Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Snorkeling and sightseeing tour in Manokwari

Sightseeing, swimming and snorkeling tour in Manokwari with Charles Roring
Sunbathing, Swimming and Snorkeling in Manokwari
I have just completed a snorkeling and sightseeing tour for a Dutch family in Manokwari. I guided them to see several parts of the city in the first day and then a tour to Mansinam island in the second day.
The view of the coral reef could be seen easily. I brought my underwater action camera Brica B-Pro5 and some snorkeling gears that I ordered from an online store in China. Their brands were Whale. I was very surprised with the qualities of the products. The masks, snorkels and fins were very good. They were very comfortable on my face, mouth and feet. Whale is a very good brand for snorkeling and diving gear.
When I was doing freediving, I could see a lot species of fish such as the Regal Angelfish (Pigoplites diacanthus), Latticed Butterflyfish (Chaetodon rafflesi), Backlip Butterflyfish (Chaetodon kleinii), Yellowtail Damsel (Neoglyphidodon nigroris), Dash-Dot Goatfish (Parupeneus barberinus). There were also grouper, moorish idol, surgeonfish, parrotfish, and anemonefish. I felt as if I was diving in a giant aquarium with thousands of marine creatures around me. My experience of snorkeling and freediving was amazing.
Snorkeling and freediving tour with Charles Roring in Manokwari
Coral Reef life in Manokwari waters
As a tourist guide, I often organize tours for foreign visitors who come from countries as far as the Netherlands, the United States, Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Switzerland, and India.
I sometimes combine the marine tour with hiking, camping and wildlife watching tour in the rainforest. Visitors who are interested in taking a tour with me should bring their own snorkeling gear, and underwater camera as well as binoculars.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
Related posts:
Snorkeling in Raja Ampat archipelago
Birdwatching and Snorkeling in Raja Ampat

Friday, May 25, 2018

An exciting journey to the Tambrauw Region (West Papua)

