Rainforest of Arfak Mountains as Travel Destination
Tropical Rainforest absorbs our CO2 gases
I have been
promoting ecotourism for Arfak mountains since last year. I am doing
this to help the indigenous Papuan people who live in the region
improve their economic condition so that they will not be tempted to
give up their forest and land to logging and palm oil companies who are
only interested in exploiting the logs without really help the poor
indigenous people. We all know that rainforest absorbs huge amount of
Carbon dioxide gases that we emit every day thus balancing the earth's biosphere from global warming. Whether we drive to work,
cook food, or turn on room heater, we directly emit Carbon dioxide.
This CO2 gas is grabbed by the green leaves that contain chlorophyll during photosynthesis. We have to thanks the
indigenous people who live in the tropical rainforest for preserving
their forest for us. Without their forest, the global warming would be
worse than what we are now experiencing.
There is also another way of supporting the rainforest community. One of the best ways is visiting them, and appreciating the wonderful nature of the rainforest.
How to get there? And how much?
Arfak mountains is located near Manokwari city - the capital of West Papua province in the Republic of Indonesia.
- First, you need to fly to Jakarta, the capital city
- Then you can take a domestic flight served by Batavia Air, Merpati Airlines or Express Air to Manokwari city. The ticket price (at the time of writing) is around Rp. 1,200,000 (around 150 US dollars). However the price might change anytime depending on flight season.
- After arriving in Manokwari, you need an affordable accommodation. I recommend that you stay at Losmen Kagum located on Brawijaya street behind Xavier bookstore. It has been part of my eco-tourism project. The rate is Rp. 180,000 (around 22.5 US dollars)/room/night .
- You need to buy some food at the supermarket for your trip to Arfak mountains. I can help you arrange a rent car to Arfak mountains. The rent car will cost you Rp. 2,000,000 or approximately Rp. 250 US dollars (go and return). The car can carry up to 4 tourists. If you travel alone, you will feel that this is expensive but if you travel in a group of two or four tourists, you can share the cost evenly.
- You need an English speaking guide to accompany you while traveling and communicating with the indigenous people in Arfak mountains. The standard rate for an experienced guide is Rp. 250,000 (around 31.25 US dollars)/day.
Personally, I have written a lot of articles about ecotourism in Manokwari. You can read them in my blog Ecotourism Manokwari Papua. I hope that after you read the articles which I have posted in the blog, you will be interested to visit Papua island, the largest tropical island in the world.
Manokwari in the world map
Accommodation for Eco-tourists
Where to stay?
In Manokwari city - When you have
arrived in Manokwari, you can stay in hotels, losmen and homestay. The
hotels in Manokwari range from ordinary budget hotels to four or five
stars hotels. I should recommend Losmen Kagum because
these losmens are particularly run under the eco-tourism principles. Staying in the eco-tourist homestay will cost you Rp. 180,000 (22.5 US dollars)/room/night for two people.
In Syioubri village of Arfak Mountains - If you want to enjoy bird watching then you can stay at a tourist log-house owned and run by local Papuan people.
In Kwau village of Arfak Mountains
- If you want to treat your disease with herbal plants or study herbal
medicine, then you can stay at tourist guest house run by Hans Mandacan.
He will contact Samuel Mandacan, an expert in traditional herbal
medicine from the tropical rainforest to meet you and examine your body
and prepare the right herbs to cure your disease or ilness. The rate of the garden house in Kwau village for tourists is Rp. 50,000 (around 6.25 US dollars)/tourist/night. You also need to pay for the tourist fee (contribution to church, school and land rights) Rp. 50,000/tourist. While hiking in the forest, you need one or two women as cooks to prepare food for your breakfast, lunch and dinner back at the tourist guest house. The standard rate is Rp. 60,000/cook.
money that you pay for accommodation, food and guiding service will
directly supports the villagers' economy. When more tourists come to the
Kwau village of Arfak mountains, the indigenous Papuan people will not
easily be tempted to sell their lands to loggers or timber companies
If you are interested in visiting the Arfak mountains to see bower bird, magnificent birds of paradise or even to study herbal medicine, please, do not hesitate to contact me, Charles Roring, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to arrange your trip to Manokwari city to the mountains.
Also read: Tropical Rainforest as Tourist Attraction
What you can do in Arfak mountains?
Hiking and Bird Watching
As a matter of fact, Arfak mountains have been visited by researchers for years. At the slopes of the mountains various vogelkop birds such as bower birds and magnificent birds of paradise thrive in peaceful environment. Bower birds like to build their stage and perform courtship dance to attract the female birds. The structure of the bower consists of many small twigs which they carefully arrange to form an arch without any support below it. After building the stage, the male bower bird still has to decorate it with flowers and fruits whose color are bright to attract the female birds. Different from the bower birds with their bower, magnificent birds of paradise can be considered as king of seduction. The male bird lands on a place near a clean ground which it has cleaned before and release sounds to attract the female birds. When the female birds of paradise have come, he will start to perform his courtship dance. He usually perform the dance twice, one early in the morning and the other at night. Even though you are not a bird lover or birding enthusiast, when you watch how the male magnificent birds of paradise show his yellow feather with two split antennas, you will be amazed by how intelligent he is in trying to attract the female birds. When walking inside the forest, you need one or two porters to carry your bags, the standard rate is Rp. 80,000 (approximately 10 US dollars/porter/day).
Studying Herbal Medicine in Kwau village
A few days ago, I went to Kwau village to see places where tourists can visit to experience the natural beauty and the fresh air which the rainforest of Arfak Mountains produce. I was accompanied by a local villager who usually works as tourist guide. He speaks good English. His name is Hans Mandacan. I stayed in his house and he accompanied me traveling around the forest to see beautiful flowers, medicinal plants, and birds. Besides watching magnificent birds of paradise, I was introduced with various kinds of herbs that the indigenous people usually use to cure diseases. These herbal medicines are remedy for skin diseases, intestinal worms and even malaria - a deadly disease which is commonly found in tropical region. To know more about Kwau village, please, read my other web-page: Eco-tourism in Kwau village of Arfak Mountains