Thursday, July 29, 2021

Freediving in Warduwer Beach of Raja Ampat

Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Indonesia, I used to go freediving at Warduwer beach of Waigeo island. My aim was to take pictures of fish, coral reef and other marine creatures that live in the coral reef. Unfortunately, the visibility was very poor because of heavy rain that fell in the previous day.

It was a recreational freediving, so I did not dive too deep. As usual I saw a lot of fish in the water. There was a very interesting fish that I saw today. It was sitting on a rock in the shallow water.

A beach resort is being built at the moment. Its name is Raja Ampat Flow (RAFLOW) Resort. The resort is a nice place for anyone who wants to enjoy their holiday in Raja Ampat. Birdwatching, swimming, snorkeling and sightseeing to karst islets can be organized at this beach.
Stonefish at Warduwer beach of Waigeo island
If you are interested in visiting Raja Ampat, you could stay at this RAFLOW Resort.  Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Liburan ke Lembah Klasouw di Kabupaten Sorong

Kabupaten Sorong memiliki kawasan hutan yang indah sekali untuk dijadikan sebagai destinasi wisata alam. Selama beberapa tahun belakangan sebelum adanya pandemi Covid-19, banyak sekali wisatawan internasional yang berkunjung ke kabupaten Sorong untuk melihat keanekaragaman hayati dari flora dan fauna yang ada di hutan hujan tropis Sorong. 

Salah satu lokasi yang mereka tuju adalah Lembah Klasouw yang terletak di sebelah timur kota Sorong dan dapat dijangkau dengan kendaraan 4WD dengan waktu tempuh sekitar 2 jam.

Wisatawan yang berkunjung ke sana biasannya menghabiskan waktu kurang lebih 3 hari/2 malam untuk melihat berbagai jenis satwa yang ada di hutan. Di siang hari mereka bisa melihat burung Kakak Tua Putih, Kakaktua Raja, atau Raja Udang Paruh Kuning. Jejak dan kotoran burung kasuari sering terlihat di hutan. Jika beruntung, wisatawan bisa melihat burung raksasa ini. 

Ada berbagai jenis kupu-kupu yang berwarna-warni di hutan tropis Lembah Klasouw ini. Salah satu yang berukuran besar dan memiliki warna yang mencolok adalah kupu-kupu biru (Blue Mountain Swallowtail Butterfly).

Berlibur ke Lembah Klasouw Kabupaten Sorong
Wisatawan Swiss di atas Lembah Klasouw, Kabupaten Sorong

Penjelajahan hutan di malam hari sering juga dilakukan oleh wisatawan dengan dipandu oleh warga setempat. Satwa nokturnal seperti lao-lao (wallaby), kuskus pohon, serta burung hantu Papuan Frogmouth bisa kita saksikan. Wisatawan biasanya tinggal di rumah-rumah penduduk (homestay).

Kampung Klatomok

Ada banyak kampung di Lembah Klasouw yang bisa dikunjungi wisatawan yang tertarik untuk melihat beragam jenis flora dan fauna yang ada di hutan hujan tropis Papua Barat. Salah satunya adalah Kampung Klatomok. Kampung ini sudah dikunjungi oleh wisatawan domestik maupun manca negara yang tertarik  melihat hewan marsupial lao-lao dan kuskus, atau burung Jagal Papua, Raja Udang Biru Ekor Panjang. Wisatawan yang ke sana bisa juga atau mencoba kegiatan tokok, dan meramas sagu untuk menghasilkan tepung. Setelah dibawa ke kampung, wisatawan bisa ikut mencoba memasak sagu untuk membuat papeda atau mencampurnya dengan santan dan gula merah lalu membakarnya untuk dinikmati dengan teh panas atau kopi susu. Rasanya gurih sekali.

Wisatawan Indonesia di Kampung Klatomok, Kabupaten Sorong

Nah, jika Pandemi Covid-19 telah berlalu dan Anda ingin menikmati udara segar yang dihasilkan langsung oleh pepohonan hijau di hutan, silahkan berkunjung ke sana.

pramuwisata Kostan Magablo di Kabupaten Sorong
Pramuwisata Kostan Magablo di hutan Sorong dengan wisatawan Inggris

Oh ya, jangan lupa bawa kamera, membeli bahan makanan di supermarket atau di pasar tradisional di Sorong seperti beras, sayur-sayuran dari daerah dingin wortel, kol, brokoli, ikan asar (ikan asap), buah-buah, dan lain-lain. Bahan makanan ini bisa dimasak oleh mama-mama yang tinggal di kampung Klatomok yang ada di Lembah Klasouw untuk kebutuhan wisatawan. 

Meskipun sederhana, Anda akan merasa nyaman tinggal dan berlibur di kampung serta berinteraksi dengan warga setempat. Ini ditulis oleh Charles Roring.

Memotret Nemo di Perairan Pesisir Manokwari

Saya tahu sejumlah kawasan terumbu karang di perairan Manokwari. Dulu sebelum Pandemi Covid-19 melanda Indonesia, saya sering memandu wisatawan internasional untuk menikmati kegiatan snorkeling di pantai. Kami bisa melihat berbagai spesies ikan nemo seperti: Pink Anemonefish, Red and Black Anemonefish, Spinecheek Anemonefish. Ada juga berbagai spesies ikan lainnya seperti Striped-Surgeonfish, Three-spots Dascyllus, Yellow-tailed Blue Damsel, Moorish Idol, Lionfish dan masih banyak lagi.

wisata snorkeling di Manokwari, Papua Barat
Ikan - ikan Nemo di Perairan Manokwari

