Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Tourist Attractions in Numfor Island

Numfor is a beautiful island in Cendrawasih bay of West Papua. It is surrounded by coral reef that is the natural habitat of hundreds of species of marine plants and animals. Numfor is a good destination for visitors who like swimming, snorkeling and fishing. 

Dutch visitors in Amberimasi village
Dutch visitors at Amberimasi beach of Numfor island

Mangrove trees grow in tidal area of the island. They become shelter for small fish that are being chased by their bigger predator. Mangrove seedlings are planted by villagers to protect their villages from big waves. These newly formed mangrove forests increase fish population in the island. 

numfor island
Numfor island

Various species of sea birds can be seen in Numfor. They include White-bellied Sea Eagle, Eastern Osprey, Common Tern, Frigatebird, Pacific Swallow, Little Egret, Little Pied Cormorant, Beach Kingfisher, and a lot more. In the forest, typical birds of New Guinea such as Blyth's Hornbill, Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, and Sacred kingfisher. Willie Wagtail and Torresian Crow are common in the island. Numfor Paradise Kingfisher can easily be found in the island. Most of the land is flat. So, it is easy to enjoy birdwatching in the island. 

Most of the villages in Numfor island are located along its coast. Visitors can travel to the island by ferry boat from Manokwari city to a harbor in Saribi village of the island. Villagers can also go by small passenger plane of Susi Air from Manokwari to Numfor island to enjoy their holiday there. There are two flights every week on Thursday and Saturday. The ticket price is around 319,000 rupiahs per person. Ticket can be bought at the airport.

During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Forces built their military base in the island. However, they were defeated by the Allied Forces. Visitors could still see some old broken weapons and helmets of the Japanese and American forces in Numfor. Some villagers keep them for house decoration. 

Where to go and where to stay

Amberimasi village is the recommended place for visitors. It is located in a bay in the east of Numfor island. There is an islet in front of it making the sea calm all year round inside the bay. Its name is Numpuri. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling and swimming in the bay. During low tide, visitors could walk to Numpuri. The nearby Warido village is also a good place to visit. Visitors can stay in the houses that belong to the villagers. 

Natural tourist attractions in Numfor

Yemburwo village, located in the north of the island, is also an interesting place to go. Small passenger aircraft operated by Susi Air lands at an airstrip in this village. Regular flights between Numfor and Manokwari city are available several times a week.  

Cessna caravan 208 Susi Air
Cessna Caravan 208 Susi Air

Visitors can go by passenger ferry that goest between Manokwari and Numfor. It takes around five hours to reach the island. 

Visitors can stay at small inns in this village. There are groups who can perform some traditional dances for visitors.

Flight Route to Numfor
Flight Route to Numfor island
If you are interested in taking a holiday in Numfor and need a guide, please, contact Matias Rumbruren by whatsapp to: +62 812-4464-1370.

This article was written by Charles Roring

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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Watching Birds of Paradise in the Forest of Arfak Mountains

A lot of visitors travel to Indonesia every year to watch birds. One of their destination is Arfak mountains. The higher elevation area of the mountains is the natural habitat of Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata), Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes magnificus), Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise, Black Sicklebill, Long-tailed Paradigala (Paradigalla carunculata) and a lot more. Most of these birds have got display grounds in the slopes of Arfak mountains. 

Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata)
Western Parotia

To reach the birding site, we need to wake up early in the morning, usually at 04.00 and make preparation. After wearing hiking shoes, bringing binoculars and camera, we will start walking to the birding sites. For Western Parotia, the walk can be as long as 30 minutes. For Magnificent Bird of Paradise, it can be as long as 1 hour. 

We will sit inside a hut that has been prepared by villagers for visitors. The male bird of paradise usually comes to his dancing or display site in the morning at around 06:00. It can be earlier than that time. To increase the chance of seeing the paradise bird, local villager put A Red Pandanus Fruit to attract birds. Female birds of paradise like to come and eat the fruits. Their existence will attract male birds to come too. Because the fruit is put on a wooden stick that is closer to the observation hut, visitors will be able to take pictures of the birds using a D-SLR camera with telephoto lens.

tropical birding in Arfak mountains
Birding in Manokwari

In addition to paradise birds, visitors can watch other tropical birds in the forest of Arfak mountains as well including Western-smoky Honeyeater, Black-breasted Boatbill, Friendly Fantail, Vogelkop Melidectes, Green-backed Robin, Blue Grey Robin, and a lot more.

To enjoy birding in Arfak mountains, visitors need to fly to Manokwari city. Regulars daily flights between Manokwari and other major cities in Indonesia are served by Sriwijaya, Batik and Lion Air. 

The weather in higher elevation forest of Arfak mountains is cool at night. Visitors need to bring some warm clothing. 

An organized birdwatching tour in Arfak mountains usually lasts for 4 days/ 3 nights. It can be combined with birding trip to lower montane forest for another 4 day tour. There, birdwatchers can watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise and Magnificent Riflebird. The accommodation in lower montane area is very basic. Visitors will need to stay in a simple basecamp. This will be a guided tour too. by Charles Roring Whatsapp: +6281332245180. 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Birdwatching in Manokwari of Indonesia

Indonesia has been opened again for foreign visitors who are interested in traveling to this archipelago to see the beauty of its nature, the richness of its biodiversity and the uniqueness of its culture. For visitors who are interested in bird watching, and wildlife watching, Manokwari regency is now open for visitors too. 

Spanish visitors in Susnguakti forest
Spanish visitors in Arfak range

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)
Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

Some places in higher montane forest have got guesthouses. There, visitors can enjoy hiking up the steep slopes of Arfak range to watch Western Parotia, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Magnificent Bird of Paradise and a lot more. 

Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) in Susnguakti forest of West Papua
Lesser Birds of Paradise

In lower montane forest, very basic facility in the form of basecamp is available for visitors who want to watch Lesser Bird of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise and Magnificent Riflebird. 

Lowland forest of Manokwari is the natural habitat of hundreds of species of birds including Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Variable Goshawk, Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Willie Wagtail, Blyth's Hornbill, Brahminy Kite, Little-ringed Plover, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Rainbow-bee Eater, and etc.

Large-tailed Nightjar could be seen at night especially if we go birding along the sides of a river.

Visitors need to bring binoculars, camera with telephoto lens. A field guide book, Birds of New Guinea will be needed to identify other birds that visitors will see during their trip in the jungle. 

Day Trip is usually provided for visitors who don't have much time in Manokwari. However the short trip limits the number of wildlife that we could find in the forest.

white orchid
White Orchid

Cuscus in the forest of West Papua
Possum in the forest of Manokwari

Visitors will need to stay for at least 2 to 3 days in a homestay in the mountains in order to have higher chance of watching birds of paradise. 

Rainforest in West Papua is an interesting ecosystem, it is the habitat of various kinds of plants and animals. There are flowers and butterflies.  by Charles Roring (Whatsapp: +6281332245180).