Friday, April 28, 2017

Birding Tour in Arfak Mountains for May 2017

Magnificent Bird of Paradise
Cicinnurus magnificus
I will conduct a birdwatching tour in Arfak mountains of Manokwari based on the following itinerary:
High Elevation Forest of Arfak mountains
Day 1
We will begin our hiking and birdwatching trip in Arfak mountains by getting travel permit from local police station and by buying some fresh food materials in a traditional market of Manokwari. After that, we go directly to Arfak mountains by 4WD car. If we arrive before 3 p.m. we will stil be able to watch Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis innornata)

Amblyornis innornata
Day 2
We will wake up early in the morning to watch Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata). Sometimes, Cinnamon Ground Dove (Gallicolumba rufigula) walks into the same dancing ground of the birds.  After that we will explore the forest to find Feline Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles insignis) and see unique vegetation of Arfak mountains. In the afternoon, we will walk into the jungle to spend one night at the house of a villager located in the middle of the jungle that is close to the birding ground of Magnificent BOP.

Parotia sefilata
Day 3
We will wake up early in the morning at 05.00 to walk to the birding hut of Magnificent Birds of Paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus), most often birds such as Spotted Catbird, Blackfantail and Wattled Brush-turkey comes to the same birding ground.

Day 4
Hiking to the top of Mount Soyti of Arfak mountains

Day 5
We will do review of our birding activities where we will choose to watch birds that we haven't seen well.

Day 6
Birding walk to Maibri village.

Day 7
In the morning, we will watch Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)

Day 8
We will try to find Superb Bird of Paradise (Lophorina superba)  and Mask Bowerbird, Plum faced Lorikeet (Oreopsittacus arfaki) and other birds that are endemic to Arfak mountains

Day 9
We will do some birding walk along the ridge of the mountain in the morning
After lunch we will be transferred to Manokwari city by 4WD car.
End of Tour

There are still 2 seats available for tourists who are interested in joining the tour. Please, contact me by email to: or send text message/whatsapp message to: +6281332245180.
Please, consider the above itinerary as reference only, we will adjust it based on the weather condition.

Also read:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Snorkeling and Jungle Tour in Raja Ampat Islands

Waim Island of Raja Ampat
I will conduct a snorkeling and jungle tour in North-East region of Raja Ampat islands from 6 to 10 May 2017 with the following itinerary:
6 May 2017
Leaving Sorong city for Waim island by motorized boat. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach the island. Our destination is Isanak beach where we will enjoy snorkeling to explore the wealth of marine bio-diversity of Raja Ampat that is the natural habitat of a lot species of tropical fish including trevally, striped surgeonfish and etc.
Continue trip to the nearby village
Village Tour to see Papuan people in their daily life
Overnight stay
7 May 2017
Wake up early in the morning, We will go by motorized boat to Warafar forest - We will go hiking and watching Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Back to homestay - brunch
Snorkeling at Mamiaef island
We could enjoy fishing
We can stay one night in tents in the island or stay in the village.
Isanak beach in Raja Ampat
8 May 2017
Hiking and camping in the forest near Fish Lagoon
9 May 2017
Hiking and camping in the forest and wildlife watching
10 May 2017
Walking back to the beach
Transfer by boat to nearby village - wash
Going back to Sorong

Cost: 6 million rupiahs/ person
Fish Lagoon
The cost includes transportation by motorized boat between Sorong and north-east Raja Ampat islands, food, payment to local guides, and land owners, basic accommodation at the villager's house and in tents in the jungle.
The cost does not include: entrance fee paid to Dept. of Tourism of Raja Ampat, airfare, accommodation in a hotel in Sorong before and after the tour, travel insurance and other personal expenses.
Please, bring:Your own snorkeling equipment, binoculars, flashlight, sun-block-lotion, clothing that is suitable for beach, and tropical weather.Tourists who are interested in joining the trip can contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: or by sending text/ whatsapp message to +6281332245180

Riverwalk Camping and Birding Tour in Manokwari

Lowland Forest of Manokwari
Most birdwatchers who go to Manokwari choose Arfak mountains as their destination. But Manokwari also has got lowland forest that is good for visitors who want to relax and swim in the river and also do birwatching. The name of the forest is Mesirrokow. It is located in northwest region and can be reached by car or motorcycle. Visitors still need to walk into the jungle for approximately 2 hours to reach Mesirrokow forest. The river forest area is the natural habitat of Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus), Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous bellied Kookaburra, Large-tailed Nightjar, Willie Wagtail, Little-ringed Plover, Yellow Faced Myna (Mino dumontii), Golden Myna (Mino anais), and a lot more
In addition to birds, other animals that live in this lowland forest area is soa-soa lizard, deer, wild pig, and snakes, and colorful butterflies.