Umumnya ikan nemo berada di kedalaman sekitar 1,5 - 10 meter di buttress zone dari kawasan terumbu karang. Kalau dalam bahasa sehari-hari, di zona tepian terumbu karang yang langsung jatuh ke laut dalam. Ini adalah zona terdepan dari terumbu karang yang menghadap laut dalam. Tentu bagi siapa saja yang tidak terbiasa berenang di tepian ini, akan terasa mengerikan jika melihat gelapnya laut dalam. Untuk memotretnya saya kadang harus melakukan selam bebas selama sekitar 1,5 menit. Agar tidak terdorong ke permukaan atau ditarik arus, saya harus mencari bebatuan yang keras dan menahannya. Setelah posisi stabil, saya mulai mengarahkan kamera ke ikan nemo lalu memotretnya. 

potret kerajaan nemo di Pantai Manokwari Provinsi Papua Barat
Ikan Nemo Merah Hitam (Red and Black Anemonefish)
serta Ikan Three Spot Dascyllus di terumbu karang Manokwari

Saya dulu menggunakan Canon G1X, Fujifilm XQ2 dengan rumahnya yang kedap air. Tapi sekarang ada kamera yang lebih kecil dan tahan air seperti Nikon AW 130.

Saya berusaha setenang mungkin di dalam air. Kamera disetel ke mode pengambilan foto ikan. Setelah memotret ikan beberapa kali maka saya bisa kembali ke permukaan untuk menghirup udara segar. 

snorkeling di terumbu karang Papua Barat
Pantai Bakaro yang langsung menghadap laut bebas. Wisatawan perlu ekstra hati-hati kalau berenang di perairan ini.

Beberapa kawasan terumbu karang yang merupakan habitat alami dari ikan nemo antara lain: Pantai Abasi, Pasir Putih, Pulau mansinam, serta Pantai Bakaro dan Pulau Kaki. Karena Pantai Bakaro dan Pulau Kaki langsung menghadap laut bebas serta kadang berarus kencang, wisatawan yang hendak berenang di perairan ini sebaiknya perlu ekstra hati-hati. 

Saya sengaja menulis artikel pendek ini untuk menarik kepedulian kita semua tentang betapa indahnya dunia bawah laut. Kita perlu melestarikannya dengan mencegah sampah agar tidak masuk ke laut. Sampah yang dibuang sembarangan di tepi jalan dan halaman rumah, akan dibawa oleh air hujan ke selokan yang kemudian mengalir ke laut. Sebagai akibatnya, sampah akan merusak ekosistem terumbu karang yang ada di pesisir pantai. Kita bisa mengurangi atau berhenti menggunakan kantong atau barang-barang yang terbuat dari plastik, membuang sampah di bak-bak yang sudah disediakan pemerintah atau mendaur ulang.

Demikian sedikit cerita saya tentang kegemaran saya memotret ikan-ikan nemo. Semoga pembaca menikmatinya. Ini ditulis oleh Charles Roring 🙏

Monday, June 7, 2021

Olive-backed Sunbird in Minahasa Highland

sahul sunbird
Male Olive-backed Sunbird
After guiding tourists across Sulawesi, Ternate and Halmahera islands, I decided to go back to Minahasa for a 5-day birding and sightseeing tour in its highland and lowland. It was a very nice trip. I saw more birds. Some of them were Scaly-breasted Kingfisher, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Collared Kingfisher, Sulawesi Scops Owl, Cattle Egret, Sulawesi Drongo, Slender-billed Crow, Collared Kingfisher and a lot more.
There were small birds that I saw too. One of them was Olive-backed Sunbird. This little bird could hover in the air like a helicopter or dragon fly. I hadn't had an opportunity to shoot him while he was hovering. Two days ago, I saw him feeding on the nectar of papaya flower. He was quite close to mee and I was able to shoot him - with my camera, of course.
If you are interested in visiting North Sulawesi for birding and sightseeing, please, contact me by email to: leororing@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180

Mansinam Island Tourist Attractions

traveling to Mansinam island
Mansinam island
The Island of Civilization
In West Papua, Mansinam is seen as the Island of Civilization. On 5 February 1855, three German missionaries, C.W Ottow, his wife, and J. G. Geissler landed on Mansinam island to introduced Gospel for the first time to the indigenous Papuan people. Although they and their successors faced a lot of hardships, and challenges finally they could spread the Good News to most of New Guinea. Now, most of the population are Christians. Every year, tens of thousands of pilgrims gather in Manokwari to celebrate 5 February as the Gospel Preaching Day.  There street parade where Papuan tribes wear traditional costumes and perform traditional dances along the main streets of Manokwari city. This event attracts a lot of domestic and international tourists to Manokwari.

Visiting Mansinam Island
Visitors who go to Mansinam island can see foundations of the old church, school, dormitories, houses, well, cross monument and museum that were used by the missionaries and the earliest Christians who lived there. For those who are interested in nature, they can go hiking to the top of Mansinam to see a giant Jesus statue that stands on 4 concrete pillars that look like Papuan drums (tifa).

hiking in West Papua
Walking Track that Circles Mansinam
The Forest
Most of Mansinam is still covered with tropical rainforest that is the natural habitat of a lot of species of plants, butterflies, beetles, reptiles, wild flowers and sweet cherry trees (called gersen) and birds. Exploring the forest is very easy. Visitors can walk along the concrete track that completely circles that island. The best time to explore the forest is in the mornings and late afternoons where birds and butterflies are more active. Bring binoculars and a good camera to take pictures of the forest, and its wildlife.
The concrete track is also good for anybody who likes jogging.

