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Marine Life in Raja Ampat

Karst islets in Kabui bay
Karst in Kabui bay
Raja Ampat is a famous destination for tourists who like snorkeling or scuba diving. Its marine biodiversity is the highest in the world.
According to 2011 edition of Diving Indonesia Bird's Head Seascape written by Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock, in Raja Ampat there were 1,427 reef-fishes, 553 hard corals, and 43 mantis shrimps. 
From my personal experience, when I swim over a number of coral reef areas, of this regency, I see a lot of species of fish and other marine creatures. For instance, in Yenbuba strait, I see turtles, sweetlips, boxfish, and black-tip sharks. In Sawondarek, I see barracuda, and batfish. In Arborek, I see trevally, and giant clams.
From my recent scuba diving excursion in Mioskon island, I saw lizardfish, humpback grouper, lionfish, sweetlips and a lot of other fish.
Marine life in mioskon island of raja ampat
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
My favorite snorkeling site is Warduwer beach located in southern region of Waigeo island.
I bring my own snorkeling mask, snorkel and fins. For taking pictures, I bring Fujifilm XQ2 with its waterproof case or Nikom AW 130. The camera is good enough for taking pictures of fish and coral reef. To take pictures underwater, I freedive to 2 - 5 meters so that I could be on the same eye level with the marine creature that I want to shoot. To stabilize my body in the water, my left hand holds a rock and my right hand takes pictures. The results are the ones that I present in this blog.
Here, I see Pink Anemonefish, Orange Skunk Anemonefish, Red and Black Anemonefish; parrotfish, catfish, scorpionfish, Tasselled Wobbegong; sea stars; Christmas Tree Worm and a lot of other marine creatures that are very beautiful and colorful. A beach resort is being constructed at the beach now. Soon, it will operate and its rooms will be available for visitors who want to spend their holiday time at this beach. The name of the beach resort is RAFLOW. It stands for Raja Ampat Flow Resort.

Turtle Conservation Works

In north-east region of Waigeo island, local villagers have been involved in turtle conservation initiatives by protecting nests or relocating eggs of leatherback, hawksbill, olive ridley. Their works are supported by local governments and NGOs, tourist guide association.
Release of olive ridley hatchlings to the sea.
Turtle Conservation Works in Waigeo island
Tasselled Wobbegong fish
Tasselled Wobbegong
Tourists who want to visit Raja Ampat can take international flights from their country to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia. After that they need to continue their trip by taking domestic flights to Sorong city. Airlines such as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik, Lion Air provide regular flights to Sorong city. Arriving in Sorong, they need to continue their trips to Raja Ampat by fast passenger ferry or by speed-boats. 
Equipment
Visitors who come to Raja Ampat can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, and birdwatching. Most dive resorts have got all the diving gear needed by guests. If tourists choose to stay in homestays, they need to bring their own snorkeling mask, snorkel and fins.
Also read:

Drawing of Red Bird of Paradise

Art drawing of Red Paradise Bird (Paradisaea rubra) by Charles Roring
Male Red Bird of Paradise
Early this month, I guided two American tourists to Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. We went there for watching birds, snorkeling and scuba diving. One of our birding targets was Red Bird of Paradise. To watch the bird, we had to wake up early in the morning at 04.30. After making preparations and having tea/ coffee and some bread, we left the beach resort where we stayed in by boat for a beach in southern region of Waigeo. It took around ten minutes for us to reach the beach. We still had to continue our trip by hiking up steep slopes for one hour to the lek of the bird.
Because the path was still dark, we used our flashlight. We walked for 1 hour under the canopy of tropical trees through a narrow footpath. We arrived at 06.00. The paradise birds had not shown up. We waited until the light from the rising sun reached the tree tops. Male Red Birds of Paradise began calling their female counterparts from the top branches. Soon after the female ones had come, the male birds began to dance. They performed courtship dances to seduce their female counterparts. If a female Red BOP is impressed with the dance of a male Red BOP, she would give green light for them to mate. We watched the birds using binoculars. The whole birds show were finished at around 09.00.
The American tourists who watched the paradise birds that morning were astonished with the dance skills of the Red Bird of Paradise. 
I have just finished drawing the male Red Bird of Paradise. Its feather were yellow, brown, red, and some green especially on the head area. It is now available as prints on various products of Redbubble including t-shirts, iPhone/ Samsung Galaxy case, poster, pillows, tote bag, spiral note book and hardcover journal. If you are interested in having some of them, please, visit this web page: Red Bird of Paradise

Rhododendron

I have just created a digital drawing of flower today. Its name is Rhododendron zoelleri. The flower plants live Arfak mountains. I saw the flowers when I guided 2 American tourists on a five-day hiking and birding trip. The rhododendron flowers have got bright color petals.
Autodesk sketchbook drawing
Rhododendron flower
In the mornings when the weather is good and bright, and the sunlight reach the flowers, birdwing butterflies can often be seen hopping or hovering from one flower to another to collect nectar.

Drawing has been my favorite hobby for years. Visitors of this blog who wants to see my visual artworks open this web-page: drawing portoflio.

