Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Rainforest Tour in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is a great destination for snorkelers and scuba divers. It is also a great site for rainforest wildlife watching tour. As a guide I have run bird tours in Waigeo island for around 7 years now. Usually I combine it with snorkeling trips. With this type of tour, participants will be able to see the wealth of biodiversity of Raja Ampat both in coral reef and rainforest. 

The best time to enjoy birding and wildlife watching is in the mornings and late afternoons before sunset. To watch Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise, we have to wake up early in the mornings. First, we will make preparations and then after that, we will go to the lek of birds of paradise on foot. When we reach the birdwatching site, the light of the sun begins to hit the canopy of the forest. This is the moment when male Red Birds of Paradise begin to call their female mating partners. Several male Red Birds of Paradise compete to perform courtship dance in order to wind the heart of their female mating partner. Their dancing style is unique. A male bird of paradise often dances in an upside-down position. Similar to 69 tantric pose that allows the smooth flow of love energy.

The tantric 69 upside-down pose of the Red Bird of Paradise during courtship dance performance for the smooth flow of love energy

The duration of the dancing performance and mating of birds of paradise is around 3 hours if the weather is good. 

Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica) is also active around the same time as the Wilson's Bird of Paradise. The following video shows how the male bird was picking up debris from his display ground as a preparation to attract his female counterpart to that site. When the female Wilson's Bird of Paradie shows up, he will show his beautiful feather and plays his curly tailed antennas for mating with his female partner. 

In addition to watching birds of paradise, we also do general birding and wildlife watching walks to see various kinds of animals from tropical birds to reptiles, insects and mammals. 

wildlife tour in Indonesia
Coconut Crab in Raja Ampat

During my previous tours with tourists in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat, we saw birds such as Eclectus Parrot, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooded Butcherbird, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Great-billed Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Willie Wagtail, Papuan Frogmouth and a lot more. 

If you are interested in taking a wildlife watching and snorkeling tour with me as your guide in Raja Ampat, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Snorkeling, Sightseeing, Birdwatching and Wildlife Watching Trip in Raja Ampat

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Last week, I guided 2 British visitors for 1 week rainforest and marine tours in Raja Ampat regency. I met them at a guesthouse in Sorong city and organized their transfer to Waigeo island by fast ferry boat. It took around 2 hours to reach the harbor of Waisai. We continued our trip by car to a beach resort in the south of Waigeo.

tour package for raja ampat ialands
Tour in Raja Ampat with 2 British Visitors

Along the way, we stopped several times to enjoy birdwatching. Birds such as Pacific Swallow, White-breasted Woodswallow, Brahminy Kite, Gurneys Eagle, Eclectus Parrot, Moustached Treeswift, and Pied Imperial Pigeon were what we saw. 

We stayed in Raja Ampat Dive Resort (RADR) in Saporkren. In the first day of the tour, we spent most of our time inside the resort. There were a lot of green trees that surrounded the cottages. A lot of birds like to land on the trees for eating their fruits or for taking a rest before continuing their flight into the forest behind the hill. I brought a pair of 10×50 binoculars that I installed on top of my tripod. This is a good alternative for the more expensive spotting scope & tripod device. During the afternoon birdwatching session from the jetty, we were able to watch Beach Kingfisher, Helmetted Friarbird, Common Sandpiper, Pacific Reef Heron and a lot more. 

The next few days, we visited Piaynemo karst and explored the coral reef of Friwen Wall, Arborek, Yenbuba, Mioskon, Five Rocks, and Sand Bank. Raja Ampat was the paradise of marine life. There were a lot of species of fishes and marine creatures that we saw. 

Anemonefish at Friwen Wall
When snorkeling in Mioskon island, we saw Blue-spotted Stingray. There were cats at the beach. We gave them the leftovers of our lunch. Heavy rain fell on us while we were on the island. Trevally, parrotfish, wrasses are some of the many fishes which we saw in Mioskon. After that we continued our snorkeling tour to Five Rocks. This site does not have beautiful coral reef as what we saw in Mioskon but we saw Banded Sea Krait, Boxfish, blenny and Wobeggong there. 

Yenbuba strait is the site for Blacktip Reef Shark, turtles and a lot of big fishes. Swimmers and snorkelers need to be careful at this site because there are boats that cross this shallow strait. 