Guest Post by Susan Neureuter
It was one of those special times in life - a “pinch me” one that you always remember vividly and can count on fewer than ten fingers. I sat, quietly inhaling tropical hothouse smells in the high mountains of an untouched, unexplored, equatorial rainforest. I was waiting. Something spectacular was going to happen and it would have to be special indeed to dwarf the magic of the moment. 
Freediving in Raja Ampat and Tambrauw by Susan Neureuter
Adventure in Raja Ampat and Tambrauw
I was in West Papua, in the Tambrauw region of the Birds Head Peninsular before dawn, and the jungle was waking with waves of haunting song, punctured by harsh screeches and cries from high up in the forest canopy, the helicopter wing-beats of hornbills flying overhead. Unfamiliar cries morphed into new calls as the later risers took their turn. Dark shapes of trees gradually gained detail, the changing light transforming them to every shade of green. Alien forms of ferns, palms, forest giants, vines, and ground dwellers, occupied every space in the rich scramble for life. Waves of unseen insects added their bizarre calls to the extraordinary abundance. We craned our necks upward trying to identify fleeting splashes of brilliant colour and as dawn really arrived, so did the Lesser Birds Of Paradise.
Bursting out of the forest canopy in a spectacular halo of orange and gold with trailing feathers of pure white, backlit by shafts of light. They announced themselves with insistent “look at me” calls as they impatiently and rowdily took turns on the favoured branch with their acrobatic prancing, dancing, and shaking! Oh they definitely had our attention though the “girls” seemed somewhat less impressed. As my goose bumps subsided and I finally closed my mouth, it was impossible not to anthropomorphize as we watched the much less flamboyant but apparently “hot” chicks in their comical scrutiny of the boys.
Our local guides were from the highland region of Fef and I watched them fade in and out of the trees with enviable stealth and silence, so much a part of the forest which we so obviously weren't. They added to a sense of the surreal, sitting there surrounded by alien song in an ancient forest with ancient people, watching a bird that elicited thoughts of anything but “lesser”.
This wonderful experience was one of many and part of the second half of our two very different adventures. The first part, a snorkelling/diving trip to Raja Ampat was followed by a road trip into The Birds Head Peninsular, both of which commenced on the mainland of West Papua. Getting to this area isn't easy though! It requires a couple of flights from either Bali or Jakarta to the town of Sorong which is the largest port on the north western tip of the peninsular. This can't be done in a day but it's both the kick off point for boats venturing out to The Raja Ampat archipelago and the mainland excursions into the Birds Head Peninsular. The experiences I had in these places made the effort of getting there well worthwhile.
My friend Sally and I had long wanted to visit the islands of Raja Ampat on a snorkelling and diving expedition. Our journey started with a boat trip from Sorong which took us out to Raja Ampat where we spent 10 days based on Kri Island at Sorido Eco Resort. It's an extraordinary archipelago, made up of four main island groups and located outside the “beak” on the Birds Head Peninsular of West Papua. In the clear unpolluted waters around Kri and the many uninhabited islands, the snorkelling or diving surpasses anything I have ever seen in my many years in the tropics. It's an increasingly rare privilege nowadays to put your head under the water and consistently see sights that are spectacular enough that make you momentarily forget you're not a fish! The rainbow colours and variety of corals - especially the soft corals, are rivalled by the fish, the diversity, and the sheer abundance. I've heard descriptions of fish soup but this was like snorkelling in seafood chowder!
This abundance is due largely to the establishment of a network of huge marine protected areas and the uncompromising stance taken by the local population toward illegal commercial fishing, dynamiting, and cyanide poisoning. That goes hand in hand with educational programmes, employment opportunities for the local communities, and does not prevent the inhabitants from traditional fishing. Our time there filled me with optimism, hope, and joy to see how well it's working for them. Our little resort had a big social conscience. The owner and staff are actively involved in teaching skills to the locals, initiating sustainable projects, and establishing strong guidelines for its stakeholders. They make a huge effort to preserve the natural character of the area, are well organised and have a long history there.
The underwater wonderland is rivalled by the abundance on land. One incredible snorkelling trip found us in a swift and narrow channel between islands with the rainforest canopy towering over us. By keeping our ears above water, we were treated to an avian symphony to accompany our effortless drift past a parade of aquatic treasures. That certainly challenged the senses! Above water included endemic birds, like the Red and Wilsons Bird Of Paradise and a huge variety of habitats which house such rich flora and fauna. No wonder Sir Alfred Wallace upon his visit in 1860, found the area so fascinating. Raja Ampat by no stretch of the imagination could be considered “touristy” though it has experienced an ever-increasing interest in the past few years, in spite of its remoteness and difficult access.
While Raja Ampat was top of our list and provided the greatest motivation to make the journey to this remote area, we also had a quest to explore some part of the mainland with our remaining time. It was with great enthusiasm that we accepted an invitation to be part of an exploratory trip to the very north western tip of West Papua (formally known as Irian Jaya). This area, still virtually unexplored and untouched by tourism is known as The Tambrouw Regency and encompasses much of the northern coastline and hinterland into the high mountains of the Birds Head Peninsular. Strange coincidence perhaps that in addition to the strong resemblance the area has to a birds head, it also houses most of Papua's magnificent Birds Of Paradise, amongst a myriad exotic and beautiful rainforest birds, gob smacking butterflies, arrays of orchids, untouched rainforest, four species of nesting turtles, and so much more.
The invitation for this second part of our adventure came after our email enquiry about trekking in the area. We got a response from Charles Roring, a West Papuan based tourist guide who not only said “yes” but by shear coincidence, the Tambrauw Regency was offering an assisted trip into their region in the hope of promoting eco tourism and raising awareness of the fabulous natural beauty and abundance.
Seven of us set off with Charles and two Papuan guides. Apart from Sally and I, the other five comprised of two Bali based adventure travel operators, an American criminal lawyer, and a German couple whose IT business funded “off the beaten track” travel.
Our journey began in Sorong, and almost immediately upon our return by boat from Raja Ampat we were met by Charles and three heavy duty 4 x 4's containing our fellow travellers. The trucks gave us our first clue as to the nature of our impending adventure. The roads here are not for the faint of heart or brittle of bone! After driving over some fairly challenging terrain which didn't include anything flat, straight, or smooth for about four hours, we mercifully arrived at the little coastal township of Sausapor, and the end of the road. The scenery was beautiful, hilly, dense lowland forest which ran down to palm fringed beaches and until the recent construction of the road, would have been devoid of human impact. Here we boarded a basic but surprisingly comfortable launch and spent a couple more hours cruising along the pristine coastline, its lush and hilly backdrop reminiscent of an equatorial version of West Coast South Island.
On the way we saw dolphins, flying fish, sea eagles, and had a very close encounter with a large inter island ferry. Apparently it was necessary to slow down right beside us so the Indonesian passengers could get photos of this spectacle. Western tourists sitting on the foredeck of a flash launch was obviously not an everyday occurrence. Our Papuan crew acutely aware of this, enthusiastically joined in with this unique opportunity to have photos taken with the tourists. It left us with no choice but to smile which came pretty easily given the irony of the situation!
Later that afternoon, having successfully negotiated a tricky shore landing further along the coast at Pasir Panjang, we were honoured to attend the local annual “Turtle Ceremony”. It was held in our hosts' village and was quite the occasion with traditional dancing, costumes, and guests from the region. After the ceremony and once it was fully dark, we were guided along the coast where some time later we stood on an incredibly remote and beautiful beach, with sugar white sand bathed in moonlight watching the Leatherback, Green, Hawkesbill, and Olive Ridley Turtles hauling themselves ashore to lay their eggs. Babies seethed out of the sand and made their mad dash to the ocean. We knew we were in one of those special places in the world where, because ocean currents, geographic location, and temperature have all lined up exactly, it has provided the perfect environment for the turtles to have bred for millennia on this equatorial coastline. Sadly, we also knew that their ability to continue to do so is incredibly threatened, in part by the devastating plastic borne here on the very same currents as the critical nutrients. We'd seen plastic bottles and polystyrene strewn along the coast, a violation of this untouched environment and a danger to its inhabitants.Conservation International is already there and doing its utmost to protect the turtles and educate the locals. We instigated a plastic clean up on the beach in front of the village where we were staying, and tried to reinforce just how very special their turtles and their corner of the world is. I was impressed by the far sightedness of local government and by the ability of many villagers to see the big picture and the importance of preserving their flora and fauna. They also realised the adverse consequences of allowing logging, and most importantly, understood that by promoting low- key eco tourism, much needed money could be injected into the local economies rather than money from logging or fishing. We were their guests of honour and they were gracious and welcoming. We felt honoured even if, on returning to the village exhausted from our night of turtle watching, we were to discover that they were completely enamoured of our air mattresses! Turned out that the beach, with it's little campfires, laughter, singing, and soft sand, was really the place to be anyway. I so hope our presence as the first of the Western tourists to visit this place will be remembered as positively by them as it is by me.
From there we retraced our steps for part of the way, timing our departure in the wooden dugouts through the surf and back to the launch. We headed back to Sausapor and our waiting vehicles and after an hour or so, turned sharply inland and upward, quickly realising it was good to have had some pre- training in Papuan road travel. We traversed plank bridges over river gorges and assaulted slope gradients which I never thought possible! As we made our way upward the forest changed from dense to impenetrable, epiphytes and mists hanging around the protruding heads of the forest giants. Standing on the back of the truck clinging to the roll bars, we discovered a much better vantage point. It offered tantalising views from the ridge tops, green mountains and steamy valleys, wafts of perfume, brilliant parrots, and bird-wing butterflies.  These images I'll have to keep in my mind - the idea of letting go with even one hand to take a photo, much less get it in focus, was quite out of the question! We were headed to Fef, the new capital of the Tambrauw regency and much like the road, just being developed. It's located on an area of flat highland plateau - the only one we saw in six hours of travel. It's also where we trekked into the rainforest to see the Lesser Birds of Paradise, swam in pristine rivers, listened to the stories of the old people and the laughter of the children, and were welcomed.
Throughout this trip I was often left wondering how we westerners have managed to depart so far from our connection with our natural surroundings. Not so for the indigenous Papuans who have much to teach us in this regard. Their initial shy smiles quickly developed into real warmth and a genuine joy at our presence which was as special as it was unexpected, given the unrest this area has experienced.
The Tambrauw Regency still has a chance and if we are at all concerned by the plight of the rain forests and marine ecosystems in an area which is considered to have the worlds richest biodiversity - both above and below water, we can do something We can choose to visit, support their economy, and support their efforts to retain the natural riches that until recently haven't been under threat. Ideally it will attract people for whom the experience is more important than the level of comfort. If you enjoy tramping in remote areas of New Zealand, possess a sense of humour, will happily embrace an evolving itinerary, and wish to make a difference - go to this area and find out for yourself.
My time there has left me with an admiration for these people. They made me wonder how communities that have so little by our standards, can realise so fully that what they have got is precious beyond words, when with our benefit of science and education, we all too often don't even seem to rate such things.
We haven't yet seen the Whale Sharks of Nabire or visited the highland bird-watching retreat in the Arfak mountains but I'm sure we will return.

