Friday, November 2, 2012

River Tour in the Wetland Forest of West Papua

by Charles Roring
The southern region of West Papua is dominated by wetland. Early this year, I made an exploratory trip to Kais village in South Sorong regency. I went there by boat from Teminabuan town. It took more than 6 hours to reach the village. Most of the trees that grow on both sides of the rivers are nypa palm, mangroves and other plants that can live in the swampy areas. It was nice to be there. I could feel that I was very closed to nature. 
No tourists have reached Kais village and I plan to put it into my list of rainforest tour destinations that I regularly promote on the internet. Anybody who is interested in traveling to Kais has to be able to adapt to the living condition that he or she will experience in the village. In other words, he or she has to be an adventurous person. There is no toilet. Tourist need to go into the bush for that purpose. 
Abundant wildlife
Birds such as pigeons, cockatoo, hornbills, eagles, kingfisher can easily be seen in the morning whereas deers and boars live in the dry land in the jungle. Visitors will beautiful birds during your river tour from Teminabuan to Kais. A good pair of binoculars is recommended if you want to watch them. Although you can swim in the waters near the village, you MUST NOT swim in the rivers that are far from the village because of there are crocodiles. 
Things to Bring
Here are essential things that every tourist needs to bring before traveling to Kais village: food, medicines, bottled water, anti insect repellent lotion, GPS, torch or flash, sleeping bag, photographic/ digiscoping equipment with some extra batteries. You also need ziplock to cover your electronic devices while you walk in the jungle or have a river tour. Don't forget to buy extra gasoline for the boat when you are still in Sorong town. The availability of gasoline is very important for your trip to Kais. If you buy it in Teminabuan the price will be double. 
Recommended Bridge Camera
For those who want to take pictures of nature and the wildlife using a light but powerful camera, I suggest that they buy Nikon Coolpix P510 or Canon SX 50HS. They are powerful bridge camera that are affordable to most travelers. Serious photographers will choose more expensive D-SLR photographic device.
How to get there?
  • First, fly from your country to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia
  • Second, take a domestic flight served by one of these Indonesian airlines (Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, Express Air, and Batavia Air) to Sorong city.
  • Bring Go to the 4WD pick up truck terminal in the town whose trucks regularly go to Teminabuan
  • Then you can go to Kais village by boat. The local government of South Sorong regency is planning to construct road from Teminabuan to Kais. Hopefully, in the next few years, visitors can go there by car.
Local guide
Sometimes, organizing trips can be difficult for you I can arrange your trip from Sorong to Kais and contact local people to provide such services as driving the boat, and preparing villager's house for accommodation. I can also guide you to the village if you are willing to pay for my service. Here is my e-mail:

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