Saturday, November 23, 2019

King Bird of Paradise

King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) is a small paradise bird that lives among hanging vines of a tree in the forest of New Guinea. It lives mostly in lowland and lower montane forest and has got red back and wings with white belly. His bill is yellowish orange.
I have watched the birds a lot of time in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. The birds are usually active in the mornings from 7 to 10 and in the afternoons from 3 to 6. If the weather is bad he may not come out to dance or he may show up later.
King Birds of Paradise call his female counterpart before performing his courtship dance. If the female King BOP comes, he will jump up and down the vines and perform the dance. If she does not come, he will be reluctant to dance.
Watching King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) in the forest of Manokwari.
King Bird of Paradise
Burung Surga Raja di hutan hujan tropis Manokwari.
King Birds of Paradise in the rainforest of Manokwari
It is not easy to find the bird due to its small size. We have to follow its calling sounds. Sometimes he jumps and dances to lower branches or vines. Because of its small size, we need to use binoculars and spotting scope to watch the bird.
When I guide tourists to watch the bird, it is not only the King BOP that we will watch but also Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Frilled Monarch, Hooded Butcherbird, Fairy Lorikeet, Eclectus Parrot, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Spangled Drongo, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Mimic Meliphaga, Black Sunbird, and a lot more.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Traveling to Raja Ampat Islands

Raja Ampat is an important destination for tourists who like tropical islands. They could enjoy swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, freediving, see beautiful seascape of karst islets like Wayag, Piaynemo, Fish Lagoon, Kofiau, and Misool. It is also a highly recommended travel destination for people who like to explore rainforest and see its wildlife. 

Kabui bay in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Kabui bay
Getting to Raja Ampat
It is easy to travel to Raja Ampat. First, you need to fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia). After that, you need to take a domestic flight by flying to Sorong city. Airlines such as Garuda, Sriwijaya, and Batik provide regular flights to Sorong.
Arriving at the airport, you need to go by airport taxi to Pelabuhan Rakyat (People's harbor). The cost per taxi is 100,000 rupiahs. Remember, the price is not per passenger but per taxi. You need to spend around 10,000 to 15,000 rupiahs (depending on the number of passengers in the taxi) for entrance fee to the harbor. At the passenger terminal, you could buy tickets there. The price is 100,000 per passenger for regular seat and around 210,000 rupiahs for VIP. It takes around 2 hours to reach Waisai harbor of Raja Ampat.
Accommodation
There are hotels and simple lodges in Waisai town (the capital of Raja Ampat) which you could choose to stay during your holiday in the islands. However, most tourists prefer to stay in beach resorts and homestays in southern area of Waigeo island or in other islands such as Gam, Mansuar, Kri, Arborek of the regency. One that I recommend is Raflow beach resort. It is located in southern coast of Waigeo. The beach resort has got beautiful house reef. 
Observing Marine Life
White sandy beach in Waigeo island
White sandy beach in Raja Ampat
You could enjoy swimming and snorkeling over the coral reef to see a lot of species of fish such as butterflyfish, damselfish, parrotfish, wrasse, moorish idol, blenny,  anemonefish, and even the unique scorpionfish, and even the tasselled wobbegong. There are also Christmas Tree Worms, Sea Stars and Burrowing Clams. Make sure you bring a good underwater camera that can take pictures of the marine life. I personally use Fujifilm XQ2  with waterproof case and Nikon AW130.
Watching Tropical Birds
If you like to watch birds, you can do it in Raflow Resort. The trees around the Raflow resort are frequently visited by Beautiful Fruit Dove, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-creasted Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Willie Wagtail, Red Bird of Paradise, Spangled Drongo, Beach Kingfisher, Brahminy Kite, Mimic Meliphaga, Puff-back Meliphaga, Blyth's Hornbill, Lesser-crested Tern, Sooty Tern, Eastern Reef Egret, Wimbrel. 
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Red Bird of Paradise
A good pair of binoculars such as the Nikon Monarch 7 10×42, Leica Noctivid, Swarovski EL 50, can greatly enhance the birdwatching experience. I often guide tourists to watch birds in Raja Ampat. I bring my Visionking 20-60×60 spotting scope to watch birds that sit in the branches of high trees. 
Visiting karst islets in Piaynemo, Wayag, Kabui is also a nice thing to do. You could ask other guests who also stay in the Raflow resort to take the tour so that the cost can be shared.
Booking
If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and want me to be your guide and arrange your tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Also read:

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Wildlife Tour in Raja Ampat

Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) in Waigeo island
Red Bird of Paradise
The rainforest of Waigeo island is a good destination for visitors who want to see the wildlife of Raja Ampat. From previous trips that I organize for tourists, we saw a lot of beautiful birds such as Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Moluccan King Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Blyth's Hornbill, and Common Paradise Kingfisher and a lot more. Birds are usually active in the mornings and in the evenings. To watch them, we need to bring binoculars and if possible spotting scopes. Sometimes we go birding and wildlife watching by car to reach remote areas in eastern and southern region of Waigeo island. For visitors who want to watch White-bellied Sea Eagle, Beach Kingfisher, and Spice Imperial Pigeon, they could take a tour to Kabui bay. I organize sightseeing and birding tour by boat to the bay. 
Anemonefish in Raja Ampat
For taking pictures of wild animals in the forest, we need camera with telephoto lens. In the past, I used Nikon P500, Nikon P600, Fujifilm HS50EXR. Now I use Canon 200 D with 150-600 mm lens. Visitors who want to buy camera for taking pictures and videos of wildlife could buy such cameras as Nikon Coolpix P900, Nikon Coolpix P1000 or Canon SX70HS. Professional photographers usually bring D-SLR cameras with telephoto lens.
This birding and wildlife watching trip to Raja Ampat is combined with swimming and snorkeling activities where participants can see anemonefish, butterflyfish, parrotfish, wrasse, moorish idol, surgeonfish and a lot more.
Birds are not the only animals which we can see in the forest of Waigeo. If we are lucky, we can see ikaheka white snake which is very venomous, Idea durvillei butterfly, cuscus possum and soa-soa lizard.
Soa-soa lizard of Waigeo island
Soa-soa Lizard of Waigeo island
For plants, there are a lot of flowers which we could find in the forest including Red Pitcher Plant of Kabui bay, Beach Hibiscus, and the Tiger Orchid.
Most often the rainforest wildlife watching tour that I organize is combined with snorkeling activities where tourists can swim over coral reef area to see tropical fish such as moorish idol, grouper, lionfish, butterflyfish and even the tasselled wobbegong. There are several beach areas that are suitable for snorkeling including Warduwer beach, Gam Karst, Friwen, Mioskon and Five Rocks. Bringing a waterproof camera such as Gopro, Nikon W300 will enhance the snorkeling experience. I use Fujifilm XQ2 with water housing and Nikon 130.
The duration of the wildlife tour in Raja Ampat can be as short as 3 days to as long as 2 weeks.
If you are interested in visiting Raja Ampat and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Also read:
Snorkeling at Warduwer beach of Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat Snorkeling
Birding Walk in Waigeo island

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Snorkeling Tour in Raja Ampat

Snorkeling Raja Ampat
Snorkeling picture from Raja Ampat
I organize snorkeling tour for visitors who want to see the colorful fish and coral reef in Raja Ampat islands. There are a lot of species of fish which tour participants can see such as the anemonefish, wrasse, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, leopard blenny, sweetlips, parrotfish, and moorish idol. Some snorkeling sites that I recommend are:
  • Warduwer beach - this is a beach that is located in southern region of Waigeo island. The reef flat area of the beach is flat and suitable for entry level snorkeler to enjoy the beautiful marine life of Raja Ampat. A beach resort called Raja Ampat Flow Resort is being built. Soon, it will be ready to serve tourists who want to visit the islands and stay in the resort.
  • Mioskon
  • Friwen
  • Inner Gam
  • Yenbuba strait
  • West Mansuar
  • Five Rocks
Snorkeling Gear - To enjoy snorkeling in Raja Ampat islands, I suggest that visitors bring their own snorkeling gears such as mask, snorkel, and fins so that they will be perfectly fit on to the faces, and feet of the snorkelers.
Underwater camera - Taking pictures of fish, and other marine creatures can now be done using waterproof cameras such as Nikon W300, Nikon AW130, Fujifilm XQ2 with waterhousing, Fujifilm XP80, Olympus TG-6. Action camera such as the GoPro Hero 7, or Sony Cybershot DSC RX0 II is an ideal photographic device for snorkeling enthusiasts.
If you plan to enjoy snorkeling and want me to be your guide, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

