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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Butterfly Watching in Wondama

Wondama in West Papua province of Indonesia is a great destination for butterfly-watchers. This regency has got a lot of tropical flower vegetation in its town, along the forest edges and in the islands. The flowers attract various species of big and small butterflies.

butterflies in Wondama regency
Butterfly Watching in Wondama Regency

Some of the butterflies that I see in this regency include Ornithoptera priamus, Danaus affinis bonguensis, Taenaris catops, Euploea alchatoe, Tirumala hamata, Papilio ulysses, and a lot more. 

ecotour in Wondama bay
Tropical Vegetation in Wondama

Because of the wealth of its tropical vegetation, the observation of butterfly can be done every where in Wondama regency from flower plants in the streets of the town to flower garden in the regents office in Rasiei that is located at the foot of Wondiboy nature reserve and in the numerous tropical islands.

How to get there?

Visitors need to fly to Manokwari city first. Regular daily flights from Jakarta and other major cities in Indonesia to Manokwari are available every day. After that the trip to Wondama can be done by small turboprop airplane or by passenger ferry.

Wildlife Watching Gear

Visitors who are interested in watching butterfly need to bring at least a camera. A pair of binoculars will be useful to watch butterfly in distant trees of flowers. The same device can also be used to watch birds and other wild animals in the forest. 

Contact

For information about tour packages, itineraries and cost of traveling to Wondama Bay regency, please, use contact form on the right side of this website or send email to: wondamatourism@gmail.com

Monday, December 28, 2020

A Visit to Mangrove Forest in Wondama Bay

There are a lot of mangrove trees that grow along the coast of Wondama Bay. It becomes the natural habitat of a lot of animals from fish, seashells and crabs to birds, reptiles and insects. It is very easy to explore the mangrove forest. We can use a canoe and paddle it along the coast. We can also use motorized boat. The best times to explore the mangrove area are in the mornings and in the afternoons.
A visit to Mangrove and Sago forest of Wondama regency
A Visit to Mangrove Forest in Wondama Bay

The easiest place to reach from Wondama town is Ramiki. It is actually a place inside the town itself. Tourists can hire ojeks (motorcycle taxis) to bring them to Ramiki. There is a man named Echetus Sawaki who lives in Ramiki. He can guide visitors to see the mangrove ecosystem. As a matter of fact, Ramiki has got sago forest that is closer to the land compared to mangrove trees that mostly grow along the tidal area of the beach. 
So, visitors going to Ramiki can see both mangrove and sago ecosystems. The indigenous Papua people eat sago as their staple food. Sago is a tropical plant that looks like coconut. But the plant does not bear fruits as big as coconuts. Inside the sago tree, there is flour. When the sago tree is matured and ready to be harvested, the tree will be cut and its trunk will be cleaned. After that it will be split. The process of grating the pith to extract its flour can be seen there. The flour can be stored in the house for a long period of time especially in the refrigerator. The sago flour can be used to make pancake, and cookies. But most people eat it daily in the form of glue like papeda.
An excursion tour to other parts of Wondama Bay can also be organized from Ramiki. 
Contact
If you need us to organize your tour in Wondama regency, please, contact us by using form in the right side of this blog or send email to wondamatourism@gmail.com

CR-DPDHPIPB.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

WONDAMA BECOMES THE CENTER OF HOPE

In 1934, J. Bierdrager - a medical doctor - found that Wandamen was the place where leprosy was spreading. There were villages which 10 percent of their populations suffer from this disease. In 1950, a leprosy treatment center was built in Manggurai. It was led by a doctor from Manokwari. Later, this center was run by two nurses, W. Wits and W.F. van Ruler. When effective medicines were invented, a lot of people were healed. 

Until 1950, Manggurai had received 120 patients. The number decreased rapidly. New method of treatment did not need overnight stays in the clinic.

In 1970s, a couple from Switzerland, The Fischers were working in Manggurai as nurses and expert in the treatment of the disease. 

health clinic in manggurai area of Wondama bay regency of West Papua, Indonesia
Health Clinic in Manggurai, Wondama Bay Regency

Sorong

The same thing happened in "Sele be Solu" of Sorong region. A mennonite from the same country was preparing to work in Sele be Solu of Sorong. Two mennonite nurses, Ruth Bähler and Lydia Bähler had already worked there for ten years. Elsberth Gerber later joined them. 

Because the treatment had been so successful, these leprosy treatment clinics were later closed.

The Wondama Bay which had been feared by people from the surrounding areas was now the center of hope for everybody. CR-DPD HPI PB.