Coral reef in Friwen Wall
Tropical seafish of raja ampat
Various species of fishes in Arborek's jetty
Snorkeling in Friwenwall of Raja Ampat
with Gary and Esther in Sandbank of Raja Ampat

In Piaynemo, we did not go snorkeling. We only enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the karst. However, we watched birds in its top. There were White-bellied Cuckooshrike, Metallic Starling, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Beach Kingfisher and Brahminy Kite. 

If you are interested in taking a holiday in Raja Ampat and want me to guide you, and organize your trip, please contact me (Charles Roring) by whatsapp to: 6281332245180.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Birdwatching, Snorkeling and Sightseeing in Sorong and Raja Ampat

I have just finished running a tour for two visitors who came from the Netherlands. They were Femke and Mathijs. We spent 1 week exploring the rainforest of Sorong and Raja Ampat to watch birds, mammals, insects and reptiles as well as various kinds of unique tropical plants. 

marine tour
Raja Ampat Marine Tour
In Raja Ampat, we did snorkeling, and sightseeing tour to see Piaynemo, Pasir Timbul (Sand Bank) and Friwen Wall. The sea current in the front waters of Arborek, between Gam and Mansuar island are quite strong.  That's why the coral reef in this area is the natural habitat of a lot of species of fish that like the current. However, we did not do snorkeling in the area where the current was strong. We went to Friwen-wall and enjoyed snorkeling there. After that we had our lunch at its beach which was on the other side of the islet. It was a nice experience because we can see colourful fish, and other marine animals of West Papua. Raja Ampat has got beautiful white sandy beach which is a good place for swimming and sunbathing. Sergeantfish, anemonefish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, are some of the many tropical fishes that Femke and Mathijs saw while snorkeling in Raja Ampat. 
birdwatching in West Papua
Sightseeing and Birdwatching in West Papua

During the birdwatching tour, we saw Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise as well as a lot of other birds including Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Frilled Monarch, Yellow-faced Myna, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, and etc.

Please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 if you are interested in taking a rainforest wildlife watching, sightseeing and snorkeling tour in West Papua province of Indonesia. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Coconut Crab in Raja Ampat

Around 2 weeks ago, I guided a Russian tourist on a 2-week birdwatching and wildlife watching trip to Raja Ampat, Klasow valley of Sorong and Arfak mountains. While in Sorong, we went hiking in southern forest of Waigeo to see birds.

We also took an opportunity to nearby islands to enjoy snorkeling and seeing coconut crab. There was an islet where coconut crab lived. Its name was Nyetreiram. We went there by a small speedboat after taking a snorkeling tour in Friwen. We arrived at the islet at around sunset time. The crabs had not come out of their hiding places. The owner of the islet cut open a dried coconut into pieces and spread then on several places on the islet. When it was getting dark, the crabs began to come out. We were invited to see them. 

coconut crab in Raja Ampat
Coconut Crab in Raja Ampat

They had not reach full sizes but were already bigger than other crab in nature. We took the opportunity to photographs them. 

We were not long at the island. Soon the weather changed. The wind blew fast and the sea surface became rough. We got into the boat and returned quickly to the beach resort where we stayed. Fortunately, we already reach the resort when sea storm hit the beach. 

It was a nice experience to see the Coconut Crab (Birgus largo) in Raja Ampat.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Wildlife Watching in Raja Ampat Archipelago

Most of the islands in Raja Ampat are surrounded by coral reef, they are the natural habitat of marine animals from small Christmas Tree Worm to large humphead wrasse fish. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling over the coral reef to see various kinds of marine creatures or do scubadiving to see more in deeper waters. 

Along the coastal area of Raja Ampat, sea birds can be observed. They include Radjah Shelduck, Eastern Osprey, Beach Kingfisher, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Eclectus Parrot, Great-billed Parrot, and etc.

Marine Life in Raja Ampat

In certain months, turtles land on the beach to lay eggs. The northern coast of Waigeo is a great place for visitors to watch leatherback, green, olive ridley and hawksbill turtles. 

marine wildlife in Raja Ampat islands
Wobbegong reef shark

The rainforest of Raja Ampat is th destination for visitors who are interested in watching Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise and a lot more.

Wilson's Bird of Paradise
Wilson's Bird of Paradise

There are karsts in Raja Ampat, visitors who go there can see beautiful marine landscapes that are covered by green vegetation and turquoise blue sea water. With more than 1,500 tropical reef fish living in the waters of Raja Ampat, visitors will have plenty of marine life to see when they travel to the islands.