I Scuba Dived in Mioskon of Raja Ampat this morning

I had a nice diving experience in Raja Ampat today. I saw a lot of species of reef fish in the waters of Mioskon. It was a small uninhabited islet near Gam island. I and two American tourists, Bruce and Paige Hancock are staying in Raja Ampat Dive Resort. Our main goal of visiting Waigeo was to watch tropical birds in this beautiful regency. I work as their birding guide.
Indonesia's best dive site
Scuba Diving in Raja Ampat
The night before we did the diving excursion, we had a long conversation during dinner time. We discussed about marine life, coral reef and scuba diving. Because Bruce and Paige like scuba diving, they offered me to scuba dive with them. Well, I could not reject their offer. So, I said, "yes."
The next morning (9 July 2019), we had breakfast at 07.00. After that we made some preparations. Our dive instructor gave us a short breafing about the dive plan. At 15 minutes after eight, we left our dive resort for Mioskon islet by a small speedboat. There were three dive guides who accompanied us plus one boat driver. It took around fifteen minutes for us to reach the islet.
Marine Life in Raja Ampat's Mioskon
Marine Life in Mioskon
We started to wear fins, weights, BCDs, and then tanks. I applied some liquid soap to my mask and then rinsed it with water to clear it from dirts and salt deposits. After wearing it, I put the mouth-piece of my regulator into my mouth. When everything was ready, we jumped into the water.
The dive guides asked us to go down. I pressed the deflate button and there I decended into the reef. The sea was calm and the visibility was very good. Slowly we paddled to deeper water. I held my camera in my right hand. I turned it on and began to take pictures and videos. There were anemonefish,  sweetlips, batfish, grouper, fuselier, blenny, and a lot more. As the we went deeper, the pictures that I made became bluish and darker. However, the Nikon AW130 that I used was quite good for taking underwater pictures. I encountered schools of sweetlips several times. I saw one Panther Grouper hiding under a leaf coral. There were also other grouper in the reef. I also made some video clips which I plan to edit and upload in youtube. Overall, the dive in Mioskon was a good experience. The coral reef was rich of marine life.
After diving in Mioskon, we continued our exploration of Raja Ampat seascape to Kabui bay. Here, we enjoyed snorkeling, sightseeing and birdwatching among karst formations. Some of the birds that we saw were Spice Imperial Pigeon, Little-pied Cormmorant, Lesser-crested Tern, Sooty Tern, Lesser Frigatebird, Singing Starling, Dollarbird, Moustached Treeswift, Striated Heron, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Torresian Crow, Eastern Reef Egret, and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.
Raja Ampat is very beautiful especially for those who like swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. It is also a nice destination for birding visitors. So, I highly recommend it to all nature lovers who like to see this marine and rainforest environment of Indonesia.
Someone has to be healthy in order to scuba dive. Because the temperature of sea water is different from the temperature of the air, a scuba diver needs to eat some carbohydrate to keep his or her body warm. Fruits that contain multi-vitamins will improve the metabolism and physical endurance of a scuba diver. I do not consume food supplements regularly so I eat food that can improve my physical health,. To keep the muscles in good shape, regular exercise is a must. - written by Charles Roring

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Snorkeling at Warduwer Beach of Raja Ampat

There is a nice beach in southern region of Waigeo island. Its name is Warduwer beach. It is a nice place for snorkeling and freediving. The shallow water has a wide flat area which is safe for children who are learning how to swim. For adults, they can choose to swim in deeper waters where coral reef teemed with a lot of species of fish and other marine creatures can be seen there such as butterflyfish, moorish idol, anemonefish, parrotfish, tasselled wobbegong, and a lot more. There are also blue, brown, and orange sea stars, Christmas Tree Worms.