References:

  • Ajaib di Mata Kita III, Dr. F.C. Kamma 1994
  • Churches Engage Asian Traditions, John A. Lapp. 2011

Thursday, December 17, 2020

In Aitumieri of Wondama Bay, The Dutch Built School for the Indigenous Papuan People

Aitumieri was a place in Wondama bay where Dutch Zendeling built the first school for the education of the indigenous Papuan people.


In January 1923, I.S. Kijne, together with his coleagues F. Slumpt and Yohanes Eygendaal, left Rotterdam for Mansinam island. It took 5 months to reach the island. They arrived in Mansinam.

Dutch tourists in Aitumieri of Wondama regency

Kijne made an initial trip to Miei and some villages in Wondama bay in January 1925. He decided to choose Aitumieri hill as the place for school that he wanted to build. The school with dormitory in Mansinam was relocated to Aitumeieri Hill of Miei area in Wondama Bay in October 1925. The name of the school was Opleidingsschool voor Volksonderwijzers (Training School for Popular Educators). Kijne was helped by Gosal a teacher from Manado (for more advanced classes) and Joh. Ariks from Mansinam. In 1933, the school was expanded to also educate evangelists where J. Bijkerk worked there as a teacher for years.

From 1925 to 1941 there were around 250 students that had studied in that school. Years later, they would work in the fields of education, church, and government. 

Now Wondama regency is trying to develop its region as tourist destination. Tourists can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, at the beach, or dore more explorations on the islands to see the beautiful nature and meet its friendly people. 

wondama ecotourism
Ecotourism attractions in Wondama

Most of the territory of Wondama is still covered by rainforest. So it is also a nice destination for those who like to watch tropical birds, and wildlife.

If you are interested in visiting this historical site, please, contact us by email to: dpdhpiwestpapua@gmail.com or send text message to Charles Roring at this whatsapp number: +6281332245180.

Reference:

Ajaib di Mata Kita III (Dit Wonderlijke Werk), Dr. F.C. Kamma, 1994

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Wandamui Hill and Beach

Wandamui Hill is a place in Wondama bay which tourists can visit to see the beauty of its scenery. Located in the north of Rasiei town, it can be reached by car, motorcycle in approximately 1 hour ride. The visit to Wandamui beach and hill can be done by speedboat too. Using this marine vehicle, visitor will have an easy access to most of the coral reef area of Wondama bay to enjoy snorkeling and sightseeing. 

For birdwatchers, the best time to be in Wandamui hill is early in the morning. Visitors can leave the town by car at approximately 05.00 and arrive on the hill at dawn. Lesser Frigatebird, Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Brahminy Kite, Little Egret are some of the many birds which visitors are able to see while watching birds on the hill, along its slopes and coastal area.

The tropical vegetation in the cape of Wandamui is interesting too. Casuarina and other trees grow on its slopes whereas barringtonia, catappa, and mangrove could be found at the beach. Nepenthes or pitcher plants and terrestrial orchid also grow on the hill. 

At the beach, there is a wooden jetty where visitors could use at platform for fishing, doing yoga exercise, or just sitting on it to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding beach.

Perbincangan Tentang Promosi Wisata di Kabupaten Teluk Wondama

Bincang-bincang di sore hari antara Matias Rumbruren (Ketua DPD HPI Papua Barat) dengan Echletus Sawaki (Kepala Seksi Promosi) dari Dinas Pariwisata dan Kebudayaan Kabupaten Teluk Wondama dan Rio Suabey (Ketua DPC HPI Kabupaten Teluk Wondama)


Perbincangan ini dilaksanakan di Pantai Ketapang Lima, Kota Wondama.

Afternoon Talks About Tourism in Wondama Regency

Dialogue about tourism promotion in Teluk Wondama regency.

Eky Sawaki who is responsible for promotional works in the Office for Tourism and Culture (Dinas Pariwisata dan Kebudayaan) of Teluk Wondama regency and Rio Suabey who is the chairman of the DPC HPI (branch board of Indonesian tourist guide associations) of Teluk Wondama regency shared their stories and opinion about the promotion of tourism potentials with Matias Rumbruren (chairman of the DPD HPI Papua Barat). This afternoon talk was conducted at Ketapang Lima Beach of Wondama bay. The video was recorded, edited and translated into English by Charles Roring for

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Wondama A Beautiful Destination for Nature Lovers

Wondama regency is a beautiful destination for nature lovers. They can enjoy swimming at the beach, snorkeling over coral reef to see colorful fish and other interesting marine creatures as well as exploring the rainforest to see its wildlife. 

