In the Arfaks senior company managers visited West Papua in February 2016 and identified two locations for our guests. A Home Stay management course was then organised by Meryl Wilson and Kadek Purnaningsih at the Syoubri Guest House in July 2016 to ensure that this guest house is suitable for our guests. In Raja Ampat we currently use a home stay on Waigeo island, the principal island in the park. We wish to run tours so that our guests can not only experience this beautiful part of Indonesia but also support the local economy and thus conservation in line with our main aims of creating local, sustainable and conservation based jobs. This tour is a stand-alone tour bit also it can also be part of one of our inter lodge tours. The tour is not for the faint hearted as you will need your own sleeping bag and the rooms are basic in the Arfaks. However the toilets and washing facilities are clean. Hot water is currently supplied in a bucket. The climate is cold as the height is 1,200 metres.
Depending on your arrival time in Bali, you can EITHER rest at Udayana Kingfisher Eco Lodge for a day OR take the morning flight Denpasar to Makassar, check into the airport Ibis hotel and take a short tour to the Bantimurung Butterfly national park close to the airport. On a good sunny day, this is a great place to view a large number of species of butterfly, at the nearby site of Leang-leang you can see prehistoric handprints identical to Australia. You then return to the hotel for a rest prior to catching the early morning flight to Manokwari in West Papua OR take the evening flight to Makassar connecting directly to the early morning plane to Manokwari.
You will be met at Manokwori by your driver and guide and taken to a local restaurant for a meal prior to departure to the Arfaks. The drive to Syoubri is around two hours and you should arrive in the early afternoon. The last 15km is rough at present. You will be welcomed by the staff of the Guest House and meet Bapak Zeth Wonggor, our main guide and also the owner. In the evening you will be taken for a short walk after being briefed on your itinerary for the next 2 days.
The forests around Syoubri are well known to Pak Zeth and his team of guides. You should see at least three of the seven species of Bird of Paradise in the area plus more bird species eg bower birds. For butterfly lovers also there is a plethora of beautiful species. The forest itself is a special experience. Your meals will be taken at the Guest House or as picnics.
You leave Syoubri after an early breakfast for Manokwari airport to catch the midday flight to Sorong, the gateway to the Raja Ampat national park. The night will be spent in the SwissBel where you will have a room and bathroom with a hot shower.
There are two main types of accommodation on Waigeo, the main island in the park (a) home stays managed by local people and (b) resorts mainly owned by non-local people. We offer both types but prefer to support the local homestays if possible. From your hotel at Manokwari, you will catch the morning ferry (two hours) to Waigeo island. On arrival your driver will take you to your accommodation of choice where you will have a swim before dinner. Your guide will brief you on your next two days.
Your day will commence at 0400 when you will be taken on a bird walk into the surrounding forest to hopefully hear and perhaps see night birds and as the dawn comes up see some of the local Birds of Paradise (in particular the Red and Wilson’s); the walk will continue well into the morning when you return for a late breakfast. You can then rest until the early evening when you will experience another afternoon and evening bird walk.
Again an early start. If you are a diver, you will be picked up by a local dive company for the day. If you are snorkelling, your guide will accompany you to a number of different sites around in the park. This is a magic day where you will experience one of the most diverse coral systems in the world.
A long travel day. You will catch the first ferry to Sorong, then to the airport to catch the plane back to Makassar and Bali arriving late in the evening. You should take good walking shoes, beach shoes, camera, binoculars, sleeping bag, towels, soap, snorkels and masks, insect repellent, hat, sweater for the evening (Arfaks), long trousers, long sleeved shirts, beany (warm hat), mobile phone charger, batteries.
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