Large-tailed nightjar
Riverwalk and Birding Tour
The best way to see the beautiful scenery of the river is by walking along its sides and its water. High green trees grow on both sides of the river providing homes to various kinds of animals. There are trees that provide fruits for the birds and marsupial animals and there are shrub plants that provide sweet nectar for butterflies, and birds from their flowers.
Because the river is wide, visitors will be able to watch birds that fly over or sit on the branches. To enhance birding experience, we will bring a pair of binoculars 10x42, 20-60x60 spotting scope and laser pointer during the trip.
Birds are usually active in the mornings and in the afternoons. At night, we could do night walk to find Large-tailed Nightjar.
Birds such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Papuan Hornbill, and Pinon Imperial Pigeon can easily be seen while they fly or sit on the branches of trees.

Fishing and Swimming
Visitors are allowed to do fishing. There are fresh water fish and also seawater fish that enters the river.  Freshly caught fish is delicious if we fried it. The river in Mesirrokow forest is also a nice place for swimming. Visitors can enjoy swimming or sunbathing. Don't forget to apply insect repellent lotion on your skin and also sunblock lotion.

Our tents at the bank of the river
On the average, the duration of the birding tour is 3 days/ 2nights to 4 days/ 3 nights. We will build tents at the side of the river to see the beautiful scenery and then dismantle them as we move deeper into the jungle. Visitors can swim or enjoy fishing.

Please, contact me by e-mail to: or send text/ whatsapp message to: +6281332245180

Monday, April 10, 2017

Rainforest Tours in Raja Ampat

Tropical Rainforest in north-east Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is the name of a regency in the western tip of the Province of Papua Barat in the Republic of Indonesia. There are 4 big islands (Waigeo, Salawati, Batanta and Misool) and hundreds of small islands in the region. Most of them are covered by tropical rainforest and mangrove forest which are the natural habitat of hundreds of birds, reptiles, insects, marsupials and mammals.
As a tour guide, I offer hiking tours to the forest of Raja Ampat particularly in Waigeo island.

Tropical Rainforest of Waigeo Island
During the tour, visitors will be able to watch birds, see tropical trees and shrubs as well as taking pictures of butterflies and wild flowers.
There are 2 rainforest areas in eastern region of Raja Ampat islands that I am now promoting as tourist destinations. The first is Wararaf forest (located in the northeast tip of Waigeo island) and the second is near The Fish Lagoon. Terminalia tree, rattan, strangler fig tree, iron-wood tree, and palm tree are some of the species of tropical plants which visitors can see while exploring the forest of Waigeo island. Coastal forest of north-east Raja Ampat is mostly covered by mangrove trees, cattapa trees, palm and coconut trees. I also saw some orchid flowers while climbing a cape in the Fish Lagoon.
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
During my previous trips to the forest and coastal areas, I watched Red Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra), Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Brahminy kite (Haliastur indus), Western Black-capped Lory, Radjah Shelduck, Tern, Pacific Swallow, Plover, Willie Wagtail, Eclectus Parrot, Frigatebird, Kingfisher and a lot more.
To take pictures of birds and sceneries, I used a bridge camera Nikon P500 but later I changed it with Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR.
I also brought a pair of 10x 42 Visionking binoculars.
Exploring the Forest of Fish Lagoon
While in Fish Lagoon, I was able to explore deeper area of the forest by walking through a new road that was being constructed by local government. Local villagers do not have cars or motorcycles. When they want to travel to the coastal villages, they use their motorized boats. Thats why the road was empty. There were some bulldozer, trucks and pick-up cars that belonged to the construction company at that time but they did not work.

Queen Orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum)
Rainforest Tour
The average duration of rainforest tour in Waigeo is 3 to 4 days, depending on how long visitors want to explore the forest. We could stay in the villager's house and do day hiking every day or we bring tents and camp inside the forest during the whole trip.

Things to Bring:
Visitors who are interested in taking rainforest tour with me in the jungle of Waigeo should bring the following things:

  • Anti mosquito/ insect lotion
  • Clothing that is suitable for tropical climate.
  • Snorkeling mask and bathing suit if they want to enjoy snorkeling at the beach.
  • A waterproof camera for taking pictures underwater
  • A digital camera with telephoto lens if they want to take pictures of wildlife in the jungle
  • A good pair of binoculars or spotting scope
Related Posts:
Snorkeling and Jungle Tour in Raja Ampat Islands
Birding in Raja Ampat of West Papua
Raja Ampat Coral Reef Art

