Friday, January 25, 2019

Hiking Camping and Watching Paradise Birds in Susnguakti Forest

I have just returned from Arfak mountains. I spent 3 days/ 2 nights exploring its lower montane forest to see paradise birds. I guided two tourists from Switzerland, Katja and Be. They stayed in a dome tent that was installed inside a hut. Actually there were several huts that we (I and local villagers) had built for tourists.
Swiss tourists were hiking in Susnguakti forest of Arfak mountains
Swiss tourists were hiking in Arfak mountains
On the first day, we went hiking under the canopy of big trees to find Lesser Birds of Paradise. We were able to see them but from around 30 meters. It was quite far for birders. At 16.30, we continued our bird tour to another blind for watching Magnificent Riflebird. It was a successful trip. We saw the bird quite long, around 3 to 5 minutes. He was sitting on a branch of a tree calling his female bird. The Swiss tourists brought a pair of small but very good binoculars - Eschenbach 8× 22. The image this optical device produced was sharp and bright. Unfortunately, I did not bring my telephoto D-SLR camera to shoot the paradise bird. We returned to our basecamp at around 17.30.
Spotted Cuscus Possum in Susnguakti forest of Arfak range - Manokwari
Spotted Cuscus Possum in Susnguakti forest
After dinner, we did a night walk to find cuscus possum. The night was lighted by full moon. Our chance to see the marsupial animal was little. After doing the calls for several times, we decided to return to our camping ground. The possum did not come down from their hiding places in tall trees. We only saw a bandicoot.
However, we were quite happy with our night walk because were able to see glowing mushroom in the forest floor. They were growing on decayed parts of broken bamboo. It was in rainy season. There were various different kinds of mushrooms in the forest.
Glowing Mushroom in Susnguakti forest
The next morning, we returned to our first birding ground. My working partners built a birding site that was closer to the birds. This time, we sat in a hut made of leaves with a small hole in front of us to see the birds. We were able to watch the Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) quite well. We spent around 1.5 hours watching them. After that we continued our trip walking up steep slopes to the tree where King Bird of Paradise usually gather. On the way to the birding ground, we saw a big cuscus possum in a tall white tree. Yes, its trunk was white. We stayed there around twenty minutes to watch him. We continued our walk again for a few minutes to reach the tree. We were very lucky, there were two male King Birds of Paradise chasing one another in the tree. It seemed that they were competing to win a female King BOP. I am surprised to find out that King BOP are in mating season during rainy season.
Toad in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
Pygmy Toad
One the third day, we did another walk to the same site to find a dragon lizard. Unfortunately, we did not find it. Insteas, we saw a female Glossy Manucode.
In addition to birds, we also saw a lot of kinds of insects such as butterflies, grasshopper, cicada, praying mantis, ants and beetles.
After lunch we returned to Manokwari city again by a villager's car that we chartered.
If you are interested in trekking, camping and watching paradise birds in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari, and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or send text to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Snorkeling in the Drop-off Reef of Manokwari

I often go the beach to guide tourists who like snorkeling and recreational free-diving. The sites that we visit are north coast, and south coast of Manokwari city. There are coral reefs in this regency that are suitable for snorkelers.
An Italian and Indonesia snorkelers in Manokwari waters
Begining snorkelers usually swim over the reef flat area. The more adventurous ones choose drop-off reef as their snorkeling and free-diving site. Snorkelers have got more freedom to move in deeper waters. I could provide life-jacket for snorkelers who want to see marine life in drop-off area of the coral reef. Fish that can be seen in deeper water include parrotfish, damselfish, butterflyfish, moorish idol, grouper, anemonefish, wrasse, and convict surgeonfish. In my recent snorkeling tour to north coast reef with Italian and Indonesian tourists, I saw Striped Surgeonfish, Three-spot Dascyllus, Yellow-tailed Blue Devil and Striped-Surgeonfish.
In addition to seeing fish, we could also see sea cucumber, urchin, sea star, and sometimes turtles in the sea.
Visitors who take the snorkeling tour with me can borrow my snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel and fins) but I suggest that they bring their own that is suitable and fit on their face and feet. Bringing a good underwater camera such as Nikon W300 will greatly enhance the snorkeling experience.
Green Coral Reef in Manokwari waters
As the capital of Papua Barat province, Manokwari can easily be reached by tourists. After taking international flight to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, visitors can take a domestic flight to Manokwari provided by such airlines as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Nam Air, and Batik Air.
Coral reef in the north coast of Manokwari
When we take snorkeling tour, we must avoid several important things such as: not standing on the coral, not provoking marine animals.
If you plan to travel to Manokwari and want me to organize your snorkeling tour in the regency, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Snorkeling Tour with Clownfish in Manokwari