Contact information:
If you're planning to visit this magical place, I recommend you contact Charles Roring at peace4wp@gmail.com He is a great guide with formidable abilities to deal respectfully, positively, and humorously with the many and varied demands of this region.
Related Posts:
Birdwatching in Tambrauw regency
Birding and Wildlife Tour in Tambrauw Mountains

Monday, May 14, 2018

Lesser Paradise Birds

Birds of Paradise watching tour in West Papua
Lesser Paradise Birds (Paradise birds)
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) is an important bird species in West Papua. Its feather is used as head-dress in most traditional costumes of the indigenous Papuan people. Hunters kill the birds and sell them to wealthy city dwellers who put them as decoration in the living rooms of their houses. Although the population of paradise birds in the forest is still high, the number is shrinking rapidly because of logging, and conversion of forest into roads, as well as human settlements and farmlands.
To support indigenous Papuan people in preserving their tropical rainforest, birds and wildlife, I introduce ecotourism in West Papua particularly in such regions as Tambrauw Mountains, Arfak mountains, Sorong regency and Raja Ampat. Although the title of the post is Lesser Paradise Birds, actually, visitors who take the birding and wildlife watching tour with me will see more. The duration of the tour is 3 days to 2 weeks depending on the number of places that visitors plan to visit.
Other birds that visitors can watch include Twelve-wired Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Eclectus Parrot, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Azure Kingfisher, and a lot more.
Visitors who want to take birding tour with me need to bring their own binoculars, and a D-SLR camera with telephoto lens.
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.
Also read:
Wildlife tour in Sorong regency of Indonesia
Birds of Paradise watching tour

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Papua Dragon Lizard

by Charles Roring
Wildlife watching tour in Manokwari with Charles Roring
Papua Dragon Lizard
These are the photograph of Tree Dragon Lizard that I saw in Susnguakti forest when I guided 2 Dutch tourists on a 4-day/ 3-night hiking and birding tour in Manokwari. The forest is located in the eastern region of Arfak mountains approximately one and a half hour ride from Manokwari.
I have organized numerous tours to the forest for visitors who come from Poland, the United States, Australia, Germany, The Philipines, South Korea, France, Spain, and Indonesia.
Susnguakti forest is the natural habitat of birds such as Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Spot-winged Monarch, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooded Butcherbird, Great Cuckoo Dove and a lot of other species of birds that are endemic to Arfak mountains.
In addition to birds, tourists who go there could also see cuscus possum, and bandicoot, ground brown skink, and snakes when doing night walk in the jungle. Fireflies and glowing mushrooms exist in the jungle.
There are no hotels or guesthouses in the jungle. I and local villagers built basecamps in the forest for tourists who want to spend a few days exploring the wealth of biodiversity of the forest.
If you are interested in visiting Susnguakti forest, please, fly from your country to Jakarta city - the capital of Indonesia. After that, you can take a domestic flight to Manokwari by Garuda, Sriwijaya Air or Batik Air. Don't forget to bring binoculars, spotting scope, head torch, field guide book: Birds of New Guinea.
Booking:
This is my email: peace4wp@gmail.com and whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Birding in Sorong Ridge Forest with 2 Australian Tourists

Birding in Sorong city Ridge forest with Charles Roring
Double-eyed Fig Parrot
I went birding with 2 Australian visitors (David and Jane) today. We visited Sorong ridge forest. We left Swiss-belhotel at 05.30 for the Sunbird Ridge Forest. I carried a Kinglux 20-60×60 spotting scope to watch birds that sit on the branches of distant trees. During the tour we saw Yellow-faced Myna, Oriental Dollarbird, Brahminy Kite, Grey-headed Goshawk, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Rainbow Bee-eater, Blyth's Hornbill, Red-cheeked Parrot, Black Sunbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, Black-browed Triller, Fairy Lorikeet, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Eclectus Parrot.
Although in the first one hours it rained a lot, we could enjoy the hiking and birdwing tour in the forest. We also saw Eupholus schoenherri beetle and various kinds of butterfly during the tour. 
Birding tour in Sorong ridge forest of West Papua with Charles Roring
Female Black Sunbird
Sorong city is the gate to Raja Ampat. A lot of people fly to this city every day. Most of the tourists spend one or two days in Sorong before and after their trip in Raja Ampat. They could take advantage of their stay in this city by enjoying hiking and birding.
I highly recommend that visitors travel in a group of tourists to share the cost. Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send whatsapp message to my number: +6281332245180 if you are interested in taking the birding tour with me as your guide in Sorong city of West Papua province of Indonesia.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

8 Americans Hiking and Birding in Sorong Forest

Hiking and Birding in Sorong forest
I have just completed a hiking and birding tour in Sunbird Ridge forest of Sorong regency with 8 American tourists. We left Swissbelhotel of Sorong city at 05.30 by car and began hiking at 06.00. During the tour, we were able to see various species of birds including Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii), Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus), Oriental Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis), Olive-crowned Sunbird, Black-Sunbird, Rainbow bee-eater, Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon), Singing Starling, Coconut Lorikeet. Morning time was good for birding a long the ridge because tropical birds were usually active during that period.
In the afternoon, we arrived at a river in the jungle. When all the tourists enjoyed swimming, I and some local people boil water for them to make coffee and tea. Under the canopy of the trees, the temperature was quite cool. As we continued our trip to another big river, we became more exposed to sunlight.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Watching Paradise Birds in Tambrauw

Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) in West Papua's rainforest
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
I offer tours for visitors who want to watch paradise birds in their natural habitat. The destination that I recommend is Tambrauw regency. It is approximately 2 hours ride by a 4wd car from Sorong city. To share the cost of the tour and accommodation,  visitors need to go in a group of several people.
Birding tour will be done along a path in the forest and along an open space such as rivers, coastal area, and at the beach. Good physical condition is needed for exploring the avifauna of Tambrauw, especially in the mountains. Every visitor needs to bring a good pair of binoculars. A spotting scope will also be good too but is not a must.
The duration of the bird and wildlife tour is around 3 to 4 days where camping near a river can also be organized to increase the chance for bird watchers to see more birds and other wild animals.
Booking
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Birding Tour in Fulgidus Forest of Tambrauw Regency

Birding Tour in Tambrauw Forest

There is a nice birding site in Tambrauw regency that we promote to bird watchers. Its name is Fulgidus forest. We call it: Fulgidus because it is the natural habitat of New Guinea Vulturine Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus). We offer hiking, camping and birding tour to this forest to support local people in preserving their rainforest and at the same time generating alternative income for them. When the indigenous people feel that they can get positive benefits from their forest, they will stop hunting paradise birds and other important wild animals. They will also stop logging activities that are very destructive to the environment.
The duration of the birding tour can be 3 days to 1 week depending on how long visitors want to stay. During the birding tour, visitors can stay in the houses that belong to local people. However, for hiking and birding tours to the mountain and coastal area, we will build tents in the forest near a river and at the beach. We will provide tents, mattrasses, cooking and eating utensils so that visitors do not have to bring heavy equipment to this forest.