Jelajah Pesisir Manokwari dengan Wisatawan Belanda

Ikan Nemo dan Ikan Tiga Spot Dascyllus
Beberapa hari yang lalu, saya berkesempatan untuk menemani 4 wisatawan Belanda untuk melihat keindahan alam pesisir kota Manokwari. Kami mulai di pagi hari pada jam 09.00 dari Hotel Triton. Dengan naik ojek, kami berangkat menuju Pantai Aipiri yang terletak di sebelah utara kota. Perjalanan memakan waktu kurang lebih 15 menit. Ketika tiba di lokasi suasana kampung Aipiri masih sunyi. Kami mulai menyusuri kawasan pesisir pantai dengan berjalan kaki. Jalanan yang kami lalui tidaklah beraspal dan banyak ditumbuhi oleh semak belukar. Sekali-sekali terdengar suara burung di pepohonan. Ada juga kupu-kupu kecil yang menghisap nektar bunga-bunga liar yang tumbuh di kedua sisi jalan. Setelah berjalan kurang lebih 15 menit, jalan yang tadinya rata mulai berubah mendaki. Kemiringannya agak terjal dan licin ditumbuhi lumut. Mungkin sudah lama tidak digunakan. Kendaraan roda empat seperti Toyota Avanza atau Inova yang mau lewat sini pasti tidak bisa tembus.
Di kedua sisi jalan, warga kampung Aipiri menanam pepaya, pisang, mangga, dan tanaman pertanian lainnya. Kami terus berjalan hingga dipuncaknya. Dari kejauhan nampak Samudra Pasifik yang saat itu lautnya sedang teduh. Saat menuruni bukit, jalannya rusak berat. Untung saja kami tidak sedang naik kendaraan bermotor sehingga tidak mengalami kesulitan berarti saat melewatinya. Hanya kendaraan 4wd (four wheel drive) seperti Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi Triton atau Ford Ranger yang bisa menjelajahi dengan kondisi terjal dan rusak seperti ini.
Tak lama kemudian kami lewat di kawasan perkebunan kelapa. Pohonnya sudah tinggi sekali dan perlu peremajaan. Setelah itu kami memasuki wilayah kampung bakaro yang terletak di sebuah teluk berair tenang. Kampung ini terkenal dengan obyek wisata pemanggilan ikan.
Kami berjalan menuju pantai Bakaro. Para wisatawan Belanda yang masih muda itu mengganti pakaian mereka dengan baju renang dan langsung berjalan ke laut. Mereka berenang dan snorkeling. Saya bergabung dengan mereka kira-kira 1 jam kemudian setelah peralatan snorkeling yang saya pesan tiba. Ada 3 buah peralatan snorkeling yang tersedia di dalam tas milik saya tersebut. Para wisatawan Belanda tersebut mengikuti saya berenang ke kawasan terumbu karang. Ada ikan striped-surgeonfish, butterflyfish, parrotfish, damsel dan berbagai ikan laut lainnya yang kami lihat saat berenang di Pantai Bakaro.
Saya membawa kamera bawah laut Nikon AW 130. Saya kemudian menyelam hingga ke kedalaman sekitar 2 meter untuk memotret ikan-ikan itu. Spesies nemo yang saya lihat di terumbu karang Bakaro adalah Red and Black Anemonefish. Ada juga ikan Three-spots Dascyllus yang hidup berdampingan dengan nemo-nemo itu.
Bersama Wisatawan Belanda
Di siang hari, kami beristirahat dengan minum air putih dan makan biskuit. Selanjutnya kami melanjutkan perjalanan kami ke Pulau Mansinam dengan taksi air. Selama berada di pulau itu kami melihat monumen pendaratan Ottow Geissler yang terletak di pinggir pantai. Saya memberikan sedikit penjelasan tentang bagaimana para utusan Zending berlayar dari Belanda hingga tiba di Pulau Mansinam. Kamimjuga berjalan kami hingga ke puncak pulau yang ada patung Yesus. Setelah itu kami ke pantai Air Salobar. Teriknya matahari membuat kulit para wisatawan Belanda itu memerah. Saya bertanya pada mereka apakah sudah mengoleskan sun-block lotion di kulit mereka. Para wisatawan itu menjawab ya. Namun mereka tidak yakin bahwa lotion itu cukup efektif melindungi kulit orang Eropa yang lebih sensitif terhadap sinar matahari.
Ketika hari sudah sore, kami kembali lagi ke hotel Triton. Perjalanan sore itu sangat menyenangkan buat para wisatawan Belanda tersebut. Saya pun mengucapkan selamat tinggal pada mereka dan pulang ke rumah. Keesokan harinya, para wisatawan Belanda itu melanjutkan perjalanan wisata mereka ke kota lain dengan naik pesawat.
Wisata Nonton Burung Surga di Hutan Papua
Naik Sepeda Motor Keliling Kaimana
Bersepeda di Bali

Christmas Tree Worm

I like snorkeling, freediving and even scuba diving. It is a very good water sport that I like to do when going to the beach. There is a nice beach in southern region of Waigeo island of Raja Ampat which has become my frequent snorkeling spot. Its name is Warduwer. Swimming at this beach, I could see very nice coral reef with a lot of marine life.
There are parrotfish, sweetlips, moorish idol, butterflyfish, and anemonefish. There are other marine creatures as well, such as blue sea star, sea cucumber, burrowing clam, and Christmas Tree Worm.
Blue Spirobranchus giganteus sea worm
Blue Christmas Tree Worm
Christmas Tree Worm is a kind of small mollusc sea animals that lives on the surface of big rocks especially in the shallow water area of coral reef. The most popular species is called Spirobranchus giganteus. There are several colors of them including the yellow, brown, red, blue and green worms. They use their feathery tentacles to catch nutrients (food) in sea water.
Feathery sea worm in Warduwer beach
Sabellastarte sea worm

