Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Natural Attractions in West Papua

West Papua is a very important destination for anyone who is interested in everything about coral reef and rainforest. Every year, before the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of international visitors went to this region to see the beauty of its marine life and watch the exotic courtship dance of birds of paradise.

There were visitors who were traveling solo or in very small groups of 3 to 4 people and relied on local guide like me to accompany each of them to see tropical reef fish and wildlife in the rainforest. But there were also visitors who came in big groups to enjoy scuba diving using the service of big companies that provide liveaboard scuba diving cruise boats to remote islands in Raja Ampat, Cendrawasih Bay and Triton bay.

As the largest tropical island in the world, New Guinea can be considered as one of the epicenters of biodiversity. The indigenous people depend on the wealth of plants and animals both at sea and in the forest for their survival. They get timber for house construction, herbs for their traditional medicine and animals as their source of protein. Sago trees are cut and processed to produce starch and coconut fruits are grated, squeezed to produce coconut milk. This milk could be boiled to make cooking oil.

A German tourist in Raja Ampat was swimming over pristine coral reef
A German tourist was  enjoying snorkeling in Raja Ampat
 
French and Spanish visitors were watching Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
European visitors were watching birds of paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
A European tourist was watching King Bird of Paradise using a spotting scope
A European Tourist was watching King Bird of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

British girl was making chilli sauce while camping in the jungle of Manokwari
A British visitor was making chilli sauce when taking a multiple day camping tour in the jungle of Manokwari
Coral reef and tropical rainforest absorb CO2 gas that we emit every day from our farming, household, industrial, and transportation activities. They are also the largest deposit of plants and animals on earth. They have to be protected because science and technology that we develop to improve living standards often need natural resources from these coral reef and rainforest.
Ecotourism is a strategic scheme that I and my friends try to develop in West Papua to generate alternative income for local people and at the same time preserve our nature. We offer multiple day tours to rainforest and coral reef for visitors to enjoy hiking, sightseeing, wildlife watching, snorkeling and other related activities that are environmentally friendly.
Visitors who are interested in taking this tour need to take international flight from their country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia). After that, they can continue their trip to Manokwari city by plane. Airlines such as Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air and Lion Air provide regular flight service between Manokwari and other major cities in Indonesia. 
There are hotels, lodges, inns, restaurants, shops and supermarkets in Manokwari city to cater the needs of visitors before and after their trip to remote coral reed and mountainous areas. When visitors spend a few days in the jungle, tents, sleeping bags and other camping equipment will be needed. In Susnguakti forest of Manokwari, we have prepared them for visitors. In Mount Soyti of Arfak range, comfortable guesthouses are available. For traveling to other remote forests, beaches or islands, we can arrange an accommodation inba homestay in a village or we use camping equipment.
I can meet visitors at the airport or hotel in Manokwari and organize their tours to remote places in West Papua.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Wisata Nonton Cendrawasih Kuning di Papua Barat

Burung Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil atau yang bahasa Inggris dikenal dengan nama Lesser Birds of Paradise adalah salah satu spesies burung surga yang hidup di hutan hujan tropis di Tanah Papua. Burung jantan memiliki warna bulu yang indah sekali yakni kuning keemasan ditambah putih, hitam, coklat, hijau serta sedikit abu-abu kebiruan pada paruh dan kakinya. Cendrawasih betina memiliki warna coklat di punggung, sayap serta ekor. Dadanya putih sedangkan paruh dan kakinya sama dengan yang jantan. Kepalanya kehitaman dengan mata yang berwarna kuning serta bagian iris mata hitam.

Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil (Paradisaea minor) jantan sedang menari
Dua Ekor Cendrawasih Kuning Jantan Sedang Menari

Keberadaan burung-burung Cendrawasih Kuning di hutan menarik perhatian banyak sekali wisatawan domestik maupun manca negara untuk berkunjung ke hutan guna menontonnya. 

Ada sejumlah kawasan hutan di Provinsi Papua Barat yang menjadi lokasi favorit untuk wisata nonton Cendrawasih. Beberapa di antaranya adalah sebagai berikut:

  • Hutan Susnguakti di Kabupaten Manokwari. Dengan kendaraan bermotor, waktu yang dibutuhkan untuk mencapainya adalah sekitar 1 jam. Sesampainya di pinggir hutan, wisatawan perlu dipandu oleh warga kampung untuk masuk ke dalam hutan. Jalan setapak yang harus ditempuh adalah terjal dan pada bagian awal cukup berbahaya. Wisatawan harus mengenakan sepatu hiking atau sepatu olah raga yang baik. Durasi mendaki adalah sekitar 1 jam. Di dalam hutan ada basecamp yang telah disiapkan sebagai tempat istirahat. Piring, gelas, sendok, garpu dan peralatan masak juga tersedia di basecamp itu. Wisatawan bisa menggunakan peralatan itu jika membawa bahan makanan dari kota. Lokasi tempat nonton Cendrawasih Kuning dari basecamp adalah sekitar 5 menit jalan kaki.
  • Pegunungan Wondiboy di Kabupaten Wondama adalah lokasi berikutnya dari wisata nonton burung surga. Sebenarnya ada beberapa lokasi wisata nonton burung surga baik di utara dan selatan semenanjung Wondama. Banyak sekali spesies burung tropis yang bisa diamati oleh wisatawan ketika berkunjung ke Wondama. Beberapa di antaranya adalah Kakaktua Putih, Kakaktua Raja, Eclectus Parrot, Coconut Lorikeet, Burung Kumkum, Raja Udang Paruh Kuning, Mina Muka Kuning, Mina Emas, Jagal Papua Wisatawan bisa ke sana dengan naik kapal penumpang kecil dari kota Manokwari menuju kota Wondama. Ada juga penerbangan beberapa kali seminggu yang dilayani oleh maskapai Susi Air. 
  • Hutan Gunung Sakofsiah dan Lembah Ases di Pegunungan Tambrauw juga merupakan destinasi alternatif bagi wisatawan yang ingin menonton tarian burung Cendrawasih. Pemandangan alam di Tambrauw indah sekali. Sebenarnya, ketika berada di hutan Pegunungan Tambrauw, wisatawan bisa mengamati satwa lainnya seperti kuskus, rusa maupun soa-soa. Daerah pesisir pantai di Kabupaten Tambrauw juga memiliki hutan yang menjadi habitat alami dari Cendrawasih Kuning. Nama hutan itu adalah Weyos. Wisatawan bisa berkunjung ke sana dengan didampingi oleh warga kampung yang menjadi pemilik hak ulayat dari hutan dan pantai Weyos.
Burung Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil atau Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Cendrawasih Kuning Jantan
Umumnya, wisatawan membawa binocular (teropong tabung ganda) yang bisa digantung di dada dan saat hendak menonton burung atau satwa liar lainnya, binocular itu digenggam dan diarahkan ke mata.
Ada juga peralatan pengamatan lainnya yang disebut spotting scope. Alat ini merupakan teropong satu tabung yang membentuk sudut. Spotting scope tidak bisa digunakan sendiri. Alat optik ini biasanya dipasang pada sebuah tripod agar ketika digunakan ia berada pada posisi diam/ statik. Spotting scope statik bisa digunakan oleh beberapa orang secara bergantian untuk mengamati burung yang sedang bertengger di dahan pohon atau yang sedang berada di sarangnya pada posisi yang cukup jauh. 
Nah, jika ada dari pembaca yang berniat untuk berwisata ke Papua Barat untuk nonton burung Cendrawasih dan burung-burung tropis Papua Barat lainnya serta membutuhkan pemandu di lapangan, silahkan menghubungi saya (Charles Roring) lewat email: peace4wp@gmail.com atau whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Wildlife Watching Tour in Ases Valley

International Visitors in Sakofsiah Mountains and Ases Valley

This is the photograph of Ases river which I took several years ago. I did an exploratory trip to Ases valley to see its flora and fauna. I did some birdwatching and saw such birds as Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-faced Myna, Blyth's Hornbill, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Great Cuckoo Dove, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Black-browed Triller, Little-pied Cormmorant, and a lot more. 

Riverwalk tour in Tambrauw regency
Ases river in Tambrauw regency
Sakofsiah mountains in Tambrauw regency of Indonesia
Sakofsiah Mountains

A few months later, I returned to Ases valley again and its nearby Sakofsiah mountains with two American tourists. Local villagers guided us in the forest. It was a great destination for visitors who like to see not only birds but also mammals such as deer, cuscus possum and wallaby. A long the river, we could see large frogs especially during night walk.  The water in the river was very clear. There were freshwater fish in the water. Butterflies could also be seen both along the river and roadsides. 

So far, several groups of tourists have visited Sakofsiah Mountains and Ases Valley. They liked their adventure trips in these places.

Sakofsiah Mountains and Ases Valley are definitely important destination for visitors who are interested in birding and wildlife watching.

There are houses in Ases village where visitors can stay during their trip in those places. Due to their remote location, they can only be reached by 4WD car from Sorong city or Manokwari city. 

In the future, after launching vaccination program to the whole population of Indonesia, government plan to open this country again for foreign travelers. It means, visitors will be able to visit West Papua as tourists. 

If you would like to book your trip to West Papua and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Natural Attractions in West Papua

West Papua is a very important destination for anyone who is interested in everything about coral reef and rainforest. Every year, before th...