There are old houses, offices and churches that were built by the Dutch. Most of them are still standing in town. Sometimes Dutch visitors go to Wondama to see the former houses where their parents or grandparents used to live during the Dutch time. These can be seen in District Wasior and the old Dutch missionary complex in Aitumieri. 

dutch family holiday in teluk wondama
Dutch tourists in Wondama Bay


There are small hotels, inns and homestays in Wondama which visitors can choose if they want to stay for multiple days. For food, eating houses and restaurants in town usually provide rice, noodle, sweet potatoes, with fish, chicken, eggs, meat, vegetables, and fruits.

The staple food of local people is sago, sweet potatoes and taro. Sago flour is mixed with hot boiled water to make papeda. It is consumed with yellow fish soup and has been a favorite local delicacy. Those who are not used to eating papeda can eat spicy grilled fish or fried chicken with rice or sweet potatoes and vegetable soup.

Local guides from HPI Wondama can accompany, organize speedboats or cars for visitors who want to explore villages or islands in the regency. 

Wondama regency is a beautiful tourist destination. It should be in the top list of places that you want to visit in your lifetime. Once Indonesian government lift the travel ban due to Covid-19 Pandemic, you could buy tickets and have a nice journey to Wondama. 

Standard health protocol under new normal will still be applied to every body where mask, and hand sanitizer have to be used. 

All these will allow visitors to explore the natural beauty of Teluk Wondama regency safely. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Trekking Along Rowi Stream

Rowi stream is a great site for visitors who like trekking. Cool water flows from Wondiboi Mountains down to the sea. While walking up the slopes along the sides of the stream, visitors can see a lot of species of tropical plants. Colorful Butterflies fly and land on the sandy banks. The sounds of birds can still be heard in the air mixed with the sounds of the stream among the rounded stones. 

Trekking along the sides of Rowi Stream

As visitors walk deeper into the mountains, more birds can be seen flying over the stream. Grey Crow (Corvus tristis), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Mimic Meliphaga, Blyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus) are some of the birds that we could see in the forest. 

Rainforest of Wondiboi Nature Reserve as seen from Rowi Stream

Please, bring binoculars, and camera if you want to watch and take pictures of birds, butterflies and insects. Local people say that the forest is the natural habitat of various species of snakes, soa-soa lizards, cuscus possum, tree kangaroo and a lot more.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Snorkeling and Freediving at Ketapang-Lima Beach

The high marine biodiversity in Wondama has attracted the attention of visitors who like scuba diving. Snorkelers and freedivers also are interested in seeing the beautiful marine life of the regency.
Freediving in Wondama
Ketapang Lima is a beach in Wondama Bay. It is often visited by town dwellers who want to spend their weekends at the beach. Ketapang is the name of a tree Terminalia catappa. Lima is the Indonesian word for Five. There is a very nice coral reef area around 100 meters from beach to the sea. The reef is separated by underwater seagrass. 

Marine Life in Teluk Wondama Regency

The coral reef is a great site for snorkeling, freediving, and even scuba diving. Parrotfish, wrasse, moorish idol, pipefish, anemonefish, butterflyfish, grouper, damselfish, and a lot more. Sea star, urchin, and christmas tree worms can also be seen there.

White Christmas Tree Worm

Visitors who want to enjoy snorkeling at this beach need to bring their own gear such as snorkeling mask, snorkel and swim fins. A small underwater camera such as Nikon W300, or GoPro will be useful for taking underwater photographs and videos.

For accommodation, and other supporting facilities, please, see this page: Where to stay and What to Eat.

The secretariat of the tourist guide association of Teluk Wondama regency (DPC HPI Teluk Wondama) is also located at the Ketapang Lima Beach. Charles Roring-DPD HPI-PB

Also read: How to get to Rasiei town.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Morning Talks About Ecotourism in Aisandami Village

Morning talks of vice chairman of DPD HPI Papua Barat Yansen Saragih with head of the Office for Tourism and Culture of Teluk Wondama Regency Mr. Christian Mambor and Coordinator of Ecotourism Initiatives of Aisandami Tonci Somisa. The video was recorded in Aisandami village and translated into English by Charles Roring.


In the video they talk about how local people provide their homestays and boats to serve visitors. From the government perspectives, Mr. Christian Mambor explains about the inter-departmental cooperations to provide infrastructure and facilities in the regency and in particularly the Aisandami village; and how his office support the capacity building of local communities through various kinds of trainings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Sewandamuni Harbor

Sewandamuni Harbor is a great site for visitors who like sport fishing, sightseeing and swimming. The temperatures in the afternoons are quite high. So, the best times to visit the harbor are in the mornings and in the evenings. The air is fresh and cool. Jacks, mackerel, sardine and longfin spadefish can often be seen from the pier. 