When I go swimming and snorkeling at Warduwer beach, I bring waterproof camera such as Nikon AW 130 or Fujifilm XQ2 that has been put inside its waterproof case. To take pictures of the Christmas Tree Worm (Spirobranchus giganteus), I have to freedive, and approach the worms very slowly. I must avoid making violent movements in the water that will cause the worms to pull themselves back into their holes. To stabilize my body, I usually grab a hard coral and pull my body deeper into the water so that I could be closer to the beautiful sea creatures.
Spirobranchus giganteus sea worm in Raja Ampat
Orange Christmas Tree Worm
With my left hand holding a hard coral and my right hand holding the camera, I will shoot the Christmas Tree Worms several times. Before shooting, I have to make sure that my camera is in macro mode. This will enable me to position my camera very close to the animal. Most often I reposition my hand on different shooting angles to get better photographs. After taking pictures of the worm, I can move on to shoot other subjects. The average time that I need to descend, position my camera, and shoot the worms is between 30 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds. Because the depths where I freedive is only around 1.5 to 5 meters, I don't wear dive watch.
Coral reef in Raja Ampat
Coral Reef in Raja Ampat
The coral reef of Raja Ampat is a very nice environment for tourists who want to spend their vacation by swimming and snorkeling. I highly recommend it to all marine lovers. - written by Charles Roring

Also read:
Snorkeling and Birding in Raja Ampat
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
A Visit to Waigeo Island

Di ITC Mall, Natal dirayakan dengan tarian tradisional (in Indonesian language)

Wisata Snorkeling di Raja Ampat

Foto bawah laut terumbu karang dan ikan di Pulau Waigeo
Terumbu karang di Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat adalah destinasi wisata bahari yang sudah terkenal di seluruh dunia. Para wisatawan yang berkunjung ke sana, kebanyakan ingin menikmati kegiatan snorkeling atau selam skuba di pulau-pulau tropis yang bertaburan di seantero kepulauan Raja Ampat.
Karena selam skuba memerlukan lisensi khusus maka banyak wisatawan Indonesia yang memilih snorkeling untuk bisa melihat keindahan terumbu karang, ikan yang berwarna-warni serta hewan laut lainnya seperti cacing pohon natal atau bintang laut.
Tidak ada persyaratan khusus yang dibutuhkan oleh orang yang ingin snorkeling. Para wisatawan hanya memerlukan kaca mata selam, pipa napas maka mereka sudah bisa menikmati kegiatan snorkeling.
Wisatawan Jerman dan Prancis sedang snorkeling di Raja Ampat
Kegiatan Snorkeling di Raja Ampat
Snorkeling bahkan bisa dinikmati oleh mereka yang kurang mahir atau tidak tahu berenang. Caranya adalah dengan mengenakan pelampung. Sebagian besar pemilik resort yang ada di Raja Ampat memiliki pelampung yang bisa dipinjam oleh wisatawan. Pelampung-pelampung itu biasanya disimpan di dalam speed-boat atau perahu motor yang dipakai untuk membawa peserta tur ke pulau-pulau yang ada di Kepulauan Raja Ampat.
Untuk memotret ikan dan terumbu karang, wisatawan memerlukan peralatan khusus seperti kamera aksi Gopro atau Brica. Ada juga kamera bawah air Nikon AW 130 atau Fujifilm XQ2 yang dimasukkan ke dalam casing yang kedap air. Saat menggunakan kamera tersebut, pastikan bahwa casing yang melindungi kamera dalam keadaan tertutup rapat. Ini sangat penting untuk mencegah agar kamera tidak mengalami kerusakan saat dioperasikan di dalam air.
Jangan Merusak Terumbu Karang
Para wisatawan yang menikmati wisata snorkeling hendaklah terus mengapung saat berada di terumbu karang. Janganlah berdiri di atasnya karena bisa mengakibatkan patahnya terumbu karang tersebut. Terumbu karang membutuhkan waktu puluhan hingga ratusan tahun untuk mencapai ukuran dewasa. Oleh karena itu demi keselamatan peserta snorkeling dan juga demi kelestarian terumbu karang maka sangat direkomendasikan agar peserta snorkeling mengenakan pelampung (lifejacket). Di samping itu pula, ketika melakukan snorkeling sebaiknya tidak boleh seorang diri. Minimal kegiatan snorkeling dilakukan oleh dua orang. Ini sangat penting demi keselamatan selama di laut.  - ditulis oleh Charles Roring

Baca juga:
Wisata Pengamatan Burung di Pulau Waigeo
Berlibur ke Raja Ampat
Wisata Bahari di Raja Ampat
Wisata Petualangan di Raja Ampat

A Visit to North East Waigeo Island of Raja Ampat

I visited north-east coast of Waigeo island last month. I went there with some friends of mine who were tourist guides. We used a long wooden boat that was driven by two 15 outboard engines. Each had a power of 15 horsepower. We started our trip from the market of Waisai at around 11.00 morning time. The sea was calm. The bright sunlight made the sea atmosphere warm. We traveled a long the coast passing by the sea pass to Mayalibit bay, Yensner and Yenpapir village, Mamiaef island, Sopen and Waim island. It was around 13.00 when we arrived at Yenandau beach. It was a very beautiful white sandy beach. We stopped there for a while to have lunch. 
Traveling to Raja Ampat
White Sand Beach in Waigeo island