Things to Bring for Birding Tour in Tambrauw Mountains

Birding tour in Tambrauw mountains with Charles Roring
Palm Cockatoo
  • All birdwatchers know that they need a good pair of binoculars. I recommend Swarovski EL 8,5×42, Swarovski SLC 10×42, Nikon Monarch 5 10×42, Canon 15×50 Image Stabilizer.
  • If you have got a spotting scope, please, bring it too.
  • For taking pictures, a camera with telephoto lens will be needed.
  • You need to bring hiking boots or sport shoes with socks.
  • Dark clothing such as dark grey or dark green or camouflage t-shirts and trousers will be very useful.
  • Personal toiletries and towel
  • Rain poncho

Birdlist from Lowland and lower montane forest of Tambrauw regency

There are a lot of species of birds in this forest including:
  • Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), 
  • King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), 
  • Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), 
  • Western Crowned Pigeon (Goura cristata), 
  • Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon), 
  • Pink-spotted Fruit- Dove (Ptilinopus perlatus), 
  • Beautiful Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus)
  • Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger atterimus), 
  • Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
  • Blyth's hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), 
  • Northern Cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus)
  • Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii)
  • Golden Myna (Mino anais)
  • Variable Goshawk
  • Gray-headed Goshawk
  • Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
  • Lowland Peltop (Peltops blainvilii)
  • Boyer's Cuckooshrike
  • Grey Crow (Corvius tristis)
  • Torresian Crow (Corvus orru)
  • Oriental Dollarbird
  • Yellow-billed Kingfisher (Syma toro toro)
  • Forest Kingfisher
  • Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud)
  • Rainbow Bee-eater
  • and a lot more

How to get to Fulgidus Forest in Tambrauw Mountains

  • You need to take an international flight to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
  • After that, you could take a domestic flight that will bring you to Sorong city.
  • I could meet you at the airport and organize your trip to Fulgidus forest of Tambrauw regency. 

Booking

Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Magnificent Riflebird

I often hear the calling sound of Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) when I guide tourists in lowland and lower montane forest of West Papua. The male feather is mostly dark with blue breast that looks like a triangle. We cannot easily find him. I saw the birds several times in Klabolo forest of Sorong regency. I also heard his sounds when I guide birdwatchers in Susnguakti forest in Manokwari and in Syuan forest in Tambrauw mountains. Some tourists whom I guided saw the bird through a blind which we built especially for viewing the bird in Susnguakti forest.

Animals in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

Magnificent Riflebird
Magnificent Riflebird is not the only paradise bird that we could watch in lower montane forest of Manokwari. There are Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius). In addition to those paradise birds, visitors who explore tropical rainforest of Susnguakti could find Common Paradise Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea), Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud), Great Cuckoo-Dove (Reinwardtoena reinwarti), Beautiful Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus), Hooded Butcherbird (Cracticus cassicus), Black-capped Lory (Lorius lory), Coconut Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus), cassowary, and etc.
Susnguakti forest is the natural habitat of insects such as: Cruiser butterfly, Silky Owl butterfly (Taenaris catops), birdwing butterfly Ornitopthera priamus, Blue Emperor butterfly (Papilio ulysses); beetles such as tiger beetle, and green jewel beetle. For marsupial animals, I have seen cuscus possum and bandicoot. There are also various kinds of reptiles including snakes, brown grown skink, Papua dragon tree lizard, small forest lizards.

Birding and Wildlife Watching Tour

I offer a 3- day/ 2-night birding and wildlife watching tour in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. This can be combined with tour lowland forest of Manokwari or in Raja Ampat.

Booking

Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com and whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Birding and Wildlife Tour in Tambrauw Mountains

Birding in Tambrauw regency

Birding Tour in Tambrauw Mountains
Yellow-faced Myna
I and my team offer birding tour for tourists who are interested in watching tropical birds that live in Tambrauw mountains. The duration of the tour can be customized to between 4 and 7 days or even more. Most of the land in Tambrauw is still covered by pristine tropical rainforest. They become the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds

Target Birds

Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Glossy Manucode, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Black-capped Lory, Coconut Lorikeet, Boyer's Cuckooshrike, Lowland Peltop, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Beautiful Fruit-Dove, Great Cuckoo Dove, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Hooded Butcherbird, Helmetted Friarbird, Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Forest Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Red-necked Phalarope (migrant bird polar region), Nankeen Night Heron (migrant from Asia), Oriental Dollarbird, Moustached Treeswift, Papuan Blyth's Hornbill, Variable Goshawk, Grey-headed Goshawk, Brahminy Kite, Northern Cassowary.

Other Wild Animals in Tambrauw regency: wild boar, Deer, Soa-soa Lizard, snakes, cuscus possum, large ground skink, bandicoot, fruit bat and etc.

How to get there?
  • If you are interested in joining birding tour with us, you can take an international flight from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia).
  • After that you could continue your trip to Sorong city or Manokwari city by taking domestic flight.
  • I will meet you in Sorong city or Manokwari city and organize your trip to Tambrauw.
Things to bring:
  • Binoculars
  • Spotting scope (if you have)
  • Field guide book: Birds of New Guinea
  • Head Torch for night walk tour in the forest
  • Dark camouflage clothing  for birding 
  • Hiking boots or sportshoes
  • Personal toiletries and towel
  • Rain Poncho
Booking
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wildlife Tours in Rainforest of Sorong

I offer birding and wildlife watching tours for visitors who are interested in hiking and watching exploring the tropical rainforest of Sorong city. These tours are suitable for tourists who want to take land tour before or after their diving/ snorkeling tour in Raja Ampat. The duration of the tour can be customized into 1 day for day trip to 3 or 4 days for camping and adventure in tropical rainforest. We have prepared basecamp in the forest. There are cooking and eating utensils too. We provide these things so that visitors do not need to carry heavy things to explore the rainforest.

See the biodiversity of plants and animals in rainforest
Rainforest in Sorong regency of West Papua
We will explore the forest to see butterflies, beetles, and a lot of other insects,  birds, lizards, cuscus possum. Tropical rainforest of West Papua is a rich environment. There are a lot of species of trees, shrub and creeping plants, as well as wild flower plants that can be seen in the forest. Visitors will be able to see the scenery of the forest while walking along the ridge of the savanna hills. As we walk deeper and then down the slopes of the hill, we will be able to reach a river whose bed is covered by big granite stones.

Day Hiking Tour
Tropical Rainforest in Sorong regency
Most tourists request day hiking tour. I highly suggest that visitors go in a group of at least 4 people or even more to share the cost. We can start in the morning and then return in the afternoon.

