Saturday, July 23, 2016

Snorkeling Trip in Mansinam with 5 Dutch Tourists

I went to Mansinam island again this morning. This time I guided 5 visitors from the Netherlands. We went there by boat. We enjoyed snorkeling for approximately two and a half hours until low tide period when it was impossible for anybody to swim over reef flat. But we spent most of our snorkeling activity at the drop off area of the coral reef. I brought a digital camera which I borrowed from a friend of mine. The weather was very good that morning with bright sunlight penetrating through the water and onto the surface of the coral reef. So, I could take pictures of the reef, fish, anemone and sea star that I saw in the water.

There are a lot of coral reef areas in Manokwari regency. If you are interested in visiting Manokwari or other places in West Papua, please, contact me by e-mail to: I will be happy to organize your tour and guide you.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Snorkeling in Mansinam Island of Manokwari

Manokwari is a popular tourist destination not only for birdwatchers but also for snorkelers.
Motorized Outrigger Boat as our Transport Vehicle
Reef Fish in Mansinam Island
Coral Reef in Mansinam island
I went to Mansinam island this afternoon again. My main objective was to take underwater photographs of the coral reef and tropical fish that thrive along the coast of the island. I need them for my blogging activities. It was around 16.30 when I walked into the water. The beach was mostly empty. There were a few people swimming or just sitting under the trees. As soon as I was free-diving into deeper water, I began to shoot the fish. There were butterfly fish, parrotfish, surgeonfish , moorish idol, and a lot morer. I made some dives to take pictures but soon I felt that fog was forming on the glasses of my mask. I had to wash them several times during the snorkeling and free-diving works.
Later, a new friend of mine, Mambri Wakum joined me. He came from the Netherlands. I gave some explanations about how to use the underwater camera. He could understand them easily. He enthusiastically went down to deeper water to shoot the fish. He also made some nice pictures of them. Unfortunately, the sun was getting closer to the hills in the west of us. Soon, it would disappear behind the hills and we would not be able to enjoy snorkeling again. So, we swam back to the beach.
If you are interested in taking a snorkeling tour in Manokwari, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to:

Chinese Plates as Dowry in Papuan Wedding

The cultural and trade relation between the Chinese people and the indigenous Papuan people has existed since several hundred years ago long before the European explorers and Indonesian traders reached New Guinea island.
The Chinese came to Papua to buy spices, medicinal plants, sea shells and perhaps the dried skin of paradise birds. They exchanged them with ceramic plates, and metal tools which were needed by the indigenous tribes.

Certain tribes in Papua still use Chinese plates as dowry for their wedding ceremonies. This afternoon, I had the opportunity of seeing how a family prepares for a marriage proposal. A Papuan man who wants to get married will collect Chinese plates as many as 100 to 150 pieces. His parents will ask for help from their close relatives. They will be given as dowry to the parents of his girlfriend as marriage proposal. The dowry may consist of 150 Chinese plates plus certain amount of money and other goods which the parents of the girl request. After receiving those plates, the parents of the girl will distribute the plates to their relatives. Wedding will be conducted based on Papuan tradition with the blessing of a priest from a Christian church. This tradition is still practiced by tribes in Doreri of Manokwari, Biak and Serui tribes in Cendrawasih bay and Raja Ampat islands.
If you plan to visit West Papua and need me as your private guide, please, contact me by email to:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Panoramic Tour to Gunung Botak of Manokwari

Gunung Botak is a beautiful place in Manokwari. It is very far from the city. To reach that place, we need to go by car or motorcycle. It takes around 4 hours to reach Gunung Botak. The mountain range of Botak is mostly covered by grass. It looks like green carpet from a distant. The green landscape of the mountains meets the blue sea color of Cendrawasih bay at long the white sandy beach. Here, tourists can enjoy swimming, and sunbathing. 