Snorkeling with 4 Dutch Tourists

Marine life in anemone
Nemo Fish
Two days ago I had a snorkeling tour with 4 Dutch tourists at Bakaro beach. We left Hotel Triton where they stayed at 09.00 by motorcycle taxis for north-east coast of Manokwari city. It was quite a long ride and we arrived the beach around 15 minutes later. However, we did not walked into the water immediately. We still did some hiking tour through an unprepared road, passing by farmlands that belong to the people in Aipiri village. We also saw a lot of coconut trees that stood along the coastal area. We experienced some rain during the morning walk but it was quite short. After walking for 1 hour, we arrived in Bakaro village. It was a nice place for people who liked swimming and snorkeling because it was located in a bay. The sea was calm and the beach was of white sand. 
Marine environment in coral reef
Red and Black Anemonefish; and Three-spots Dascyllus
The Dutch tourists changed their clothings to the ones that were suitable for swimming. A few minutes later, they walked into the sea to enjoy swimming and snorkeling. It was a clear water and they were able to see coral reef, fish and other marine life in the water. They took the pictures of the marine environment using Gopro camera.
I joined them one hour later. I used a good pair of swim fins, a set of mask and snorkel. I said to them that I would do some freedivings especially in coral reefs where nemo fish thrive. I found some colonies of nemo. They lived together with three-spots dascyllus and other fish as well. 
anemonefish, three spots dascyllus in marine environment
Anemonefish in Coral Reef
To take pictures of them, I dived into the depths of 3 to 5 meters and positioned myself to be on the same eye level with the fish. Slowly I approached the nemofish and then pressed the shutter button of my camera. I made a few photos from several different directions. I used Nikon AW 130. It was quite good for taking snorkeling pictures. After spending around 1 hour in the sea, I and the Dutch tourists returned to the beach. 
Snorkeling trip with 4 Dutch tourists
Charles Roring with some Dutch tourists
We continued our tour to Mansinam island where we visited the cross monument and went hiking to Jesus statue. It was a warm summer day. We made some pictures around the area and then walked down to Air Salobar beach in the south of the island. We stayed there for a while enjoying the beauty of the quite beach. 
We returned to Hotel Triton again at 16.00 local time.
One of the tour participants, had a little wound on his feet. He accidently hit the coral rocks at the beach. There were tiny shards from the coral that stayed in his wounds. So, I called a friend of mine who was a doctor to help take them out. She came with her friends and did a little surgery to take the coral shards out of his wounds. In less than 15 minutes she finished the job. We said thank you and good bye to the Dutch tourists. I returned home again with pictures from the sea that I could share in this blog. - written by Charles Roring
Also read:
Snorkeling and Birding in Raja Ampat
Christmas Tree Worm

Jalan Kaki Menyehatkan Tubuh Kita

Olah raga yang murah dan menyehatkan adalah jalan kaki
Jalan kaki di hutan Papua
Saya sering jalan kaki baik saat bekerja mengantar wisatawan atau ketika sedang berolah-raga. Karena pekerjaan saya adalah seorang pramuwisata maka saya terkadang harus mengantar tamu di hutan atau di jalan-jalan sepi yang ada pepohonannya. Tujuan utama dari kegiatan jalan di alam atau di tepi hutan adalah untuk mengamati burung. Jika saya atau wisatawannya melihat burung di pepohonan maka kami akan berhenti sejenak untuk mengamatinya dengan binoculars atau dengan spotting scope. Kadang-kadang saya harus memotret burung itu dan mengidentifikasi nama spesiesnya.

