists has got the highest marine bio-diversity on earth with 1,427 reef fish, 553 hard corals, and 42 mantis shrimp.
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
Red Slender Anthias
and Diagonal-banded Sweetlips
When you take the snorkeling tour with us, we will leave Sorong city in the morning for Raja Ampat islands. We will stay there for 5 days/ 4 nights to enjoy snorkeling in Kri island, Mansuar island, Arborek, Kabui bay, Manta Point, Pianemo post and Five Rocks (Batu Lima).
Kabui bay of Raja Ampat islands
Itinerary for Raja Ampat
Here is a typical itinerary that I offer to my customers:
Day 1 
Leaving Sorong for Raja Ampat
We will stay at one of the homestays in the region
Snorkeling in Yenbuba strait
Day 2 
Traveling to Kabui karst islets (snorkeling) and a visit to its passage.
Snorkeling in Batu Lima or Friwen
A visit to sand bank near Kri island
Day 3 
Traveling to Pianemo to see its beautiful scenery on top of one of its karst islets
Snorkeling in Arborek
Day 4 
Snorkeling in West Mansuar
Snorkeling in Sawondarek 
Day 5 
Leaving Raja Ampat for Sorong

The above itinerary should be considered as a reference only. It can be changed or modified during the trip depending on weather condition (rainy or sunny days, wave and sea current).

Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com if you are interested in taking a rainforest tour in Sorong regency.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Trekking in Syugrar river of Tambrauw Forest

I have just returned from the jungle of Tambrauw mountains after organizing a tour for 6 Polish visitors who wanted to see tropical rainforest. They spent 2 weeks of their vacation period scuba diving in Raja Ampat and walking in the jungle of Tambrauw. While in Raja Ampat, they stayed in comfortable bungalows of Kri Eco Resort. In the contrary, when they went into the jungle, they had to stay in dome tents battered by heavy rain.
We went trekking and camping at the bank of Syugrar river (approx. 4 hours by 4WD car).

During the tour, we saw various species of birds including lesser birds of paradise, sulphur crested cockatoo, blyth's hornbill, deer, wild pigs, cuscus possum, beetles, butterflies, and a lot of species of plants. We built tents and stayed in the jungle for 4 days/ 3 nights. We did day and night walks in the jungle. As a tour guide, I provided several dome tents for them.

We also had a riverwalk where we explored the forest by walking through Syugrar river. Its current was not so strong so we could walk against it.
Walking through Syugrar river in Tambrauw regency of West Papua
If you are visiting West Papua (Sorong town and Raja Ampat) and want to combine your trip with jungle tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Trekking and Camping in the Rainforest of Syuan River

