Friday, August 24, 2018

Snorkeling and Birding in Tambrauw

Coral Reef in Tambrauw waters
I often go to Tambrauw regency in West Papua province of Indonesia. I go there to guide tourists on a snorkeling and birding tour in its coastal and lower montane forest areas. Tambrauw is located between Manokwari and Sorong. Its capital is Fef. The duration of the tour is usually 3 to 4 days. I always ask my visitors to bring snorkeling mask, snorkel and fins if they want to enjoy snorkeling in the area. A good underwater camera is also needed for taking pictures and marine life in the coral reef of Tambrauw. There are a lot of snorkeling spots in the area which tourist could choose to explore. The coral reef is located at depths of 1 to 10 meters. My last snorkeling trip to Tambrauw was in July. At that time I was guiding a Dutch lady. We enjoyed snorkeling for a few hours. We saw a lot of fish including butterflyfish, spadefish, surgeonfish, rabbitfish, anemonefish, snapper, anthias, grouper, parrotfish, sweeper, triggerfish. There also sea cucumber, blue sea star, and a baby giant clamp. It was a wonderful experience. I will go there again at the end of this month to explore both its coral reef and rainforest.
Blue Sea Star
In addition to snorkeling, we also did some tours in the jungle to watch birds and other wild animals. We explored the forest for 3 days to find Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Palm Cockatoo, and Yellow-billed Kingfisher. Birding in Tambrauw forest was easy. We saw Nankeen Kestrel, Mimic Meliphaga, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Moluccan King Parrot, Olive-crowned Sunbird, Double-eyed Fig Parrot. I brought 2 pairs of 10×42mm binoculars.
Marine Life in Tambrauw
How to get to Tambrauw
  • First, you need to fly from your country to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
  • After that you can continue your trip to Sorong city. Airlines such as Batik Air, Garuda, Sriwijaya Air, or Nam Air.
  • I could meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay in Sorong city and then organize your trip to Tambrauw.
If you are interested in visiting Tambrauw regency for snorkeling or birding and wildlife watching, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
Also read:
Snorkeling and Freediving in Tambrauw regency
Birding Tour to Aibogiar village of Tambrauw mountains
Birding and Snorkeling in Tambrauw regency
Adventure Tour to Tambrauw

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Snorkeling and Freediving in Tambrauw Regency

A tropical beach in Tambrauw regency
I went to Tambrauw regency with a Dutch lady last month. We stayed in a small coastal town to enjoy swimming, snorkeling and freediving. Because I like taking picture underwater, I brought a small action camera - Brica Pro5 Alpha Edition. It was not a professional photographic device but it was good enough to show how beautiful the coral reef was. I wore a set of fins, and snorkeling mask to go to deeper water and descend to a depth of around 3 to 7 meters below the surface of the sea.
The sea was quite calm and the visibility was around 10 meters. With this small camera in hand, I shot a lot of pictures of the underwater world of Tambrauw. There were blue sea-star, sea cucumber, baby giant clam, anemone, and hundreds of species of fish. I saw a giant humphead wrasse too. I tried to chase him but he swam into deeper water. So, I missed the chance to shoot him.
Seaweed bed and fish in Tambrauw
Although this tiny camera could not produce professional pictures, I did my best to get very good underwater images of Tambrauw's coral reef. It gave me more freedom of movement in the water. The coastal region of Tambrauw has got huge area of seaweed beds. They become the natural habital of fish, urchin, sea cucumber. Dugong and sea turtles frequently visit them. Before pressing the shutter button, I did my best to keep calm and still underwater.
I did not wear a weight belt. To keep my body in the water, I often had to hold hard corals with one hand and took pictures of the marine life with the other hand. The coastal area of Tambrauw was very beautiful.
For years, marine scientists have been visiting Tambrauw coast to study turtles. Jen Womom beach that is located in remote area of the regency is a popular site for watching Leatherback turtles, green turtles, olive ridley and some hawksbill turtles that land on the beach to lay eggs.
Bluefish among hard corals
Tambrauw is a regency that is located in the middle of Sorong and Manokwari. I often visit it to guide tourists. Most of our activities are related to rainforest. We go hiking, camping and birdwatching in the mountains for approximately 4 days to find various tropical birds and other wild animals. We also go to the beach at the end of our tour to enjoy beach walk, swimming and snorkeling, freediving and sunset watching.
For visitors who want to go to Tambrauw for birding, wildlife watching and snorkeling, I suggest that they spend at least 4 to 5 days traveling in this regency. Four days could be spent in the forest and one day could be used to enjoy snorkeling at its beach.
Most photographers use D-SLR camera with telephoto lens. I recommend Sigma or Tamron 150-600 mm. A cheaper alternatives for birders that I recommend are compact bridge camera Nikon Coolpix P900 and P1000.
To take photographs of the marine life, I recommend a  Sealife DC 2000 or Canon G7X with waterproof housing.
If you are interested in visiting Tambrauw, and want me to be your guide in organizing your trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Kamperen en Dieren Kijken in de Arfak-bergen