Jalan kaki sebagai aktivitas wisata ternyata memiliki manfaat yang besar bagi kesehatan. Saya merasa bahwa otot-otot baik di betis, paha, maupun pinggang, punggung dan lengan semuanya ikut bergerak. Karena tubuh bergerak secara otomatis jantung kita juga bekerja untuk memperlancar peredaran darah dalam tubuh kita. Peredaran darah yang lancar akan menjamin tercukupnya suplai energi, dan oksigen ke seluruh bagian tubuh kita dan juga memperlancar pengeluaran racun-racun yang tersimpan di dalam tubuh kita.
Wisatawan Polandia saat menjelajahi hutan di Pegunungan Tambrauw
Karena sebagian besar aktivitas jalan yang saya lakukan bersama wisatawan  terjadi di kawasan yang banyak pepohonannya maka otomatis saya bisa melihat pemandangan pohon-pohon hijau, bunga, gunung dan lembah serta laut yang membiru. Ini semua memberi penyegaran bagi mata, dan pikiran saya. Istilah yang lebih dikenal oleh masyarakat adalah refreshing. Kita perlu sekali refreshing jika kita sudah terlalu lama bergelut dengan aktivitas rutin di kantor, di bengkel, atau di rumah. Jalan kaki adalah olah raga yang murah dan menyehatkan. Namun demikian lokasi di mana kita berjalan bisa menentukan apakah membawa manfaat bagi kesehatan kita atau tidak. Contohnya, kalau kita berjalan di jalan rayayang padat kendaraan bermotor dan dalam keadaan macet, ini tentu akan merugikan kesehatan kita. Mengapa demikian? Karena bukan udara bersih yang kita hirup melainkan asap kendaraan yang mengandung gas karbon monoksida yang beracun.
Jalan kaki yang teratur akan memungkinkan kita untuk membakar kelebihan lemak yang ada di dalam tubuh, baik yang berada di bawah kulit maupun yang berada di dalam saluran pembuluh darah. Orang yang berjalan secara teratur akan memiliki tubuh yang seimbang. Debar jantungnya juga normal serta kadar gula dalam tubuhnya berada pada level yang aman.
Jika Anda merasa tidak punya waktu untuk pergi keluar kota untuk berolah-raga, mungkin beberapa tips berikut bisa membantu:
  • Saat berada di rumah dan duduk menonton tv, mungkin Anda bisa melakulannya dengan menggerakkan bagian tubuh seperti kaki dan tangan. Olah raga senam, jalan di tempat bisa membantu Anda untuk memperlancar peredaran darah dan melemaskan otot-otot.
  • Ketika bepergian ke mall, hotel, kantor coba hindari penggunaan lift. Dengan menggunakan tangga, secara tidak langsung kita telah berolah raga tanpa harus meninggalkan tempat kerja kita.
  • Ketika kita berjalan kaki, kita mengeluarkan energi. Ini sangat bermanfaat karena tubuh kita bisa menyeimbangkan kadar gula dalam darah. Kadar gula yang stabil akan mencegah kita dari penyakit diabetes.
  • Kalau kita melakukan kegiatan jalan di alam dengan jarak tempuh yang jauh hingga beberapa kilometer, pastikan bahwa di dalam tas yang kita bawa ada air minum, biskuit atau energy bar. Food supplement seperti biskuit, atau wafer coklat dan permen yang mengandung gula dan garam akan menjadi suplai energi yang sangat dibutuhkan oleh tubuh kita yang sedang melakukan aktivitas fisik dalam jangka waktu yang lama. Di samping itu pula, keringat yang kita keluarkan dari tubuh ketika sedang berjalan harus diganti dengan asupan cairan yang baru agar kita tidak menderita dehidrasi. Dalam kasus ini, kita bisa menegak minuman ion seperti pocari sweat atau merek yang sejenis. 
Semoga setelah membaca tulisan ini, Anda tergerak untuk berjalan kaki setiap hari. Ingat! Jalan kaki sangat bermanfaat bagi kesehatan kita. - ditulis oleh Charles Roring
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Wildlife Tour in Raja Ampat

Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) in Waigeo island
Red Bird of Paradise
The rainforest of Waigeo island is a good destination for visitors who want to see the wildlife of Raja Ampat. From previous trips that I organize for tourists, we saw a lot of beautiful birds such as Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Moluccan King Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Blyth's Hornbill, and Common Paradise Kingfisher and a lot more. Birds are usually active in the mornings and in the evenings. To watch them, we need to bring binoculars and if possible spotting scopes. Sometimes we go birding and wildlife watching by car to reach remote areas in eastern and southern region of Waigeo island. For visitors who want to watch White-bellied Sea Eagle, Beach Kingfisher, and Spice Imperial Pigeon, they could take a tour to Kabui bay. I organize sightseeing and birding tour by boat to the bay. 
Anemonefish in Raja Ampat
For taking pictures of wild animals in the forest, we need camera with telephoto lens. In the past, I used Nikon P500, Nikon P600, Fujifilm HS50EXR. Now I use Canon 200 D with 150-600 mm lens. Visitors who want to buy camera for taking pictures and videos of wildlife could buy such cameras as Nikon Coolpix P900, Nikon Coolpix P1000 or Canon SX70HS. Professional photographers usually bring D-SLR cameras with telephoto lens.
This birding and wildlife watching trip to Raja Ampat is combined with swimming and snorkeling activities where participants can see anemonefish, butterflyfish, parrotfish, wrasse, moorish idol, surgeonfish and a lot more.
Birds are not the only animals which we can see in the forest of Waigeo. If we are lucky, we can see ikaheka white snake which is very venomous, Idea durvillei butterfly, cuscus possum and soa-soa lizard.
Soa-soa lizard of Waigeo island
Soa-soa Lizard of Waigeo island
For plants, there are a lot of flowers which we could find in the forest including Red Pitcher Plant of Kabui bay, Beach Hibiscus, and the Tiger Orchid.
Most often the rainforest wildlife watching tour that I organize is combined with snorkeling activities where tourists can swim over coral reef area to see tropical fish such as moorish idol, grouper, lionfish, butterflyfish and even the tasselled wobbegong. There are several beach areas that are suitable for snorkeling including Warduwer beach, Gam Karst, Friwen, Mioskon and Five Rocks. Bringing a waterproof camera such as Gopro, Nikon W300 will enhance the snorkeling experience. I use Fujifilm XQ2 with water housing and Nikon 130.
The duration of the wildlife tour in Raja Ampat can be as short as 3 days to as long as 2 weeks.
If you are interested in visiting Raja Ampat and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Also read:

Vogelkop Bowerbird

Burung pintar (Amblyornis inornata) di Pegunungan Arfak Manokwari
Male Vogelkop Bowerbird stood in front of his bower


Bowerbird is a species of bird that lives in higher elevation forest of bird's head region in West Papua. The bird is called burung pintar (meaning literally smart bird) by local people. I have seen the bowerbird since 2010 when I guide tourists on birding tours to Arfak mountains.