You could bring your own fishing rod, line and hook. If they take too much space in your luggage, you could buy a small roll of fishing line and hook in shops here in Rasiei town.

Sewandamuni homestay in Wondama Bay regency
Sewandamuni beach

Local government constructed the harbor for passenger ferry but it has not been used to serve ships that arrive in Wondama. Most ships still use the main harbor that is larger. 

ferry harbor of Sewandamuni
Sewandamuni harbor

Town dwellers of Rasiei often visit it just to enjoy the scenery. Around 200 meters from the pier, there is a homestay. If you plan to stay for a few days there, you could enjoy swimming, fishing at the beach or hiking up the hills to see various kinds of plants and animals in the forest.

homestay at sewandamuni beach

Local official guides from HPI Wondama will be happy to guide you to the forest, beach areas and further to several islands in the National Park of Cendrawasih Bay.


References about Flora and Fauna of New Guinea

Field guide books and other references - Depending on your interest, there are several references which you can choose to read if you are interested in exploring the biodiversity of fauna and flora of New Guinea (locally called Tanah Papua). Some of them are described below:

Birds of New Guinea
Tropical Reef Fishes
Ecology of Papua 1
Ecology of Papua 2
Butterfly of West Papua
Mammals of New Guinea
Dragonflies of New Guinea
Damselflies of New Guinea
There also other interesting books such as Reptiles of Papua New Guinea by Rom Whitaker, Handbooks of the Flora of Papua New Guinea edited by John S. Womersley et al. and a lot more. Google can provide info about where to find those books.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Swimming and Snorkeling in Wondama

Rasiei town is located along the coast of Wondama Bay. There are a number of beaches which tourists can visit to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or doing beach walk for sightseeing. 
coral reef and fishes in Cape Duari of Teluk Wondama regency
Marine life in Cape Duari of Teluk Wondama Regency

Visitors can walk along these beaches to see birds, butterflies, and various tropical vegetation of West Papua.



Traveling and sightseeing in Wondama bay regency
Rowor beach in Teluk Wondama regency

If you want to see the marine life, bring a set of snorkeling gear which consists of mask, snorkel and swim fins. An underwater camera such as a GoPro action camera or a pocket size Nikon W300 will greatly enhance your snorkeling or freediving experience. 
There are a lot of beaches and coral reef sites which visitors can choose to explore. A few beaches that are located just outside of Rasiei town are Sobey beach, Rowor beach, Aisandami Beach Jetty, and Cape Duari.
ecotourism in wondama regency
Flight Route to Rasiei the capital of Wondama Regency

A lot of species of fish can be seen in coral reef including striped surgeonfish, convict surgeonfish, moorish idol,  small damselfish, baby surgeonfish in reef flat zone. As you swim to further to reef crest and fore reef zones, you will be able to see more fishes such as parrotfish, lionfish, grouper, sweetlips, trevally, and etc.
The best time to enjoy snorkeling is during high tide. You will have more space to paddle your hands and feet without breaking the corals. CR-DPD HPI PB.

If you are interested in traveling to Wondama regency to enjoy snorkeling and other eco-tourism activities, please contact us by email to: dpdhpiwestpapua@gmail.com. We will be happy to organize your tour and guide you during your trip to Wondama. 
Related Post:

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Wildlife Watching Gear

Every visitor must bring his or her own mask and hand sanitizer. These can be bought in big supermarkets in Indonesia. First-aid kit is also needed.
For Birding and Wildlife Watching
Visitors who like to explore nature to see its plants and animals usually bring several equipment as follows:
binoculars, camera, spotting scope for birding
wildlife watching gear
  • Every visitor needs a good pair of binoculars. Famous brands such as Swarovski, Leica, Nikon, Zeiss, Vortex manufacture high quality binoculars. The recommended sizes are 8×42 mm 10×42 mm. The recent product of Celestron 10×56 mm binoculars have got larger objective lenses that are suitable for lowlight condition. It does not matter whether the binoculars use porro or roof prism design. The most important thing is that it can create clear images for those who use them.
  • Digital Camera with Telephoto Lens - Professional photographers usually bring D-SLR camera with Sigma 150-600 m sport or Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens which are suitable for taking birds, wild animals and plants that are far from them. However, these photographic devices are heavy. They also need more spaces in backpack. Visitors who are not photographers can still take pictures of distant birds and other wild animals using bridge camera such as Canon SX70HS, Nikon P900 or Nikon P1000.
  • Laser Pointer - This little device will help you or local guide point the right location of where a bird, butterfly, snake or other animal during the tour in the rainforest. However, the light of the laser pointer must not directly aimed at the animal.
  • Spotting scope for watching birds or other wild animals and plants will also be useful but is not a must for everyone to bring it. A group of birdwatchers usually bring one spotting scope. 
Snorkelers and Freedivers usually bring their own snorkeling masks and swim fins. Waterproof underwater cameras such as Nikon W300, Fujifilm FinePix XP series, Canon G7X with waterproof case, Go Pro action camera, Olympus TG Series will be useful for taking pictures of coral reef and any marine creatures.
snorkeling gear mask, snorkel and swim fins as well as underwater camera
Please, bring your snorkeling gear
If you wan to know more about the flora and fauna of New Guinea, you could read several books that discuss about them at this link: 