The Coral Reef
The underwater world of Mansinam is also beautiful. There is a huge coral reef area located in the southern coast of Mansinam. Tourists who stay there for several days can enjoy snorkeling to see a lot of species of fish such as grouper, damselfish, moorish idol, butterflyfish, parrotfish, anemonefish, boxfish, sea star, sea cucumber and turtles. Don't forget to bring your own snorkeling gear if you want to enjoy snorkeling in the island.

holiday destination in Indonesia
Mansinam Island



Booking
If you are interested in visiting and staying in Manokwari and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send whatsapp message to my number: +6281332245180




Birding in Raja Ampat Karst of Kabui bay

travel holiday in Raja Ampat
Birding in King karst of Raja Ampat
There are a lot of karst formations in Raja Ampat. They attract thousands of tourists every year. There is a Karst formation in the region that is suitable for birding activities. Its name is Raja Karst.
Last week I organized a tour to Raja Karst for 3 foreign visitors who were from the United States. We went there by a motorized outrigger boat to see the beauty of its marine landscape and the wealth of its birdlife. As we entered the waters of Raja Karst, I asked the boat driver to lower the speed of the boat. A Striated Heron (Butorides striata) that was standing on a rock looked at us. As we moved deeper into the small islet formation, we saw some Rainbow Bee-eater, Rainbow Lorikeet, Torresian Crow, Pacific Swallow, Olive-backed Sunbird, Black Sunbird, Beach Kingfisher, and Lesser Frigatebird, Willie Wagtail. We also saw a Spice Imperial Pigeon (Ducula myristicivora) flying over our boat and landed on a tree. 
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) in the jungle of Indonesia
Red Bird of Paradise
The karst islets were a very rich habitat for avifauna. They were located in remote area and far from the influence of human activities. I highly recommended this site for birders who want to see water and lowland and hill forest birds of New Guinea.
We also did several hiking in Waigeo island to watch Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra), and Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Hooded Butcherbird, Palm Cockatoo, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Great Cuckoo Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Great-billed Parrot and etc.
If you are interested in birding and snorkeling in Raja Ampat and wants me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Jungle Tour in Sorong of West Papua

I have been organizing tours for tourists to tropical rainforest of  Sorong regency since last year. The destination is Klasow valley located approximately two hours by 4WD car and 2 hours walk through tropical jungle to reach a village in the valley.
jungle vacation tour in West Papua
a Swiss tourist with the background of
tropical jungle of Klasow valley
Tourists
So far most of the guests who visited the valley were from western countries such as the United States, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Germany and etc. Some came as a single travelers while others came as couples or as groups of three up to six people. More visitors are coming as more information is uploaded into the internet about the Klasow valley and Tambrauw mountains.
The Rainforest
The plants that grow in Klasow valley are typical vegetation that is usually found in the lowland and coastal area of New Guinea. Big trees such as ficus, large conifer Agathis, and iron wood, and various species of palms live side by side with rattan and other vines or climbing plants.
There are also sago trees which the indigenous people process to make flour. Sago is the staple food of Moi tribe who live in the region.
Wildlife Watching
Tourists go to Malagufuk village of Klasow valley to see the rich bio-diversity of tropical rainforest that is the natural habitat of wallaby (a kind of small ground kangaroo, bandicoot, cassowary, wild pigs, sulphur crested cockatoo, goliath cockatoo, blyh's hornbill, goshawk, kingfisher, golden myna, dollar bird, pinon imperial pigeon and a lot of other birds. Colorful butterflies can also be seen in the area too. Birdwatching can usually be done from mornings until evening. Nocturnal bird such as Papuan Frogmouth can sometimes be heard calling from distant trees. At night, jungle walk can be carried out to see wallaby.

Where to stay
Most of the tourists who visited Klasow valley stayed in a small guesthouses and homestays owned by villagers. They are made of wood. There is clean water installation and a simple toilet.

Cost: On the average the cost per person depends on the number of participants and how long they plan to stay in the forest. The cost must cover transportation by 4WD car, local guide, food, and basic accommodation in the jungle village.

Booking:
Please, contact my email: peace4wp@gmail.com for detailed info about the tour.

Snorkeling at Warduwer Beach in Southern Waigeo of Raja Ampat Islands

Coral reef and fish in Raja Ampat islands of West Papua.
House Reef at Raja Ampat Paradise Resort
A beach resort is being prepared in Raja Ampat. It will be ready in 2019. It has got house reef that is very good for visitors who are interested in snorkeling, and scuba diving.
I went there yesterday to enjoy freediving at the drop-off area of the house reef. I was accompanied by a villager who provided his canoe as a floating platform for me. It was approximately 10.00 A.M. when we pushed the outrigger canoe into the sea. We moved slowly to the reef whose distance was only 60 meters from the beach. After we were on a safe depth, I got into the boat and sat on the forward bench.  I began to wear the swimfins and snorkeling mask. The brand of snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, and swimfin) was Whale. It was not the best in town but it was a very good quality brand whose prices were more affordable.
Snorkeling holiday in Raja Ampat
Marine Life at Raja Ampat Paradise Resort
We paddled too fast. I did not realize that we had been in deep water. I told the canoe driver to move back. When I saw the drop-off reef, I slowly got off the canoe and immersed my body into the water. The visibility was very good. I could see the marine life up to around twenty meters. Fish were everywhere thriving among hard corals.
I used Nikon W300 to take pictures of the coral reef. Its shooting mode had been set into fish one. I did my first dive to a depth of around 7 meters. There were surgeonfish, wrasse, parrotfish, butterflyfish, moorish idol, soldierfish, sweepers, anemonefish, staghorn damsel, and a lot more.
After freediving for about fifteen minutes, I returned to the canoe to take a brake and tried another camera the Fujifilm XQ2. I also applied some shampoo on the surface of my snorkeling mask to eliminate the fog that covers the glass. After that I rinsed it with fresh water. I wore the mask again and returned to the coral reef. This time the mask became clearer again. I helped me a lot in finding my target fish.
I wanted to compare the results of my underwater photos taken by two different cameras. The ones taken by Nikon W300 had higher contrast whereas the ones taken by Fujifilm XQ2 were less contrast but had more details.
If you are interested in snorkeling in Raja Ampat and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.
Where is Raja Ampat?
Freediving Pictures from Waigeo island
Snorkeling and Birding in Raja Ampat Karst