Snorkeling and Birding in Raja Ampat

Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus)
Palm Cockatoo in Waigeo island
I often visit Raja Ampat islands to organize snorkeling, birdwatching and sightseeing boat tour for tourists who like to see the nature life of these tropical islands both underwater and above the water. I usually begin my tour by meeting the participants in a hotel or airport of Sorong city. After that I arrange their transfer to harbor and then by fast ferry boat to Waigeo island. 
The choice of accommodation depends on the request of my customers. They may choose to stay in a comfortable beach resort whose rate per night is more than 100 USD or in a simple homestay whose rate per person per night is approximately 50 USD. Food is provided by the resort or homestay owners throughout the tour. The transfer to the guesthouse can be conducted by car or by boat depending on its location. Arriving at their bedrooms, participants of the tour can take a rest for a while. Lunch is usually served.

Watching The Courtship Dance of Red Bird of Paradise

Birding in Raja Ampat with Charles Roring
Male Red Bird of Paradise
Every time I organize birding trip to Raja Ampat islands, I will always include Red Bird of Paradise as one of the most important targets which tour participants need to watch. The lek of Red BOP is located deep in the tropical rainforest of Waigeo island. The birds gather on certain tree to dance and mate.
Last week, I guided 2 American birdwatchers on a few days hiking and birding trip in Waigeo island. We went hiking in southern region of Waigeo island on the second day of our stay in Raja Ampat. We started at 05.00. It was still dark. We had to use flashlight. Slowly we walked up the steep slopes through a narrow footpath. It took around one hour to reach our birding ground.

Western Parotia - the Ballet Dancer



Male Western Parotia - a black bird that dances like ballerina
Male Western Parotia perched on a hanging vine
I have just returned from a 12-day hiking and birding tour across West Papua province from Raja Ampat to Sorong and Arfak mountains. I guided two birding tourists from the United States. During the tour, I saw a lot of species of birds and other animals. One of the birds that attracted my attention was Western Parotia. This bird of paradise did not have beautiful feather like the Lesser Birds of Paradise. However, it was considered as one of the most attractive birds of paradise in the world.
Western Parotia lived in mid montane forest of vogelkop region of West Papua. Its feather was mostly black with metallic breast shield feather.
To watch Western Parotia, I and the tour participants had to wake up at 04.30. It was still dark and cold. We made preparation by wearing proper clothing and hiking/ sport shoes. After that, we had tea/ coffee and some biscuits as our morning snacks. At approximately 05.00, we left the guesthouse where we stayed for the dancing ground of the paradise bird. Because it was still dark, we used flashlight. The path to the birding ground was steep. The American birders brought walking sticks to help them walking up the slopes. Sometimes, we had to make several stops to adjust our breath. It took around 30 minutes for us to reach our destination.

Snorkeling Tour in Raja Ampat

Snorkeling Raja Ampat
Snorkeling picture from Raja Ampat
I organize snorkeling tour for visitors who want to see the colorful fish and coral reef in Raja Ampat islands. There are a lot of species of fish which tour participants can see such as the anemonefish, wrasse, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, leopard blenny, sweetlips, parrotfish, and moorish idol. Some snorkeling sites that I recommend are:
  • Warduwer beach - this is a beach that is located in southern region of Waigeo island. The reef flat area of the beach is flat and suitable for entry level snorkeler to enjoy the beautiful marine life of Raja Ampat. A beach resort called Raja Ampat Flow Resort is being built. Soon, it will be ready to serve tourists who want to visit the islands and stay in the resort.
  • Mioskon
  • Friwen
  • Inner Gam
  • Yenbuba strait
  • West Mansuar
  • Five Rocks
Snorkeling Gear - To enjoy snorkeling in Raja Ampat islands, I suggest that visitors bring their own snorkeling gears such as mask, snorkel, and fins so that they will be perfectly fit on to the faces, and feet of the snorkelers.
Underwater camera - Taking pictures of fish, and other marine creatures can now be done using waterproof cameras such as Nikon W300, Nikon AW130, Fujifilm XQ2 with waterhousing, Fujifilm XP80, Olympus TG-6. Action camera such as the GoPro Hero 7, or Sony Cybershot DSC RX0 II is an ideal photographic device for snorkeling enthusiasts.
If you plan to enjoy snorkeling and want me to be your guide, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

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I Scuba Dived in Mioskon of Raja Ampat this morning

