Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Watching Cendrawasih Birds in Raja Ampat and Tambrauw Mountains (12 Days/11 Nights)

Cendrawasih is the local name of Birds of Paradise. These birds have become attractions for visitors who are interested in wildlife watching. Two important destinations in West Papua where visitors can go to watch Cendrawasih and other tropical birds are Tambrauw and Raja Ampat. 

cendrawasih merah, red bird of paradise
Red Bird of Paradise

In Tambrauw mountains, there is a valley. Its namr is Fef valley. It is the capital of Tambrauw regency. Birds such as Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird and King Bird of Paradise as well as Magnificent Birds of Paradise can be watched there. Other birds that can be seen in the valley and mountains of Tambrauw include Blyth's Hornbill, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Moustached Treeswift, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Papuan Mountain Pigeon, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Great Cuckoo Dove, Pinomln Imperial Pigeon and a lot more. 

Sausapor is a great destination of birdwatching too. There is a nice beach resort in Sansapor where visitors can stay during their holiday in Tambrauw. Visitors can enjoy watching Western-crowned Pigeon, Moluccan King Parrot, Grey Crow, Black Sunbird, Black-capped Lory, Yellow-faced Myna, Red-cheeked Parrot and a lot of other birds in this region. 

The beach in Sansapor is a great place for snorkeling. Visitors can enjoy swimming over the coral reef to see various species of tropical fish including parrotfish, anemonefish, grouper and a lot more. 

Another destination of this trip is Waigeo island in Raja Ampat. It is a place for watching Red Bird of Paradise (Cendrawasih Merah) and Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Cendrawasih Botak). It is also a great site for watching Common Paradise Kingfisher, Western-crowned Pigeon, Palm Cockatoo, Beach Kingfisher, and Hooded Butcherbird. 

Visitors can stay at a beach resort or at the homestays that are run by villagers.  If you are interested in taking a birdwatching holiday in West Papua, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Butterfly Watching Tour in West Papua

West Papua province of Indonesia is a great destination for visitors who like watching butterflies. There are a lot of places which tourists can visit to see them. I have prepared an itinerary for visitors as described below:

birdwing butterfly Ornithoptera tithonus
Birdwing Butterfly in West Papua

Day 1 -2

Tour participants should organize their trip to Manokwari city. We will meet you at the airport and organize your trip to higher elevation forest of Arfak mountains. There, you will be able to watch such butterflies as Ornithoptera titonus, Ornithoptera paradisea, Taenaris schoenbergi kenricki, Neptis sp. and a lot more. 

Taenaris artemis

Day 3-4

We shall continue our trip by going down to lower montane forest to look for such butterflies as Cruiser butterfly, Silky Owl butterfly, Ulysses butterfly and etc.

Neptis praslini
Butterfly in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

Day 5-6

Fly to Sorong and transfer to Waigeo island. We explore the forest edge to see its butterflies such as Idea Durvillei, Graphium Agramemnon and etc.

Day 7

Watching butterfly in Sorong

End of Tour

Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by whatsapp to +6281332245180.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Birding and Wildlife Watching in Sulawesi Island of Indonesia

From 1 to 12 August 2022 I (12 days nature tour in Sulawesi) had the opportunity to accompany 1 tour leader from Canada and 6 birdwatchers from the USA on a birding tour across Sulawesi island of Indonesia. They were sent by a well known birding company - Rockjumper - whose local tour was organized by VIT Tours. The tour leader was Adam Walleyn. Bahar and I helped them as guides from VIT tours. There were also local guides in each birding sites who supported us during the tour.

Red-knobbed Hornbill, Black-naped Oriole, Cerulean Cuckooshrike, Spot-tailed Goshawk, Finch-billed Myna or Grossbeak Starling
Some Birds in Sulawesi island

Makassar - Malino - Parangmaha forest - Makassar - Karaenta - Airport

I flew by Lion Air to Hasanuddin airport of Makassar and then stayed at Dalton - a hotel near the airport. There were Glossy Swiftlet and Sooty headed Bulbul flying and sitting on trees in front of the parking lot of the hotel. 