by Charles Roring
I often guide tourists in Manokwari on snorkeling tours to many of its coral reef sites. Our main target was to see beautiful tropical fish and colorful reef. One of the fish which snorkelers like to see is clownfish. There are various species of them. Some that I have seen include Pink Anemonefish, Spinecheek Anemonefish, and Clark's Anemonefish, Red and Black Anemonefish, and False Clown Anemonefish. They could bee seen at depths of 1.5 to 10 or even 15 meters.
Anemonefish in Manokwari
Finding Nemo
There is a big colony Red and Black Anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus) in the north-east coast of Manokwari. It is not far from the beach. Beginning snorkelers who are not confident of swimming over coral reef can wear lifejacket that I provide for the tour.
Red and Black Anemonefish
I see several colonies of Pink Anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion) in the southern coast of Manokwari. The coral reef where they thrive is not at the beach of the mainland. It is like a shoal at sea.  There are a lot of species of fish that can be seen in this shoal. Some of them include spotfin lionfish, boxfish, butterflyfish, grouper, moorish idol, and Triggerfish.
Another species of fish that I see in deeper water is Spinecheek Anemonefish (Premnas biaculeatus). The fish lives at a depth of around 10 meters below the surface. I have to make extra effort to take picture of this fish.
Snorkeling Tour
I offer snorkeling tours for tourists who want to see the beauty of marine life in Manokwari city. Visitors can stay in one of the many hotels in the city and do day trip to coral reef sites. I have got some snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins) which tourists could use but I highly recommend that snorkelers bring their own equipment that are perfectly fit on their face and feet.
Traveling by boat in Manokwari
How to get there
Visitors need to take international flight from their country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia). After that they can continue their flight to Manokwari city by Boeing 737,  Airbus 320, or Bombardier CRJ 1000 operated by such airlines as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Nam and Batik. Tickets can be bought at

If you are interested in taking a snorkeling trip (combined with some hiking and sightseeing tour) in Manokwari and want me to organize your tour, you could send text to my whatsapp: +6281332245180. Or you could send email to: +6281332245180

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Watching Birds and Snorkeling in Manokwari

Last week, I guided two German tourists to Arfak range. They were Peter and Claudia. We spent 4 days/ 3 nights hiking, birdwatching, butterflywatching and sightseeing. The weather was sunny in the mornings but mostly rainy in the afternoons.
Feline Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles insignis)
Feline Owlet-Nightjar (Aegotheles insignis)

The site for watching Magnificent Bird of Paradise was around 1 hour walk from the Lorikeet Guesthouse where we stayed. I organized a trip for Peter to watched that beautiful bird. He had to wake up at 04.40 to make some preparations and to have breakfast before leaving for the birding ground at 05.00. Claudia, his wife joined the morning walk but she had to return to the guesthouse because the trails were steep and quite tough for her. So, she only watched birds at the garden of the Lorikeet Guesthouse. There were colorful flowers such as Rhododendron zoelleri, Rhododendron konori, Pink Hibiscus, New Guinea Impatiens, orchids,and a lot of other flowers which I do not know their names.
Rhododendron zoelleri flowers
Rhododendron zoelleri
On the third day, we did a short walk to a small river where we watched a Feline Owlet-nightjar sleeping on the branch of a tree. The bird was sitting still. We approached him carefully and slowly. When we were around 3 meters below him, we turned on our cameras and shoot him. It was quite difficult to find the bird. But we were lucky. 
In addition to Feline Owlet-Nightjar, we also saw Vogelkop Bowerbird, Female Black Sicklebill, Western Parotia (juvenile) at a place on the way to the top of the mountain. Near the guesthouse, I saw several species of small birds such as Island Leaf Warbler, Spectacled Longbill, Western Smoky Honeyeater, Green-backed Robin, Blue Gray Robin, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Glossy Swiftlet. 
When the sun was shining brightly in the mornings, I saw butterflies hopping among the flowers to eat its nectar. One of them was Ornithoptera tithonus. Alot of rain still fell on Arfak mountains, and it was cold especially at nights. The weather was only nice in mornings and in afternoons. It was not in favorable season for traveling in January but we really enjoyed our trip. 
Snorkeling Trip in Manokwari
In addition to guiding tourists to Arfak mountains, I also offer snorkeling tours to coral reef areas near Manokwari city. Visitors who join this tour could enjoy swimming over coral reef to see hundreds of species of tropical fish such as Striped Surgeonfish, Butterflyfish, Anemonefish, Lionfish, snapper, Dascyllus, Grouper, and Moorish Idol. There are a number of coral reef sites in Manokwari which we can explore to enjoy swimming and snorkeling.
Snorkeling tour with Charles Roring
Coral Reef in Manokwari
Coral reef and tropical fish in Mansinam island
Marine Life in Manokwari

