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Riverwalk, Birdwatching and Camping Tour in Rainforest of Manokwari

I organize riverwalk and camping tour in several rainforest areas of West Papua such as in Waigeo island, Tambrauw regency and in Manokwari. Tourists like the activity because they are able to watch birds, insects, reptiles, and mammals that live along the banks of the river.
The duration of the tour is around 3 to 5 days. Before doing the tour, I buy food materials such as rice, smoked fish, eggs, tempe (fermented soybean cake), fruits and some vegetables. I also prepare dome tents, mattrasses, a big sheet of plastic tarp, cooking and eating utensils, binoculars, spotting scope with tripod, camera, and solar powered lights. There are jungle vegetables that we harvest when we stay in the forest. Some of them include ganemo, kangkung, or sayur paku (fern leaves that are edible as vegetables).
Swiss tourists were enjoying riverwalk and camping tour in Manokwari.
Riverwalk Tour in Manokwari
Watching birds and other animals along the banks of the river is easy because there are a lot of open spaces. Birds such as Blyth's hornbill, and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo often fly over the river.

Nesting Season of Leatherback Turtle

We are now at the end of March 2020 - the time where massive spread of Corona-virus disease is reaching all corners of the world. Human is now struggling to survive.  Travel industry is one of the economic sectors that is severly hit by this pandemic. Millions of people become jobless. 
We are going to enter April. Soon, on the other side of the globe, the nesting season of Leatherback turtles will come. It is the time where mother turtles swim to the beach to lay eggs. They can now lay their eggs in peace. No flashes of cameras from tourists and researchers will distract them. Unfortunately, there are still soa-soa monitor lizards, dogs, crocodiles, and boars that are waiting for them at these remote beaches.
slide animation of leatherback turtle in Indonesia
Leatherback turtle of Tambrauw regency
In Indonesia, there are several beaches where these giant turtles like to come to lay eggs. They are Warebar beach in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat archipelago; Jen Womom and Wermon in the northern coast of Tambrauw regency. It takes around 45 to 55 days for the eggs to hatch. Personally, I used to see newly hatched baby turtles at Jen Womom and Warebar. They were beautiful creatures.

Pigeons and Fruit Doves in West Papua's Forest

Pigeons and fruit doves are important animals for the ecosystem of tropical rainforest in West Papua. They feed on fruits and drop their seeds throughout the forest. They are seed dispersers. They are the ones that grow the forest.
Various species of pigeons and fruit doves live in tropical rainforest of Papua from lowland to higher montane region. Here are some of them:
  • Pinon Imperial Pigeon - I have seen the bird since I was a child in my parents' clove garden. Years later, when I guided a British lady on an adventure trip to see wild animals, flowers and unique tropical plants in lowland forest of Manokwari, I saw the bird again and took picture of it for the first time. I used Nikon Coolpix P500 with its 30× optical zoom. It was my first point and shoot camera. The bird is often hunted by local people as the source of protein for them. We stayed for several nights in a simple basecamp near a river. 
Pinon Imperial Pigeon
Pinon Imperial Pigeon

Cockatoos and Parrots in West Papua

New Guinea Vulturine Parrot in Ases valley  Photo by Charles Roring
New Guinea Vulturine Parrot in Ases Valley of Tambrauw Mountains
There are a lot of parrots and cockatoos in West Papua. I usually see them when I guide birdwatching visitors on tours in Raja Ampat, Sorong, Tambrauw and Manokwari. Most of the pictures in this blog post were taken using Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600 mm G2 lens.

Hiking Tour in Sorong

Early this week, I ran a hiking tour for a British couple, Alan and Jill, who wanted to watch birds, insects, and reptiles and see landscape of Sorong's rainforest. We left Swissbel hotel at 05.30 to a place in the outskirts of the city. In the morning, the streets were not crowded. So, our car could move faster. Arriving at our destination, we continued our trip on foot by hiking up slopes that led us to hills. The morning sunlight began to iluminate trees around us. 
Hill forest in West Papua of Indonesia
Hiking tour in Sorong

Sulawesi Hanging Parrot

When I guided a Dutch lady on nature and birding tour in North Sulawesi province of Indonesia, I took a lot of pictures of birds in the forest, farmland, and mountains. One of them was Sulawesi Hanging Parrot (Loriculus stigmatus). We saw both male and female in a papaya tree. The birds were eating one of the riped fruits that was still hanging in the tree.
Sulawesi Hanging Parrot
A female Sulawesi Hanging Parrot

Butterflyfish and Angelfish in Raja Ampat

When I go to Raja Ampat to guide tourist(s) on a birdwatching, sightseeing and snorkeling tour, I always, provide time to explore the coral reef of the archipelago and to take pictures of its reef fish. Early this month, I visited Raja Ampat with an American tourist. We stayed in the southern region of Waigeo island and did some tours to its nearby beaches and islands. We enjoyed snorkeling every day. I brought a compact camera Fujifilm XQ2 with its waterproof case. Using this small device, I could take pictures of coral reef, fish, and other interesting marine creatures. There were a lot of species of colorful fish.
Vermiculated Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus mesoleucus) and Saddled Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ephippium)
Angelfish and Butterflyfish

Dendrobium antennatum

Here is the picture of Dendrobium antennatum that I saw in a homestay in Raja Ampat. This orchid flower is locally called anggrek kelinci (anggrek means orchid and kelinci means rabbit). Its natural habitat was coastal rainforest. In wikipedia, it says that the flower plant is called the Green Antelope Orchid.
Rabbit Orchid (Dendrobium antennatum) in Raja Ampat archipelago
I used to see the orchids in Manokwari, and Kaimana in Papua Barat province of Indonesia. Here, people usually grow the flower plant by attaching and tying it onto the trunk of a tree. In the above photograph, the owner tied it on the wooden post of the jetty. 
The backyard of the homestay where I stayed was a huge rainforest. This orchid, I think, was taken from the forest. The hill forest itself was the natural habitat of a lot of species of tropical plants, insects, reptiles, mammals, and birds. 
Christmas Tree Worm in Waigeo island  photo: Charles Roring
Christmas Tree Worm in Waigeo island
I stayed for nearly a week in that homestay guiding an American visitor on a snorkeling and birdwatching tour in Raja Ampat. We watched a lot of tropical birds including Red Bird of Paradise, and Wilson's Bird of Paradise as well as Beach Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, and Palm Cockatoo. In the coral reef, we saw Clown Anemonefish, Clark's Anemonefish, Moorish Idol, Striped Surgeonfish, Saddleback Butterflyfish, Emperor Angelfish and a lot more.

Snorkeling and Birdwatching Tour

Early this month I guided a solo traveler to Raja Ampat islands in West Papua province of Indonesia. We spent nearly 1 week enjoying snorkeling, and birdwatching in some tropical islands and their coral reef areas to see various kinds of fish. To take pictures of marine life, I brought my Fujifilm XQ2 and its waterproof case. The camera is small enough when inserted into my travel bag. 
Beautiful scenery of Kabui bay between Gam and Waigeo island
Kabui bay of Raja Ampat