Flight Route to Sulawesi island (green) from major cities in Indonesia

The next morning, I met the birdwatchers and their tour leader at the lobby of the hotel. we began our trip from Makassar city - the capital of the Province of South Sulawesi. We went by cars to Malino town - a highland region of the province. On the way, near a rice field, we stopped to watch water birds. Pied Stilt, Cattle Egret, Javan Pond Heron and Wood Sandpiper were seen eating worms or other water creatures. Several hours later, we arrived at Celebes hotel of Malino. 

Olive-backed Sunbird now called Sahul Sunbird

After lunch and 1 hour 30 minutes rest, We started birding again, this time from the parking lot of the hotel. There were high trees in the area. We saw Lemon-bellied White Eye, Mountain Tailorbird, Sulawesi Myzomela, Olive-backed Sunbird, Short-tailed Starling. We continued our activity that late afternoon to Biroro forest in higher region of Malino. There we saw Lompobattang Leafwarbler, Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker, Turquoise Warbling Flycather, Citrine Canary Flycatcher, Common Kingfisher, Olive-backed Sunbird, and Spotted Harrier.  Returning to the hotel, we had delicious dinner and then took a rest in the cool air of the town. We woke-up early in the next morning and then went by cars to the same place. This time we went hiking to higher elevation forest which was called Hutan Parangmaha. We spent half day exploring its ridge. There we saw Sulawesi Fantail, Sulphur-bellied Whistler, Turquoise Warbling Flycather, Sulawesi Brush Cuckoo, Mountain Tailorbird, and Bay Coucal. The Lompobattang Flycather that we were looking for and calling did not show up. 

We continued the next morning to Karaenta forest where we watched White-necked Myna, Yellow-billed Malkoha, Pale-Blue Monarch, Sulawesi Cuckoo Dove, Brown-throated Sunbird, Sulawesi Babbler, Black-ringed White Eye. We were waiting for Black-headed Kingfisher but he did not come out of his hiding site. We had roadside breakfast in Karaenta. And then continued our trip again to airport. At a rest area of Karaenta we stopped for a while to watch birds again. There were a couple of Sulawesi Serpent Eagle soaring in the sky. We also saw Moor Macaque monkeys sitting on the roadside waiting for people in the passing cars to throw food to them. However, there are informational boards provided by conservation office of South Sulawesi province that advice passers by not to feed wild animals especially birds. 

Sulphur-bellied Whistler

Palu - Lore Lindu - Wuasa

We flew to Palu city and arrived at around 16:00 local time. There was not enough time to go birding that day. We continued our trip by car to Wuasa village in Napu valley passing through Palolo valley and Lore Lindu National Park. We had a short stop near Palolo where I took a picture of Blue-tailed Bee Eater. It had been dark when we arrived at National inn of the Wuasa village. 

birding in Lore Lindu National Park
Purple-bearded Bee-eater

The next few days in Lake Tambing, Anaso Track and Sedoa village, we had a very productive birding activity around Lake Tambing. Citrine Lorikeet, Red-eared Fruit Dove, Mountain White Eye, Turquoise Flycatcher, Superb Fruit Dove, Ivory-backed Woodswallow, Red-eared Fruit Dove, Fiery-browed Starling, Diabolical Nightjar, Cerulean Cuckooshrike, Black-billed Koel, and Grass Owl were some of the many birds that we saw. We also had the nice view of Knobbed Hornbill, Hylocitrea, and Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher, Purple-bearded Bee-Eater, Sulawesi Drongo and a lot more. 

