Monday, June 1, 2015

Visiting Sansapor in New Guinea

Sansapor was one of the landing points of US forces in Netherlands New Guinea in their fight against Japanese forces during World War II. From June to August 1944, US troops landed and constructed airfields in the area including in Middleburg island, in Amsterdam island, and in Mar village of the mainland New Guinea. The picture below shows the two islands which are now called Pulau Dua. In Malay or Indonesian language, Pulau means Island and Dua means Two.
Dua islands (formerly called Amsterdam and Middleburg islands near Sausapor town of Tambrauw regency - West Papua

From 18 to 21 May 2015, I made an exploratory trip to Sausapor (as it is called now) and its surrounding areas. My goal was to assess whether the town and its nearby villages could be promoted as destination of foreign tourists. Sausapor has developed from a small village in 1940s into a small coastal town of Tambrauw regency.
My trip to Sausapor was also part of an initial visitation for the annual traditional event of Turtle Calling Ritual that will be conducted on 25 June 2015 at Jamoersba beach of the region. So, if you read this post and are interested in attending the event to watch leatherback turtles land on the beach to lay eggs, do fly to Sorong city before 23 June 2015. I will try to arrange transfer for you to Sausapor town.
US tank wrecks in the jungle of Werbes near Sansapor of New Guinea
During my land tour in the region, I was able to visit the former airfield of Mar that has been reconstructed by the local government of Tambrauw regency for civilian purposes.
I also had a chance to explore the tropical rainforest near Werbes village where local people said that there are still some tank wrecks left by US troops in two adjacent locations of the jungle. In total there were around ten of them. They became a silent evidence of US presence in the region 71 years ago.
Sausapor and its surrounding environment is a suitable destination for tourists who are interested in hiking, camping, snorkeling, birdwatching and wildlife watching.

How to get to Sansapor?
  • First contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by sending text message to my cell phone: 006281332245180
  • Second, fly to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) and then take a domestic flight to Sorong city. From Sorong city, you can continue your trip by passenger ship MV. Sunlia or by  MV. Ave Maria from Pelabuhan Rakyat (meaning People's harbor) to Sausapor. The ship usually leaves at night at 22.00 and arrives in Sansapor or Sausapor at 04.00.
  • From the town, you can explore its forest, rivers, beach, and the Soe islands?
There two ways to go to Sausapor town from Sorong city: First: Go by passenger ships KM Sunlia and KM Ave Maria from Pelabuhan Rakyat in Sorong city. Second: Go by 4WD car (which is very expensive) from Sorong to Sausapor.
Position of Sausapor town relative to map of Indonesia and such nearby cities as Sorong and Manokwari

Sausapor and other villages in Tambrauw regency are not a touristic region. You might find yourself as the only tourist in town or village. So, next time when you plan to have a summer holiday, consider Sansapor as your destination :-) this article was written by Charles Roring, email: peace4wp@gmail.com




Sunday, May 10, 2015

Watching Leatherback Turtle in Tambrauw regency of West Papua

Leatherback turtle
Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)  is one of the largest turtles in the world. This endangered animal is facing extinction due to continuous hunting for its eggs, suffocation from drifting plastic bag that it considers as jelly fish and other natural predators in its early age.
To raise awareness about the importance of protecting turtles, local community leaders, supported by Department of Maritime and Fishery Affairs and local government officials of Tambrauw regency will conduct Traditional Ceremony for Calling Leatherback Turtles on 25 June 2015. The festival is open to everybody who is interested in watching the landing of leatherback turtles at Jen Womom beach to lay their eggs. Local government of Tambrauw regency will provide MV. Ave Maria (a passanger ship) as free transportation from Sausapor town to Jen Womom beach for anybody who wants to attend the traditional ceremony.
For locations of Jen Womom beach and Sausapor town, please, study the following map:
Sausapor is the capital of Tambrauw regency. Jen Womom or also called Jamursbamedi beach is the location where the annual ceremony for the calling of leatherback turtle is conducted
Sausapor town in the map of Indonesia is located between Sorong city and Manokwari city (the capital of West Papua province)

Batu Kapal beach near Sausapor town of Tambrauw regency
How to get there?
  • First fly from your country to Jakarta city.
  • After getting Visa On Arrival, continue your trip to Sorong city by flying with Garuda, or Sriwijaya Air, or Express Air
  • Make sure that you arrive in Sorong city around 20 to 23 June so that you can go by passenger ship or 4wd car to Sausapor town. Go to Pelabuhan Rakyat harbor continue your trip to Sausapor town by passenger boats KMSunlia and KMAve Maria (ticket price is 100,000 to 150,000 rupiahs for economy class rupiahs or approximately 8 to 12 US dollars per person). The boat leaves Sorong city (from Pelabuhan Rakyat) for Sausapor town on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
  • Make sure that you arrive in Sausapor town before 25 June 2015 so that you will get free transport to Pasir Panjang beach during the festival. 
  • Accommodation is free (just go to the office of WWF and meet staff of the office Ronny Tethool or Anis Sundoi)
Leatherback turtles land on Pasir Panjang beach of Tambrauw regency from Mei to August so, you can still go there to see the turtles during those months. But you will have to pay for a chartered motorized boat to the beach.
Tambrauw regency has got a lot of tourist attraction. Some of them are wave surfing, trekking, and birdwatching.
If you are interested in visiting Tambrauw regency, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or cell phone: 006281332245180

Friday, May 8, 2015

Trekking and Watching Tree Kangaroo in Arfak Mountains

I went trekking to Mupi Gunung village of Arfak mountains last week. It was a hamlet located deep in the jungle with a population of only three families. It took around 10 hours walk to reach Mupi Gunung. Because the population in the village is only less than 10 people, the surrounding environment is still in pristine condition.
Watching Tree Kangaroo

Tree Kangaroo in the jungle of Arfak mountains near Mupi Gunung hamlet
At an elevation of 1,000 meters above sea level, Mupi Gunung is an ideal site for tourists who are interested in watching tree kangaroo. So far there are two species that have been photographed by the tourists but the villagers said there are three species in the jungle. To take picture of the kangaroo, visitors need to bring D-SLR camera with telephoto lenses or bridge camera with super telephoto capabilities such as Nikon P600, Nikon P900 or Canon SX60hs.

Wild Life
Tree kangaroo is not the only animal that lives in the jungle around Mupi Gunung. There are other animals too including Cassowary bird, cuscus possum, various species of birds of paradise and wild pigs.

If you are interested in visiting Mupi Gunung or exploring other parts of West Papua, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send text message to my cell phone: 006281332245180.

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