Marine life at warduwer beach of Raja Ampat
Marine Life at Warduwer beach in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
There is a beach resort at this beach. Its name is RAJA AMPAT FLOW (RAFLOW) RESORT.  There are 15 bungalows and 5 standard rooms for visitors to sleep comfortably while enjoying their holiday in the regency. RAFLOW Resort can organize sightseeing boat tours to karst islands in the nearby Kabui bay or to such places as Piaynemo and Wayag. Guests who stay in RAFLOW Resort can share the cost of the boat tours.
Snorkeling photo from Warduwer beach in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat Flow Resort has got snorkeling equipment such as mask, snorkel and fins which visitors can rent. However, I recommend that tourists bring their own equipment that perfectly fit on their faces and feet.
I highly recommend that visitors bring a good underwater camera to take pictures or videos of the marine life. An action camera such as GoPro or a pocket camera such as Nikon W300 and Olympus TG-5 is a good choice as a snorkeling companion.
Raja Ampat Flow resort is also a nice place for visitors who like birdwatching. The green vegetation that grow at the surrounding neighborhood is the habitat of a lot of birds including Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Beach Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-faced Myna, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Spangled Drongo, Singing Starling, Pacific Swallow Torresian Crow, Eastern Osprey, Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Lesser-crested Tern, White-breasted Woodswallow, and a lot more.
Booking
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 if you want to visit Indonesia and enjoy your snorkeling holiday in RAFLOW Resort of Raja Ampat.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Snorkeling Holiday in Raja Ampat

I often organize snorkeling tour for visitors who want to visit and spend their holiday time in Raja Ampat. As the epicenter of marine biodiversity in the world, the coral reef of Raja Ampat islands are the natural habitat of a lot of species of fish from the small ones like anemonefish and blenny to bigger ones like parrotfish,  wobbegong, humphead wrasse, giant trevally, and dolphins.


Coral Reef in the waters of Raflow Resort
Table Corals in the front waters of Raflow Resort
Marine Life in the house reef of RAFLOW Resort
There is a nice beach resort which tourists can choose to stay. Its name is Raja Ampat Flow (RAFLOW) Resort. It is located in southern region of Waigeo island. The beach resort has got 15 bungalows to accommodate guests to sleep comfortably.
The house reef of RAFLOW Resort is in very good condition. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling to see butterflyfish, moorish idol, spinecheek anemonefish,  grouper, and a lot more.
There are also other marine creatures which visitors can see such as burrowing clams, sea stars, and a lot of species of hard and soft corals.
Please, book your snorkeling holiday in Raja Ampat by contacting me via email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Raja Ampat Snorkeling Trip

I organize snorkeling trip in Raja Ampat for tourists who want to see the marine life of the islands. The main targets which tourists want to see are the anemonefish such as Pink Anemonefish, Red and Black Anemonefish, as well as Spinecheek Anemonefish. Snorkelers also like to see blue, yellow, orange Christmas Tree Worms.
Marine Life in the waters of Warduwer beach
Because the coral reef of Raja Ampat is very rich in marine life, visitors will have the opportunity of seeing hundreds of species of fish including the parrotfish, wrasse, blenny, butterflyfish, stonefish, and boxfish.  Burrowing clams are also interesting subjects which visitors like to photograph.
From my previous snorkeling activities at the beach, I saw blue, orange and mixture of white and red sea stars
Warduwer beach underwater
Warduwer beach is a nice place for snorkeling and freediving. There is a new beach resort that is being built at this beach. Its name is Raja Ampat Flow Resort also called RAFLOW. Staying at this resort, visitors can enjoy birding too. Birds such as Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Yellow-faced Myna, Singing Starling, White-breasted Woodswallow, Red Bird of Paradise, Hooded Butcherbird, Sacred Kingfisher and Beach Kingfisher are some of the many birds which visitors can see.
If you are interested in visiting Raja Ampat and want me to arrange your trip here, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Raja Ampat Snorkeling