Don't forget to bring snorkeling gears if you want to see hundreds of species of tropical fish that thrive in coral reef. A trip to Gunung Botak can be combined with rainforest tour in Warmarway area where visitors may watch birds of paradise, cuscus possum, soa-soa lizard, or birdwing butterfly. For plants, visitors can see various species of mushrooms, orchids, bamboo, and a lot of tropical trees and vines. The duration of the tour is usually between 4 days/ 3 nights to 6 days/5 nights depending on your interest and budget. 
If you are planning a trip to Manokwari, Triton bay of Kaimana, Tambrauw mountains, Numfor island or Sorong regency and need me as your private guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: will be happy to organize your trip and guide you to the region.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Manokwari city today

I met 5 tourists from the Netherlands today. They arrived this morning at Rendani Airport of Manokwari. They plan to visit some places in Manokwari including Ransiki town and the north coast of the regency. After that they plan to visit Nabire for watching whaleshark and Raja Ampat for snorkeling tour in the archipelago.
When we were in Jalan Brawijaya (formerly called Panoramaweg during Dutch time), I stopped for a while to take a picture of the city from the balcony of a building. It was cloudy and we could not see the blue color of Arfak mountains.
Manokwari city
As a tourist guide, I have guided a lot of tourists on various trekking and camping tours in the jungle of Arfak. Visitors who go to the jungle with me want to see birds of paradise, cuscus possum or birdwing butterfies and beetles.
There are also coral reef sites in Dore bay of Manokwari where visitors can enjoy snorkeling, and free diving to see parrotfish, moorish idol, anemonefish, sea star, and other marine creatures. Don't forget to bring your own snorkeling gear if you want to see them.
If you plan to visit Manokwari and need me as your guide, please, contact me by email to:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hiking Tour in the Forest of Sorong Regency of West Papua

Early this year I organized a rainforest tour for some French tourists in the jungle of Sorong regency. There were 3 ladies and 1 gentleman. We went hiking in lowland forest see colorful wild flowers, trees, shrubs and creeping plants as well as butterflies, birds of paradise, wallaby (a kind of kangaroo), and a lot of species of birds. The forest is located approximately 2 hours ride from Sorong town (the entrance gate to Raja Ampat islands). A lot of tourists contact me by email to do land tour before or after their trip in Raja Ampat. So, I highly recommend it as the rainforest tour destination for them.

Golden Myna (Mino anais)
Golden Myna
Trip to Rainforest of Sorong
Before leaving for the lowland forest, we bought food in the traditional market of Sorong. I bought a lot of smoked fish, fruits, bread, vegetables, batteries for our torches or flashlight, and bottled waters. I prepared camping tents and two big plastic tarps. When everything was ready, we left Sorong city by a 4WD car. The road was good in the first part of the trip but later we saw unpaved road when we were outside of the town. One hour later the car was entering the northern coast of Sorong regency. We saw the sea and some coastal villages. Before arriving at our destination, our car was climbing very steep slopes. There was a place on the higher ground where most cars stop for the passengers to pee and take pictures of the beautiful scenery of the sea. We stopped there too. After that we continued our trip. This time the road condition was very bad and steeper. But our driver was skillful in controlling his car. Then the car was going down steep slopes again. We arrived safe and sound at the entrance path of the jungle. Local villagers worked as porters for us. They carried our food, and bags. We still had to walk for approximately one and a half hours to reach a jungle village near Klabolo stream. The land was flat so, it was an easy walk for us.
Tropical rainforest in Sorong regency of West Papua
We walked through the jungle which was the natural habitat of various species of butterflies, birds and tropical plants. We saw such butterflies as Taenaris catops, and Papilio ulysses. There were also birds that were flying over the canopy of the forest. Some of them which I could recognize were Blyth's hornbills, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and Eclectus Parrot. We arrived in the village at 15.00 local time. I asked some women in the village to prepare food for us. Minutes later, we received a jar of hot water which we use to make some tea and ate it with some biscuits. While sitting and drinking tea in front of our guesthouse, we saw some birds flying in the sky. Some landed on the branches of the trees near us. I took out my spotting scope and mounted it on the tripod. We enjoyed our tea time with some birding activities. We saw Moustached Treeswift, Glossy Swift, Rainbow Lorikeet, Helmetted Friarbird, Pink-spotted Fruitdove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Large Fig Parrot, and Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. The jungle village of Klabolo stream was small and peaceful. People were friendly. We spent one night in the village.

