Monday, March 19, 2018

Raja Ampat Birding and Snorkeling Tours

Moluccan Starling in Raja Ampat
As a tourist guide, I offer hiking and birding tour in Raja Ampat islands of West Papua. The tours may involve staying at villager's houses or camping in the forest to find such target birds as Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Papuan Hornbill, Yellow-faced Myna, and Olive-backed Sunbird, Palm Cockatoo, and Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
The birding tour in the forest and coastal areas of Raja Ampat will be combined with snorkeling tours where participants can enjoy the beauty of coral reef and its wealth of marine creatures. Fish such as moorish idol, butterflyfish, diagonal sweetlips, anemonefish and striped-surgeonfish can be seen at depths between 1.5 meters to 5 meters.
To share the cost of the tour, participants should at least be around 4 to 6 people. A good pair of binoculars, spotting scope and camera with telephoto lens capability will enhance the birding experience of the visitors. For snorkeling in Raja Ampat, visitors will need to bring their own masks, and fins.
If you and your friends are interested in taking this Raja Ampat birding and snorkeling tours,  please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Where is Raja Ampat

Location of Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is a group of large and small islands in the western most region of West Papua province of Indonesia. There are more than 1,500 big and small islands as well as karst islets in the archipelago. Four big islands consist of Waigeo, Misool, Salawati and Batanta. Raja Ampat is considered as the center of marine biodiversity in the world because its waters and coral reef environment have got the highest number of fish species. The archipelago has got groups of karst islets that exhibit magnificent view of marine landscape. Some of them include Wayag, Piaynemo (Fam islands), Kofiau, Kabui bay and Fish Lagoon. Every year tens of thousands of visitors go to Raja Ampat to enjoy swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, free diving, scuba diving and sightseeing. In addition to marine tours, Raja Ampat islands attract significant number of birders who travel to the regency to watch the endemic Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica) and Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra).

How to go to Raja Ampat?
Raja Ampat islands
Visitors who want to go to Raja Ampat need to fly to one of the major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Denpasar, Makassar and Manado.
There is direct flight service by Garuda that connects Jakarta and Sorong city (the main gate to Raja Ampat). Regular flights between these cities are also offered by Sriwijaya, Batik, Nam, and Lion via Makassar city.
Tourists who land in Denpasar Bali can continue their trip to Raja Ampat by flying to Makassar and then to Sorong. Asian tourists can fly to Singapore and then fly to Manado by Silk Air. Regular direct flights to Sorong city are available from Manado by Garuda, Lion Air and Nam Air.
Besides going by airplanes, visitors can also go by ships to Sorong city. PELNI passenger ships connects Sorong and major coastal cities in West Papua as well as in Maluku, Sulawesi and Java islands.

Snorkeling freediving and birding Tours
I offer snorkeling and free diving tours for visitors who are interested in exploring the islands of Raja Ampat. The usual duration is 3 to 5 days. The tours will be combined with hiking and birdwatching tours to find such birds as palm cockatoo, pinon imperial pigeon, pink-spotted fruit dove, sulphur crested cockatoo, eclectus parrot and rufous-bellied kookburra. Please, bring your own snorkeling mask and fins as well as binoculars if you want to take the tour.
If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and need a guide, I can be your guide and organize your tours from airport or hotel in Sorong city to Raja Ampat islands. Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Snorkeling in Raja Ampat Islands

Uninhabited island of Raja Ampat
Snorkeling in Uninhabited Islands
I often organize snorkeling tours to Raja Ampat islands. Visitors prefer  remote beaches and uninhabited islands to famous sites around Dampier strait. Here is the picture of Isanak beach which is one of the snorkeling spots that is rich of marine life. It takes approximately two hours ride by motorized boat to reach the island. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling and freediving as well as exploring the plants and animals in little forest of the uninhabited island. During the tour, I will bring tents, drinking water and food materials so that visitors will be able to spend one or two nights in the island before going further to a nearby village or continue hopping to another uninhabited island of Raja Ampat.

