Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rainforest Birding Tour in Arfak Mountains and Lowland of Manokwari

Riverwalk in Mesirrokow forest
Manokwari has been an important birdwatching destination for domestic and international visitors. They come to watch birds that live in the jungle of Arfak mountains and lowland region such as Papuan hornbill, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Hooded Butcherbird, Yellow Faced Myna, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfishers and a lot more.
There are two places in the forest that I offer as camping and birding grounds.
Beautiful Fruit Dove
Lowland Forest of Mesirrokow River
This is an ideal site for tourists or birdwatchers who cannot go hiking in steep slopes of Arfak mountains. Local people call the area the Mesirrokow river-forest. There are no guesthouses in the jungle. Tents, mattrasses, cooking and eating utensils will be provided by local guides for tourists who want to stay here for a few days for watching Eclectus Parrots (Eclectus roratus), Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) and a lot of other birds. In addition to birding, visitors can enjoy swimming and fishing in the river too.
Colorful wild flowers that grow in both sides of the river attract butterflies, bees to collect their nectar. Tourists spend between 3 to 4 days camping and watching wild animals.
Camping at Mesirrokow river-forest
Mabowi Forest of Arfak Mountains
This lower montane forest is located in the east area of Arfak mountains and has been a favorite site for watching cuscus possum, lesser birds of paradise and glowing mushrooms. There are no hotels or gueshouses in the middle of the jungle. Tourists will stay in tents are are built by local villagers.
The jungle of Mabowi is the natural habitat of wild pigs, deer, dwarf cassowary, and a lot of species of birds. It is suitable for visitors who are really nature lovers.

Please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to my number: +6281332245180 if you are interested in taking rainforest tour with me in Manokwari forest.

Birding and Wildlife Watching Tour in Tambrauw Mountains

Hooded Pitta in Tambrauw mountains
The mountain range of Tambrauw is located between Manokwari and Sorong regencies. It is mostly covered by pristine tropical rainforest that is the natural habitat of hundreds of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, marsupials and insects.
There is a very good site for wildlife watching in Tambrauw mountains. Its name is Ases valley. Visitors who go to the valley can see animals such as Birds of Paradise, deer, wild pigs, and colorful butterfies. Birding tour can easily be done along the sides of Ases river.
Adventure tour in Tambrauw mountains
It takes approximately 6 hours by 4WD car from Sorong city to Ases valley. Visitors can stay at the villagers' houses or in tents at the banks of the river.
The average number of days which tourists spend in the valley for watching birds is between 4 to 7 days. To increase the chance of seeing more wild animals, local guides will offer day and night walking tours in the jungle. Nocturnal animals such as wallaby and cuscus possum can be seen in the valley.
Tambrauw Mountains
What to bring:
Darker color clothing for watching birds and wild animals
Digital camera with telephoto lens and some extra batteries
Torch/ flashlight
Field guide: Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler. This book could be ordered from Amazon online store.

How to get there?
Fly from your country to Jakarta city
Take a domestic flight to Sorong city
I will organize your trip to Ases valley in Tambrauw mountains.

I suggest that visitors travel in a group of 3 to 4 people to share the cost.
You could send email to my account: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to: +6281332245180.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Birding in Manokwari and Sorong

Cuscus possum in susnguakti forest of Manokwari
Cuscus Possum in Arfak mountains
I frequently organize birding tours in Manokwari and Sorong for visitors who are interested in watching tropical birds that live in New Guinea's rainforest. The most important destinations in Manokwari are Arfak mountains and Lowland Forest along Mesirrokow river. For Sorong regency, Klasow valley has become the most favorite destination among tourists.

Arfak Mountains - lower montane forest
Birds that can be found in the jungle are Common Paradise Kingfisher, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Hooded Butcherbird, Magnificent BoP and a lot more. There is a camping site at Mount Mabowi which visitors can stay for several nights. Hiking activities can be done in the mornings to watch birds and in the nights to find cuscus possum and dragon tree lizard.
hooded butcherbird
Hooded Butcherbird (Cracticus cassicus)
 in Mount Mabowi of Arfak Mountains
Mesirrokow river - lowland forest
This forest area is located in northwest territory of Manokwari regency. Birds such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Papuan Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus), Little-ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius), Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus), Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii), Eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus), Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot (Micropsitta keiensis) can be seen along the banks of Mesirrokow river forest.
However, it is not only birds that visitors can see in the jungle, there are various species of lizards including the soa-soa monitor lizard, deer, wild pigs and colorful butterflies.