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Yellow Billed Kingfisher Birds

I had a 5-day hiking and birding tour with 3 foreign visitors in Klasow valley of Sorong regency last month. We went there to watch Yellow-Billed Kingfisher (Syma torotoro), Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius), and Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus), and Northern Cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus). As a matter of fact we also saw a lot of other birds during the trip in the lowland forest of the regency.
Yellow-billed Kingfisher
Yellow-billed Kingfisher
I think October was the mating season for the Yellow-billed Kingfisher because I saw male and female were calling each other. I and a Chinese lady, who was one of the tour participants, were walking along the clearing area of the forest in the village in search of Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise when we heard the sounds of the Yellow-billed Kingfisher. We immediately turned our attention to the birds. We were very lucky, we could take a lot of pictures of the birds.
Eclectus Parrot was Flying Over the Sea
Eclectus Parrot over the sea of Raja Ampat
After birding for several days in Klasow valley, we continued our trip to Raja Ampat to see Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) and Wilson's Bird of Paradise. It turned out to be a successful trip. We saw both of them. We also saw Eclectus Parrot, Hooded Butcherbird, Pacific Swallow, Torresian Crow, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, and Blyth's Hornbill. Raja Ampat was really a paradise for nature lovers.
Tomorrow, I will go to the valley again and I hope that I can see birds that I haven't seen before.
Also read:
  • Birding Tour in Sorong regency of West Papua

Minahasa Beach and Great-billed Kingfisher

a beach in Minahasa
Minahasa beach
I visited the coastal area of Minahasa in its northern region to find Great-billed Kingfisher. It was a nice experience because I could enjoy the view of the blue sea, fishermen's boats, mountain, and water birds.
Great-billed Kingfisher usually lived in mangrove forest. To reach it, I organized a trip by boat through a river in Likupang area. I was with 4 Taiwanese tourists. They were bird watchers.
Our boat moved slowly into the river, we saw some water birds flying over the river such as Little Egret, Great-billed Heron, but they were not our target. There were Slender-billed Crow, and pigeon too.
When we were deep in the mangrove forest, we saw a Great-billed Kingfisher flying fast through the river. We asked the boat driver to chase him. It looked that the bird had disappeared behind in the forest. We decided to look for another one. Several minutes later we saw another Great-billed Kingfisher.
Great-billed Kingfisher
Great-billed Kingfisher
This time I asked the boat driver to turn off the engine. I and my friend took turn in paddling the boat. We approached the bird slowly and silently. I asked the tourists to take pictures when the kingfisher was within shooting range. They were so happy because they could watch it for a few minutes. The kingfisher dived to catch fish and then returned to its roosting place again.
When the tourists had taken pictures, I pulled my camera and shot the bird several times. I used Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600 mm G2 lens. It was quite powerful to shoot distant animals.
After shooting the bird, we returned to the beach and enjoyed the beautiful evening of Minahasan coast. We returned to Tangkoko with happy face.
If you are interested in traveling to North Sulawesi to see its beautiful landscape, beach, people, culture, birds and wildlife, and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: leororing@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Affordable Snorkeling Vacation

Affordable snorkeling trips in Manokwari with Charles Roring
Freediving Photo
There are a lot of coral reef areas in West Papua. They have become vacation destinations for visitors who like snorkeling and freediving. As a tourist guide, I offer snorkeling trips that are affordable for visitors traveling solo or in groups of 3 to 4 people or even more.
Flights
One of the destinations is Manokwari - the capital of West Papua province in Indonesia. Tourists can fly from their country to Jakarta city and then continue their trip by taking a domestic flight to Manokwari. Airlines such as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik Air and Wings Air provide regular flights to Manokwari. There are a lot of hotels which visitors can choose.
After taking several hours to one day rest in the hotel, the snorkeling tour can be started. Most of the coral reef areas which we will visit are located in the suburb of Manokwari. To minimize cost, we will travel by public transport vehicles. We may rent a car if tour participants agree with the price.
Affordable snorkeling tours with Charles Roring in West Papua
Coral Reef environment in Manokwari
Visitors need to bring their own snorkeling and freediving gears such as masks, snorkels and flippers. I can provide life jackets if visitors contact me well in advance before arriving in Manokwari. I personally have got some masks and flippers. The brand name is whale. The price is not expensive but the quality of the products is very good.
In November, December, January, the waves in the northern region of West Papua are high. However, snorkeling can be done in several other parts of West Papua.
Coral reef is a rich but very fragile marine environment. Visitors could see damselfish, butterflyfish, moorish idol, wrasse, parrotfish, sweetlips, striped surgeonfish, convict surgeonfish, boxfish, and a lot more. There are also sea star, sea urchin, and green sea grass in the water.
I have got a good book that I usually use to identify fish. Its title is Reef Fish Identification Tropical Pacific by Gerald Allen, Roger Steene, Paul Humann and Ned Deloach.
In the sky, I often sea frigate birds that like to fly over the sea to find fish.
Don't forget to bring a good camera such as Nikon W300 if you want to take pictures of the coral reef and fish.
Booking
Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180