Watching Courtship Dance of Lesser Birds of Paradise
Lesser Birds of Paradise
I set my alarm clock at 4.30. When it rang, I immediately woke up and prepared myself for early morning jungle walk. This time we would go birdwatching. Our goal was to find Lesser Birds of Paradise. The French ladies and gentleman were also preparing themselves. I checked them one by one whether they had torch. Guided by some local villagers, we were leaving the village for the display trees of paradise birds. It was still dark and we slowly walked up steep slopes behind the village. We could hear the sounds of wallaby and deers running away from us as we made some noise while walking through the bush. We had some rain in the middle of the tour but we decided to continue our trip.
The path was slippery. Some of us tripped and fell to the ground. But it was OK, it was part of the adventure of nature walk. We arrived at around 06.00 at the display trees. Male paradise birds had started calling the female birds to attract them. It was a nice attraction. We were watching some Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) performed courtship dance. When one female paradise bird was impressed with the dance, she would mate with the male paradise bird that gave the best performance. It was amazing. We watched paradise birds until around 09.00 and then walked back to the village again.

Hiking tour in Klaglass forest of Sorong regency
Hiking in the Forest
The lowland forest was located deeper inside the tropical jungle of Sorong regency. After brunch (combined breakfast and lunch), we left for Klaglass. More local villagers carried our logistical things. They brought mattrasses, tents, food, and water. Dense forest was waiting for us. We had to walk up some slopes but most of the ground was flat. There were a lot of small rivers which we had to cross. Sometimes we needed to walk on fallen trees to cross the rivers. We also saw sago trees, giant pandanus trees until we reached a river. We arrived at the bank of Klaglass river at around 17.00. Some young men villagers who walked ahead of us to carry our food and bags had arrived. They were clearing the bush and cutting small trees to make basecamps for us. We would stay in tents there for 3 days/ 2 nights to see the plants and animals of the forest.

Body Massage and Ginger Tea
Hairy white flowers in the jungle of Klasow valley
The ladies were complaining that they had pains in their leg muscles and body. One of them asked me if I could give her massage on her back. To relieve the pain, I gave body massage using sandalwood oil. I was very tired actually after the long walk from the village to this pristine forest but I felt that I must serve them well. I applied some drops of the oil on to my palms. I rubbed both of my palms to spread the oil and generate some heat. After that I began to massage the body of the lady starting from her shoulder. I moved down my hands to knead the muscles at the back of her body and further to the legs. Later, the other ladies asked the massage treatment too. Each of the ladies enjoyed the massage for around 30 minutes to 45 minutes. They said they liked the massage very much. Well, it's a bonus for them. I only hoped that after the massage they could sleep well and then could do the hiking trip the next morning.
I went to the kitchen to ask some hot water. We spent our tea time with some cakes besides the river. Dominique, one of the French ladies, asked me whether we had some ginger. I walked to the kitchen again to find the ginger. I returned with the ginger. She cut it into smaller slices and put it into the water. So, when all of us were enjoying sweet jasmine tea, she was enjoying hot ginger tea. Later the other ladies were interested in tasting the ginger tea. So, all of us drank ginger tea by the river that evening. The ladies still requested another massage session at night. As a result, I was so exhausted that night and fell asleep soon in my tent.

Bridal Veil Stink Horn Mushroom
Unique Mushrooms and Rich Bio-diversity
The humidity inside the  forest of Sorong or Tambrauw regency was very high. It became a favorite climate for the growth of mushrooms. We saw various kinds of mushrooms while we were walking in the forest. There were mushrooms that looked like coral reef and there was also a mushroom that was similar to a hard penis of man. It was so unique because it was covered by a net of veil. All of the French tourists stopped for a while to take some pictures of the mushrooms.
We had full day jungle walk in the lowland forest the next day. We saw orchid plants, birds, tropical trees with very big buttresses, unique creeping plants. At the end of the day, all of the French tourists were swimming in the river. I could not identify the names of the plants because there were a lot of them.