How to get to Sorong city
Sorong city is the gateway to Raja Ampat islands - the most important tourist destination in Indonesia for scuba diving and snorkeling. Here is how to get there:
  • Take an international flight from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia).
  • After that, take a domestic flight, by Garuda or Batik Air or Sriwijaya, to Sorong city. I could meet you in Sorong and organise your trip to the forest.
Booking
To book your rainforest wildlife watching tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Birding near Sorong city

Olive-backed Sunbird
This is the picture of Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) that I saw in a forest near Sorong city. For tens of years, this city has become the main gate to Raja Ampat islands for tourists who to spend their holiday scuba diving, swimming and snorkeling. However, there are also a lot of tourists who want to enjoy hiking, birdwatching and nature watching in general.
Birding Tour
As a tourist guide, I offer this tour. Because this forest is near the city, visitors can start the tour early in the morning and then return to their hotel before dark. From a short hiking and birdwatching trip, I saw Helmetted Friarbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, Coconut Lorikeet, and Yellow-faced Myna. I also saw some birds flying very fast in front of me making it difficult to identify them. I guess they were Black Lory, and Hooded Butcherbird.
In addition to birds, visitors who take this tour will be able to see savanna hills, terrestrial Spathoglottis orchids, butterflies, grasshoppers, and unique tropical plants of Papua.
We will walk along the ridge of Savanna Hills and then down to tropical rainforest of Sorong that is still in very good condition. The shortest trip is one day, but we can organize multiple day hiking, camping and birding tour that lasts for 3 to 4 days. There are several sites in the forest where we can use to build our basecamp. Because organizing a multiple day tour in the forest needs more logistical supplies, we will bring tents, mattrasses, cooking and eating utensils.
What to Wear and What to Bring
To take this trip, please, wear sport/ hiking shoes with socks, long pants or short pants, apply insect repellent lotion, t-shirt and hat. During rainy season, bring raincoat.
To enhance your birding experience, bring a pair of binoculars such as the Swarovski EL 8.5×42, spotting scope and tripod as well as birding camera such as Nikon P900 or Fujifilm HS50EXR.
Booking
If you are interested in hiking and birding in Sorong forest, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by text message to ,y whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wildlife Tour in Lowland Forest of Sorong regency Indonesia

Birding Photography Tour in Sorong city of West Papua, Indonesia
Male Lesser Birds of Paradise
This is the photograph of male Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor). I often see the birds when I guide visitors in lowland forest of Sorong regency. It is a city which has been the main gate to Raja Ampat. As a matter of fact, Sorong has got huge area of tropical rainforest that is home to a lot of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects. There are a lot of plants that grow in the forest such as iron-wood tree, matoa tree, and huge pandanus tree.
Visitors spend between 3 to 4 days hiking and watching wild animals in the forest. From my previous wildlife tours in this environment I saw deer, northern cassowary, wallaby, ulysses butterfly and beautiful wild flowers.

Itinerary
Day 1
Transfer by 4wd car from Sorong city to Klasow valley (1.5 hours)
Walk along the path from the main road to jungle village (1.5 hours)
Arrive in the village, take a rest, birdwatching around the clearing area of the village.

Day 2
Wake-up early in the morning at 04.00. Have tea or coffee and make preparation At 04.30 leave the village for the birdwatching site of Lesser BOP. Arrive at 06.00. Watch birds until 09.00. Walk back to the village. Have lunch. Take a rest. Jungle walk again to watch birds and other wildlife.
After dinner, we could do night walk to see wallaby thats comes out at night to find food and mating partner.

Day 3
Wake up in the morning to birding site of Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise. After that, we will continue to the birding ground of King Bird of Paradise.
After lunch we will go hiking to a hill behind the village. Back to the village, we still can enjoy birdwatching in the clearing area of the village

Day 4
Morning walk to the river in the west of the village. Visitors can enjoy swimming or exploring the surrounding forest. Back to the village. After lunch, we could walk slowly back to the main road again and then back to Sorong city by car.

Booking your rainforest tour
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.
I need information such as name, country of origin, date and time of arrival and how long you plan to do the rainforest tour.

Idea durvillei Butterfly

Idea durvillei butterfly in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Idea durvillei is a large black and white butterfly that I see in Mansinam island of Manokwari; Waim islet and Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. They live in coastal forest. I have never seen it in higher montane forest such as Arfak mountains and Tambrauw Mountains. The wings are white decorated with black lines. The abdomen of this beautiful insect is white. From my personal observations, the butterfly likes to find nectar of flowers early in the mornings. In the afternoons when the temperature is high, the butterfly prefers to take a rest on a green leave of shrubs under the shades of big trees. Actually, there are a lot of species of butterflies that we can see when we go hiking in lowland forest including cruiser butterfly - Vindula arsinoe, Silky Owl Butterfly - Taenaris catops, and  the Blue Mountain Swallowtail - Papilio ulysses.  The best months to watch butterflies in West Papua are during dry season June to early December.
Most of my tours are related to birdwatching. However, it does not mean that I don't pay attention to other animals. written by Charles Roring

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Birdwatching Binoculars

In my previous post Wildlife Binoculars, I mention about Swarovski SLC 10×42 WB which is a very sturdy optical device for field use. Actually, there are a lot of other brands that can also deliver clear and crisp images of birds and other wild animals that we would like to watch especially in a distant tree, beach or in the sky. I personally have got some Chinese made 10x 42 mm roof binoculars. They are not the best in the market but they give good quality images. I often bring them into the forest when I guide birdwatchers.
Bad Binoculars
Several years ago I thought that binoculars with higher magnification were better. In reality I was wrong. I used to buy a pair of binoculars from a shop in my town without checking its performance in the field - a Chinese made Papillon 12-36×70 binoculars. The next day, I brought the binoculars to the field when I guided a French couple on a 3 day/ 2 night riverwalk and birdwatching tour in lowland forest of Manokwari. When I tried the device, I was very disappointed with the image quality it produced. My old binoculars with lower magnification gave me sharper and clearer views of birds, scenery and trees.
Characteristics of High Quality Birding Binoculars
From that day I decided to read more information on the internet about binoculars. I spent more time reading about technical aspects of binoculars, here are some of the features from the binoculars which birdwatchers must know.
  • Brand name and long tradition in binoculars manufacturing - Companies that have manufactured binoculars for tens of years have got more experience and expertise in making high quality binoculars. Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica, and Nikon are some of the manufacturers that have created high precision optical products including binoculars.
  • High quality binoculars are made of high definition glass lenses such as Extra-low Dispersion glass and Bak4 prism.
  • In tropical rainforest, the frequency of rainfall and humidity is high. Binoculars have to be sealed with waterproof O-ring and filled with dry nitrogen. 
  • To ensure the production of clear and sharp bird images, every surface of the lens in binoculars have to be painted with anti reflective compounds. 
Swarovski EL 8.5×42 binoculars
One example of an excellent binoculars is the Austrian made Swarovski EL 8.5×42. I used test the product when I went birdwatching in Arfak range. The image quality it produced was sharp and clear. I highly recommend this device. Birdwatchers cannot be separated from their binoculars particularly when they go into the forest, the beach, lake, or walk along the banks of a river. High definition binoculars will definitely enhance birding experience. Bad quality binoculars can ruin the whole birding experience of an avid birdwatcher. So, before buying binoculars, make sure that the device has got at least four important characteristics that I mention above. written by Charles Roring
Related Post: Binoculars for Wildlife Watching