Camping in the jungle of Tambrauw regency - photo by Charles Roring
I have just finished a rainforest tour today. I guided 4 visitors from the USA, and Hongkong. We went to Tambrauw regency where we stayed for 4 days and 3 nights trekking and camping on the sides of Syuan river. We went there by a 4WD car and stayed in outdoor environment using tents as our "hotel." We enjoyed birdwatching, and swimming. We had plenty of time swimming in the river whose water is cool and fresh. There were fish, and shrimp in the river. The indigenous people used traditional fishing tools to catch them. The Papuan people were expert in hunting. One of our workers was able to catch a bandicoot just like a cat punches on a mouse. Bandicoot, cuscus possum, deer, wild pig, and snake were the source of protein of the indigenous people who live in Tambrauw mountains.
Tropical rainforest of Tambrauw regency in West Papua
In the mornings, when the weather was bright, a lot of butterflies flew in the air to find flowers that were blooming from numerous trees around us. There were some whose sizes were larger than the average butterfly. They were called birdwing butterflies.
While we were walking along the trails of the riverside, we saw cockatoo, kingfisher, egret, blyth's hornbill and many other birds which we could not identify.
Under the trees, the temperature was cool.
We hired local villagers to cook our food and carry our bags and other logistical goods. My concept in ecotourism was preserving the rainforest environment by empowering local villagers. When the indigenous people got economic benefits from eco-tourism, they would seriously support the preservation of the forest and protect the wildlife. 
Because most of the visitors were from the United States, I extended the trip to Werur village where they were able to see Amsterdam island and Middlelburg island. These two islands, with Werur (or Mar) and Sausapor, became the base for US forces when they were fighting Japanese forces during World War II.
I introduced eco-tourism in this regency this year. Some foreign tourists have visited Tambrauw regency to explore the beauty of its forest.
The temperature in the forest is cool with abundant water. Visitors can enjoy swimming or just reading their favorite books at the bank of the river while listening to the music of nature (sounds of bids, the swaying of tree branches blown by the wind and water flowing in the river).
Female Eclectus Parrot in the forest of Tambrauw mountains
The tropical rainforest along the sides of Syuan river is the natural habitat of various species of wild animals wild pig; deer; wallaby; bandicoot; and a lot of species of birds including cassowary bird, lesser birds of paradise, eclectus parrot, goliath cockatoo, sulphur crested cockatoo, grey crow (Corvus tristis), Papuan frogmouth, egrets, egrets, blyth's hornbill, brahminy kite. I also used to see a Ribbon-tailed Astrapia (Astrapia mayeri) flying over my head when I was swimming in Syuan river. I was a very rare sighting.
If you are interested in taking a rainforest trekking and camping tour in Tambrauw regency, please, book the trip by contacting me (Charles Roring) at this email: peace4wp@gmail.com

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Rainforest Tour in Tambrauw Mountains

Camping
Rainforest of Tambrauw regency along both sides of Cuan river
The mountain range of Tambrauw is the natural habitat of a lot of species of animals and plants. Last month, I guided a tourist from Luxembourg on a 5-day/ 4-night trekking, camping and birding tour in the jungle of Cuan river. We saw sulphur crested cockatoo, friar bird, cuscus possum, birdwing butterflies, deers, wild pigs, cassowary birds, and colorful beetles. 
The easiest way to explore the jungle was by walking along the sides of the river. We built tents at the bank of Cuan river, and enjoyed the beauty of the surrounding nature. At night the sounds of insect were mixed with the sound of flowing water in the river. It was so natural and refreshing. The next morning we dismantled our tents and walked up against the stream. Sometimes we had to cross the river to make shortcuts. 
Discovering the unique biodiversity of rainforest
Camping in the tropical jungle of Tambrauw regency in West Papua
Some people from the nearby Jokte village helped us. There were two women who cooked for us and some men who carried our bags and caught shrimps in the rivers for our lunch and dinner. During the days, we walked in the jungle exploring the plants and the animals. I saw several species of colorful butterflies that were flying from one wild flower to another to collect nectar. I also saw a small beetle that looked like a plastic toy. When I checked on the internet for its name, I found out that its name was Eupholus schoenherri. 
Snorkeling
After the fourth day of our rainforest tour, we walked out of the jungle and continued our trip to Sausapor town. In the afternoon, we went to the beach and enjoyed snorkeling over the coral reef. Sausapor was aJ small village in 1944 when American forces landed on its beach to fight the Imperial Japanese Forces during World War II. Now the sea in Sausapor is relatively calm for the coral reef to thrive again. The northern coast of West Papua has got plenty of surf spots too. Visitors who are interested in this sports should visit Sausapor in the months of October, November, January, February, and March.
Book Now
If you are interested in exploring the rich biodiversity of tropical rainforest of West Papua, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Birding in the Rainforest of Tambrauw Mountains

