Saturday, March 26, 2022

Snorkeling Tour in Cendrawasih Bay

There are a lot of tropical islands inside Cendrawasih Bay. Most of them are surrounded by beautiful coral reefs that are teeming with abundant marine flora and fauna. They become important attraction for visitors who like swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.  

Around 500 hard corals can be seen in Cendrawasih Bay. They are the natural habitat of a lot of reef fish including Burgess's butterflyfish, Cendrawasih Bay Walking Shark (Hemiscyllium  galei),  Walton's flasher wrasse (Paracheilinus walton), Papuan Convict Goby (Priolepsis sp.), and etc.


marine life in Indonesia's Cendrawasih bay national park
Coral Reef in Cendrawasih Bay
Rowor beach in Wasior town of Wondama regency
Rowor beach in the suburb of Wasior town of Wondama regency

Most foreign visitors travel around the islands of the bay by liveaboard diving boats. It is a comfortable but quite an expensive trip. Now the visits to Cendrawasih bay can be organized in a group of 4 to 6 participants in more affordable cost. 

Local guides use speedboat to carry tour participants around the Cendrawasih bay in an island hopping tour style. Visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in remote islands. At night they will go to a village and stay in homestays. It is also interesting for visitors to see local people in their daily life. 

Snorkeling trip to Indonesia
Various kinds of corals in Cendrawasih Bay

To enjoy snorkeling in Cendrawasih Bay, visitors need to go to Manokwari city. It is the capital of West Papua province of Indonesia.  

Foreign visitors can take international flights from their country to Jakarta, Surabaya, or Denpasar city of Indonesia. They can also fly to Singapore and then continue their trip to Manado city by Scoot Tigerair. 

Flights from Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, and Manado as well as other major cities in Indonesia to Manokwari city are available every day and are served by Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air, and Lion Air. 

traveling to West Papua
Rendani Airport of Manokwari with Arfak mountains at the background

Arriving in Manokwari city, visitors can stay for 1 night in one of the hotels in the city. The next day, they can go to Wasior town by a small passenger plane Cessna Caravan 208B in Rendani airport or by passenger vessels: KM. Margareth or KM. Express Bahari 9E at Anggrem harbor of Manokwari. 

Flight route to Wasior town in Wondama regency

traveling to Cendrawasih bay in Bird's head seascape
A traditional market in Wasior town

Wasior is a small town. It is an economic, and transportational hub for visitors who want to explore islands in Cendrawasih Bay. Visitors can buy food, mineral water and other logistical material in Wasior town. There are small hotels, gueshouses, shops, and restaurants in Wasior town. 

Visitor attractions that can be seen around Wasior town include Aitumieri hill, Siewandamuni harbor, Sobey Sandbank (locally called Pasir Timbul), Wandamui hill, Wandamui beach and waterfall, Dusner waterfall, and Rowi river. 

Wasior town in Wondama regency is a transportation and economic hub of Cendrawasih bay
Wasior town in Teluk Wondama regency

However, visitors need to bring snorkeling equipment from their own country. Buy snorkeling gear in Indonesia may not fit on the face of a snorkeler. 

In addition to swimming and snorkeling, visitors can also do other activities such as fishing, birdwatching or visiting the villages in the bay. 

If you are interested in taking a snorkeling tour in Cendrawasih Bay and want local guides to organize your trip and guide you, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Adventure Trip to The National Park of Cendrawasih Bay

The National Park of Cendrawasih Bay

Most of the National Park of Cendrawasih Bay is located inside Wondama regency. It is a great destination for visitors who are interested in swimming, snorkeling, and sightseeing. There are a lot of places and islands in the bay which visitors can see. Some of them are described below:

Teluk Wondama regency
a traditional market in Wasior town

Wasior - This little town should be your first destination if you plan to travel around the islands in the national park. The capital of Wondama regency is Rasiei. It is an integral part of Wasior. The first place which tourists can visit in Wasior town is Batu Inspirasi (The Rock of Inspiration). It is located in Aitumieri Hill and can be reached by hiking up the steep slopes of the hill for around one hour. Sitting on this rock, visitors can see the beautiful Wondama bay with its blue sea and green forest.  Butterflies, and birds can be seen in this forest. It was the place where Izaac Samuel Kijne liked to visit when he was writing hymnal songs. They have now been compiled in a book called Mazmur & Nyanyian Rohani. The hymnal book is still used by GKI church of Papua Land and other churches in Indonesia.

Legacy of I.S. Kijne in Miei of Wasior town
Batu Inspirasi (the Rock of Inspiration)

At the foothill, there are some buildings which were built by Dutch missionaries in early 1900s as the first teachers' training school for the indigenous Papuan people. 

There are a number of beaches and coral reef areas in Wasior. The nearest one is Ketapang Lima Beach. This is the place where visitors can enjoy snorkeling and swimming. A lot of tropical fish can be seen here. They include various kinds of butterflyfish, surgeonfish, rabbitfish, anemonefish, snapper, trevally, grouper, parrotfish, wrasse, cardinalfish, goby and lionfish. Snorkeling can also be done in coral reef areas of Rowor beach. 

Visitors who like fishing can go to Sewandaimuni harbor near Rasiei area. They can also go to Wandamui beach which is located in the suburb of Wasior town. Wandamui hill is the place where town dwellers like to visit to see the beautiful scenery of Wondama bay and make selfie pictures. There is a waterfall with a big pool at the corner of the beach where visitors can enjoy swimming. 