Monday, February 26, 2018

Binoculars for Wildlife Watching

Visionking 10x42 mm multi purpose binoculars
Binoculars are essential for wildlife watching when we go hiking in the forest. I personally use a good pair of Visionking 10x42 mm binoculars. It is equipped with Bak4 roof prism, Field of View: 303 feet@ 1000 yards with central focusing. They are light and small enough to carry. They are not the best but they can give me sharp images of birds and wild animals that are flying or perching on the branches of high trees.
Because I work as birdwatching guide, I had the opportunities of trying other binoculars that are carried by birdwatchers. I used to try Nikon EDG 8×42 binoculars. These birding optics are made of Extra Low Dispersion glass lenses. Although the magnification is smaller than my Visionking. The quality of the images is crisp and superior. I can say that the Nikon EDG 8×42 binoculars are one of the best wildlife binoculars that I have ever tried.
Recently, I also tried a pair of Swarovski SLC 10×42 WB. The binoculars belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Buttiker. They were birdwatchers who came from Switzerland. I guided them to Arfak mountains to watch Vogelkop Bowerbird, Western Parotia, Green-backed Robin, female Black Siklebill, Feline Owlet-nightjar, and Bronze Ground Dove. Their Swarovski binoculars greatly enhanced their birding experience.
It was rainy season in Arfak mountains when I and the Swiss couple went birding in along the unpaved road in the forest. I was impressed with the performance of the Swarovski SLC 10×42 WB binoculars. They were very sturdy and well fit in my grip.

Bird and Wildlife Tour
I offer bird and wildlife tour for visitors who are interested in adventure trip to Arfak mountains, Klasow valley, Tambrauw Mountains and Raja Ampat Regency. Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Related article: Wildlife Binoculars

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Wildlife Tour in Susnguakti Forest of Manokwari

Cuscus Possum in Susnguakti Forest of Manokwari
There is a forest area in Manokwari that is suitable for wildlife watching. Its name is Susnguakti forest in the south of the city. Animals such as cuscus possum, blue-tailed lizard, butterflies, fireflies, and several species of birds of paradise live there. I personally have organized tens of wildlife tours to this forest.
There is a basecamp that local villagers built for visitors. It is covered by corrugated metal roofs and plastic tents. Mattrasses, pillows, cooking and eating utensils are available in the forest.
Here is the usual itinerary:
Day 1
We will meet you at the Rendani airport of Manokwari city, or at the hotel where you stay. After buying food supplies, we will go by car to Susnguakti forest. It takes 1 hour to reach it. Arriving in the forest, we will start hiking for one and a half hour to reach our basecamp. Water will be boiled and food is cooked when we start to install our dome tents, and sleeping materials. After having some tea or coffee with biscuits, we could go to the nearby forest area to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor). We will enjoy dinner at around 19.00.
We could install white screen cloth and shoot it with light so that we could see the kinds of nocturnal insects that land on it.
Day 2
Early in the morning, we will wake up early to have tea or coffee. After that we could enjoy morning walk again to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise hoping that we will have better sighting of the paradise birds. At 09.00, we could move to higher ground to watch King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius).
After lunch, we could take a rest for a while or do jungle walk to see butterflies, lizards, or other insects.
At night, we will do jungle exploration to see cuscus possum (a nocturnal marsupial animal that comes out at night to find fruits and mating partner), sometimes spiky dragon lizard could be seen in the forest. A short visit to bamboo forest will allow us to see glowing mushrooms (especially during rainy season).
Day 3
We will do morning walk to watch Magnificent Riflebird, Hooded Butcherbird and Coconut Lorikeet that like to eat fruits and nectar from flowers around our basecamp.
After lunch, we can start descending the slopes of Susnguakti forest to main road again. A stop in the village is highly recommended where we will meet villagers. We will return to Manokwari city again after saying Good Bye to our local guides and villagers.

Extended Tour
For visitors who are interested in coral reef, we could extend our tour by snorkeling in some coral reef sites of Manokwari to see damselfish, butterflyfish, moorish idol, or anemonefish.

Booking
Please, contact me: Charles Roring by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Rainbow Bee-eater

Rainbow Bee-eater in Klasow Valley of Sorong regency
West Papua province of Indonesia
Sighting in Sorong forest
These are photographs of Rainbow Bee-eater that I saw in Klasow valley of Sorong regency. They were taken in May. According to field guide book, "Birds of New Guinea," the birds migrate to New Guinea during March to October. Rainbow Bee-eater perched on the branches of trees in the cleared forest in the morning waiting for insects. The sun was shining brightly. I walked closer to them and began to take pictures of them. They were not afraid of me when I shot them with my old Fujifilm HS50EXR.
Sighting in Manokwari
I also saw a large flock of Rainbow Bee-eater in lowland forest of Manokwari in June when I guided a French tourist. Perhaps, they had just arrived from a long flight crossing over the huge tropical rainforest of New Guinea. During the sunset time, they were flying very low over our heads when we sat on the sandbank of Mesirrokow river in a relaxed atmosphere. We really enjoyed the sighting very much. Unfortunately, it was getting dark, so, I could not take pictures of them.
The lowland forest of Manokwari is the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds such as Large-tailed Nightjar, Golden Myna, Little-ringed Plover, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Black-capped Lory, Coconut Lorikeet, Palm Cockatoo, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Brahminy Kite, Variable Goshawk, Little Egret, Dollarbird, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Magnificent Riflebird, and a lot more.

Rainforest Bird and Wildlife Tour
Birdwatching in lowland forest of Manokwari
I offer hiking and birdwatching trips for visitors who are interested in watching paradise birds and other tropical birds of New Guinea, particularly in such places as Arfak mountains, Lowland Forest of Manokwari, Klasow valley in Sorong regency and tropical islands of Raja Ampat.
In general, a short birdwatching trip in Lowland Forest of Manokwari may last for 3 days/ 2 nights whereas a full bird tour to Arfak range, Klasow valley of Sorong and Waigeo island of Raja Ampat may last for 2 weeks.
Booking
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Riverwalk Tour in Manokwari

The lowland forest of New Guinea is a very rich environment. It is the one that exists in northwest region of Manokwari. To explore the forest, the best way is by walking along the sides of a river that passes through the forest. Recently I guided 3 French visitors on a 3-day/ 2-night riverwalk and birdwatching tour to the lowland forest of Manokwari. The name of the forest was Mesirrokow. It was the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds including Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Blyth's Hornbill, Yellow-faced Myna, Little-ringed Plover, Dollarbird, Brahminy Kite, and etc.
Other animals such as wallaby, wild pigs, deer, cuscus possum, and soa-soa lizard, as well as beetles and butterflies also live in the forest. The variety of the vegetation is very high including iron wood tree, pandanus tree, creeping plants, shrubs and grass.
Camping and Riverwalk
We built tents on higher ground near the river and then did the riverwalk tour every mornings and afternoons-before sunset time. When the weather is good, we can walk along the banks of the river easily.  One of the guests brought his Swarovski Spotting Scope and Leica binoculars. They greatly enhanced our birding experience. I personally carried my Visionking 10x42 mm binoculars. With these birding optics, we could watch Glossy-mantled Manucode (Manucode ater), Lowland Peltop (Peltops blainvillii), Pink-spotted Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus perlatus), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Variable Goshawk (Accipiter hiogaster).
Our Camping Site in Lowland Forest of Manokwari
We bring big size 8x6 meters waterproof plastic sheet as our roof tent, several dome tents, mattrasses, and pillows. We also bring cooking and eating utensils to serve our customers. Food such as noodles, canned fish, coffee, tea, and fruits are bought from the supermarket but we get most of our vegetables from the surrounding forest. Our guests said they really enjoyed the camping trip in open nature. In addition to camping, riverwalk and bird/ wildlife watching, they could enjoy swimming as much as they liked.
Preparations
Riverwalk Tour in Manokwari Lowland Forest
Visitors need to bring a good pair of binoculars, a waterproof spotting scope is also needed. For riverwalk, please wear a good pair of watershoes, t-shirt and short pants. Some visitors apply sunblock lotion. I recommend anti-insect lotion.