Pinon Imperial Pigeon
Back to the village
The next morning we walked back to the jungle village near a stream. Over all the rainforest tour was tiring but all of us could see wallaby (a kind of smaller kangaroo), we heard the sound of cassowary birds, we saw Birds of Paradise, we saw a lot of birds and butterflies. We still had one night walk in the jungle where we saw wallaby. This was a kind of kangaroo but smaller than the one in Australia. We saw some of them. The French tourists told me they would help promote this rainforest tour in Sorong to their friends hoping that more people who are interested in rainforest tour to visit us.

Female Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus)
Eclectus Parrot
How to get there?
  • First, you need to fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital city of Indonesia)
  • Second, take a domestic flight (usually served by such airlines as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik, or Lion Air) to Sorong city.
  • I will meet you at the airport to organize your tour to the lowland forest and guide you during the trip.
You could take this jungle tour alone (as a private tour) or with some friends (as group tour). I will be happy to organizethe trip and guide you, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or whatsapp message to: +6281332245180. I will prepare an itinerary and cost calculation for you.

Also read: Watching Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti Forest

Trekking and Watching Tree Kangaroo in Arfak Mountains of Manokwari

I used to guide a visitor named Tia on a trekking tour to Imubri area of Arfak mountains of Manokwari. We went trekking in the jungle for a few days. Our goal was to see tree kangaroo but we were also interested in seeing tropical trees, shrubs, vines, wild flowers as well as birds, insects, mammals and marsupial animals.
We started our tour early in the morning. Accompanied by local people, we began walking into dense forest of Arfak mountains. At first, the path was only flat. After 30 minutes of walking, the path was leading us to steep slopes. Our walking speed was getting slower as the slopes were getting steeper.

Blyth's Hornbills
After walking for one hour we reached a flat ground again. It was almost eight o'clock in the morning but the surrounding area looked darker. Only very little sunlight that could penetrate through the canopy of the forest. Suddenly, I heard sounds of big birds flapping their wings in the branches of the tree in front of us. Several Blyth's hornbills, perhaps after hearing noise from our voices, jumped from the tree and began flying away. They looked awesome while flying. I had not finished admiring the beautiful birds when I saw another attraction on the ground. There were some pink wild flowers that were coming out of green plants. I could not identify its species name. There were also butterflies that were flying in the air. We might have disturbed them from daily routines of collecting nectar from the flowers.

Leg pains and Massage
deep ravine in Arfak range of Manokwari
We walked up and down numerous steep slopes and crossed small and big rivers. In the middle of the day, we stopped at the side of a fast flowing river to have lunch.  It was the last river that we would cross. After lunch, we climbed very steep slopes again until we reached our base-camp located very deep in tropical rainforest of Imubri. It took around 7 hours of walking up and down steep slopes, for us to reach our destination. Tia complained of pains in her whole legs and body. She had repeatedly complained about the pains before we climbed the second mountain that day. She admitted that she never did regular exercise.
That night after dinner, I gave her a gentle full massage to ease the pains and relieve tensions in the muscles of her body and legs. I used sandalwood oil that I applied on my palms and then warmed them above ember of wood fire. My warm palms would transfer moderate heat to her muscles. This could improve blood circulation in her legs. She felt better after the massage and could sleep well that night. I still gave her massage treatments after some jungle walks in the mountains to make sure that she could walk back to the main road again.

