Thursday, December 31, 2020

Snorkeling Widens Our Knowledge of Marine Environment

Snorkeling is a marine sport that allows us to widen our knowledge about marine environment. I often guide tourists on various snorkeling tours in West Papua. About places where I go with my clients, you could read my previous post Recommended Snorkeling Sites in West Papua.

snorkeling trip to West Papua with Charles Roring
Some Snorkeling Photos of Mine

People can enjoy snorkeling at a beach, a river or a lake. I like snorkeling over coral reef areas because they are the natural habitat of a lot of marine creatures. I usually bring an underwater camera to record some videos and take pictures of fish and corals. 

Some current or waves makes my body unstable in the water. So, I find hard coral and  with my left hand, I hold it. I could hold my breath for around 1 minute underwater. That's enough for me to take pictures of the marine life. 

In order not to break the corals, I position my body and feet floating in the water. After taking a number of underwater photographs or videos, I go up to the surface again. 

Later when I have returned to my house, I will try to identify fish that I see using a field guide book Reef Fish Identification Tropical Pacific. 

By enjoying snorkeling, I and the tourists whom I guide can see various species of fish and marine creatures that live in coral reef. They are beautiful and colorful. Coral reef is similar to tropical rainforest. It is the habitas of a lot of species of plants and animals. It is also a great natural resource for anyone who is interested in studying about marine science. 

If you are interested in taking a snorkeling tour with me to coral areas in West Papua, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Recommended Snorkeling Sites in West Papua

I often guide tourists on various vacation tours in West Papua province of Indonesia. We enjoy snorkeling in coral reef sites as well as go hiking and wildlife watching in the forest areas. The durations of the tours are between 1 to 2 weeks or even more. 

snorkeling in West Papua of Indonesia
Snorkeling in West Papua

There are a lot of coral reef sites in West Papua province of Indonesia. Some of them are described below: 

Wondama - This is a regency in West Papua. It has got a lot of big and small islands that are surrounded by coral reefs. Its capital is Rasiei town. Most part of the National Park of Cendrawasih Bay is inside the territory of Wondama. Along the coast of Wondama town there are coral reefs, visitors can enjoy snorkeling over them. The snorkeling tours can be continued further to islands at the tip of Wondama Bay. For visitors who want to see villages to meet local people and explore rainforest to see birds and wildlife, Wondama regency is a highly recommended destination especially for budget travellers.

Raja Ampat - There are two small satellite islands in the east of Waigeo of Raja Ampat. They are called Waim and Mamiaef islands. They are not mentioned in the usual travel brochure about Raja Ampat tourism. But these empty islands are very beautiful. White sandy beach, coconut trees, and pristine coral reef are the typical scenery that most tourists will see there. I used to enjoy snorkeling in a lot of coral reef sites in Raja Ampat including Arborek, Yenbuba Strait, Mansuar island, Kri island, Piaynemo, Friwen, Kabui Bay, and a lot more. They are beautiful. Raja Ampat has got the richest marine biodiversity in the world. Misool, Batanta and Kofiau are important sites for snorkeling and scuba diving too. In my personal opinion, Kofiau islands and Batanta, although remotely located, are worth visiting. Marine life is abundant there.

Manokwari - as the capital of Papua Barat (meaning: West Papua) province, it can easily be reached by passenger planes operated by Sriwijaya Air, Batik Air and Lion Air. Coral reefs can be found in the eastern part of Manokwari. Manokwari is also the entrance gate for visitors who want to travel to Wondama. Manokwari is also an important destination for those who are interested in taking rainforest tours.

During 2020, the Indonesian government limit the influx tourists to this country due to Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, the world will start introducing vaccines. We hope that after the introduction of the vaccines, people will be able to travel again as usual and the snorkeling sites can be visited by tourists.

 Also read:

Coral Reef in the Waters of Manokwari

Monday, December 28, 2020

Birdwatching in West Papua - slideshow of birds

Here are some of the many bird pictures that I took while guiding visitors on various birdwatching and wildlife watching tour in West Papua province of Indonesia.

The tour is not only limited to birding. In the tours, activities such as swimming and snorkeling over coral reef, traveling to remote islands and visiting villages as cultural interactions with local people are included in the itinerary.

If you are interested in taking a birdwatching and wildlife watching tour in West Papua, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Birdwatching Trip to Wondama

Early this month I had two trips to Wondama Bay. I visited a lot of places in the coastal area and in the forest. I brought my binoculars and spotting scope so that I could fully enjoy birdwatching. In the coastal area of Rasiei and Rowi, birds such as Little Egret, Lesser Frigatebird, Grey Crow, Shining Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, and Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker. 

Blyth's Hornbill were flying in Wondama's Forest

I also explored the lowland and hill forest in its northern region to do general birding. There, I saw Spangled Drongo, Golden Myna, Eclectus Parrot, Black-capped Lory, Coconut Lorikeet, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Red Myzomela, Hooded Butherbird, Blyth's Hornbill, Lowland Peltop, Common Paradise Kingfisher. At the beach, there are White-bellied Sea Eagle, Little Tern, Olive-backed Sunbird, and a lot more.

Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus)
Eclectus Parrot photo taken at dawn)

Wondama is a regency in West Papua province of Indonesia. To reach it, you need to fly from your country to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia. Domestic airlines such as Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air and Lion Air provide regular flight services between Jakarta and Manokwari city which is the capital city of West Papua province. I could meet you at the airport or one of the hotels in Manokwari and then organized your trip to Wondama. 

Helmetted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides)
Helmetted Friarbird

Your birding trip to Wondama can be combined with other activities such as snorkeling, visiting some historical sites left by the Dutch, and traveling by boats to islands. Wondama regency is a great destination for birdwatching. It has got beautiful landscape (and seascape). Most part of Cendrawasih Bay National Park is located inside Wondama regency.

bird of new guinea
Spangled Drongo

If you are interested, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Vacation Tour to Wondama

I visited Wondama regency early this month. It was a beautiful destination for tourists who like snorkeling in coral reef areas or hiking in rainforest. The coastal area of Wondama has got a lot of coral reef sites that are suitable for visitors who like snorkeling. I went swimming at Cape Duari. It is a good site for those who want to see parrotfish, butterflyfish, anemonefish, and striped surgeonfish, and a lot more. 

In reef flat area, the depths of the water is around 1 to 2 meters. It is a good spot for those who want to see damselfish, sea star, christmas tree worm, urchin, sea grass and a lot of fish of various species. 

Most often while we swim, we can see birds such as Lesser Frigatebird, Striated Heron, White-bellied Sea Eagle and Tern flying across the sea to find food. 

vacation tour to west papua province of Indonesia
Snorkeling Tour to Wondama Regency
West Papua province - Republic of Indonesia

Going deeper into the bay, the coral reef is also rich of marine life. We could see tropical fish such as jacks, sweetlips, humphead wrasse and a lot more. 

As a tour guide, I offer vacation tour for anyone who is interested in traveling to Wondama in West Papua province of the Republic of Indonesia. 

You need to fly from your country to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia. After that you need to take domestic flight from Jakarta to Manokwari city. Airlines such as Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air and Lion Air provide regular flights to Wondama.

I can meet you at the airport and organize your trip to Wondama by ferry or airplane. The duration of your vacation to Wondama should be around 2 weeks. I suggest that you come here in a group of people so that you can share the cost. 

Well, don't forget to bring your snorkeling gear such as mask, snorkel, fins, and sunblock lotion, underwater camera. Those who like to go hiking in the rainforest can bring binoculars and camera with telephoto lens such as Nikon P900 or Canon SX70HS.



In addition to snorkeling, you can also visit former complex of Dutch missionary who built school for the Papuan people, visit villages to see how people made sago flour which is the traditional staple food of Papuan people and do boat tour along mangrove forest to see its unique vegetation and animals that live there.

If you are interested, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6381332245180.

Also read:

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Birding Tour to Manokwari and Wondama regencies in Indonesia

I offer birding tour in West Papua for anyone who is interested in traveling to Indonesia. The birding sites will include Manokwari, and Wondama regency. These two birding sites have got different rainforest. The first one, the rainforest in Mount Soyti, is higher elevation forest that is the habitat of such birds as Western Parotia, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Mountain Fruit Dove, Black Sicklebill, Papuan Flycatcher, Black-breasted Boatbill, Friendly Fantail, Black Fantail, Hooded Pitohui, Plum-faced Lorikeet, and a lot more.

birding trip to wondama and manokwari in Indonesia
Birdwatching Tour to West Papua province of Indonesia

In Wondama regency, we will go birding through lowland rainforest. The birds that we can watch include Hooded Butcherbird, Lesser Bird of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Red Myzomella, Blyth's Hornbill, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, and a lot more. 

Visitors who are interested in taking this tour need to bring their own binoculars, and digital camera. The number of participants can be a solo traveler or a group of birdwatchers from 2 to 4, 6, 8 or even more people.

To cover this huge rainforest, we need to around 14 days. The typical itinerary will be as follows:

  • Day 1 Leaving Manokwari for Wondama by ferry
  • Day 2 - 5 Birding in Wondama's forest
  • Day 6 Going back to Manokwari
  • Day 7 Going to Mount Soyti (birding)
  • Day 8 - 14 birding, in the afternoon going back to Manokwari.

Because the starting point of this birding tour is Manokwari city, please, arrange your air travel from your country to Jakarta. After that, you could continue your trip to Manokwari city by using domestic airline such as Batik Air, Sriwijaya and Lion Air. The following is the flight route to Manokwari city:

flight route to Manokwari from Jakarta
Flight route from Jakarta to Manokwari city
and then by ferry to Rasiei - the capital of Wondama

During the birdwatching tour, we will combine it with mangrove tour and swimming/ snorkeling excursion at the beach especially in Wondama regency.

Government of Indonesia has planned to give vaccination to the whole population starting from 2021. This is carried out to ensure that the herd immunity can be reached against the Covid-19 pandemic. Indonesia may be opened again for international visitors starting from 2021. 


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