Monday, January 10, 2022

Bird Watching in West Papua During Pandemic

There have been small number of tourists who travel to West Papua during pandemic. They enjoy birdwatching in the forest and snorkeling at sea. Arfak mountains are important birding destination in Indonesia because their forest is the natural habitat of a lot of endemic avifauna including Western Parotia, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Black Sicklebill, Long-tailed Paradigala and Vogelkop Superbird of Paradise. 
Endemic birds from Arfak mountains, photo by Charles Roring
Endemic Birds of West Papua

Other birding sites that are also worth visiting including Teluk Wondama regency, Fef Town in Tambrauw regency, Klatomok village in Sorong regency and Waigeo island in Raja Ampat. 
Visitors who enjoy birding activities in West Papua often have to endure long walk in dense forest, hiking up steep slopes or walking along muddy path whose surrounding bush is infested with mosquitoes, and leeches. That's why I suggest that visitor bring insect repellent lotion and wear clothing that can protect their exposed skin from mosquito and leech bites. Because of long walk in the jungle, visitors may experience muscle stress in legs and backs. From my personal experience, I apply oil and give massage to sooth and relieve tension in the muscles. Taking a shower or splash bath with hot water will also help relieve the muscle stress. 
Drinking ion water, and eating salty instant noodle soup can resupply our body with liquid, minerals, and nutrients after a long hiking trip in the forest.
European visitors were taking rainforest tour in Manokwari
Birdwatchers need to bring their own devicee such as binoculars, spotting scope on a tripods (optional) and cameras, torch or flashlight.
Regular daily flight services between Manokwari (the capital of West Papua province) and major cities in Indonesia are provided by Lion Air, Batik Air, and Sriwijaya Air. 
International visitors who want to travel to Indonesia need to read the entry procedure from the official website of Indonesian immigration office at this address: Visitors must also follow strict health protocol during their trip to Indonesia. Because most of the birdwatching trip is conducted in remote forest, visitors will not interact with crowded people such as public areas in cities. 
After spending time in the forest to watch birds and other wild animals, visitors could enjoy swimming at the beach. There are a lot of coral reef sites in West Papua. Important marine protected areas include islands in Teluk Wondama Bay, and Raja Ampat. 
Swimming at the beach is considered as a good way to neutralize the itches on the skin of visitors caused by insect bites. 
Visitors need to bring their own mask, snorkel and swim fins. 
marine tour in Waigeo island
Some European visitors were enjoying snorkeling
These snorkeling device will allow them to see beautiful marine life at the beach.  This was written by Charles Roring.

I have created a number of drawings that readers can buy, in the form of t-shirts, mugs, cell phone cases, stickers, etc. to support this blog. Please, click the following pictures to visit the merchandise store and choose the products that you are interested in. Thank you for supporting this blog.
Birds of Paradise drawing in colored pencils
Colored pencil drawing of Lesser Birds of Paradise

Lesser Birds of Parase (Paradisaea minor)
Vector illustration of Lesser Birds of Paradise

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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Wildlife Watching Tour in Wondama Regency

Wondama is a beautiful regency in West Papua province of Indonesia. It is a destination for visitors who like to explore the tropical rainforest that is the habitat of colorful birds, reptiles, mammals, and unique insects as well as the coral reef that is teeming with abundant marine life.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

The islands of Wondama regency are surrounded by pristine coral reef. To enjoy swimming and snorkeling there, visitors need to bring their own snorkeling device such as mask, snorkel and swim fins. Striped-surgeonfish, Moorish Idol, Butterflyfish and Anemonefish are some of the many fishes which visitors can see while snorkeling over the coral reef. 

After traveling around the beautiful tropical islands, visitors can go hiking in the forest of just a little outside Wasior town and its surroundings to see Blyth's Hornbill, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Red-cheeked Parrot, and a lot more. There are cuscus possum, monitor lizard and deer in the forest of Wondama. Visitors need binoculars, spotting scope and camera with telephoto lens such as Nikon P1000 to take pictures of these animals.

To reach Wasior town, visitor can fly to either Jakarta, Denpasar, Surabaya or Manado city in Indonesia. After that, they could continue their trip to Manokwari city. Airlines such as Sriwijaya, Batik Air and Lion Air provide regular domestic flight services from the above cities to Manokwari. From Manokwari, visitors could go to Wasior town by passenger boat MV Margareth or by small passenger aircraft - the Cessna Caravan operated by Susi Air. 

flight route to Manokwari city and to Wasior
Flight route to Wondama

At the moment, visitors who want to enter Indonesia need to undergo strict health protocol and procedures in order to visit Wondama. 

I hope that the situation will be improved in the future so that more visitors could travel to West Papua again. 

Please, support this blog by buying some merchandise that I offer in my redbubble shop in the form of drawings and vector illustration printed on such products as sticker, mug, t-shirt, skirt, bag, and etc.

Blyth's Hornbill - the symbol of eternal love

Male Lesser Birds of Paradise print in Redbubble shop
Digital Drawing of a male Lesser Birds of Paradise
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