Jungle Tours for watching Birds of Paradise
Diagonal sweetlips in Raja Ampat waters
I can organize tour into the forest of Waigeo island for visitors to enjoy birdwatching. Early in the mornings, male Red Bird of Paradise dance in trees to seduce their female birds. If the female birds are impressed with the courtship dance of the male birds of paradise, they will mate. It is a good way to start a day. Birds of paradise have got more than one sex partners.
To enjoy watching the paradise birds, visitors need to bring their own binoculars, telephoto camera or spotting scope. We can spend one more night in the forest.

Village Tour and Birding Tours 
Heading to Fish Lagoon of Raja Ampat
There is a village that is not far from the lek of birds of paradise. After watching the birds, we can go to the village to take a shower, meet local people and have lunch. We could also do village tour to see and meet local people in their daily activities. Another night in the village will enable us to explore the forest at the back of the village. We can easily explore the forest because there is road. Birds that become our target are Papuan Hornbill, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Olive-backed Sunbird, Lowland Peltop, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, and etc.

Island Hopping
Typical View of Raja Ampat archipelago
We will continue our snorkeling Tour to another uninhabited island of Raja Ampat. Here, in addition to snorkeling, we can enjoy fishing. Local villagers can catch some fish aand we can grill these fresh fish for our lunch.  Reef fish such as Grouper, Damsel Fish, Anemonefish, and Striped Surgeonfish can be seen at the depths between 1 to 3 or even 5 meters. Sometimes hawksbill turtles and black-tip shark could be seen in the waters too. We can make a visit to a sand strip in the middle of the sea to take pictures of the blue ocean and its marine environment.

Fish Lagoon
More exploration of pristine nature of Raja Ampat will bring us to Fish Lagoon where will will enjoy the beauty of the islands that form the lagoon. A short hike to the top of the island will present us the magnificent view of the lagoon. One more night in the nearby village is a good way for us to interact with local villagers.

Getting to Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is a regency in the western most region of West Papua province, Indonesia. As of today flights to this archipelago can be carried out to Sorong city. Here is how to get there:
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
  • After that take a domestic flight to Domine Eduard Osok (DEO) airport of Sorong city. There is direct flight served by Garuda - the Indonesian national flag carrier. Batik, Sriwijaya, Nam, and Lion Air
  • I will meet you at the airport or the hotel where you stay and organize your adventure tours to Raja Ampat
Getting to Raja Ampat can also be done from cities in Indonesia when you are already inside this country. For instance, if you are in Manado city, you can fly to Sorong city. If you are in Manokwari coty, you can take PELNI passenger shop to Sorong city. You could also fly to Sorong from Rendani airport of Manokwari.
I offer this tour to anybody who is interested in exploring the natural beauty of Raja Ampat islands. It is important to have several participants (3 to 5 or 6 people) to share the cost. Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email: or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Visiting Fish Lagoon in Raja Ampat
Snorkeling and Watching Birds of Paradise in Raja Ampat
Snorkeling and Hiking in Raja Ampat
Tour to Uninhabited Islands of Raja Ampat

Monday, March 12, 2018

What is Raja Ampat

What is Raja Ampat?
White sandy beach in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is a regency in West Papua province of the Republic of Indonesia. Its capital is Waisai town. The phrase Raja Ampat means Four Kings (Raja means King and Ampat means Four). Four big islands in this regency are Waigeo, Misool, Batanta and Salawati. There are also hundreds of small islands surrounded by white sandy beaches, coral reef areas.  They become natural habitat of thousands of species of marine creatures. Some of them include pink anemonefish, diagonal sweetlips, moorish idol, striped surgeonfish, lionfish, and even the black-tip shark, manta and hawksbill turtle.
Marine Tours (swimming, snorkeling and freediving)
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
There are a lot of snorkeling sites in uninhabited beaches or islands. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and bird/ wildlife watching for several days. Visitors need to bring their own snorkeling mask, snorkel and fins. A waterproof underwater camera is also needed to take pictures of the fish and the coral reef. As a tourist guide I often guide visitors to coral reef sites that are located in remote and uninhabited islands. For birdwatching, a good pair of binoculars and spotting scope will be needed for that purpose.
7 Snorkeling Spots in Raja Ampat
Fish Lagoon in Raja Ampat
The most famous sites are Wayag, and Pianemo. However, places such as Fish Lagoon and Kabui bay are worth seeing.