Klasow valley is relatively new among visitors who want to watch birds in West Papua. Most of the land is flat but the path to the lek of Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) is steep and slippery.
Lesser Birds of Paradise
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
 in Klasow valley of Sorong regency
Birdwatchers like to visit the area because there are a lot of birds that live in the forest of the valley. Pinon Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pinon), Large Fig Parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii), Black lory (Chalcopsitta atra), Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus perlatus), Beautiful Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus), Red-cheeked Parrot (Geoffroyus geoffroyi),  Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud) are some of the birds that we could see in Klasow valley. Sometimes wild Northern Cassowary bird enter the jungle village in to ask for food from local villagers. There is also King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) in the forest near the village but visitors need to use a good pair of binoculars such as the 10x42 or the 12x50 ones to see the small bird properly.

passion flower in West Papua
passion flower
Tour Duration
On the average, visitors spend between 1 to 2 weeks to watch birds both in lowland forest of Manokwari, and Klasow valley of Sorong regency.

If you are interested in taking a birding trip in Arfak mountains of Manokwari and Klasow valley of Sorong regency and want me to organize your trip and be your guide, for itinerary and cost, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to: +6281332245180.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hiking Camping and Wildlife Watching in Arfak Mountains

Camping in the jungle of Arfak mountains - Manokwari
I often organize hiking and camping tours in Mount Mabowi of Arfak mountains for tourists who want to watch birds, several species of cuscus possum, bandicoot, tree dragon lizard and other reptiles, unique insects and colorful butterflies.
Butterflies such as Ornithoptera priamus, Papilio ulysses, Taenaris catops, Vindula arsinoe, Parthenos tigrina can easily be seen in the clearing area around the Campsite.
Tourists who take the tours come from Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. Participant can be a solo traveler or a group of 2 - 4 visitors who want to see the complex ecosystem of tropical rainforest.
Tree Dragon Lizard in Arfak Mountains

Staying in Tents
The most favorite site in Arfak mountains for hiking, rainforest tour and wildlife watching is Mount Mabowi. It is located in the eastern area of Arfak range. There are no luxurious gueshouses in the jungle. I and local villagers built simple campsites in the jungle.
As a tour guide, I provide camping gear such as tents, sleeping bag, cooking and eating utensils for visitors who want to stay for a few nights. Our camping ground is located near a small stream.
Nature Lover Paradise
In the jungle of Manokwari, visitors can see wild flowers, various kinds of mushrooms, butterflies, birds, lizards, glowing mushrooms, cuscus possum and a lot of tropical plants.
Duration of Stay
Most Tourists who go to Mount Mabowi of Arfak mountains spend between 3 and 4 days in hiking in the lower montane forest.
Day 1 
Arrive in Manokwari city. Transfer by car to Mount Mabowi in the east of Arfak Mountains. Hiking to the Campsite 1. Nature walk in the jungle to see the wealth of the biodiversity of tropical rainforest.
Day 2 
Wake up early in the morning. Hiking to the birding ground of paradise birds. We will watch Lesser Birds of Paradise. After that we will walk back to our tents for breakfast. In the middle of the day, we could move deeper into the jungle to Campsite 2. We will explore the forest again to see its unique plants, colorful butterlies and other beautiful insects. At night, we could do night walk to find cuscus possum.
Day 3
We could make second attempt to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise again or explore the forest to find Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise or just do the sightseeing.
In the afternoon, we could walk down the steep slopes of Arfak mountains to the main road and then return to Manokwari city by car. Or you could stay longer in the forest to explore its higher or lower elevation areas.
Optional: Upon special request, visitors can extend their stay in the jungle of Arfak mountains if they want to see more wildlife in the area. This request should be informed in advance so that local guides could buy more food for that purpose. In general tourists stay between 3 to 5 days to explore the rainforest.

