Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Early Morning Rainforest Tour in Arfak Mountains

It was 04.00 when I and ten Catholic priests were having breakfast at the first floor of Aston Niu hotel of Manokwari. We planned to visit Arfak range to see its rainforest and its Vogelkop Bowerbird. Fifteen minutes later, all of us were already inside 3 4WD cars heading for Mt. Soyti. It was still dark when the cars were slowly leaving the frontyard of the hotel.

Tourists from Jakarta were taking pictures of mountain scenery of Arfak range

Most of the priests were from the Diocese of Jakarta. When the cars reached the main road, they increased their running speed. It took approximately one hour forty five minutes for the cars to reach their destination which is the guesthouse of Mt. Soyti. Four Papuan villagers were waiting for us. We walked to the guesthouse located around 50 meters from the road. I asked the priests to form 2 groups. The younger ones would walk up steep slopes to reach the birding hut some three hundred meters above the guesthouse where as the older ones would go to the birding hut around 5 minutes walk from the guesthouse.
They would watch Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis innornatus) from the biding huts (also called blinds) from 06.00 to 08.30.
At the set time, the villagers walked back to the blinds to pick the priests up back to the guesthouse. They looked happy to see the birds. Some who were not really interested in birding were also happy because they could enjoy the morning jungle walk.
We returned to Manokwari that morning with a lot of pictures of the mountains, the forest and the birds.
Birding inside the tropical rainforest of Arfak range has been a favorite tourist attraction in Manokwari since approximately fifteen years ago.
However, there are more things which tourists can see including tree kangaroo, cuscus possum, soa-soa lizard and birding butterflies. There are also glowing mushroom, orchid flowers and a lot of giant trees in Arfak mountains.
If you are interested in trekking in Arfak mountains of Manokwari, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com