I had a nice diving experience in Raja Ampat today. I saw a lot of species of reef fish in the waters of Mioskon. It was a small uninhabited islet near Gam island. I and two American tourists, Bruce and Paige Hancock are staying in Raja Ampat Dive Resort. Our main goal of visiting Waigeo was to watch tropical birds in this beautiful regency. I work as their birding guide.
Indonesia's best dive site
Scuba Diving in Raja Ampat
The night before we did the diving excursion, we had a long conversation during dinner time. We discussed about marine life, coral reef and scuba diving. Because Bruce and Paige like scuba diving, they offered me to scuba dive with them. Well, I could not reject their offer. So, I said, "yes."
The next morning (9 July 2019), we had breakfast at 07.00. After that we made some preparations. Our dive instructor gave us a short breafing about the dive plan. At 15 minutes after eight, we left our dive resort for Mioskon islet by a small speedboat. There were three dive guides who accompanied us plus one boat driver. It took around fifteen minutes for us to reach the islet.
Marine Life in Raja Ampat's Mioskon
Marine Life in Mioskon
We started to wear fins, weights, BCDs, and then tanks. I applied some liquid soap to my mask and then rinsed it with water to clear it from dirts and salt deposits. After wearing it, I put the mouth-piece of my regulator into my mouth. When everything was ready, we jumped into the water.
The dive guides asked us to go down. I pressed the deflate button and there I decended into the reef. The sea was calm and the visibility was very good. Slowly we paddled to deeper water. I held my camera in my right hand. I turned it on and began to take pictures and videos. There were anemonefish,  sweetlips, batfish, grouper, fuselier, blenny, and a lot more. As the we went deeper, the pictures that I made became bluish and darker. However, the Nikon AW130 that I used was quite good for taking underwater pictures. I encountered schools of sweetlips several times. I saw one Panther Grouper hiding under a leaf coral. There were also other grouper in the reef. I also made some video clips which I plan to edit and upload in youtube. Overall, the dive in Mioskon was a good experience. The coral reef was rich of marine life.
After diving in Mioskon, we continued our exploration of Raja Ampat seascape to Kabui bay. Here, we enjoyed snorkeling, sightseeing and birdwatching among karst formations. Some of the birds that we saw were Spice Imperial Pigeon, Little-pied Cormmorant, Lesser-crested Tern, Sooty Tern, Lesser Frigatebird, Singing Starling, Dollarbird, Moustached Treeswift, Striated Heron, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Torresian Crow, Eastern Reef Egret, and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.
Raja Ampat is very beautiful especially for those who like swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. It is also a nice destination for birding visitors. So, I highly recommend it to all nature lovers who like to see this marine and rainforest environment of Indonesia.
Someone has to be healthy in order to scuba dive. Because the temperature of sea water is different from the temperature of the air, a scuba diver needs to eat some carbohydrate to keep his or her body warm. Fruits that contain multi-vitamins will improve the metabolism and physical endurance of a scuba diver. I do not consume food supplements regularly so I eat food that can improve my physical health,. To keep the muscles in good shape, regular exercise is a must. - written by Charles Roring
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Wisata Nonton Burung di Waigeo Raja Ampat

Burung Bidadari Cendrawasih Merah Waigeo
Burung Surga Merah (Paradisaea rubra)
Tadi pagi subuh, saya dan 2 orang wisatawan Amerika, Bpk. Bruce and Ibu Paige Harvey berangkat dari bandara internasional Sultan Hasanuddin Makassar ke kota Sorong di Provinsi Papua Barat. Jam 03.30, kami naik pesawat Bombardier CRJ 1000 Next Generation yang dioperasikan oleh maskapai Garuda. Pelayanan di dalam pesawat sangat bagus. Nasi ayam yang masih hangat dan puding yang disajikan kepada para penumpang sangatlah lezat. Setelah tiba, kami masih singgah sebentar di hotel Swissbel untuk menikmati sarapan. Saya memilih buah melon, dan semangka serta jus buah guava sebagai menu utama karena saya perlu meningkatkan data tahan tubuh. Buah-buah itu mengandung Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, dan Vitamin K serta zat besi, mangan dan magnesium yang diperlukan tubuh untuk menjaga stamina agar tetap prima.
Setelah itu, kami berangkat menuju Waisai dengan kapal cepat. Waktu tempuh adalah sekitar dua jam. Pada mulanya cuaca cukup cerah dan laut tenang. Saat kapal mendekati pulau Waigeo, laut mulai bergelombang dan kapal terasa bergoyang agak kuat. Untung saja tidak lama kemudian kami merapat di pelabuhan. Staff Raja Ampat Dive Resort (RADAR) sudah menunggu di dermaga untuk menjemput kami. 
Tujuan utama kami ke Raja Ampat adalah untuk menonton burung. Oleh karena itu, segera setelah menaruh tas di kamar, saya sudah siap di lobi resort untuk memandu mereka. Ternyata hanya Ibu Paige yang ingin sekali untuk menonton burung tropis Papua. Bapak Bruce lebih memilih beristirahat sambil membaca buku di pelataran resort yang menghadap ke laut.
Helmetted Friarbird
Helmetted Friarbird
Saya membawa laser pointer, spotting scope, binocular dan buku panduan lapangan: Birds of New Guinea karangan Thane K. Pratt dan Bruce Beehler. Kami mulai berjalan sepanjang pantai ke arah timur. Kurang dari 3 menit, kami sudah mendengar suara wus... wus... wus... di antara pepohonan tinggi. Ternyata dua ekor burung taun-taun (Blyth's hornbill) terbang meninggalkan dahan tempat mereka bertengger setelah mendengar suara kami. 
Kami pun terus berjalan sepanjang tepian pantai yang mulai berubah komposisinya menjadi lebih berbatu-batu. Di udara tiba-tiba saja kami melihat dua ekor burung, yang kecil berwarna hitam bernama Willie Wagtail dan yang lebih besar sayapnya coklat adalah Brahminy Kite. Willie Wagtail sedang mengejar atau mengusir Brahminy Kite. Mungkin sang Willie Wagtail yang bertubuh kecil berusaha untuk melindungi anaknya dari serangan sang predator. Saat menyusuri jalan setapak menuju jalan raya, kami melihat Helmetted Friarbird dan Oriental Dollarbird. Ada juga beberapa ekor kakaktua jambul kuning (Sulphur-crested Cockatoo) yang berteriak-teriak dari cabang pohon yang tinggi di kejauhan. Untuk melihat mereka, saya memasang spotting scope. 
Para pengendara sepeda motor memberi sapaan "Hello Mester" kepada kami. Ada beberapa anak Papua yang sedang duduk di rumah kebun yang terletak di sebuah bukit di pinggir jalan. Rumah kebunnya belum selesai - masih berupa rangka dan lantai kayu. Saya dan ibu Paige singgah sejenak. Ada pohon mangga dan beberapa pohon lainnya di sekitar rangka rumah tersebut. Kami beristirahat sambil menikmati hembusan angin dan bayangan teduh yang disediakan oleh pohon-pohon di sekitar kami. Ibu Paige memberitahuku bahwa di depan kami, di pucuk bambu yang berada di lereng bukit, ada seekor burung yang bertengger dengan tenang. Ukurannya kecil. Saya mengangkat binocular untuk melihatnya. Ternyata itu adalah burung White-breasted Wood-Swallow. Burung-burung seperti Eastern Osprey, Eclectus Parrot, terbang cepat di sela-sela pohon. Sepuluh menit kemudian, kami sudah mulai lagi berjalan, di puncak bukit kami melihat burung Oriental Dollarbird. Suhu udara semakin terasa panas dan kami tidak membawa air minum. Akhirnya kami memutuskan untuk kembali ke resort. Masih di dekat puncak bukit ada pohon yang berbuah lebat. Ukuran buahnya kecil seperti kelereng serta kebanyakan berwarna merah. Beberapa ekor burung hinggap di pohon itu. Ternyata mereka adalah Hooded Butcherbird yang sangat terkenal dengan suaranya yang merdu. Warnanya hitam dan putih serta warna paruh yang abu-abu.
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (kakaktua jambul kuning)
Kakaktua Jambul Kuning
Setelah tiba di Raja Ampat Dive Resort, kami beristirahat selama 2 jam. Sore harinya, pada pukul 17.00, kami jalan birding lagi. Ada sejumlah spesies tambahan yang berhasil kami lihat seperti sepasang Pinon Imperial Pigeon yang lagi bersayang-sayangan di ujung cabang pohon, serta Rufuous-bellied Kookaburra yang indah sekali. Sayapnya biru, dada dan perutnya berwarna merah. Paruhnya putih. Ketika matahari telah hilang dari cakrawala, kami pun bersiap-siap pulang. Seekor Kakaktua Raja (Palm Cockatoo) terbang ke arah barat, seakan memberi tanda bahwa sebentar lagi malam segera tiba. Kami pun pulang ke resort dengan hati senang.
Hari berikutnya, kami melakukan penjelajahan hutan di pagi hari mulai dari jam 05.00 hingga jam 11.00. Kami berhasil melihat burung Cendrawasih Merah (Paradisaea rubra). Orang menyebutnya juga burung Bidadari Raja Ampat.
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Bandara Sultan Hasanuddin Makassar