I often organize snorkeling tour in Raja Ampat for visitors who want to see colorful fish and coral reef of this archipelago. The duration of the trip is usually from 3 to 7 days depending on the time which visitors spend for their holiday. 
Marine Life in Warduwer beach of Raja Ampat
Reef and Fish at Warduwer beach of Waigeo island
Places which have been my favorite sites are Warduwer beach, Gam Karst, Yenbuba, Mansuar and Arborek. There are still a lot of places which also have got pristine marine life.
My Underwater Camera
To take pictures of the fish, and other sea creatures, I bring Nikon W300 or Fujifilm XQ2 which I put inside a waterproof case.
Wobbegong Fish at Warduwer Beach in Waigeo island
Wobbegong at Warduwer beach of Raja Ampat
Interesting Reef Fish
Wobbegong, stonefish and lionfish are targets of underwater photography but they must not be approached too close so as not to provoke them. There are also other fish such as Moorish Idol, Butterflyfish, Striped Surgeonfish which are colorful and not dangerous. Barracuda that is considered as a dangerous predator should be seen from safe distance too.
Sealife at Warduwer beach of Raja Ampat
In big underwater rocks, I often see burrowing clams, and Christmas Tree Worms that are very beautiful. They have blue, yellow, orange, brown and red colors. To take pictures of them I use macro-setting of my camera. Very slowly I moved closer to the worms. If I make sudden movements in the water, the worms will hide themselves in their holes.
Blue Burrowing Clam in Waigeo of Raja Ampat
Burrowing Clam at Warduwer beach
More often the subjects such as Pink Anemonefish, Red and Black Anemonefish, and Spinecheek Anemonefish that I want to photograph are located around 3 to 10 meters below the surface. In this case, freediving is my solution. Freediving photography in coral reef is my favorite activity. Holding breath in deeper water while taking pictures is a challenging. However, because of continuous practices, I could stay a little bit longer in the water to make more pictures.
Snorkeling Gear
My snorkeling gear is a set of mask, snorkel and fins. Its brand is whale. I apply a drop of liquid soap  mixed with water to the glass surface of the mask to prevent fogging when I freedive. Most of the underwater photographs in this blog were made while freediving.
Red and Black Anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus)
Red and Black Anemonefish
If you are interested in taking a snorkeling holiday in Raja Ampat and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Birding Walk in Waigeo Island of Raja Ampat

There is a good place in Waigeo island that is suitable for birdwatchers who cannot go hiking up steep slopes. Its name is Warduwer beach. It is the place where Raja Ampat Flow (RAFLOW) Resort is located.
Eclectus Parrot
This afternoon I did some birding walk along the beach and parking area of the resort that was being constructed. I saw some interesting birds such as Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, and Puff-backed Honeyeater, White-breasted Wood Swallow, Spangled Drongo, Brahminy Kite and etc.
Palm Cockatoo
I used my camera Canon 200D and telephoto lens 150--600 mm to take pictures of them. These tropical birds were beautiful.
Besides birdwatching, the house reef in front of the RAFLOW Resort is the natural habitat of a lot of species of fish including stonefish, wobbegong, butterflyfish, parrotfish, wrasse, catfish, clownfish and moorish idol.
I really like this beach .
Willie Wagtail
If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat islands, I highly recommend that you stay at RAFLOW Resort because it is suitable for birdwatchers, snorkelers or beach lovers.
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Snorkeling Holiday in Raja Ampat

I am now in Raja Ampat. It is a regency in West Papua province of Indonesia that has been famous as a beautiful destination for marine lovers. I am at the construction site of RAJA AMPAT FLOW (RAFLOW) Resort in Warduwer beach of Waigeo island. 
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
I spend my time here enjoying snorkeling and birdwatching. The house reef of RAFLOW Resort is in very good condition. It is the natural habitat of thousands of species of marine animals. I see a lot of colorful fish, christmas tree worm, corals, sea star, anemone, sponge, and a lot more. I bring Nikon W300 and Fujifilm XQ2. 
I have to immerse my body and hold my breath in the water so that I could be closer to the marine animals.
Red and Black Anemonefish
Fish are interesting subjects for my picture taking activities. Colorful fish like Moorish Idol, Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, Wrasse, Surgeonfish, and Anemonefish can easily be seen in shallow water of Warduwer beach. 
Blue Sea Star (Linckia laevigata)
Near the forereef slope, there are several species of nemo such as the Orange-skunk Anemonefish, Spinecheek Anemonefish, as well as Red and Black Anemonefish.
Burrowing Clam
The Christmas Tree Worms are colorful too. There are yellow, orange, and blue ones. Because the reef flat area of Warduwer beach is very wide, visitors can easily enjoy snorkeling in the shallow water to see them.
For more advanced snorkelers and freedivers, the marine life in the drop off area is more attractive. 
Christmas Tree Worm
RAFLOW Beach Resort is also a nice place for birdwatching too. In the mornings and in the afternoons, a lot of birds are active in trees and at the beach. Some of them include Palm Cockatoo, Blyth's Hornbill, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Willie Wagtail, Beach Kingfisher, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Mimic Honeyeater, and a lot more.
I use Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600 mm to take pictures of them.
Eclectus Parrot
If you are interested in taking a snorkeling holiday in Raja Ampat and want me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

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