Manado - Kotamobagu - Tambun - Tapak Kolintang - Tangkoko - Temboan Hill and Naun River

After spending 3 nights in Lore Lindu and its surrounding areas, we continued our tour to the Province of North Sulawesi. We flew by Lion Air to Makassar and then to Sam Ratulangie airport of Manado. From this city, we had an overland trip by car to Kotamobagu town. At Maruasei rest area, we saw Oriental Darter flying high in the sky and White-eyed Drongo sitting on the branch of a tree. Our main target in Tambun was to watch Maleo. The Tapak Kolintang forest was a great birding site as well. We were successful in watching various species of birds including Grey-cheaked Green Pigeon, Red-bellied Pitta, White-necked Myna, Black-naped Oriole, Ivory-backed Woodswallow, Barred Rail, Maroon-chinned Fruit Dove, Slender-billed Crow, Blue-backed Parrot, Grey-sided Flowerpecker, Sulawesi Black Pigeon which was also called White-faced Cuckoo Dove and a lot of other birds as well. 

Citrine Lorikeet (Trichoglossus flavoviridis)
Meyer's Lorikeet in Lore Lindu National Park

In Tangkoko, Temboan Hill, and Naun River, we enjoyed another productive birding experience where we watched a lot of birds. Some of them were Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher, Ashy Woodpecker, Red-backed Thrush, White-rumped Cukooshrike, Pacific Reef Heron and Lesser-crested Tern, Spot-tailed Goshawk. 

On 12 August, I left Manado for Makassar and then returned to Manokwari by Lion Air. I still enjoyed a short birding walk at the park of the Sam Ratulangi airport where I saw Chestnut Munia, Scaly-breasted Munia, Sooty-headed Bulbul, and Spotted Dove. The birding group continued their tour to Ternate and Halmahera. 

If you are interested in taking a birding tour in Sulawesi island of Indonesia and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com. This trip report was written by Charles Roring - a tourist guide in Indonesia. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Cendrawasih Birds

Cendrawasih is the Indonesian terminology for birds of paradise. There are approximately 43 species of cendrawasih and most of them can be found in rainforest of New Guinea. There are tens of places where visitors can go to watch them. Some of them include Waigeo island, Wondiboy Mountains, Arfak mountains and Tambrauw Mountains. 

Cendrawasih Raja (King Bird of Paradise) in rainforest of Manokwari
Cendrawasih Raja is also called King Bird of Paradise

Cendrawasih Raja (Cicinnurus regius), also called King Bird of Paradise, can be watched in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. It takes around one hour by car plus 1 hour 30 minutes of hiking to reach birding site. Cendrawasih Raja can also be watched in Klatomok village of Klasow valley. 

Paradigala Ekor Panjang / Long-tailed Paradigala (Paradigala carunculata)
Paradigala Ekor Panjang

Paradigala Ekor Panjang (Paradigalla carunculata),  also called Long-tailed Paradigalla, is a bird of paradise whose living area is very limited. It can be found in higher elevation or cloud forest of Arfak mountains. This is an important target among birdwatchers who want to see endemic birds of New Guinea.

Parotia Barat (Parotia sefilata)
Parotia Arfak / Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata)
Parotia Arfak (Parotia sefilata), also called Western Parotia) is another species of Bird of Paradise that lives in cloud forest of Arfak mountains. The male bird dances like a ballerina. This cendrawasih bird has six antennas on his head. 
Cendrawasih Hitam Papua
A Male Parotia Barat/ Western Parotia was performing his courtship dance

Before performing his courtship dance, a male Parotia Arfak pick-up fallen twigs and leaves from his "dancing stage." After that he calls his female partners to the dancing ground. He will do several dancing rehearsals. When the female Parotia Arfak comes, he will immediately perform his dance. It last for several minutes. During a mating season, the dance will be performed several times a day and the whole performance may last for around 1 hour or more.
Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil
Lesser Birds of Paradise in West Papua

Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil (Paradisaea minor), also called Lesser Birds of Paradise, live in lowland and lower montane forest of New Guinea. The male one has got yellow, brown, green, and white colours. A male Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil is more beautiful than the female one. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Coral Reef and Rainforest in Roswar Island of Cendrawasih Bay

I have just returned from Roswar. It is an island in Cendrawasih Bay and part of the territory of Wondama regency. I stayed in Waprak village which is the capital of District Roswar.
Roswar island in Wondama bay regency
Guesthouses near hot spring in Roswar island for visitors
It is a beautiful island that is surrounded by coral reef. Most of Roswar is covered by rainforest. Villagers of Roswar work as fishermen and farmers. They catch fish and lobster. When passenger ship visits the island, villagers sell their fish to passengers and crew of the ship at the jetty of Nordiwar village. The coastal area of Roswar consists of brown and white sand beaches, rocks and cliffs; and manggrove forest. A lot of fish make manggrove forest as their hiding and breeding sites. That's the reason why there is a lot of fish in Roswar. 
lobster, reef fish, flowers, forest and hot stream in Roswar island of Wondama regency
Roswar island in Wondama regency of West Papua
The forest of Roswar is the habitat of mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects. There are parrots, doves, and kingfishers in Roswar island. 
Visitors who travel to Roswar can enjoy hiking to see wildlife and snorkeling. They can enjoy fishing and grill their catch at the beach. Don't forget to bring binoculars, camera, and snorkeling sets (masks, snorkeling pipes and swim fins).
Another attraction of Roswar island is its hot stream water. Sometimes it is safe to swim in the stream, especially during high-tide and most often, it is dangerous especially during low-tide because the water of the stream will be too hot for visitors. 
Local government of Wondama regency has built guesthouses near the hot stream for visitors who want to stay there for weeks during their holiday. To stay there, visitors need to visit Waprak village and ask for permission from the head of District Roswar. 
Tropical island of Roswar
Roswar island in West Papua
Getting There
  • Visitor need to fly from their country to Jakarta, Denpasar - Bali or Surabaya
  • After that they can continue their trip to Manokwari city by taking domestic flight served by such airlines as Lion Air, Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air. 
  • The next part of the trip will be taking a short flight by a small passenger plane Cessna Caravan 208 operated by Susi Air from Manokwari to Wasior town. The sea trip between Roswar and Wasior town is around 2.5 hours by speedboat. There is direct ship route (around 4 hours) between Manokwari and Roswar but it is only once a week suitable for visitors who want to enjoy their vacation in Roswar for 1 full week. 
flight route to Wondama bay regency
Flight route to Wasior town in Wondama Bay regency

Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by whatsapp to +6281332245180 if you need further info.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Snorkeling Tour in Coral Reef of Cendrawasih Bay

Cendrawasih bay in West Papua province of Indonesia is a great destination for snorkeling visitors who want to see various species of marine creatures that live in coral reef. There are hundreds of coral reef sites which visitors can explore. The ones that have got pristine and beautiful coral reef are located in Wondama regency. 

coral reef in Manokwari of West Papua
Coral reef in Manokwari
As a tourist guide, I organize snorkeling adventure tours to several different places in West Papua province of Indonesia. One of them is to Wasior town. This is the economic  hub of Wondama regency. This is a great destination for marine lovers. Snorkeling to this regency can be organized in an Island-Hopping method. 
Roon island is a beautiful place for visitors who want to enjoy snorkeling. There are traditional fishing villages in the island where visitors can visit and stay. The nearby Rariyau and Manuop islands have got beautiful coral reef that is teeming with rich marine life. 
traveling to Indonesia
Soughwepu and Yembekiri in Wondama regency
Crossing the sea to the west, visitors will be able to see Rumberpon island that is the entrance gate to Purup Karst. There are small kiosks in Yembekiri village for visitors to buy snacks and mineral water. Soughwepu village is at other side of the straight that separates the Rumberpon island and the mainland.  Before visiting the Karst, visitors need to request permission from chief in Yomakan village.
Traveling further to the north, visitors will be able to see hot stream in Roswar island. It is too hot and too dangerous for the visitors to swim in it.
Flight route to Wasior town in Wondama regency
First, visitors need to fly from their country to Jakarta or Denpasar city of Indonesia. Second, they need to fly to Manokwari city. I will met and organize their trip to Wondama regency.
snorkeling adventure tour in Indonesia

