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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Wildlife Watching Tour in the Forest of Sorong Regency

Klatomok is a small village in Sorong regency of West Papua. It is a great destination for visitors who are interested in seeing the flora and fauna of tropical rainforest. It is easy to travel to Klatomok village from Sorong city.
The village is located in Klasow Valley around 2 hours ride by 4WD car from Sorong city. 
Western Crowned Pigeon in Klasouw Valley
Western-crowned Pigeon

Wildlife watching in Klatomok village of West Papua
Klatomok Village in the forest of Klasow valley of Sorong regency
Visitors who go there usually spend at least 3 days/ 2 nights in the village to explore the forest in the valley and in the mountains. They stay in the houses of the villagers. There are mattresses, mosquito nets, and toilets. The homestays are not luxurious accommodations which visitors usually find in famous tourist destinations. But they are good enough for simple living in the forest. Visitors bring camera with telephoto lens, binoculars, and spotting scope. When they go hiking, they will be able to see various species of birds, reptiles, insects and sometimes mammals. 

European tourists in Klatomok village of Sorong regency
European tourists in Klatomok village of Sorong regency

Wallaby, deer, cuscus possum are typical animals that can be found in the forest of Klasow valley. Visitors who like birdwatching can easily watch birds early in the mornings and in the afternoons around the edges of the village and along the road the connects the village and Sorong city. Some of the birds which birders can see in the forest of Klatomok village include Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Red-cheek Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Black-capped Lory, Black Lory,  Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Western-crowned Pigeon, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Northern Cassowary, Hooded Butcherbird, Dollarbird, Brahminy Kite, Variable Goshawk, Rufous Owl, Shining Flycatcher, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Lowland Peltop, and a lot more. 
There is a small river near the village where visitors can go to take a bath during warm days. 
stream in tropical rainforest
Small stream in the forest near Klatomok village

First, visitors need to buy food from local traditional market and supermarket, after that they can charter a 4WD pick-up car to bring them to Klatomok village. Arriving in the village, visitors can meet local villagers who will be happy to receive and provide homestays for them.
Swiss tourists were guided by Kostan Magablo in Klasouw valley of Sorobg regency
Local guide Kostan Magablo was guiding Swiss tourists in Klasouw Valley

Sometimes women from the village go to the forest to extract sago starch from its tree trunk. First, they have to cut the tree, after that they will clean the fallen trunk, split it to expose its pith. Mothers will use simple axes to pulverize the pith. 
They remove the pith little by little and knead it by hand using water from a nearby river to extract the sago starch. 
Visitors can try pulverizing the pith or kneading the pith to squeeze out the starch. The starch that is collected in palm leaf containers will later be taken to the village to be consumed as staple food. The starch can be baked to make bread or boiled to make papeda. 
Papuan women in the village manually weave pandanus leaves to make mattresses, and bags. They also use plant fibers to make string net bags which are locally called noken.
map of West Papua province in the Republic of Indonesia
Klatomok village is in the east of Sorong city
Here is the map location of Klatomok village. It is a highly recommended destination for nature lovers who fly to Sorong city before or after their trip to Raja Ampat islands.

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