Tropical rainforest that covers most of the islands in Raja Ampat is home to a lot of species of birds such as Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor), King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius) in Misool island as well as Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica) and Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) in Waigeo island. Other birds such as Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Papuan Hornbill, Eclectus Parrot, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooked-bill Kingfisher, Beach Kingfisher, Brahminy Kite, and Eastern Osprey can be watched in the archipelago too.
Where is Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat islands are located in the western most region of West Papua province in the Republic of Indonesia. Raja Ampat borders Halmahera and Obi islands (belong to North Maluku province) in the west and borders with Seram island (belongs to Maluku province) in the south. As an easy reference, Raja Ampat islands are located in the territory of the Republic of Indonesia.

Batik Air at Domine Edward Osok airport
Sorong city
How to get to Raja Ampat
Most visitors fly from their country to Jakarta city first. After that they can take direct flight served by Garuda to Sorong city. There are other airlines such as Sriwijaya, Nam, Batik, Lion that provide regular flights to Sorong. From this city, visitors can cross to Waisai town of Raja Ampat by fast ferry and then to numerous islands in the regency.
Where to stay? There are dive resorts, homestays, and liveaboards in Raja Ampat which visitors can choose to stay. There are some lodges in Waisai town - the capital of Raja Ampat but most tourists prefer to stay in remote islands so that they could have direct access to pristine coral reef and white sandy beaches of the archipelago. To find a more affordable accommodation in the islands, please, type: stayrajaampat in your search engines.

If you are interested in taking a swimming, snorkeling, birdwatching/ wildlife watching tour in Raja Ampat, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: or for fast reply, contact me by whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Snorkeling Tour in Manokwari

Marine Life in Manokwari
Here are some pictures of marine life in Manokwari which I made when I went snorkeling. I frequently guide tourists in Manokwari to see both marine environment and tropical rainforest. There are several sites in Manokwari that can be visited by tourists who are interested in snorkeling and freediving. Visitors need to bring their own snorkeling device such as mask, snorkel, fins, and waterproof/ underwater camera.
The snorkeling tours can be done for two to three days covering several coral reef areas in Manokwari from north to south.
After the snorkeling tour, the trip can be extended to the forest where visitors can enjoy hiking, bird and wildlife watching.
Typical Itinerary
Snorkeling photograph in Manokwari waters
Day 1
Snorkeling in north east of Manokwari
Snorkeling at one of the islands of the bay
Day 2
Snorkeling in the south of Manokwari
Day 3
Hiking and birdwatching
Night walk in lower montane forest of Arfak range
Day 4
Watching Paradise Birds
Return to Manokwari

In addition to organizing tours in Manokwari, I could also run snorkeling and hiking/ birding tours in other parts of West Papua such as to Sorong, Raja Ampat, and Tambrauw regency.
Please, use the contact form on the right side of this blog or send your message to my e-mail: or text to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.
Related article
Snorkeling sites in Raja Ampat
Snorkeling in Mansinam island

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Birdwatching Tour near Sorong City