Related Post:
What we can do to preserve coral reef

Rainforest Tour organized from Sorong Town

rainforest tour in West Papua
Trekking in the forest of Sorong regency of West Papua
I often receive emails from visitors who want to go trekking in the rainforest near Sorong town. Usually they want to combine their diving trip in Raja Ampat with jungle tour in the mainland New Guinea particularly near Sorong city.
I can organize a land tour or jungle tour to several destinations in West Papua.
  • For visitors who only have got 2 to 3 days in Sorong, the destination that I offer is Klasow valley. 
  • If they have got more than 3 days, the rainforest that I will offer is Tambrauw mountains (lowland forest along Syuan river or pristine forest in Ases valley).
Klasow Valley
This valley is only 1 hour away from Sorong town and another hour on foot to reach the jungle village of Malagufuk. Visitors who book the tour to Klasow valley can start the tour early in the morning. Wild animals that live in the valley are wallaby, cassowary, deer, wild pigs, soa-soa, and various species of birds including lesser birds of paradise, blyth's hornbills, sulphur crested cockatoo, western crowned pigeon, golden myna, yellow faced myna and a lot more. Visitors are advised to bring D-SLR camera with telephoto lens or a bridge camera with super telephoto capability such as Nikon Coolpix P900. The rainforest of Klasow valley is flat. So, it is suitable for anybody who cannot go trekking in sloppy mountains.

Tambrauw Mountains
holiday tour in West Papua's rainforest
Camping site in the jungle of Tambrauw mountains
This is the destination for visitors who have got more than 3 days to spend in the jungle. Tambrauw mountains are covered by huge tropical rainforest from its coastal area up to the mountainous regions. For coastal region, the usual destination where I bring my guests to is Syuan river. It is suitable for camping and trekking. Tents will be built at the bank of the river. During the tour, visitors can enjoy swimming and birdwatching as well as learning the medicinal functions of herbal plants that grow in the jungle.
Another destination in Tambrauw mountains is Ases valley. To reach the valley, visitors need to go by a 4WD car for 6 hours. After that the trip will be continued on foot for 2 hours. Deers, wallaby, cassowary bird, tree kangaroo, and a lot of species of birds live in the valley.
Western-crowned Pigeon
Western Crowned Pigeon in
the jungle of Klasow valley
As a tourist guide I have arranged a lot of rainforest trips for visitors who want to explore the tropical jungle of West Papua for several days. That's why I have got tents, air mattresses, rechargeable lights, cooking, eating, and other logistical gear that are needed for the tour. I also have contacts with local villagers and 4WD car drivers that I need to organize a jungle tour or expedition.
So, if you are interested in taking a rainforest tour that is organized from Sorong town, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Birding in Sorong and Raja Ampat of Indonesia

Azure Kingfisher on a vine above a small river in Sorong regency
Kingfisher
I offer birding tours for visitors who are interested in watching tropical birds both in the forests of Raja Ampat and Sorong. The duration of the tour can be customized into a few days up to more than one week.
Birds that can be watched during the tour include Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Olive-backed Sunbird, Rainbow Bee-eater, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Amboyna Cuckoo-Dove, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Beautiful Fruit-Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove, Western Black-capped Lory, Rainbow Lorikeet, Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Red-cheeked Parrot and Palm Cockatoo, Large Fig Parrot, Black Parrot, Dollarbird, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Hooded Butcherbird, Spangled Drongo, Beach Kingfisher, Torresian Crow, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Crested-Tern, Papuan Hornbill, Willie Wagtail, etc.
Things to prepare:
  • Binoculars such as Swarovski EL 8.5× 42 or any binoculars that are good enough to produce clear images og birds in distant trees.
  • Camera with telephoto lens. A bridge camera such such Canon SX60HS, and Nikon P900 are very powerful photographic device for taking picture of birds. If you have got spotting scope, you could bring it too.
  • Watershoes or hiking boots, t-shirts and pants that are suitable for hiking and watching birds in the forest.
How to get to Sorong?
Male Lesser Birds of Paradise
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  • For international flights, you can fly from your country to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia. 
  • For domestic flights, you can continue your trip by flying to Sorong city. Daily regular flights are provided by such airlines as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik, Nam, and Lion Air.
Booking
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or use whatsapp: +6281332245180

Camping and Birding in Mesirrokow Forest of Manokwari

There is a good site in Manokwari for visitors who are interested in birding and hiking activities. Its name is Mesirrokow forest. I have organized a number of camping and birding tours in the area for visitors who want to explore the lowland forest of Manokwari to see such birds as Yellow-faced Myna, Little-ringed Plover, Eclectus Parrot, Variable Goshawk, Dollarbird, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, as well as Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Willie Wagtail, Papuan Blyth's hornbill and a lot more.
The usual duration of the tour is 3 days/ 2 nights with the following itinerary:
Riverwalk tour in Manokwari
Mesirrokow river forest in Manokwari
Day 1 
Arrive in Manokwari
Getting Surat Jalan (travel permit) from local police station
Buying food from local market
Transfer to the river forest of Mesirrokow in north-west region of Manokwari
Hiking along the banks of the river
Build tents at the bank of the river
Birding to see Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Brahminy Kite, Hornbill and etc.
Overnight stay in tents in the jungle

sightseeibg tour in the forest of Manokwari
Mesirrokow river forest in Manokwari
Day 2
Hiking along the river to watch Little ringed Plover, Willie Wagtail, Rainbow lorikeet.
Visitors can also enjoy swimming and fishing. 
At night, we could try to find Large tail nightjar that usually lives in tall grass along both sides of the river.
Overnight stay in tents in the jungle

Day 3
We still have time to enjoy birdwatching to see Pygmy Parrot, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, We will dismantle our tents and walk back to the main road. Along the way, we could enjoy swimming or taking pictures of birds, beetles, butterflies, and wild flowers that we see along the river.
In the afternoon, we will go back to Manokwari city by car.