How to get there?
  • First, visitors need to fly from their country to Jakarta (the capital city of Indonesia)
  • After that they could take a domestic flight to Manokwari city. Airlines such as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik and Lion/ Wings Air have got regular flights to Manokwari. 

Booking
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Birdwatching Tour in Arfak Mountains

I have organized birdwatching tours for visitors who want to go to Arfak mountains for years. There are 2 different birding locations in West Papua, i.e. Lower Montane Forest and Upper Montane Forest.

Upper Montane Forest
This type of rainforest is the natural habitat of Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata), Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes magnificus), Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis inornatus), Feline Owlet-Nightjar (Aeghoteles insignis), Green-backed Robin (Pachycephalopsis hattamensis)
There are several guesthouses built by government and now operated by local people.

Lower Montane Forest
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
For this type of environment, the recommended destination is Susnguakti forest located in the eastern region of Arfak mountains. Birds that can be watched including Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), Hooded Butcherbird (Cracticus cassicus), Common Paradise Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea), Coconut Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus).
There are several jungle huts that were built as shelters for tourists who want to stay for a few days watching birds and other wild animals. I provide mattrasses, pillows and tents, as well as cooking and eating utensils in the jungle huts.
Birds are not the only animals which visitors can watch in the lower montane forest of Arfak mountains. Visitors can watch cuscus possum, bandicoot, Arfak dragon lizard, colorful butterflies, and fireflies. I and some local guides can organize nightwalk for visitors who are interested in watching nocturnal animals.

Preparations
To do birdwatching in Arfak mountains, visitors need to wear good trekking boots, short and long pants for hiking tours along the road and trails in the forest. Birds usually perch on the branches of high trees. A good pair of binoculars and a spotting scope will be helpful for watching birds and other wild animals. Don't forget to bring anti-insect lotion to protect you from mosquito and other insect bites. Head torch or flash light is also needed for night walk.

How to get to Arfak mountains
  • From your country, you need to take an international flight that will bring you to Jakarta (the capital city of Indonesia), or Manado city (from Singapore by Silk Air)
  • After that take a domestic flight to Manokwari city. Regular flights between Jakarta or Manado city and Manokwari are served by Sriwijaya, Garuda, and other airlines.
  • I will meet you at Rendani airport or at a hotel where you stay in Manokwari city and organize your tour to Arfak mountains. 

Booking
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Related articles:

Birdwatching in Lowland Forest of Sorong

Male Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Paradise Birds of Klasow Valley
Sorong is a city in West Papua province of Indonesia that has become the main gate to Raja Ampat. There is a huge valley in the east of Sorong that is famous among birdwatchers as the most recommended site for watching Paradise Birds. Its name is Klasow Valley. Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) and Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise (Seleucidis melanoleucus) live in tropical rainforest of the valley and can be watched together with hundreds of species other of birds.
Visitors who go to Klasow valley usually spend at least 4 days/ 3 nights in the jungle to watch birds, and other wild animals, as well as wild flowers and unique tropical plants of the rainforest. There is a small village in the middle of the forest. There are also two jungle huts that have been prepared for visitors. The huts are equipped with mattrasses, mosquito nets and toilets.
The birdwatching site for Lesser Birds of Paradise is approximately a 1.5-hour-walk from the village. Visitors who want to watch the paradise birds need to wake up early in the morning at 04.00 to have tea or coffee and to make preparation until 04.30. After that they have to start walking. Because it is still dark, head torch will be needed for the morning jungle walk. There is another birdwatching site for Lesser Birds of Paradise approximately 30 minutes walk from the village. But the tree where the birds dance is quite high. Each visitor who wants to watch birds at this site needs to bring a good pair of binoculars. Usually, the activity of Lesser BOP at their display trees decreases after 09.00.  Birdwatchers can walk back to the village to take a rest and have lunch.
Northern Cassowary
Northern Cassowary in lowland forest of Sorong regency
There is also Northern Cassowary that regularly visits the village to ask banana fruits and sugar cane from villagers. It is a very big bird and dangerous. I used to guide a group of visitors from Rockjumper. We spent 2 days/ 1 night in the valley to watch birds. We were quite lucky to be welcomed by this Northern Cassowary. But we have to keep safe distance from the bird. During our tour in Klasow valley, we were able to watch King Bird of Paradise, Northern Cassowary, Yellow-faced Myna, Helmetted Friarbird, Black Lory, Boyer's Cuckooshrike, Red-cheeked Parrot, Glossy Swiftlet, Pinon Imperial Pigeon.
Birds are not the only animals that live in this lowland forest of Sorong, there are butterfly and beetles, cuscus possum, wallaby, fish and frogs in the river, snake, wild pigs, soa-soa lizard, dear and even crocodile in big river.
Want to visit Klasow valley?
Fly from your country to Jakarta (capital of Indonesia) or Manado city (by Silk Air from Singapore).  There are regular flights from these cities to Sorong city. I could meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay and organize your trip to Klasow valley.

Booking
If you are interested in taking a birdwatching tour in West Papua and needs me to organize your tour, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Willie Wagtail