Birding Trip to Teluk Wondama Regency

Most of mainland and islands of Teluk Wondama regency is covered by pristine tropical rainforest. It is the natural habitat of hundreds of species of birds.

There are several birdwatching sites around Rasiei town 

Rowi Forest - This birding site is located behind the local government's building. You can walk along an old road or explore the banks of Rowi river that flows from Wondiboy mountains to the sea to find such birds as Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Blyth's Hornbill, Helmetted Friarbird, Singing Starling, Olive-backed Sunbird, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Glossy Swiftlet, Spangled Drongo, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, Black Sunbird, Mimic Meliphaga. The mangrove forest is around one kilometer away from the village. It can easily be reached on foot especially in the morning. You need to be accompanied by villagers or local guide from HPI Wondama in order to watch birds and other wildlife in the forest. If you walk along the sides of the river up the slopes to Wondiboy mountains, you can see more birds and wildlife. This forest area can be explored in multiple days if you bring camping gear and food supply.


Rasiei Beach is another birdwatching site in Teluk Wondama that birders can explore to find such birds as Sacred Kingfisher, Pacific Swallow, Lesser Frigatebird, Whimbrel, Little Tern, Torresian Crow, Willie Wagtail, White-bellied Sea Eagle. As a matter of fact, coastal birds can also bee seen along the beach of Wondama bay. 


Sobey Village - This coastal village is another interesting site for birdwatching because you can explore its lowland forest, mangrove, sand bank that is located around two hundred meters from the beach. Flocks of sea birds such as plover, tern, lesser frigatebird, and egret can often be seen on this sand bank.

As you explore further area to the north of Wondama Bay, we will arrive at Wandamui Hill. This viewpoint overlooks the sea and the other side of the bay. Town dwellers like to visit it for taking selfie pictures which they will share in social media. Birds soaring in the sky like Lesser Frigatebird, Brahminy Kite, Long-tailed Buzzard and White-bellied Sea Eagle can easily be observed from this hill. There is a good shelter which you can use to see the beautiful scenery of Wondama Bay and watch birds that sit on the branches of the surrounding trees or fly over the hills to different areas of the forest. Eclectus Parrot, Black-capped Lory, as well as the small Olive-backed Sunbirds are quite common in the area. In the evening more bird activity can be seen from this viewpoint.
Blyth's Hornbill in Wondiboy nature reserve of Wondama Regency
Blyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus)
The road that goes between Yopanggar village and Aisandami village is a great site for birding and wildlife watching. You can go directly to Yopanggar, spend one or two nights in the village and slowly do the birding walk to Aisandami village. It is not only birds that you will see but also other rainforest animals including mammals, reptiles, and insects. The Duari bay where Aisandami village is located is a great site for birding because it has got a huge mangrove forest. For easy birding, just walk along the sides of the road outside the village. CR DPD HPI PB

Tropical Flowers in Teluk Wondama Regency

The regency of Wondama Bay is a beautiful tourist destination in West Papua province of Indonesia. Visitors who are very fond of flowers can travel to Rasiei - the capital of Wondama to see its tropical flowers. There are flowers that grow along the riverside, forest edges, and front-yards of people's houses. 

Hibiscus flowers in Rasiei town of Teluk Wondama
Hibiscus Flowers in Rasiei Town of Wondama Regency


According to Dr. Lex Thomson an expert from the University of Sunshine Coast,  the above flowers that grow in coastal region of Wondama Bay are hybrids of Hibiscus schizopetalus from East Africa. The flowers are also called Coral Hibiscus or Fringed Rosemallow.

Im addition to hibiscus, visitors can also see bougainvillea, orchid and a lot more. CR-DPD HPI PB