Dusner waterfall in Cendrawasih bay national park
Waterfall in the forest of Dusner village

On the other side of Wondama Bay, there is a waterfall located in the territory of Dusner village. It is the place where visitors go to soak their bodies in the cool water of the waterfall and breath the fresh air from the forest while enjoying the sounds of birds in the surrounding trees. 

Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih
A Hut in the Jungle of Naikere - Teluk Wondama regency

For visitors who like to see wildlife, Naikere is the recommended place to go. Huge tropical rainforest covers this area. There are a lot of species of birds such as Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Red Myzomela, Lowland Peltop, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Blyth's Hornbill, Western-crowned Pigeon, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Lowland Peltop, Golden Myna, Yellow-faced Myna, Black-capped Lory, and a lot more. Cuscus possum, deer, wild pigs, wallaby can be found there too.

The Marine Tour

There are a lot of islands in Cendrawasih Bay that are worth visiting. Auri, Purup, Mioswar, Rumberpon, Yoop, and Roon are groups of islands that can be visited by tourists. The starting point should be Wasior town. Local guides will prepare speedboat to bring visitors to interesting sites where coral reefs are in pristine condition with abundant marine life. Food materials, fuel and other logistical needs can be bought in Wasior town.  Tourists should bring their own snorkeling devices (masks, snorkels and swim fins). 

Marine tour in Wondama regency
Coral reef in National Park of Cendrawasih Bay

Local guides will go to Yende, Menarbu or Niap to inform local villagers about the tour in Roon island before continuing the snorkeling trips to Rariyau island or Matas island. 

For traveling around Purup, visitors will be brought to Yomakan village to inform local people there about the trip. Homestay can also be prepared for visitors if they want to stay in the village. 

Hot stream in Roswar island of Teluk Wondama regency
Hot stream in Roswar island of Cendrawasih Bay

There is hot stream that flows to the sea in Roswar island of Cendrawasih Bay. Visitors can visit the place too. Since the stream is very hot, it will be dangerous for visitors to swim directly in the stream. 

How to get there?

Traveling to the National Park of Cendrawasih Bay is easy. Visitors can take international flights from their country to Jakarta or Denpasar Bali. After that, they need to take a domestic flight to Manokwari city which is the capital of Papua Barat province. Sriwijaya Air, Lion Air, Batik Air have got regular flights between Manokwari and major cities in Indonesia. So, daily flight to Manokwari is available. There are hotels, restaurants and shops in Manokwari city for visitors who want to take a rest for at least one day in the city. 

Susi Flight to Cendrawasih bay
Wasior town

The trip to Wasior town can be carried out by passenger boat from Anggrem harbor of Manokwari or by a small passenger aircraft - Cessna Caravan 208 at Rendani airport of Manokwari. Tickets can be bought at the harbor and at the airport in affordable prices. Here is the flight route to Wondama regency.

traveling to Indonesia
Flight route to Wasior town in Wondama regency

If you need more info about traveling to Wondama regency, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to peace4wp@gmail.com.

This is written by Charles Roring


Sunday, March 13, 2022

Threat to Coral Reef

Indonesia has got one of the largest coral reefs in the world. This tropical forest of the ocean is the source of food, study of science, tourist attractions and a very important element of marine environment.

The rapid growth of population in this country has raised the demand for seafood. Fishermen catch fish, shrimp, crabs  to meet this demand. Unfortunately, there are those who still use destructive methods to harvest these marine resources. They use bottom trawling net, explosives, and chemicals that are harmful to marine ecosystem. 

Red and Black Anemonefish in Manokwari - a snorkeling photo
Coral Reef in Manokwari

On land, rapid growth of coastal cities and towns in this country has given more pressures to marine environment. 

I have seen the increasing number of wastes that flows to the sea during rainy days. The transparent plastic wastes are eaten by turtles. They consider them as jellyfish. Many of them end up in coral reef areas. They block sunlight from reaching the surface of the corals. Sunlight is needed by coral reef to carry out photosynthesis. Coral reef needs crystal clear water to function properly. When soil sediment, and plastic wastes cover coral reef areas, they will kill them. This, as a whole, threaten the existence of other marine animals that depend of coral reef as their source of food and as their homes. 

Filter marine creatures such as bivalves, sea cucumber, and various kinds of small fish have been excessively exploited from coral reef. This weakens the ability of coral reef to clean and restore itself from all the above wastes.

snorkeling photo from Raja Ampat
Marine Life in Raja Ampat

Damages in food chains and food web will bring catastrophic effect not only on the marine environment but also on human life. Fishermen cannot catch fish in the nearby waters. They need to go further in order to find fish. This means that they need to spend more fuel and build bigger boat without any assurance that they will be able to harvest more fish in distant seas. 

There are a lot of things that we need to do to preserve coral reef. 

  • Strict rules on the protection of coral reefs have to be enforced in order to prevent all kinds of destructive fishing activities from operating in coral reef areas. 
  • Ships and boats that pass over coral reef areas must not dispose wastes and other harmful substances to this precious environment. 
  • All operators of recreational boats must avoid throwing their anchors on the reefs.
  • Certain coral reef sites have to be fully protected under the schemes of No Take Zone or Marine Protected Areas. They will function as fish factory, natural laboratory for scientific study and as important supports for coastal and sea environment.

snorkeling photo from coral reef of Indonesia
Marine Life in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat

Because all the marine organisms are inter-connected, they way we manage our marine resources determine our future. If we can sustainably manage and protect our marine enviroment, we can harvest fish for ever. If we ignore the importance of preserving our marine environment, we may lose it forever.  by Charles Roring

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