Friday, April 7, 2017

Snorkeling Vacation in Raja Ampat Archipelago

As a tour guide, I offer snorkeling tour package for visitors who want to spend their vacation in Raja Ampat archipelago. There are a lot of coral reef sites which tourists can visit to see such tropical fish as groupers, butterflyfish, moorish idols, anemonefish, parrotfish and etc.
Unconventional Destination
Fish Lagoon in Raja Ampat islands of West Papua
There are unconventional tourist destinations in Raja Ampat where most tourists hardly ever know. One of them is Fish Lagoon. It is located in the north-east region of Raja Ampat archipelago. There are karst islets near the main Waigeo island that form protected waters for various species of tropical fish and coral reef to thrive. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling in this area as well as other small islands in the same region. My favorite sites are Isanak beach, and DPL reefs.
Anemonefish in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is located in a huge zone that is called Coral Triangle. Raja Ampat is also famous because it has got the highest marine bio-diversity in the world. To enjoy snorkeling, don't forget to bring snorkeling gear such as mask, snorkel pipe and fins. A water resistant/ underwater camera is also good for taking pictures of fish and coral reef. Avoid standing on table corals. If you cannot swim, I will provide life-jacket so that you could still see the beauty of the underwater world of Raja Ampat.
In addition to swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing, visitors who join the tour can also participate in hiking tour in the jungle in the north area of the lagoon. The hills in the lagoon are covered by tropical rainforest that is the natural habitat of colorful flowers and butterflies and a large varieties of song birds.
Hiking and Birdwatching
After snorkeling in Fish Lagoon, visitors can continue their trip into the nearby forest where they can enjoy hiking and birdwatching. Birds such as Papuan hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), kingfishers and a lot of coastal birds. To enhance your birding experience, don't forget to bring a good pair of binoculars. For birding activity, I usually bring my roof prism 10x42 binoculars from Visionking and a 20-60x60 spotting scope.
Visitors who like taking pictures of birds could bring their camera with telephoto capability.
Meeting the Villagers
During the tour, we will also visit some coastal villages and see the Papuan people in their daily life. We may also stay with them. Most of the villagers catch fish and other marine products such as lobster, sea shell and sea-cucumber. They don't use modern scuba diving equipment. They only do free-diving. They sell their catch to Sorong city.
Duration of the Tour
On the average, the duration of the snorkeling vacation in north-east region of Raja Ampat is 3 days/ 2 nights and can be extended into 4 or even 6 days.
Also read:

Birdwatching and Snorkeling Tour in Raja Ampat

I went to Raja Ampat islands last week where I enjoyed birdwatching to see red paradise birds and snorkeling to see tropical fish. I also had a short tour in the forest of the island and then continued my trip to Sopen village.
Watching Red Paradise Birds
The next day I woke up early in the morning and left the village for Wararaf forest in the north east area of Waigeo island by boat. We entered a river and then continued our trip on foot to the birding ground of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). I was an amazing trip, I was able to see several male and female paradise birds in a high tree. To watch them I used a pair of Visionking 10x42 binoculars. The lek of the paradise birds was approximately one hour walk from the place where our boat landed and the path was flat with some small river crossings.

Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
River entrance to Wararaf forest

While watching for the Red Bird of Paradise, I could also hear the sounds of Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and Papuan Blyth's hornbill. We watched the birds for around 1.5 hours and then returned to the boat again. It was a great experience. On the way back to Sopen, I saw some sea birds including several Radjah Shelduck that I saw at the beach. While waiting for lunch, I saw some Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) and hawks flying over the village.

Visiting Fish Lagoon and Hiking in The Jungle of Waigeo
After lunch, I continued my trip to Fish Lagoon that was similar to Piaynemo or Wayag islands. Small karst islets covered with green tropical trees form a protected waters for fish and coral reef to thrive. The landscape was so beautiful. I also had a hiking trip through the jungle near the lagoon where I saw more birds such as Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Western Black Capped Lory and Butcherbird. Local government was constructing a road that connects coastal villages.

Most of the villagers in north-east region of Raja Ampat still use motorized boats to travel from one village to another. They do not have motorcycles or cars. So, when I was walking along the road I could only see trucks and bulldozer that belong to the road construction company. At the time there were no activities from the company. So, the forest was quiet. Only the sound of birds that I could hear.
Fish Lagoon in Raja Ampat
Snorkeling Experience
Raja Ampat archipelago was one of the best marine environment with the highest marine bio-diversity in the world. I enjoyed snorkeling in several coral reef areas of the islands. White sandy beach with colorful coral reef and tropical fish were the typical scenery of Raja Ampat. I enjoyed snorkeling at Isanak beach, and DPL reef and Mamiaef island. They were so beautiful,  fantastic! After spending one night walking at a small wooden house near a beach, I left Raja Ampat for Sorong city again.
White Sandy Beach in Raja Ampat
The eastern region of Raja Ampat has not been developed into a tourist destination. So, we would not see beach hotels or guesthouses in the villages where we visit. Visitors who are interested in visiting the region could stay in the villagers houses.

East Raja Ampat Tour Package
As a tour guide, I offer a tour package for visitors who are interested in swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, taking island tours in Fish Lagoon as well as hiking and birdwatching in tropical jungle. In other words, we will explore the coral reef and rainforest of Raja Ampat to see its wildlife. Because there is no regular ferry service, we need to go there by motorized wooden boat.
Coral Reef at Isanak Beach of Raja Ampat
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to or send text/ whatsapp message to my smartphone: +6281332245180 for customized tours.