Rainforest near Sorong city
Sorong city is the main gate to Raja Ampat. Every year tens of thousands of visitors fly to Sorong city to enjoy their holiday in this tropical archipelago. Most of these tourists spend their holiday by snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming. However, there are a lot of other tourists who are interested in exploring the biodiversity of rainforest or in birdwatching. As a tourist guide, I offer hiking and birdwatching tours to tropical rainforest of Sorong city. The tour can last for 1 or 2 days or even more. For one day tour, visitors can start hiking in the morning to see birds, butterflies, grasshopper, unique shrub plants and wild flowers of tropical rainforest ecosystem and then return to their hotel in the evening. For 2 to 3 days hiking and birdwatching, camping in the forest is what we offer to visitors.
Olive-crowned Flowerpecker
Tourists who are interested in birdwatching can bring spotting scope and binoculars such as the Swarovski EL 8.5×42, a bridge camera with telephoto lens or a DSLR Camera with super telephoto lens will greatly enhance the birding experience. The best time to enjoy birdwatching is in the mornings and in the afternoons.
I went hiking and birdwatching yesterday to rainforest near Sorong city. During the tour, I was able to see Helmetted Friarbird, Olive-backed Sunbird, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Coconut Lorikeet, Glossy Swiftlet, and Yellow-faced Myna.
Rainforest Environment
Yellow-bellied Sunbird
Because of rapid development of Sorong city, more and more forest areas are being converted into human settlements, commercial building complex and farmlands. There are still rainforest at the outskirt of Sorong city which tourists can visit to see its tropical plants, birds, insects (butterflies, grasshopper, and beetles), and wild-flowers. This may not be an ideal ecosystem of a pristine rainforest but it is a good site for visitors who want to see beautiful nature of mainland West Papua.
Blue-wing butterfly in Sorong forest
Wear hiking shoes, t-shirts and long pants before taking this hiking tour. Make sure that you have got a least a bottle of water with some biscuits. Clean the lens of your binoculars, spotting scope and digital camera. For visitors who want to spend several days hiking in the forest, I can organize a camping tour with tents and other supporting equipment such as cooking and eating utensils.

Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: or send text by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. You could also use, contact form on the right side of this blog.

Also read:
Raja Ampat birds
Raja Ampat Adventure Tour

Nature Tour to Rainforest of Sorong City

River and Forest near Sorong City
I went hiking in the rainforest near Sorong city yesterday. I left in the afternoon at 14.00 and walked up slopes of hills to savanna and hill forest to see its beautiful scenery, terrestrial orchid flowers, and tropical birds. It took around one and a half hour to reach a river located behind the savanna hills of Sorong. The rainforest that cover the land in both sides of the river is still in very good condition although there are activities from local people who open the land for planting food crops such as banana, cassava, jackfruit, and papaya.
Olive-backed Sunbird
Because I brought my Fujifilm HS50EXR, I could take some bird photos. I saw Helmetted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides), Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis), Olive-crowned Floverpecker (Dicaeum pectorale), Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta), Coconut Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus), Black Lory (Chacopsitta atra), and some other birds that were flying very fast over the river making it impossible for me to identify them.
Nature Tour for Tourists
Terrestrial Orchid Flower in Savanna hills of Sorong city
As a matter of fact, this rainforest tour is very suitable for tourists who want to see nature and some wildlife of mainland West Papua before or after their trip to Raja Ampat. Most often, visitors have got one or two days of staying in Sorong city before flying back to their country. They could take this tour instead of only sleeping and waiting in their hotel. Sorong city is the main gate to Raja Ampat. There are daily regular flights that connect Sorong city to major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Makassar and Manado. Airlines such as Batik Air, Sriwijaya, Garuda, and Lion fly to Sorong city.
Rainforest Tour in Sorong city
If you are interested in taking a rainforest tour near Sorong city, you can contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
I can meet you at the airport or hotel where you stay and organize your trip to the tropical rainforest and savanna hills of Sorong city.

Things to bring or wear
You need to wear a pair of hiking shoes, long pants, t-shirt and hat. To watch birds, bring a good pair of binoculars such as the Swarovski EL 8.5×42 or the Canon Image Stabilizer 12×50 IS UD 4.5°. If you have got spotting scope, bring it with you.
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