Thursday, October 20, 2011

Camping in the Jungle of Manokwari

From 16 to 19 October 2011, I went hiking through the lowland rainforest of Manokwari with two Dutch tourists, Thomas (father) and Sandra (daughter). Our destination was the rainforest behind Inggramui village. Because I and the hunters had not constructed a permanent house for tourists, we had to stay in a camp built by hunters near Dopi river. This is a nice place for watching birds and observing flowers that grow along the banks of the river. There was a beautiful and fragrant flower plant that I saw. It was a vine called Faradaya Splendida. Terrestrial orchids from genus Spathoglottis also live there.
Two large blue plastic sheets cover the camp to protect our belongings from rain. To reach this camp, we had to walk for more than three hours. Usually the time needed is two hours but  Sandra liked to stop when she saw interesting insects, birds, or flowers. She would turn on her D-SLR camera - a Nikon D40 to shoot these beautiful subjects.
Recommended Place for Birders
The rainforest of Inggramui is home to various species of birds that are endemic to New Guinea - the largest tropical island in the world. It is a must see destination for tourists who are interested in bird watching. Visitors need to bring binoculars, spotting scope or super telephoto camera if they want to watch birds. During our walking tour inside this lowland forest, we saw cockatoos, a lot of hornbills, pigeons. Butterflies flew around us to find nectar in every wild flowers when we were walking through the woods. In the morning, not far from our camp, we could hear the sounds of young birds of paradise dancing on the branches of the trees.
After spending 3 nights in this tropical rainforest of West Papua, we considered this camp as our home. I made the above picture using Nikon Coolpix P500.
Protecting digital camera and other electronic devices
Heavy rain often falls on the rainforest. If you plan to travel to this wet environment, prepare some plastic sheets or plastic tote bag which you can use to cover your electronic equipments. I use plastic bags which are given for free by supermarkets when we buy some food. The lens of the camera can become foggy due to high humidity. Moisture that has collected on the surface of the camera can cause the photographs that you make to be blurred.
What you need to bring for traveling in the rainforest of Inggramui of Manokwari - Indonesia
There are a number of things that you need such as sleeping bag, and raincoat. Because this is a lowland rainforest, the temperature is quite warm around 27 to 29 degrees Celcius. You don't need warm clothing. A pair of trekking shoes or jungle boots is a must to help you walk along the pathway in the forest which sometimes muddy because of the rain.
Please, contact me via email: peace4wp@gmail.com if you are interested in hiking and camping in the rainforest of West Papua by Charles Roring