Tree Kangaroo in Arfak range
Tree Kangaroo
We still had some walking tours in the jungle to watch birds of paradise, butterflies and most importantly the tree kangaroos. The indigenous people were very smart in locating where the kangaroos were. They used dogs. Dogs that were trained to hunt animals in the jungle could sense the smell of tree kangaroos even though  the animals were sitting in the branches of high trees. When the dog found a tree kangaroo, we could see scratches of claw prints on the trunk of the tree.
Taking pictures of the kangaroo was quite difficult. I had to adjust my camera several times and aimed it at the marsupial animal located high above my head. After several attempts, I could make some nice photographs of the tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus ursinus). It was eating young leaves. He saw us on the ground but did not move away from us. Perhaps he was curious about what we were doing down there.
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
We were very happy with the trekking tour in Imubri area of Arfak mountains because we could see tree kangaroo in their natural habitat. We did not see flame bowerbird but it was ok. Overall the trip to watch wild animals was tough or quite difficult as we had predicted it before. But we were satisfied with the experience. It was an adventure.
Birds of Paradise
The jungle of Arfak range is the natural habitat of various animals including several species of birds of paradise. Visitors need to bring binoculars if they want to watch the birds.

Where is Arfak range?
It is a mountaineous region in Manokwari, the capital of Papua Barat province of Indonesia. See the map below:

How to go there?
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta city (the capital of Indonesia)
  • Fly from Jakarta to Manokwari (there are regular flights served by  Garuda, Express Air, Sriwijaya Air)
  • I will meet you at the airport, or at the hotel where you stay and organize your tour to Arfak mountains
Are you interested?
Since 1800s Arfak has been a famous destination among foreign visitors. In the past, they came as researchers who wanted to study anything about New Guinea, its people, its flora and fauna and its land. Now most of the visitors are tourists. Only very few tourists would like to do long hours of walk to the jungle where tree kangaroes live.
Well, if you are interested, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: Don't forget to do regular exercise before taking the rainforest tour with me.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Jungle Walk and Snorkeling Tour in Manokwari with Two American Tourists

For the last two days I guided Sachi and Riaz on a jungle walk and snorkeling tour in Manokwari. For the rainforest tour I chose Table Mountain which was close to the city. It was done in the first day. We started the jungle walk quite late in the day at 17.00. We visited The Japanese World War II Memorial Monument which was constructed in 1956 inside the forest.
Riaz had very good knowledge about history of the Pacific war and shared it to me. We were at the monument for around 15 minutes and then continued our walk again. We saw various kinds of trees and creeping plants. We heard the sounds of some birds but only the helmetted friarbird (Philemon buceroides) that I could identify. We arrived at the other end of the forest which was the campus of State University of Papua at around 18.45. I stopped an ojek for Sachi and then a public transport minibus for me and Riaz to go back to Swissbel hotel.
Riaz (left), I, and Sachi (right)
were having dinner
The next morning, we continued our tour to the beach. I planned to guide them on a snorkeling tour inside the bay but the weather was so bad. The wind was blowing from the South East. So, I decided to change the destination of our snorkeling trip to the north coast of Manokwari. When we arrived at the snorkeling site we still saw some waves. I went into the water first to check for the waves and the current. I could tell that it was safe for them. Minutes later, I returned to the beach and invited them to follow me to the sea. We swam to the drop off where we were able to see parrotfish, butterflyfish, moorish idol, surgeonfish and various kinds of corals. We did not spend much time in the water. After around twenty five minutes, we returned to the beach. There were only a few children from the nearby village swimming in the area.
Snorkeling picture from Manokwari
We returned to the city again by ojeks (motorcycle taxis) for having some lunch. Because the place where we had lunch was near the Ketapang boat station, after lunch, we went there on foot. We went to Mansinam island to enjoy snorkeling for around one hour. It was a nice experience for them. We saw more reef fish from damselfish, to butterflyfish, pink anemonefish, grouper, anthias, parrotfish, wrasse, goatfish, and a big crocodile needlefish (Tylosurus crocodilus). I thought it was a baracuda but after close inspection it was not. I also saw sea snake and black urchin, sea cucumber. There was also a crown of thorn which was bad for coral reef.
We planned to enjoy snorkeling again in further place on the third day but the weather was so bad. It was pouring until after mid-day. So, we did not go anywhere. Sachi enjoyed full massage as the alternative.
At night we had delicious dinner at a restaurant near soccer-field. I took the opportunity to ask the waitress to make some nice pictures of us as souvenirs. The next morning, they left Manokwari by plane.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: if you are interested in taking a rainforest trekking and snorkeling tour in Manokwari.