Saturday, March 21, 2020

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
While walking, we were welcomed by the sounds of Olive-backed Sunbird. It was easy for us to find this tiny bird because his yellow belly looked bright when exposed to morning sunlight. On the first stop of our hiking journey, we saw another small bird. It was a Mimic Meliphaga. He did not make many calls. So, we had to carefully see every branch and twig of trees in front of us in order to find him. It was a fleeting moment. The bird flew into the woods. 
We continued hiking again, this time, the trails were steeper. We carefully walked up the slopes that were now slippery until we reached the top. On the other side of the ravine, we could hear the calls of some Rufous-bellied Kookaburra. They sat among the leaves and branches of trees quite far from us. It was difficult to find them.
Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud) Photo by Charles Roring
Rufous-bellied Kookaburra
Walking through meadows
After the steep slopes, we were now on the ridge of the hills. From this area, we could see beautiful scenery of forest and meadow on the hills and their slopes. We just followed the walking paths. I brought my 20-60×60mm spotting scope and binoculars. The British couple had their own binoculars. So, we could enjoy birdwatching along the ridge of the hills. After walking for 2 hours, we reached the forest edge that separates the meadow and the forest. There, we saw Emperor Fairy Wren, Yellow-faced Myna, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Helmetted Friarbird, and Variable Goshawk. There was a small bird whose physical appearance was similar to fairywren. We could not identify it. I planned to return to this hill with better camera so that I could take some pictures to identify the bird.
The landscape was very beautiful. We took a rest at a river below the hills. We had some traditional cakes that I bought that morning. We enjoyed the fresh air of the forest and could hear the wing beats of Blyth's Hornbill that were flying above the canopy. 
In the afternoon, we slowly walked back to the foot of the hills and return to the city again by car.
Sorong is a city in Papua Barat province of Indonesia. It is an important gate for tourists who want to travel to Raja Ampat islands which are important destination for marine tourism. Sorong itself is located in the western tip of mainland Papua island.
International visitors who want to enjoy their holiday in Sorong and Raja Ampat need to fly to major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Denpasar-Bali or Manado. Daily flights that connect Sorong and these cities are available every day and are served by such airlines as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik and Lion Air.
There are a lot of hotels in the city too starting from the budget ones like Lido, and Family Guardian to middle class level such as Belagri, Je Meridien and Swissbel.
If you are interested in taking hiking tour in Sorong city and want me to guide you, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

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