Friday, September 26, 2014

Watching Western Parotia in Arfak Mountains

Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata) is one of the thiry nine species of birds of paradise known to science. It lives mostly in the bird's head region of West Papua. This bird does not have feather as colorful as the famous Lesser Birds of Paradise but it has other characters that have attracted the attention of a lof of birdwatchers from around the world.

Male Western Parotia have display ground that he uses to attract female parotia with his skills in performing courtship dance. In the mornings and in the afternoons, he lands on the ground to clear it from any fallen leaves and twigs. He shouts loudly to call female Western Parotia. While waiting for them to come he will practice his dance skills.
During late February and March, male Western Parotia are more active. They are in mating season. Male parotias compete on another to win the hearts of female parotia. They will show their best performances to the female parotias. When they dance, they look like ballerinas.
Mupi Gunung Village
There is a village located deep in the dense forest of Arfak mountains that I highly recommends for birdwatchers. Its name is Mupi Gunung. Various species of paradise birds thrive in the forest around the tiny village. There are only three families in Mupi Gunung village.
To reach it, visitors must walk for 9 hours through dense forest. Villagers have prepared a house for the visitors to who want to stay for several nights.
Besides watching Western Parotia, visitors can enjoy trekking in the forest to see tree kangaroo. Other animals that live in the jungle are wild pigs, deer, cuscus possum, blyth's hornbill, sulphur crested cockatoo, pinon imperial pigkeon, and a great variety of butterflies, beetles and other insects.

How to get there?
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta city (the capital of Indonesia)
  • Take a domestic flight to Manokwari city (check the website of Garuda Indonesia Airways, Sriwijaya Air, Express Air and Lion Air)
  • When you have arrived in Manokwari, you could stay for one night at Swissbel hotel, Aston niu hotel or Mansinam beach hotel for making some preparation before going to Arfak range. I can arrange your trip to Mupi Gunung, getting travel permit from the polic, buying food, and getting a transport vehicle.
Please, contact me by e-mail to: if you still need more information about rainforest tour in Arfak mountains. written by Charles Roring

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Aquarium Design in Japan - a program from NHK World

I have just watched a program on NHK WORLD about how the Japanese design their aquariums. I was amazed to see the beautiful underwater environment created by the Japanese aquarium designers for their marine gardens.
When visitors see giant fish tanks through crystall clear walls they got an impression as if they are diving and breathing inside coral reef.

Japanese fish tank designers use natural materials such as drift wood, water plants, corals, a great variety of fish and lighting techniques to make the artificial water environment in the aquarium look natural. The use of curved glass walls, man-made curved walls and separate acrylic fish tanks alligned together side by side are some of the many innovations or tricks which the tank designer develop. For them aquariums are the works of art.
The Japanese like to have aquariums in their houses to recreate underwater marine or river environments in their living rooms or kitchens.
Even though the designs of the fish tanks are so good, I still believe that the best environment for the fish is at their own natural habitat i.e., at sea and the rivers. by Charles Roring

Monday, September 22, 2014

Rainforest Tour in Arfak Mountains near Mupi Gunung Village

by Charles Roring
As a private tour guide I frequently accompany tourists on various trekking and camping trips in the tropical rainforest of West Papua. The region is now under the administration of the Republic of Indonesia. The most popular destination is Arfak mountains.
There, visitors will be able to see pristine rainforest which is the natural habitat of birds, mammals, insects, and reptiles. Most of the visitors who go trekking in the Arfak range stay for at least 2 nights. They watch paradise birds, western parotia, and cuscus possum.
Mupi Gunung Village
There is a very small village located deep inside the jungle of the range. Its name is Mupi Gunung. We need to walk up the slopes of the range through dense forest for 9 hours to reach the village. From that village, we can explore the forest to see its wildlife. Tree kangaroo, cuscus possum, porcupine, lesser birds of paradise, wild pigs and deers live in the forest.
Tropical Rainforest in Arfak mountains near Mupi Gunung village
I highly recommend this village as your next destination for rainforest tour. You have to be physically fit and strong to do this tour.
Where is Mupi Gunung village?
Mupi Gunung village is in Arfak mountains. It is in the south of Manokwari city - the capital of West Papus province.
You need to do regular exercise for at least 3 months to take this tour.

How to get there?
  • Take an international flight from your country to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
  • After that fly from Jakarta city to Manokwari. Airlines that fly to Manokwari are Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya, Express Air and Lion Air
  • When you have arrived in Manokwari, call or send text message to my cell phone (+6281332245180). I will arrange your trekking trip to Mupi Gunung.
  • Be ready to walk for approximately 9 hours to reach Mupi Gunung village.
  • Change your money to Indonesian Rupiahs when in Jakarta
  • Bring watershoes or jungle boots if you want to go trekking in Arfak mountains
  • You need insect repellent lotion
  • Bring extra batteries and memories for your camera
Please, contact me by e-mail to: if you are interested.

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