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

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