by Charles Roring
The lowland rainforest of Tambrauw mountains is the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds including those in the families of lories, parrots and cockatoos; kingfishers and kookaburras; swallows and swiftlets; and the famous birds of paradise.
Birding can be done all year round particularly along the side of Cuan river. I offer guided trekking and birding tours for those who are interested in watching these birds. I and the local villagers in Tambrauw regency believe that by offering this tour, we can introduce our customers a new experience where they can watch the birds in rainforest region that is less visited by birdwatchers.
Approximately 80 percent of the forest area has been declared by the local government for conservation. The rainforest and birding tours to this rainforest will support the government's plan and at the same time, provide alternative income generation scheme for the indigenous Papuan people who live in the regency.
How to get there:
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta city
  • Continue your trip by taking a domestic flight to Sorong city
  • We will meet you in Sorong to organize the birding and rainforest tour for you.
What to bring:
All birdwatchers know what they need to bring. But I will give some suggestions for anybody who is interested in birding for the first time.
  • Spotting scope
  • Digital camera with birdwatching telephoto lens such as Nikon Coolpix P900 (with extra batteries)
  • Clothing for warm tropical climate such as t-shirt, shorts, water shoes, flipflops. 
  • Head lamp or torch
  • Birding book: "Birds of New Guinea" by Beehler and his friends.
Other activities
Butterfly in the tropical jungle of West Papua
In addition to watching birds, visitors can enjoy butterfly watching, trekking, camping, swimming in the rainforest and discover the richness of bio-diversity of West Papua's rainforest.

Tambrauw regency is located between Sorong and Manokwari. The forest can be reached by 4 WD car from Sorong city. It takes approximately 4 hours to reach our destination where we will explore the forest for at least 4 days/ 3 nights. I can also prepare a customized tour program for anybody who plans to stay longer and combine his or her trip to another place in the bird's head region of West Papua. For detailed itinerary and cost, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Birding and Camping at the Banks of Cuan River in Tambrauw regency

Cuan is a river in Tambrauw regency of West Papua. I had a 4-day/ 3-night camping and birding tour in the river a few days ago with a tourist from Luxemburg. His name was Guillaume, a French man. I met him in Sorong city which was also the gateway to Raja Ampat. Before leaving for Tambrauw by a 4WD car, we went to traditional market to buy food that is needed for our rainforest tour. After that we headed directly to Sausapor town and then to Cuan river.
Our tents at the bank of Cuan river in Tambrauw mountains
We built tents at the bank of the Cuan river and did the birding, hiking and swimming activities. The banks were flat. So, we could easily walk in the jungle to explore the rich ecosystem of the rainforest.
I saw several species of birds in the forest. Birding in the Cuan river was very easy because we did not have to climb steep slopes of Tambrauw mountains. We just sit on the granite stones of the river and saw Blyth's hornbill, sulphur crested cockatoo, black capped lory, egret, friarbird and pigeons flew in the sky.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
In addition to birds, we also saw a lot of interesting things in the jungle. I saw a beautiful white orchids flowers on our last tour in the forest. I considered them unique because the flowers were releasing fragrant scent. I haven't been able to identify the scientific name of the terrestrial orchid plant but all I know about orchirds is that only a few that emit fragrant scent. On the way back to the road, I saw pandanus plant that was fruiting. Pandanus fruit (locally called 'buah merah') was considered as an important herbs because it contains high anti oxidants.
Fragrant scent terrestrial orchid flowers in the jungle of Tambrauw mountains
There were colorful beetles and butterflies that I saw. One of them was a beetle or weevil that I found on the middle of the walking path while hiking in the jungle. I picked it up from the ground and examined the beetle carefully. It looked liked a plastic toy. Its name was Eupholus schoenherri beetle, I thought it was dead but later it walked slowly when I put it back on the green leave of a plant - such a beautiful insect.
Schoenherri's beetle in the rainforest of Tambrauw mountains
Perhaps you still do not have any ideas where Tambrauw regency is. Look at the following map, Tambrauw is located between Manokwari and Sorong regencies. The capital of the regency is Fef but it is being constructed so, the temporary capital is Sausapor.
Tambrauw regency with the capital Fef is located between Sorong and Manokwari regencies.
If Raja Ampat is famous for its marine environment, Tambrauw regency is for its tropical rainforest. Anybody who is interested in discovering the wealth of biodiversity of rainforest, should visit Tambrauw mountains. For more info about birdwatching and rainforest tour in Tambrauw mountains, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my cell phone: +6281332245180.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Birdwatching in Tambrauw regency of West Papua