The trip can be extended to several more days of birding and camping in Arfak mountains or swimming and snorkeling in Dorey bay of Manokwari.
For booking the tour, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text/ whatsapp message to my cell phone: +6281332245180.

Snorkeling at Paradisea beach of Waigeo island

I visited Raja Ampat a few days ago to enjoy snorkeling and birding at Paradisea beach. It was located in the southern coast of Waigeo island approximately 35 minutes ride from Port of Waisai. The beach was an ideal site for anybody who was a nature lover. Coconut trees, catappa trees provided shade along the white sandy beach.
white sandy beach in tropical island of Waigeo
Raja Ampat sea
The crystal clear blue water of the beach and the coral reef of the area were the natural habitat of hundreds of species of tropical fish. Some of them were the Moorish Idol, Butterflyfish, Anemonefish, Striped Surgeonfish, and Diagonal Sweetlips.
traveling to Raja Ampat islands of Indonesia
Reef fosh in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat has been famous around the world as one of the best destinations for scuba divers and snorkelers. If you are interested in Snorkeling and Birding in Raja Ampat, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180

Tour to Raja Ampat Karst in Indonesia

Everytime I guide tourists to Raja Ampat, I always organize tour to the karst islets. Most visitors go there to see its magnificent landscape scenery. Yes, the view is very beautiful when we travel through the small islands that look like mushrooms on the surface of the sea.
karst in Raja Ampat islands
Karst islets in Raja Ampat
While in the King's karst of Raja Ampat, we do birdwatching. I usually ask our boat driver to reduce the engine of the boat so that we can watch birds easily. I use 10×42 Visionking binoculars to watch birds. Raja Ampat is rich of sea and coastal birds such as Eastern Reef Egret, Striated Heron, Plover, Radjah Shelduck, Beach Kingfisher, Beach Stone Curlew, Crested Tern, Brahminy Kite, Eastern Osprey and Frigatebird.
For Frigatebirds, they are often seen soaring in groups of 2, 3, or even up to 20 birds in the sky looking for fish on the surface of the sea. They may look small while flying high in the sky but their sizes are actually big. The wing span could reach more than 1.55 meters (61 inches).
In addition to sightseeing tour to the karst, I also offer birding tour to the main island Waigeo where visitors can watch Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise as well as other tropical birds of New Guinea such as Large-billed Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, Hooded Butcherbird, and Hook-billed Kingfisher.
If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and want a private guide, you could contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Here is a drawing of Frigatebirds that I made after visiting Raja Ampat. If you like it, you can order it as T-shirt on the following link:

Birding and Snorkeling Site in Waigeo of Raja Ampat

There is a good site for birding and snorkeling in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. Its name is Warduwer located in the south of the island. There are big trees at the beach that attract a lot of birds to visit for resting or eating their fruits. I like to visit this beach when I guide tourists. Birding at this beach is very easy. I highly recommend that birdwatchers bring 10×42 binoculars, an if possible, a spotting scope to enhance their birdwatching experience. Professional photographers bring D-SLR camera with 600 mm telephoto lens. Today, bridge camera iIn the mornings and in the afternoons, blyth's hornbill, eclectus parrots, spangled drongo, pied imperial pigeon, sulphur crested cockatoo, palm cockatoo, coconut lorikeet (also called rainbow lorikeet), and beach kingfisher, Eastern Osprey, Brahminy Kite, are often seen in the surrounding trees. Visitors who come to this beach can also see crested tern, plover, and lesser frigate bird, white bellied sea eagle and etc. The following collage picture is my promotional material that I make for travelers who plan to visit Raja Ampat. 
birds and coral reef in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat beauty - birds and coral reef
After watching birds, tourists can enjoy snorkeling at the same beach to see a lof of kinds of fish, sea star and christmas tree worm in the pristine coral reef of the beach. Grouper, sweetlips, pink anemonefish, striped surgeonfish, black bar damsel, three spots dascyllus, parrotfish, and wrasse are some of the fish that can be seen at the coral reef of this beach. For taking pictures of the marine life, a good underwater camera should be used. I recommend Nikon W300 or Olympus Tough TG-5.
Soon a beach resort will be constructed here. The bungalows are being prepared. The resort will be completed in middle of this year ready to receive tourists who want to stay for a few days, a few weeks or more.
I offer tour for tourist who likes to enjoy snorkeling and birding in Raja Ampat. If you plan to take a holiday in Raja Ampat and want me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
Also see:
Snorkeling Video in Raja Ampat

Birding and Snorkeling Tours in Raja Ampat islands

Male Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Red Bird of Paradise
As a tourist guide I organize birding and snorkeling tour adventure for tourists who want to visit Raja Ampat islands. The duration of the tour is between 3 to 5 days depending on the length of the holiday that tourists have. The tour can be organized based on the following itinerary:
Day 1
Arriving in Sorong town
Transfer by boat to Waisai town of Raja Ampat
Arriving in Waisai, transfer to homestay. (A stay in a Beach resort can be organized depending on the request of customers)
Take a rest
We could start birding around the homestay to find Pacific Swallow, Torresian Crow, Lesser Frigatebird, and etc.
Day 2
Marine Life at Yengkawe homestay
Coral Reef in Waigeo
Early morning trip to watch Wilson's Bird of Paradise after that visitors could return to homestay to take a rest. Birding around the area of the homestay. There are birds such as Blyth's hornbill, Eclectus Parrot, Yellow-faced Myna, Beach Kingfisher, Willie Wagtail, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, and etc.
Lunch time. Rest
At 15.00, another birding trip can be done to watch Red Bird of Paradise. After that visitors could return to homestay. Tour participants can enjoy snorkeling or freediving at the beach in front of the homestay. Reef fish such as Striped Surgeonfish, Convict Surgeonfish, Anemonefish, and Parrotfish can be seen in the water.
Day 3
We will go to the beach. There, we can slowly walk along the area to watch Beach Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Brahminy Kite, Violet-necked Lory or Great-billed Parrot. In the afternoon, after lunch, we could check-out from the hotel and then transfer to ferry harbor before leaving for Sorong city.
End of the Tour
The above itinerary should be seen as a referens only. However, it can be customized according to the needs of tour participants. For booking, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Adventure Tour in the Islands of Raja Ampat

