Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Birding and Snorkeling Tours in Raja Ampat islands

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
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:

Monday, September 17, 2018

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.
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 life 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.
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: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Freediving photos from the beach of Raja Ampat Dive Resort

Marine Fish in Raja Ampat
I stayed in Raja Ampat Dive Resort for a few days from 9 to 11 September 2018. I helped some friends guiding birdwatchers in southern region of Waigeo island. We explored the forest deep in the nearby hill, and along the coastal forest areas near the airport. We also visited Ik island. We saw a lot of birds there including Great-billed Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Yellow-faced Myna, Beach Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, and etc. I used a pair of 10×42 binoculars. For identification of birds, I brought afieldguide book: Birds of New Guinea, written by Thane K. Pratt, and Bruce Beehler and sound records of tens of birds that live in this region.
Blue Seastar
When the birding tour was finished, I borrowed a set of snorkeling mask from the resort to see the underwater life in the coral reef. I like snorkeling and freediving. To take pictures, I often go down to a depths of 3 to 10 meters or even more -below sea level. I could get closer to the fish or other marine animals that I want to photograph. There was a jetty in front of the restaurant of the dive resort. I walked on it towards the sea and then down the stairs to the water. After setting on my camera and mask, I slowly immersed myself into the sea. The visibility was very poor because of the waves. To find clear water, I swam further to deeper area. As I entered the reef crest and then to the reef wall areas, the coral reefs looked better. However, due to the strong south wind, the underwater scenery was not fully clear. I chosed the subjects that I wanted to photographs and then dived on to them. I could hold my breath for tens of seconds to a little more than 1 minute.
Christmas tree worm
My camera was a Fujifilm XQ2. I made tens of pictures from butterflyfish to giant humphead wrasse and tiny Christmas tree worm. I know the results were not maximum because of the weather.
As I become more familiar with the different settings of this photographic device, I hope that I could make better photographs in the future.
I like birding, freediving, snorkeling when I accompany tourists around Raja Ampat, Tambrauw and Manokwari.
If you are interested in taking a holiday in West Papua province of Indonesia and want me to be your guide, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.