written by Charles Roring
Birding in the Rainforest
Paradise bird in the rainforest of West Papua
Tambrauw regency is located in the bird's head (vogelkop) region of West Papua province of New Guinea island. The capital is Fef but at the moment all of the government activities are concentrated in Sausapor. It is a small town (located in the northern coast of the island. Visitors who want to watch tropical birds can come to Tambrauw regency. There are a lot of species of birds in the region including kingfishers, blackbutcher bird, sulphur crested cockatoo, palm cockatoo, blyth's hornbill, rainbow lorikeet, brahminy kite, pinon imperial pigeon, yellow faced myna, egret, black capped lory and many more. We can explore the forest and rivers near Sausapor town to see the birds.
Pinon Imperial Pigeon in Tambrauw Mountains of West Papua
Tambrauw mountains have got a lot of birdwatching sites that are highly recommended for avid birders. These sites are located both along the coastal and mountainous regions. Coastal areas that are good for birding are the banks of Syuan river.
For highland birding, my recommendation is Ases Valley. From my personal experience of birding in the pristine forest of Tambrauw, the birds population and varieties are higher than in other forest locations that are close to towns. Visitors can see western crowned pigeon, pigeon, cockatoo, fruit doves, hornbills, and even several species of birds of paradise.
Birding in Different Elevations of the Mountains
Bridled Tern at the beach of Tambrauw regency
Most of the landmass of the regency is mountainous region. So, birding in different elevation of the mountains will bring different species of birds that can be watched. For instance, if we go to the coastal area, we will watch Bridled Tern (Sterna anaethetus), Sootty tern (Sterna fuscata). But if we go to higher elevation, we may see such birds as Papuan Lorikeet (Charmosyna papou).
Tambrauw mountains are located between Manokwari and Sorong regencies. But the easiest way to reach the mountains is by chartering a 4WD car from Sorong city. So, I highly recommend to birdwatchers that they fly to Sorong city to go birding in Tambrauw. 

Hiking and Birding
Hiking cannot be separated from birding because as we walk through the paths while exploring the forest, we will have more chance to watch birds. The best way to watch birds while hiking is along the banks of a river whose water is not deep. My recommendation is Cuan River. Don't forget to wear water shoes and a hat for your hiking and birding trip in Tambrauw regency. A good spotting spot is good for open space but a powerful bridge camera such as Nikon Coolpix P900 is recommended for avid birdwatchers.

Where is Tambrauw Mountains?
Please, look at the following map of West Papua. To participate in this birding tour, visitors have to fly from their country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) and then continue by domestic airline to Sorong city which is the gate to Tambrauw regency.
Map of Tambrauw Mountains in the Bird's head region of West Papua

How to get there?
  • First send me (Charles Roring) an email to: peace4wp@gmail.com
  • If you want to go birding in Tambrauw mountains, first, you need to fly from your country to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia. 
  • Then continue your trip to Sorong city by one of the domestic airlines such as Garuda, Sriwijaya or Express Air. 
  • When you have arrived in Sorong city, I will meet you at the airport or at the hotel to arrange your trip to Tambrauw regency.
  • To minimize the cost of transportation and other logistical expenses, I suggest that  Birdwatchers need totravel in a group of at least 4 people. Why? Because, the maximum capacity of the cabin of a 4WD car is only for four passengers.
  • But if you are traveling alone or with one partner, or even in a large group, I can always try find a cheaper way to reach Tambrauw regency
Birding devices
Singing Starling 
Make sure that you bring a good D-SLR or bridge camera such as Nikon Coolpix P900 with extra batteries, spotting scope, and the latest edition of Birds of New Guinea (book). 

Other attractions
Sausapor (formerly known as Sansapor) used to be a base for US troops during World War II. As of today, people can still see some tank wrecks in the jungle left by the American troops.
Between November and March, the coastal area of Tambrauw regency is an ideal place for wave surfing. Tambrauw has got several world class surf spots that have never been visited by surfers.
To book your birding tour in Tambrauw regency, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com. The birding tour is available all year round.

Sunset in Sausapor