Last week, I went to Raja Ampat to work as a guide for a group of birding tourists. We enjoyed birding in Waigeo and Merpati island. We saw a lot of birds including the Great-billed Parrot, Arafura fantail, Lemon-bellied White Eye, Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Beach Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher. On an extra trip to Sorong, we watched Orange-fronted Fruit Dove, King Birds of Paradise, Frilled Monarch, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher.
I often go to Raja Ampat islands to organize tours both for solo traveling visitor or for a group of tourists. During the trips in this archipelago, I combine various activities such as hiking and birding, snorkeling and freediving, island hopping and sightseeing tours. To enhance the adventure experience, I suggest that every visitor brings his or her own binoculars, birding/ telephoto lens camera, underwater/ action camera, as well as snorkeling gear.
kabui bay of Waigeo island
Raja Ampat karst
My favorite snorkeling and freediving sites are Isanak beach and Mamiaef in the east of Waigeo, Yenbuba strait, Sawondarek jetty, West Mansuar, Kri island, Fam, Five Rocks and Friwen. There are also a lot of coral reef sites around Gam islands that are very good.
The duration of the trip is usually 3 days to 5 days. I usually bring field guide books such as Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler; and Reef Fish Identification Tropical Pacific by Gerald Allen and his friends. These books are important for identifying fish and birds that we will see during the tours in Raja Ampat islands.
I know that there are tourists who go to Raja Ampat just to enjoy the scenery and see the beauty of the marine seascape without feeling the need to identify wildlife. For me, I am fine with that kind of trip. 
Most of my tours are supported by local villagers whose homestay we use as an affordable accommodation. When we go on a tour to karst islets, we will use an outrigger motorized wooden boat. This small marine vehicle will allow us to visit remote islets that are locate inside Kabui bay. If the weather is good, I could organize trip to islands located in the south west of Kri and Mansuar to enjoy swimming and birding.
red bird of paradise courtship dance
Courtship Dance of a male Red Bird of Paradise
Red Bird of Paradise is the vocal point of the birding activity in Waigeo island. The watch them we need to go hiking in the mornings and in the afternoons. More birds activity can be seen during those time periods. However, there are also other beautiful birds that we could watch such as the Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, or Palm Cockatoo.
Most of the trip can be customized according to the needs of visitors. Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Snorkeling in Manokwari

Mansinam island and Arfak mountains
Mansinam island
Do you like snorkeling? Have you ever snorkeled in Manokwari? If not, then you should try it. This city is located in the bird's head region of New Guinea - the largest tropical island in the world. It is not difficult to go to Manokwari.
  • First, you need to fly from your country to the capital of Indonesia which is Jakarta. 
  • If you don't like the huzzle and buzzle of the metropolitan city, you can check the airlines in your country whether they have flights to Bali or Manado (two tourist destinations in Indonesia).
  • From one of these city, you can take a domestic flight served by Express Air, Lion Air or Sriwijaya Air to Manokwari - the capital of West Papua province. This city stretches along the Dorey bay with the magnificent view of Arfak mountains in the south and three small tropical coral islands in the bay.
When I mention coral islands, you know that there must be coral reef thriving around these islands. To enjoy snorkeling, you need to bring your own snorkel, mask, and fins. Don't forget to bring your underwater camera. As a snorkeling guide, I have accompanied  tourists who are interested in seeing the underwater world of Manokwari where coral reefs thrive. When you descend yourself to the reef, you will see hundreds of species of marine animals and plants. When you are in the water, I and the boat driver will continue monitoring your movements to make sure that everything is OK. Sometimes, we will ask you to avoid swimming too close to the beach because big waves may push you to the hard corals.
snorkeling picture from bakaro beach
The Underwater World of Manokwari
In addition to the Doreh bay of Manokwari, another snorkeling location that is highly recommended to tourists is its northern coast area or also called Pantura. The best snorkeling time is between May and October. After that the waves here will be bigger and more suitable for wave surfing. In addition to snorkeling and other water sports activities, visitors can enjoy hiking in the jungle to watch paradise birds. 

