Saturday, December 31, 2016

Watching Birds and Flowers in Arfak Mountains

Arfak range is considered as the mecca of birdwatching. But it is also a must visit destination for those who want to see rhododendron flowers, orchid, nepenthes and myrmecophyte that grow in their natural habitat.
Little Paradise Kingfisher
The lower montane forest in Mount Mabowi is the site where visitors can watch Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), various species of pigeons and kingfisher as well as Papuan Frogmouth. In addition to birds, there are cuscus possum, soa-soa lizard and wild pigs that made the jungle as their habitat. Bamboo trees are the best place for those who want to see glowing mushroom especially during rainy season.
Vogelkop Bowerbird in Arfak range
For Upper Montane Forest such as the jungle of Mount Soyti, visitors can watch Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis inornata), Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata), Magnificent Birds of Paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus). The jungle of Mount Soyti is also a good site for visitors who want to see New Guinea Impatient Flowers.
As a tour guide, I often arrange tours to Arfak mountains for visitors who want to see birds in Mount Mabowi, and Mount Soyti as well as flowers on tops of the mountains that surround Anggi lakes.
Myrmecophyte in Arfak mountains
Various species of flowers grow in the villages along the lakes, on steep slopes and on tops of Arfak mountains. From my previous trips, I saw giant Myrmecophyte on top of Mount Sensenemes at the elevation of 2730 meters above sea level. There were a lot of Rhododendron konori and Rhododendron laetum as well as terrestrial orchids and other tropical flowers in the region.
Lake Anggi Giji
You will see magnificent scenery of the villages, the lakes, slopes and deep ravines when you stand on top of Mount Sensenemes or Mount Kobrey of Arfak range.

How to get there?
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) or to Denpasar Bali (the tourism hub of Indonesia).
  • Fly to Manokwari, the capital of West Papua province
  • I could meet you in town and organize your trip to Arfak mountains.
The cost of traveling around Arfak mountains by chartered 4wd car is quite expensive. Therefore, I suggest that participants of the tour should be around 3 to 4 people to share the cost.
For customized itenerary and cost, please, contact me by email to Charles Roring: if you are interested in traveling to Arfak mountains of Manokwari.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Wild Flowers in Arfak Mountains of Manokwari

Passion flower
Passion flower near Lake Anggi Giji
I made several trips to Arfak mountains recently where I guided some tourists from Australia, Indonesia, Austria and China. We visited the jungle of Mount Soyti, Mount Sensenemes, Mount Kobrey and Mount Mabowi. During the trips I saw a lot of beautiful flowers including Rhododendron konori, Rhododendron laetum, Myrmecophyte, orchid, nepenthes and a lot more.
White orchid
Orchids in the jungle of Mount Soyti
The areas around Lake Anggi Giji and Lake Anggi Gida were full of wild flowers that grew on the elevation between 2,000 and 2,730 meters above sea level. We couldeasily find them in the slopes, on the road sides, and on top of the mountains. The indigenous people who live in the villages around the lake grow the flowers in the frontyards of their houses. There are a lot of flowers which I haven't been able to identify.
Visitors who joined my Arfak mountains tour were very to see the flowers and the beautiful scenery taken from the slopes and tops of the mountains above Anggi lakes.
Rhododendron konori
Rhododendron konori
on top of Mount Sensenemes
After visiting Anggi lakes, we went down the steep slopes of Arfak and continued our trip to the jungle of Warmarway. There, we walked up very steep slopes to a basecamp and stayed for several days. This time the vocal points of the tour were not flowers but Birds of Paradise, Glowing Mushroom, and Butterflies.
Our basecamp was constructed near a stream whose water. We boiled its crystal clear water for our drinking water. We also took a bath in the stream. Early in the morning when it was still dark, we woke up at 04.30 to drink some tea or coffee. After that we left our tents for the lek of Lesser Birds of Paradise. It was a nice adventure because we could watch how male lesser birds of paradise performed their courtship dance to seduce or attract their female birds.
traditional village in Arfak mountains
Traditional house of Sougb tribe
At the end of our trip in the jungle, we visited Warmarway village where we saw our local guide Yunus made fire using traditional matches. This Papuan matches were made of a piece of bamboo and palm fiber. It had been used by the indigenous Papuan people in the vogelkop region of West Papua before modern matches were introduced by the Dutch.

Tour Around Arfak Mountains
Anggi lake of West Papua
Lake Anggi Gida
I offer tour package around Arfak mountains where visitors will be able to explore the tropical rainforest, see beautiful scenery around Anggi lakes and interact with the indigenous people.

It is not only flowers that visitors will be able to see during the tour but also wild animals such as birds of paradise, vogelkop bower bird, western parotia, cuscus possum, butterflies and etc.

Meeting and Staying with the Indigenous People
During the trip, participants will meet indigenous people of Arfak mountains from several different tribes. We will even stay in their traditional house.