Guest post by: Eline from the Netherlands
Camping in Susnguakti forest of Arfak mountains
Wij zijn in de zomer van 2018 met Charles één nacht de jungle-bergen bij Manokwari ingeweest. Het was al met al een geweldige ervaring die ik iedere natuurliefhebber zou aanraden. Eind van de middag vertrokken we vanuit Manokwari. Charles, die vloeiend is in Engels en Indonesisch, nam ons mee naar een markt om inkopen te doen voor de tocht. Vervolgens rij je met de auto een uurtje langs de kust, en word je in de middle of nowhere gedropt. Verwacht geen onderhouden pad, borden of andere toeristen. Vanaf de weg op een klif aan zee klim je in een uur steil omhoog de jungle in, wat veelvoudig met handen en voeten moet. Een beetje (in)spannend is het wel, maar de locals die meegaan doen het moeiteloos op blote voeten. Toen we boven aankwamen was het al donker en wachtte ons een paar tenten op houten platforms, midden in de jungle. Geen douche, wc, bedden. Wel een kabbelend beekje, enkele vogelspinnen en een onvoorstelbaar mooi geluid van honderden diersoorten die zich laten horen. Samen met de locals maakt Charles een heerlijk maaltje boven een kampvuur, waarna een nachtwandeling kan beginnen. Na drie keer 20 minuten met ingehouden adem in het donker te zitten wachten hadden we eindelijk succes: één van de Papoea-gidsen had met zijn lokroep een Koeskoes Oppossum (Australisch buideldier) tot vlakbij ons weten te lokken. Verder zagen we hagedissen, mooie vogels, kikkers en vele andere dieren. Verwacht heel vies te worden en door vele spinnenwebben te lopen. Hoort bij de experience natuurlijk! 's Ochtends vroeg erop uit om de birds of paradise te zien, geweldig! De gidsen weten precies hoe je ze het best kunt zien en hebben arendsogen tijdens het spotten. Na een stevige lunch hebben we het kamp afgebouwd en zijn we weer naar beneden geklauterd. Prachtig om de zonnestralen door de jungle te zien, de trip heeft ons vele mooie foto's opgeleverd en onvergetelijke herinneringen. Een must voor iedereen die niet bang is om back to basic te gaan en Charles is één van de beste vrienden geworden die ik in West-Papoea heb gemaakt.

Birding Tour to Aibogiar village of Tambrauw Mountains

Mountain Swiftlet
I have just completed a-3 day hiking and birding tour in Aibogiar village of Tambrauw mountains. I went there with Ashley, an American travel writer who wanted to see the rainforest, and wildlife of West Papua. When we went birding in the region, we saw several species of birds including Mountain Swiftlet, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Magnificent Birds of Paradise, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, a green pigeon which I could not identify (because it does not exist in field guidebook Birds of New Guinea), Helmetted Friarbird, Blyth's hornbill, Palm Cockatoo, Papuan Cicadabird, Variable Goshawk, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Mountain Peltop, Mountain Swiftlet. Because I am a birder, I could hear and identify the sounds of birds that I heard during the trip. Some of them were Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Magnificent Riflebird, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra.
Mountain Swiftlet in the hands of American tourist, Ashley
In addition to birds, we also saw butterflies, dragonflies, and heard the sounds of a lot of frogs. Aibogiar village was located in a very remote area of Tambrauw mountains. To reach that village, we needed to fly by a small plane from Manokwari to Kebar and then continued our trip by a 4wd car to high elevation mountainous area. We bought biscuits, coffee, tea, sugar as contact materials with the villagers. For our food, villagers provided vegetables, cassava, peanuts, and sweet potatoes. When we were there, we saw that the birding and wildlife tourism innitiatives were in their very beginning stage of development. Villagers were doing their best to serve tourists. They had built a guesthouse. It was quite a luxurious building if I compare it to guesthouses in Arfak mountains and homestays that are operated by villagers in Raja Ampat. Unfortunately, there were only a few pandanus mats that were on the floor. We used them for sleeping.
Ashley - an American tourist -
was watching birds in Tambrauw mountains
Birding in this forest was easy because visitors could walk along the road to watch birds especially in the mornings. For watching more wild animals, we need to walk deeper into the jungle for approximately 3 hours to a river area. There, deers, wild pigs, wallaby, tree kangaroo, and birds of paradise could be found living in more pristine forest.
There is a salt pond which these animals like to visit to drink its water. It is a very nice spot for watching wild animals that live in the rainforest of West Papua.
If you are interested in traveling to Aibogiar village of Tambrauw mountains to watch birds and see the landscape of the forest, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send whatsapp message to my number: +6281332245180.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Birding and Snorkeling in Tambrauw Regency

