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.

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