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