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One of the homes of the world’s second-largest dense forest is the West Papua Island in Indonesia, just north of Australia over the Torres Strait. Its untraversable rocky mountains throughout history were helpful to the tribals in maintaining isolation even from its nearest neighbors. Thus the island has around 1,000 unique dialects, one-fifth of the world’s total.
West Papua, a territory of Indonesia, is the western part of New Guinea Island. The development of West Papua Indonesia is more by a wide margin in comparison with New Guinea’s east side. Very few people here wear anything other than western dresses, whereas, in remote bits of West Papua, few people still wear traditional dress normally.
The island of West Papua Indonesia, without a doubt, is one of the most energizing islands and beach destinations on earth. It has the beautiful Arfak mountains, twin islands of Biak and Supiori, oceanic Raja Ampat island, northern lowlands, Balim valley, Wasur National Park, and many more places that the guests can explore. All these places are rich in different species of birds, the most special of them being Wilson’s Bird of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise and other birds of paradise species. As a result, the West Papua island of Indonesia is one of the most exotic birding destinations in the world.
Nearest Airport: Manokwari Airport
How to reach: Sorong is connected with Bali and Jakarta
Famous for: Birds of paradise
Other exotic birds
Best time to visit: May to October
WHAT TO SEE
Wilson’s, Red, King, Magnificent & Lesser Birds-of-paradise, Beach Stone-curlew, Magnificent Riflebird, (Obi) Paradise-crow, Hantu (Seram) and Papuan Boobooks, Dusky Megapode, Red-billed Brush Turkey, Pygmy Eagle, Spotted Kestrel, Grey-headed Goshawk, Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Moluccan (Obi) Woodcock, Barred Rail, Moluccan Masked Owl
The guest will explore West Papua in Indonesia. DuringWest Papua birdwatching, the guests can encounter various birds found only in West Papua Indonesia, like the Western Parotia, Vogelkop Lophorina, Long – followed by Paradigalla and Red Bird of Paradise. These birds will undoubtedly thrill the hearts of bird lovers; Wilson’s Bird of Paradise, referred to as the pearl of the crown, is the most fascinating among them all.
A typical West Papua birding itinerary begins in the Arfak Mountains before heading further west to the island of Waigeo, home to different endemics, including Wilson’s Bird of Paradise. The next stop will be Biak, a small northern island, which harbors the twelve stunning endemics. Heading into the remoteness, the guests will get a base in the isolated town of Wamena, where they can traverse through the astounding Baliem Valley. The island was discovered in 1938 and is the home of the Dani people. The guests, while exploring the boondocks over high altitude ranges, will come across spellbinding avian wonders, including the MacGregor’s Honeyeater. They are so startling that recently they were thought to be the bird of paradise. The tour will end in West Papua with a stay in the steamy marshes on the north coast along with many birds like Vulturine Parrot, Shovel – billed Kingfisher, and Pale-billed Sicklebill.
Any bird watcher or island lover who visits West Papua Indonesia will find it to be the holy grail of birding. There are more than 300 endemic birds in West Papua, including 25 birds of paradise; 7 of these 25 birds of paradise families are found alone in West Papua. Birding does not get more exotic than this. We have our specialised birding tours to cover many of these species, you can find them below in the suggested itineraries.
Important Birding Destinations:
Arfak Mountains: The Arfak Mountains from the time of Dutch colonization attract guests frequently. It is one of the most famous places on the island of West Papua Indonesia. The mountains are home to the 10 ‘Vogelkop’ endemics and give access to the immaculate foot of the hills, slope, and montane woods that help cater to its unique avifauna. Vogelkop Bowerbird Amblyornis inornatus among the Vogelkop endemics are beyond question, the most complex on Earth; the little – known Arfak Astrapia Astarpia nigra, the especially- prized Long-followed Paradigalla, Paradigalla carunculata, and the crazy Western Parotia sefilata, the ballet moves of which one cannot believe without seeing. Also, there are 15 of the 21 bird species that come under the restriction category in the Arfak Mountains.
Geelvink Islands: The water twin islands of Biak and Supiori are detached from one another by a slender mangrove-lined channel and harbor the most astoundingly endemic avifauna of any land zone in Indonesia. By and large, 11 endemic taxa have now commonly become recognized at the species level, most strikingly including a megapode, a paradise kingfisher, a locally novel scops owl, and two parrots. Numfor Island lies about 60 kilometers toward the southwest and further displays its own endemic kingfisher, the heavenly Numfor Paradise – Kingfisher Tanysiptera Carolina. Also, another dazzling 25, habitually morphologically unique, endemic subspecies exist on the islands.
Kofiau: This oceanic island, Raja Ampat, includes depauperate avifauna with a Moluccan part. The two significant endemic of all species here are Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher Tanysiptera ellioti and Kofiau Monarch Monarcha Julianne. The guests can spot both of these easily, similar to a constrained choice of limited range and progressively across the board treats.
Northern Lowlands: The immense alluvial lowland forests west of the Cyclops Mountains close Jayapura is a bewildering spot to choose among West Papua’s northern specialties of northern lowlands, including the not so popular Pale-billed Sicklebill Epimachus bruijnii and the Victoria Crowned, Pigeon Goura victoria.
Snowy Mountains: An American mammalogist, explorer, and magnate, Richard Archbold, found Balim Valley in the center of the Snowy Mountains in 1938. The valley is thickly populated and rich in agriculture, Archbold was probably the last great explorers of the era. Imitating Archbold’s model, splendid sundry montane Papuan avifauna can be seen when moving through agriculture and upper montane forests up the Ibele Valley onto Lake Habbema. It is at 3,200 m stature over the timberlines in the shadow of Mount Trikora or Wilhelmina, which is the second-highest peak in New Guinea. Getting to hold with the MacGregor’s ‘Birds of Paradise’ Macgregoria pulchra here is indisputably the most amazing mountain view on this side of the Himalayas. Regardless of whether this is a fledging of paradise or the honeyeater family, it is splendorous. While just three birding species are truly limited to the Snowy Mountains, a faltering 33 montane confined – go species happen to be flying here.
Trans Fly and Wasur National Park: The guests can still spot bird species like Southern crowned Pigeon Goura scheepmakerij and Greater Bird of Paradise Paradisaea apoda at the Wasur National Park close to Merauke within the Trans Fly zone. It is an expansive plain of flooded fields, swamps, reedbeds, savanna, and typical monsoon forests. The Digul, Fly, and Aramia rivers are its borders; it is like a mini Australia in its essence inside the isolated West Papua Indonesia island. It harbors the most exclusive avifauna inside West Papua with four endemic species and heaps of Australian forte. Wasur also attracts the water birds from both the Palearctic and Australia by acting as a wintering ground for them.
Waitanta: Waigeo and Batanta are called Waitlanta as a single landmass. The merged land is home to various lowlands and slant forest avifauna with a unique endemism component. Any bird lover is bound to take a tour to the Waitanta’s endemic avian delights. Guests can find the endangered Bruijn’s Brush – turkey Aepypodius bruijnii, almost mythical Wilson’s Cicinnurus respublica, and Red Bird of ParadiseParadisaea Rubra. The brush-turkey is unique to Waigeo, and only east of the stunning Mayalibit Bay that separates the island in around two equal parts. Waigeo also boasts of the most numbers of land and water feathered animal kinds of any island in Raja Ampat, including the awesome Western Crowned – Pigeon Goura cristata and mysterious Brown-headed Crow Corvus fuscicapillus.