Common Paradise Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea) in Arfak Mountains
Wildlife Watching Equipment
To enhance wildlife watching experience, I highly recommend that each tourist bring his or her own binoculars. I provide a good pair of 10x42 binoculars and a 20-60x60 spotting scope with a tripod.
Arfak mountains have been famous among birdwatchers as birding destination. The tropical rainforest that covers the mountain range is the natural habitat of a lot of species of birds including Common Paradise Kingfisher, Hooded Butcherbird, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Papuan Blyth's Hornbill, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, and etc.
Visitors who go birding in Arfak mountains could buy Birds of New Guinea as their field guide. The book was written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler.

Paradise Birds in Mount Mabowi
The best way to see the wealth of bio-diversity of the forest is by exploring it on foot. Hiking can be carried out early in the morning to see paradise birds, during the day - to see a lot of unique plants in the tropical rainforest such as lianas, bamboo, large trees, mushrooms and orchids. Butterflies, beetles, beetles, soa-soa lizard, frogs, snakes, bandicoot, and birds can also be seen during the hiking trip. Night walk can also be organized for visitors who are interested in seeing cuscus possum, and glowing mushrooms. The slopes of Mount Mabowi are very steep and sometimes slippery. Good hiking shoes are needed during the rainforest tour.
The slopes in Mount Mabowi are very steep and covered by pristine tropical rainforest. I highly suggest that visitors wear a good pair of hiking shoes if they want to explore the bio-diversity of Arfak Mountains.

Cuscus Possum
Leg-cramps and muscle pain is not very common among tourists but there was one or two cases where a tourist experienced it. Dehydration, salt depletion and fatigue of long day on the trail caused these severe leg cramps. When I was told about it, I immediately stopped the hiking tour and returned to our tents. In our campsite I cooked instant noodle and gave it to our guest.  The soup of the noodle contains salt that would reduce the cramp. The noodle soup resupplies our body with new electrolytes. To ease the soreness or pain in the muscles and joints, I gave gentle massage using coconut oil. I applied the oil on my palms, warmed them up on ember and then gave the relaxing massage to the tensed musles.
Massage also increases the flow of blood that brings nutrients and oxygen to underlying tissues. It relieves muscle tension, and stiffness.

How to come here?
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia
  • Fly from Jakarta to Manokwari city
  • I could meet you at the airport or hotel to arrange your trip to Mount Mabowi of Arfak mountains.
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to +6281332245180

Birdwatching Hiking and Camping in Manokwari

Camping at the bank of Mesirrokow river
I have organized and run birding tours in Manokwari for years now. Early this year, I introduced a new birding area called Mesirrokow. It is a lowland forest area in north-west region of Manokwari regency. There are a lot of birds that can be seen in the forest of Mesirrokow river area such as Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Large-tailed Nightjar, Black capped Lory, Papuan Blyth's hornbill, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-billed Kingfisher and a lot more.
In addition to watching birds, visitors who take the birding tour to the area can also see colorful butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers, and other insects. Wild boars, wallaby, deer, snakes, and soa-soa monitor make the forest of Mesirrokow river as their natural habitat.

Birdwatching Activity
Visitors can enjoy birding along the sides of the river by using binoculars and spotting scopes. In the mornings, Yellow-faced Myna, Eclectus Parrot, Willie Wagtail, and Hooded Butcherbird like to sit on the branches of trees.
Walking deeper into the jungle, visitors can watch more birds including Lowland Peltop, Dollarbird, Brahminy Kite, and Little-ringed Plover.

Birding Gear
Birdwatchers usually bring a good pair of 10x42 roof prism binoculars, a spotting scope with tripod or a D-SLR camera with telephoto lens. I have got binoculars which visitors could use to enhnace their birding experience in Manokwari

Camping and Hiking
There are no guesthouses in Mesirrokow forest. As a tourist guide, I provide tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment and eating utensils for tourists who want to spend several days birding and camping in the forest.
As we walk further into the river-forest area, we will dismantle our tents and rebuild them in our new birding site. Visitors could also enjoy swimming, and fishing along the river.

Large-tailed Nightjar
Duration of the Birding and Camping Tour
On the average, visitors spend between 3 days/ 2 nights and 5 days/ 4 nights camping in the area. After the tour, visitors could extend their trip in Manokwari to a few more days by birding in Arfak mountains or snorkeling in some islands in Dorey bay.

If you are interested in hiking, camping and birding in Mesirrokow forest or other places in Manokwari, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to: peace4wp@gmail.com