Wildlife watching in Lowland Forest
When I was hiking with two French tourists along the sides of a river in lowland forest of Manokwari, I saw a black bird that was playing on a burnt tree. Slowly I approached the bird to take some pictures. The bird was not afraid of me and kept on dancing, perhaps to attract his female partner. After examining my pictures, I could identify the bird. It was called Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys). Because it likes to sit on dead trees near the river, I thought that the bird feeds on small fish. Later, from Wikipedia, I got the information that Willie Wagtail eats insects.
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) in lowland forest of Manokwari
I also saw flowers such as New Guinea Tulip (Spathodea campanulata) whose flower is orange, morning glory, Purple Tepals Water Hycinth (Monochoria vaginalis), New Guinea Scarlet Jade (Mucuna benetti) and Splendid Glory Vine (Varadaya splendida).  The scenery of the river is also very beautiful.
I also saw the bird in cleared forest near Waisai town of Raja Ampat. From the sighting sites, I could conclude that Willie Wagtail lives in coastal and interior region of New Guinea island especially in open habitat. The bird has got black upperpart feather with white underparts. It also has got beautiful sounds too.
Actually, Willie Wagtail is not the only birds that we can see while hiking in the tropical rainforest of New Guinea. There are hundreds of birds that we can watch, some of them include Lowland Peltop, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Brahminy Kite, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Large-tailed Nightjar, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Little Egret, and several species of birds of Paradise.
Rainforest Wildlife Watching and Marine Tour
I can organise rainforest wildlife/ birdwatching in Manokwari, Sorong and Raja Ampat. Short tour lasts between 3 to 5 days whereas long tour usually takes 2 weeks. The 2-week wildlife watching tour starts in Manokwari and then continues to Sorong and Raja Ampat and then finishes in Sorong city again. During the tour, visitors will be able to watch birds, cuscus possum, see wild flowers and butterflies in the jungle, as well as coral reef and colorful tropical fish. Visitors need to bring good binoculars, and snorkeling mask, and fins.
Flights
There are regular daily flights between Manokwar city, Sorong city and Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia). You can take Garuda, Sriwijaya or Batik to reach West Papua. I could meet you at the airport of Sorong city or Manokwari city and organize your trip into the rainforest.
Booking
If you are interested in taking a rainforest tour in West Papua and wants me to organise your trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Birdwatching and Snorkeling in Raja Ampat

Paradisea Beach
There is a good place in Waigeo island that is very suitable for snorkeling and birdwatching. Its name is Paradisea Beach. It is located in southern region of Waigeo. I enjoyed birdwatching and snorkeling in the area several weeks ago. The best time to do birdwatching is in the mornings and in the afternoons. Birds such as Coconut Lorikeet, Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Blyth's hornbill, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Beach Kingfisher, and Red Bird of Paradise.
The coral reef at Paradisea beach is a very rich marine environment. It is the natural habitat of a lot of species of marine animals. Table corals, Elkhorn Corals, and sea grass thrive at the depths from 0.5 to 10 meters.
Birding Optics
Female Red Bird of Paradise
To watch those birds I used a pair of Visionking 10x42 mm binoculars that are equipped with Bak4 roof prisms. They are quite sharp when I use them to watch birds in tall and distant trees. I also brought my spotting scope. It was a 20-60x60 Kinglux. To take pictures of the birds, I used my old Fujifilm HS50EXR. They were not the best birdwatching gear on the market but they were powerful enough to enhance my birding experience at the Paradisea beach.
Snorkeling
After two days of birding in the area, I completed my activities at the beach by enjoying snorkeling over its coral reef. I saw a lot of species of fish including parrotfish, surgeonfish, grouper, boxfish, butterflyfish, moorish idol, needlefish, barracuda, and various damselfish. Raja Ampat has been famous around the world as a regency that has got the highest marine bio-diversity in the world.
Marine life in coral reef of Raja Ampat
A friend of mine who owns the land plans to build a dive resorts at this beach. Soon, there will be bungalows which can be rent by tourists who want to enjoy snorkeling and birdwatching at this beach.
As a matter of fact, Raja Ampat has got hundreds of islands which visitors can choose to enjoy snorkeling, and birdwatching such as Mansuar, Mansuar Kecil, Gam, Arborek, Waigeo, Piaynemo, Batanta, Salawati, Misool, and Wayag. There are homestays or dive resorts operated by local people and foreign companies.
If you are interested in taking snorkeling and birdwatching tour in Raja Ampat and mainland West Papua, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Wildlife Binoculars

I often guide tourists in the forest. To watch birds, butterflies on distant flowers, or orchids in high trees, we usually use binoculars. I personally use a pair of 10x42 mm Visionking binoculars. They have got Bak4 roof prisms to deliver crisp images of birds or other wild animals that I watch. But they are not the best birdwatching optics available in the market.
Recommended Binoculars
a pair of Swarovski SLC 10×42 WB binoculars
For the best wildlife watching experience, I highly recommend that visitors buy a pair of Swarovski SLC 10x42 WB binoculars. The binoculars have got fluorite HD glass elements, and are filled with nitrogen. They are light enough to travel with. These binoculars belong to Mr. and Mrs. Buttiker, Swiss tourists who visited Arfak range for birdwatching.
Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata) was eating Red-Pandanus Fruit
During their trip in Arfak mountains, they were able to watch Vogelkop Bowerbird, Western Parotia, Green-backed Robin, Feline Owlet-Nightjar, Emerald Ground Dove, and etc. These birds were seen at the elevation between 1,300 and 1,500 meters above sea level.
For birds that live in lowland and lower montane forest, the variety of species will be different. Based on my previous birdwatching experience, I saw Lesser Birds of Paradise, Glossy Manucode, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificemt Riflebird, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Hooded Butcherbird, Palm Cockatoo, and a lot more.
Because the humidity and rainfall in tropical rainforest is very high, I highly recommend that visitors bring binoculars that are watertight or waterproof.
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
in Arfak mountains
There are also similar binoculars manufactured by Leica, Nikon or Vortex.
Spotting Scope
In addition to binoculars, I also use a very affordable Kinglux 20- 60×60 spotting scope. It is equipped with Bak4 prism and is filled with nitrogen gas. Experienced birdwatchers usually bring Swarovski ATX 30-70×95 spotting scope.
Booking
If you are interested in taking a birdwatching tour with me in Raja Ampat, Klasow valley of Sorong, and Arfak mountains of Manokwari, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com. written by Charles Roring

Birdwatching Tour in Manokwari Forest

King Bird of Paradise in Susnguakti forest
Arfak mountains - Manokwari
There are several birdwatching sites in Manokwari regency. One of them is Susnguakti forest in the eastern region of Arfak mountains. Its lower montane forest environment is the natural habitat of several species of paradise birds including Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), Magnificent Riflebird.
There are also other birds that can be watched in the rainforest of Susnguakti such as Hooded Butcherbird, Blyth's hornbill, and Common Paradise Kingfisher.
Tropical rainforest that covers this area is actually a rich environment. Visitors can see colorful butterflies such as Vindula arsinoe, and various kinds of lizards, including the Arfak Dragon Lizard. There are snakes too. But the main attractions in Susnguakti forest, in addition to birds, are cuscus possum, glowing mushrooms, fireflies, and a large varieties of plants.
Accommodation
Camping site in the forest of Susnguakti, Manokwari
As of today, there is no guesthouse in the middle of Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. But we have built simple shelters for our guests who want to stay for a few days. We have served tens of visitors who come from various countries in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.
We also provide complete camping (shelter, mattrasses, and tents), cooking and eating utensils for visitors and local guides.
How to get there?
Lesser Birds of Paradise in Manokwari forest
Fly from your country to Jakarta, or Manado. These are big cities in Indonesia. After that, take a domestic flight to Manokwari. Airlines such as Garuda, Batik, and Sriwijaya have got regular flights between Jakarta and Manokwari.
I can meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay and organize your trip to Susnguakti forest.
Booking
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180