Tambrauw mountains
Tambrauw mountains always attract my attentions. I have visited them since eight years ago to watch birds and other wild animals. A few weeks ago, I went there with a Dutch lady to watch various species of tropical birds.
Our birding gear was quite simple, 10x42 binoculars, a 20-60×60 spotting scope,  a point and shoot camera Canon SX 430 IS, field guide book: Birds of New Guinea. To support our stay in the forest, we brought food, cooking and eating utensils, mattrasses and pillows, and torches. We went to the mountains by a 4WD car and stayed in the jungle for several days.
Hooded Butcherbird
During our stay and exploration of the forest, we watched Palm Cockatoo, Blyth's hornbill, Moluccan King Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rusty Pitohui, Eclectus Parrot, Yellow-faced Myna, Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Rainbow Bee-Eater, Brahminy Kite, Nankeen Kestrel, Grey Headed Goshawk, Helmetted Friarbird, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, and Intermediate Egret. In total, there were 55 species that we saw. If we stay longer, we could reach hundreds of species.
In addition to birds, we also saw deer, snake, and a lot of butterflies. The rainforest of Tambrauw was a great place to see a lot of kinds of tropical vegetation from fern, pandanus and palm trees to giant ficus and iron-wood merbau trees. Terrestrial and arboreal orchids can be seen in this mountain range.
A Dutch Lady enjoying
the beautiful scenery of Tambrauw mountains
Tambrauw Mountains are located between Manokwari and Sorong and could be reached by car, by plane and by boat. The coastal region of Tambrauw has been famous as tourist destination for turtle watching. We visited one of its many beaches and enjoyed snorkeling for several hours. I brought my action camera Brica B-Pro5 at that time and was able to take pictures of the marine life. I saw damselfish, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, snappers, groupers, and anthias. I even saw a huge Humphead Wrasse at a depth of approximately 5 metes below. I tried to take pictures of the fish but it went into deeper waters.
I like traveling in Tambrauw because I could enjoy hiking and birding in its forest as well as snorkeling and freediving in its coral reef areas. Visitors need at least 5 to 7 days if they want to explore both the jungle and the sea of Tambrauw. I highly suggest that visitors go in a group of 4 according to the inside cabin capacity of the 4WD car.
Coral Reef in Tambrauw waters
As a tourist guide, I offer wildlife watching adventure tour to this region for anybody who is interested in exploring tropical rainforest and coral reef of Tambrauw regency.
Tambrauw is a highly recommended site for tourists who like hiking, birding, wildlife watching, swimming, snorkeling, freediving and fishing.
Because it is located in remote area, please, read the following explanation of how to get there:
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
  • Take a flight to Sorong city (airlines such as Garuda Indonesia, Batik Air, Sriwijaya and Nam Air provide regular flights to this city)
  • I can meet you at the airport or at a hotel in Sorong and organize your trip to Tambrauw.
For more info about Traveling in Tambrauw, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Adventure Trip to Tambrauw

Guest Post by Astrid de Wilde

Deer in Tambrauw mountains
If you want a holiday with a high wow factor, a visit to the Tambrauw region is worthwhile. I have been in this region for a week. Together with my guide Charles Roring, we stayed in Sausapor - a small quiet coastal town. From Sorong, it is a 3-hour boat trip. During this trip you can already enjoy the view.
Sausapor actually has everything. The village has many eateries. Especially the nasi koening near the guesthouse is advisable. You can also walk along the coast and relax along the water. You can enjoy a beautiful sunset. Do you like snorkeling or diving you will also enjoy yourself here. I learned to snorkel during this holiday. I did not expect to like it that much. The underwater world is beautiful here. Several coral reefs and fish can be seen.
Are you tired of the "urban" life you can go into the jungle. The paths are very good. A novice hiker can easily walk here.
Baby Pyton in Tambrauw forest
Nature is breathtakingly beautiful. The views are beautiful. Beautiful untouched nature. Furthermore you see and hear many birds. Charles enthusiastically tells which birds they are. I have learned a lot in a short time. In addition to birds, we have seen deer, butterflies, dragonflies and a baby python. I thought it was a special experience. The area is too beautiful to describe. It is best to see for yourself with your own eyes. Then you can also enjoy this untouched nature. It was nice to have some fun while  hiking and birding in the forest.
How to go there:
You need to fly from your country to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia.
After that, you can take a domestic flight (served by Garuda Indonesia, Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air or Nam Air) to Sorong city.
Charles Roring could meet you at the airport and organize your trip to Tambrauw
If you want more information, please contact Charles Roring by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180
Related Post: Raja Ampat Trip Review

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.