Wondama regency is a great destination for snorkeling tours. It has got hundreds of small and big islands which are surrounded by coral reef. Butterflyfish, angelfish, anemonefish, spadefish, damselfish, snappers, jacks, anthias, turtles, parrotfish are some of the many fishes which visitors can see while swimming over the coral reef of Wondama.

coral reef and snorkeling adventure
Snorkeling attractions in Wondama regency

The duration of the tour is usually 1 week. To share the cost, visitors can travel in a group of 4 to 6 people. 

For more info, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to peace4wp@gmail.com.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Coral Reef in Cendrawasih Bay - A Great Snorkeling Destination

Three important coral reef sites in Bird's Head Seascape that have got high marine biodiversity include Cendrawasih Bay, Triton Bay and Raja Ampat. There are a lot of islands in these regions where tourists can go to enjoy swimming and snorkeling. I personally have visited them. 

However, my recent visits were mostly in Cendrawasih Bay. I enjoyed snorkeling over the coral reef of Wasior town, Menarbu village, Yoop island and Purup islands. They were very beautiful. Reef fish such as parrotfish, surgeonfish, grouper, and anemonefish can be seen everywhere. I also visited Rariyau which was an uninhabited island. The seascape was fantastic. It was around 10 minutes by motorized boat from Yende village in Roon island.

Adventure trip to sail teluk Cendrawasih Bay
Coral Reef in Cendrawasih Bay of Wondama regency

Today, visitors can travel to Cendrawasih bay easily. First, they need to fly from their country to Jakarta, Surabaya, or Denpasar city of Indonesia. After that, they can continue their trip by taking domestic flight to Manokwari city. Airlines such as Sriwijaya Air, Lion and Batik Air offer regular flights to Manokwari from major cities in Indonesia. So, there is flight to Manokwari every day.  From Manokwari, visitors can go by ferry boat or by airplane to Wasior town. 

Snorkeling destination in Indonesia
Flight Route to Wondama in Cendrawasih Bay
There are small hotels, inns and homestays in Wasior town which visitors can choose to stay. Boats to islands in the bay are also available. Because Wasior is the economic hub of Wondama regency, visitors can buy various kinds of things in the town from clothing, fishing equipment to fruits and vegetables, biscuits and mineral water. 
If you are an avid snorkelers, please, bring your own snorkeling device. It is important to have snorkeling mask that is perfectly fit onto your face. 
Because Wondama regency has not been fully developed as tourist destination, visitors will not find luxurious resorts in remote beaches such as in Maldives, Wakatobi or Bali. Only traditional fishing villages that are scattered in many islands of Wondama regency. 
Traveling to Cendrawasih
Coastal area of Cendrawasih Bay in Wondama regency

Bringing a waterproof underwater camera is also important because it will allow you to take beautiful underwater pictures of fish and coral reef.

Snorkeling adventure tour can be organized to this region. The trip usually lasts for at least 4 days covering many important coral reef sites of Wondama regency.

The trip can be combined with hiking tour through the forest to see tropical birds such as parrots, cockatoos, pigeons, and kingfishers. The number of participants can be as low as 2 people to as high as six people. Pristine rainforest can be seen in Wondiboy mountains which is the habitat of birds, mammals, insects and reptiles. Camping in the forest can be organized for visitors who want to study the complex ecosystem of rainforest. There are many small streams in Wondiboy where visitors can use as their base to build basecamp. 

If you are interested in taking a snorkeling adventure tour to Cendrawasih Bay, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com.

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