Snorkeling tour with Charles Roring
Blue Sea Star
I have got some snorkeling masks, and snorkel which I could lend to tour participants. I highly recommend that visitors bring a waterproof camera such as Nikon W300 or a small action camera such as Go Pro. Taking pictures of fish and other marine animals can be fascinating because underwater environment is colorful and very beautiful.

How to get to Manokwari city
As the capital of West Papua province in the Republic of Indonesia, Manokwari city is connected with Jakarta by regular daily flights provided by Garuda, Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air, and Nam Air. Tickets can be bought from online store such as 
Flying route to Manokwari city
Flying route from Jakarta to Manokwari
If you are interested in taking a trip to Manokwari and want me (Charles Roring) to organize your trip, please, contact me by email to: or whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Snorkeling Tour in Coral Reef of Manokwari

Manokwari city is the capital of West Papua province of Indonesia. It has been visited by tourists who want to enjoy snorkeling, freediving as well as trekking and wildlife watching. As a tourist guide in this city, I offer snorkeling tours for visitors who are interested in exploring the marine life that thrive in coral reef areas along the coast of Manokwari. Visitors could see a lot of species of reef fish during the tour including butterflyfishes, angelfishes, spadefishes, surgeonfishes, damselfishes, snappers, jacks, anthias, groupers, hawkfishes, parrotfishes, and sweetlips.
Coral Reef in Manokwari city
Beginning snorkeling visitors can enjoy snorkeling in reef flat area easily. More experienced snorkelers usually swim to drop off reef to see bigger fish and other marine animals. They usually do freediving to certain depth of the sea. In my previous snorkeling tours with some British, New Zealander, Italian, and Indonesian tourists, I took pictures of Blue Devil (Chrysiptera cynea), Striped Surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus) and anemonefish. I used a small pocket camera Fujifilm XQ2. I had to dived to the coral reef to take pictures of the fish. In order to get good photographs, I had to stay in the water for at least one minute.
white sandy beach in Mansinam island of Manokwari
Tropical Beach in Manokwari
Usually, my left hand holds a rock to keep my body in flat and stable position and my right hand holds the camera. I have done this hundreds of time. When I stay calm in the water without many movements, I can take better pictures of the fish and coral reef. Fish will not feel intimidated and are willing to swim closer to me.
Coral reef and Tropical Fish in Manokwari waters
I have got several sets of snorkeling device (mask,snorkel,fins, and lifejacket) which I can lend to visitors who want to take a snorkeling tour with me in Manokwari. I can also organize snorkeling tours to Raja Ampat, and Tambrauw coast for visitors who want to explore these parts of West Papua. The snorkeling tour can be combined with hiking, and wildlife watching.
Picture of reef fish
Anemonefish and Blue-Devil Fish in Manokwari waters
How to get to Manokwari?
You need to fly from your country to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. After that, you could take a flight provided by such airlines as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik to Manokwari city. I could meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay.
Flight route from Jakarta to Manokwari by Batik Air
If you are interested in visiting Manokwari and want to take this snorkeling tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

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