I suggest the number of participants of the tour is 2 to 3 people to share the cost. If you are interested, please, contact me by e-mail to: or whatsapp: +6281332245180 for the price and customized itinerary.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Traveling around Arfak Mountains

I have just completed a tour for an Austrian family. We traveled around Arfak mountains to watch birds, see magnificent scenery of Anggi lakes, meet and stay with the indigenous people of Sougb tribe and explored the tropical jungle of Arfak mountains.

The Adventure
Day 1
The family arrived in Manokwari early in the morning. I met them at the airport and arranged their transfer to a hotel in the city. While they took a rest, I went to the police to get the Surat Jalan (travel permit). After getting the letter from Police Station, we visited Mansinam island to see its coastal village.

Day 2
We went to traditional market to buy food as contact materials and then continued our trip by 4WD car to Arfak mountains. Our first stop was Kwau village. After having lunch, we walked up steep slopes to watch Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis inornata). We spent one night in the guesthouse that was located in the jungle.

Lake Anggi Giji in Arfak mountains
Day 3
We woke up early in the morning and went hiking again to watch Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata). The visitors were surprised to see the dance performance of the birds. We continued our trip again to higher elevation area of Arfak mountains. We traveled around Lake Anggi Giji. I asked our driver to stop several times during the trip so that I could gave photographs from my previous trips to the villagers. I also bought some vegetables from local people. It was around 15.00 local time when we ascended the steep slopes of Gunung Maut (meaning Mount Dead). We saw wonderful scenery of the lake and the mountains that surround it. There was some rain. When we reached the higher slope (around 2,500 meters above sea level), we had sunlight coming from behind us. The sunlight created a big arch of rainbow. The rainbow over the lake with the background of the mountains gave us a fantastic view of Papua's nature. We continued our tour to Cirnov village and stayed there for one night in the house of a villager. Again, the mountainous scenery was spectacular. Cirnov village was a country above the clouds.

Lake Anggi Gida in Arfak mountains
Day 4
The next morning, we continued our trip to the top of Mount Sensenemes. We took a lot of pictures of the scenery, and flowers in the area. There were a lot of Rhododendron flowers, myrmecodia (ants plants), and orchid at the elevation between 2500 to 2730 meters above sea level. We traveled to along the villages of District Sururey and then up more steep slopes to Mount Kobrey where we were able to see both Lake Anggi Giji (meaning lake man) and Lake Anggi Gida (meaning lake woman). We stopped at a village to buy passion fruits. We went down steep slopes of Arfak range to Neney waterfall. There, we had our late lunch. We arrived in Ransiki before dark. We could feel the atmosphere of Christmas every where. We stayed at the house of a Papuan family who was the relative of our driver.

Cirnov village, a country above the clouds
in Arfak mountains
Day 5
It was around 08.00 in the morning when we left the house for the traditional market. We bought fruits and vegetables at the market and then continued our tour that day to Warmarway. We stopped at the entrance point of Mount Mabowi. I asked my guests to unload their bags. I asked them to wait for me at the foot of the mountains. After that I and Tobias (our driver) went to Warmarway village to pick up our local guides. We began trekking up the steep slopes of Mount Mabowi at 12.00 and reached our base camp one and a half hours later. We still had time to continue our rainforest tour to watch Birds of Paradise.
We decided to walk up steep slopes again to reach the lek of Lesser Birds of Paradise. I stopped just around 40 meters below the birding site and asked our local guide and our guests to continue walking to the display tree. I did this to increase the chance for them to spot the birds. Unfortunately, they could only see the tail of the male bird that was perching in high branch of the tree with a lot of twigs and leaves covering him.
While sitting and waiting for them, I sat on the ground. Suddenly, a bird was flying over my head and landed on a branch some 10 meters on the right of my head. I quickly turned on my camera and aimed it on the bird. I was lucky enough to make two or shots of the bird before he flew away and disappeared behind the dense trees of the jungle. It was Little Paradise Kingfisher. It was the first time for me to see the bird.
After dinner, they had another night walk with our local guide and successfully saw cuscus possum and numerous glowing mushrooms that were growing in the decaying segments of fallen bamboes.

Traditional house of indigenous people
Day 6
Christmas time. We took a rest and only explored the forest near our tent. We were able to see two pigeons in a tall tree near our tents using my spotting scope.

Day 7
Sergius, another local guide, accompanied our guests to the lek of birds of paradise. This time they were successful. We left the jungle of Arfak mountains for Manokwari after brunch.

Passion Flower in Arfak mountains
This was a long land tour covering the mountains and valley of Arfak mountains. Our tour participants were able to see beautiful scenery of islands and mountains in Manokwari. They also saw lesser birds of paradise, vogelkop bowerbird, western parotia, pigeons, cuscus possum, and glowing mushrooms and a lot of colorful flowers and unique plants. We met the indigenous people and stayed with them.

I offer this trip to any body who is interested in taking the Arfak range tour. If you are interested, please, contact me by email to:
I suggest that visitors go in a group of at least 3 to 4 people to share the cost.