Birds at Raja Ampat Flow Resort

Yesterday I did some birding walk again at the surrounding area of Raja Ampat Flow (RAFLOW) Resort. The weather was nice towards the sunset time. Birds were flying in the air and hopping in the branches of trees. I saw one male Eclectus Parrot landing on the branch of a tree near me. It was close enough for my telephoto camera.
birding in Waigeo island of Indonesia
Eclectus Parrot
I made a few shots of him and then gave attention to Willie Wagtail that was sitting on a small twig of a shrub plant. He was quite far from me. Fortunately, y camera could still reach him. Warduwer beach where RAFLOW Resort was located is a great site for tourists who like birdwatching. During my several days of birdwalk around the beach, I was able to take pictures of Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Mimic Honeyeater, Lesser-crested Tern, Red Bird of Paradise, Brahminy Kite, White-breasted Wood Swallow, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Black Sunbird, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Spangled Drongo
I also saw Beach Kingfisher but was not able to shoot it by my camera. I used Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600 mm.
birdwatching in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Palm Cockatoo

In addition to birding, I also enjoyed snorkeling at the beach. I saw a lot of species of fish and coral reef. There were wobbegong, butterflyfish, stonefish, Striped Surgeonfish, anemonefish, and other marine creatures like burrowing clam, christmas tree worm and crab.
Willie Wagtail at Raflow Beach Resort
Willie Wagtail
Raja Ampat Flow  (RAFLOW) is a nice beach resort for visitors who want to enjoy snorkeling, birding, sightseeing.
birding in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Mimic Honeyeater
If you are interested in traveling to Indonesia for visiting Raja Ampat, and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Raja Ampat Birding

2 Red Birds of Paradise in Waigeo
Red Bird of Paradise
I have just returned from an early morning birding walk in the forest of Waigeo island. I guided two American tourists Paige and Bruce. We left Raja Ampat Dive Resort at 04.50 for a coast in the southern area of Waigeo by a small motorized boat. After that we continued our trip on foot to the lek of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). It was still dark and we were walking under the trees of Raja Ampat's rainforest. We used some flashlights. A long the path, we saw millipede and toad. It took around 1 hour 30 minutes for us to reach our birding ground. The sun began to appear in the east providing more light for us.
Courtship dance of a male paradise bird
Male Red Bird of Paradise was performing courtship dance
We heard the sounds of thunders above us. Soon the rain started to fall. Because we were determined to watch the paradise birds, we decided to stay at the birding platform. After waiting for around 30 minutes we could see the male birds of paradise jumped to the dry branches and danced up and down the near vertical branches of a tree in front of us. Sometimes they only sat on the horizontal branches or flew to palm trees in the surrounding area.
The rain fell again for another 30 minutes and the birds stopped dancing. Because they did not leave their tree, we did not leave our benches either. Soon after the rain stopped, two female Red Bird of Paradise showed up. The male ones jumped to their "poles" and began performing their courtship dance again. The cloudy weather made it dificult for me to capture this important moment by camera. I was able to take some pictures of the paradise birds. Some were quite sharp but the rest were blurry.
Palm Cockatoo in Raja Ampat regency
Palm Cockatoo
After watching birds of paradise, we walked down the slope again to the beach. We saw Moluccan King Parrot, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Mimic Meliphaga, Hooded Butcherbird, and Blyth's Hornbill. We heard the sounds of Common Paradise Kingfisher but we did not see the birds.
When we set our foot again on the beach of Raja Ampat Dive Resort, we saw some leftovers of catappa fruits falling on to the ground in front of us. When we looked up, there was a Goliath Palm Cockatoo in the tree. He walked on the branch of the tree trying to find delicious fruits for his breakfast.
If you are interested in taking a birding tour in Raja Ampat, and Sorong regency of West Papua, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com
 -written by Charles Roring
Also read:
Birds in Raja Ampat
Birdwatching in Raja Ampat Karst

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Snorkeling Video from Raja Ampat

I had a wonderful tour in Raja Ampat early this month. I focused my activity in Warduwer beach. Here, I spent my time snorkeling over its very nice coral reef. White sand strecthed along the southern region of Waigeo island making it an ideal site for snorkeling and freediving. I brought two cameras, i.e. the waterproof Nikon AW 130 and Fujifilm XQ2 (which I put inside a waterproof case). I went snorkeling and freediving during high tide e ofspecially in drop off area of the beach. The drop off is around 50 meters (164 feet) from the beach.
As a matter of fact, the beach is very flat and shallow. So, it is safe for visitors who bring their children to Warduwer beach. They can learn how to swim st Warduwer beach.
Marine life in Warduwer beach
Marine Life in Raja Ampat



When I was in the water, I saw hundreds of species of fish and other marine creatures. There were parrotfish, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, blenny, anemonefish, moorish idol, hawkfish, lemon damsel, wobbegong, scorpionfish, and a lot more.
To make videos, I dived to a depth of 2 to 7 meters and recorded anything that I saw. I did not scuba dive. I only used mask, snorkel and fins. It was a freediving. So, I could not stay longer in the water. I spent between one and one and a half minutes during each dive. Underwater swimming is a fun thing to do.
Map location of Raja Ampat islands
Location of Raja Ampat
What to bring
Raja Ampat was a nice place for anyone who wants to see beautiful fish and coral reef in its natural habitat - and not in aquarium. Visitors who want to go snorkeling at this beach need to bring:
  • Clothing that is suitable for tropical climate, and for swimming
  • Sun-block lotion, 
  • Snorkeling device such as mask, snorkel and fins
  • Underwater camera

How to get there?

It is easy to visit Raja Ampat.
  • First, you need to take international flight from your country to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia.
  • Second, you need to continue your trip by taking a domestic flight provided by Garuda, Sriwijaya, or Batik Air to Sorong city.
  • When you arrive in Sorong, I could meet you at the airport and then organize your tour to Raja Ampat islands.
A beach resort is being built at the beach. Its name is Raja Ampat Flow (RAFLOW) Resort. Soon, there will be 15 bungalows for visitors to stay. 
As a tourist guide, I often organize tours to Raja Ampat for visitors who like snorkeling, sightseeing and birdwatching. If you are interested in visiting Raja Ampat to enjoy snorkeling and want me to be your guide, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Freediving in Warduwer Beach of Raja Ampat

Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Indonesia, I used to go freediving at Warduwer beach of Waigeo island. My aim was to take pictures of fish,...