Friday, April 7, 2017

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.