Bandara Internasional Sultan Hasanuddin
Bandara Sultan Hasanuddin
Saat ini saya sedang berada di Bandar Udara Internasional Sultan Hasanuddin di kota Makassar, Provinsi Sulawesi Selatan. Sebenarnya bandara ini terletak di Kabupaten Maros. Di zaman orde baru, nama kota Makassar adalah Ujung Pandang. Nama Sultan Hasanuddin diambil dari seorang pahlawan nasional Indonesia yang berjuang melawan penjajah Belanda.
Bandara Internasional Sultan Hasanuddin adalah salah satu lapangan terbang tersibuk di kawasan tengah dan timur Indonesia. Maskapai penerbangan nasional seperti Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik, Lion Air, Wings, yang menerbangkan pesawatnya di sini.
Di dalam kompleks bandara sendiri, ada berbagai fasilitas yang tersedia untuk melayani masyarakat atau penumpang transit.
Makassar Sulawesi Selatan
Bagian depan pintu keberangkatan
Ada hotel Ibis Budget yang menyediakan kamar dengan harga yang cukup terjangkau untuk para pelancong yang menginap sesaat di bandara sebelum melanjutkan perjalanan mereka ke kota lain. Ukuran kamar di hotel Ibis adalah kecil. Namun demikian hotel ini tergolong nyaman. AC-nya dingin, kamar mandi dan wc dibuat terpisah. Fasilitas internet wifi gratis juga disediakan tapi khusus untuk tamu yang menginap. Hotel Ibis Budget sangat populer di mata para pelancong yang singgah di bandara Sultan Hasanuddin Makassar.
Telkomsel juga memiliki tempat penjualan pulsa telpon, paket data maupun kartu perdana.
ATM center terletak di belakang restoran fastfood AW yang berada bersebelahan dengan tempat kedatangan penumpang. Ada juga bank BRI dan BNI. Di samping itu pula berbagai warung makan tersedia untuk siapa saja yang ingin menikmati hidangan khas Sulawesi Selatan seperti Es Pisang Ijo atau Coto Makassar. Kafe Starbucks terletak tidak jauh dari pintu keberangkatan.
Terminal penumpang bandara Sultan Hasanuddin bangunannya megah, modern dan gemerlap di malam hari. Wisatawan domestik maupun manca negara yang singgah di bandara ini pasti merasa nyaman saat berada di sana. Untuk melengkapi kekhasan bandara ini, pengelola bandara menaruh replika kapal Phinisi di pelataran depan ysng berdekatan dengan taman dan pepohonan. Di dalam ruang tunggu penumpang, ada juga replika kapal phinisi tersebut dalam ukuran yang lebih kecil.
Bandara Sultan Hasanuddin adalah kebanggaan masyarakat dan pemerintah tidak hanya Sulawesi Selatan tetapi juga Indonesia secara keseluruhan. - ditulis oleh Charles Roring
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