Arfak Birding Lodge - Papua

by Sultan Birding Tours Indonesia

Waigeo Birding Tours
Arfak Birding Tours
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Biak Birding Tours
Malagufuk Birding Tours
Sorong Birding Tours
Baliem Valley Birding Tours
Numfour Birding Tours
Kofiau Birding Tours
Tambraw Birding Tours

Contact Sultan Birding
Welcome to Arfak Mountains
Please book in advance your birding trip to Arfak with us
Arfak Birding 2021

Arfak Birding 2021

Guarantee Departure

April – October 2021, Book Now

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Arfak Birding Lodge Manage by Sultan Birding

Our journey to the West Papua  and in 2016 Sultan Birding Tours has been success to build up a nice lodge with nice room and hot water shower and provided excellent food, our lodge located in Mingre village of Arfak Mountains. 

Sultan Birding the first local birding tour operator in West Papua who most involved employee local people throught birding industry and has impact for local benefit on Arfak highlands. Sultan Birding company has a strong nature conservation ethic and provides environmental education and benefits to local communities

My first introduction to West Papua was in 2016.  Starting with rumors of the beautiful and fascinating Wilson’s bird-of-paradise on the island of Waigeo caused me to took a step and flight to Sorong without anyone I knew there. My worries did not arise even though I had never been to Sorong and Waigeo because Waigeo had long been famous in the eyes of the world with diving in Raja Ampat. After a while I finally managed to meet with local people who have a bird-of-paradise spot on the island of Waigeo. Collaborating with local communities until finally I made a short trip in Sorong and Waigeo. During a year operation in Waigeo, many photos I uploaded to Facebook about Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise and Red Bird-of-Paradise and it turned out to be the beginning of more people who were interested in photographying and seeing more Birds of Paradise in West Papua.

Another story, I have a friend of mine that work as a birding tour operator from China who has worked with me since 2014 for birdwatching and bird photography in Sulawesi, Halmahera and Bali. Seeing many good responses regarding the photos that I uploaded to Facebook, he finally asked me to arrange a bird photography trip to West Papua at the time to see Bird of paradise because many of his clients asked to travel to Papua. It never crossed my mind to be able to arrange a trip to Papua that was farther than Waigeo. Unlike other regions in Indonesia, Papua in our eyes at that time was still very scary and also isolated and I know nothing about Papua island but Waigeo only. I was a little hesitant to go there plus many issues that were a little scary at that time made my family worry about my safety. After a long discussion with him and my family, finally in April 2016 with all my soul and careful preparation I finally ventured to go to the land of West Papua with the aim of securing the location of the Bird of Paradise and also lodging there. The first place I visited was the village of Mingre in the Arfak Mountains. Information about the Mingre village I got from a local guide that I met his contact on the trip report from the internet.

Arriving there, I was very fascinated by the beauty and hospitality of the local people in Arfak that were far from the ‘scary’ image as it was in my mind. I was warmly welcomed by them. However, the temperature and also the air in the Arfak mountains are not as warm as the people welcomed, at an altitude of 1,800 meters above sea level is not unusual for me. Of course many challenges and also things that happened outside our prediction but it did not dampen the enthusiasm and hard work of me to succeed in the construction of bird tourism spots in the Arfak mountains especially in the village of Mingre at the time.

After surveying and establishing bird spots with the local community, we then made our way to the hide of Bird of Paradise and other birds spots. As we know that the Arfak mountains are areas that are still far from the touch of modernization. When we arrived at Arfak, there was no lodging or guesthouse we could use. We only slept on layers of board in the traditional houses of the local people that make me sick for several days. It is a journey that I will never forget.

Finally, after a few days of exploring  the birding location, Hides of the Birds of Paradise and also the location that will be used as guesthouses, I returned to Manado. In June 2016 I came back to Mingre again and also started construction of the guesthouses at a place that was approved by the community. All items ranging from building equipment, beds, bath water heaters and all necessary equipment we brought from the City of Manokwari. The journey is long but has many beautiful memories to remember.

The construction of the inn lasted for only one month since July 2016 the first group of the bird photographers from China finally set foot in the Arfak mountains. Everything went according to what we planned. Until now, in 2020 we still continue to collaborate with the local community to jointly build and maintain the potential of Tourism in this Arfak land so that it can be enjoyed until later our children and grandchildren are born enjoying it as well as all of us hope that the Bird of Paradise and other birds species in other parts of Papua will be around forever.

If asked why I want to arrange a trip to West Papua? isn’t there in Sulawesi, Java, Borneo and Flores too much easier, why should I dare to take such a big risk in Papua? I have so many friends asking me that. For the answer, of course initially because I want to photographs bird-of-paradise and there was a request from Chinese guests who wanted to witness the uniqueness and also the beauty of the Bird of Paradise that had not been exposed much outside the world. Then the second is when I first saw the bird of paradise in Waigeo I was like bewitched and fell in love with the beauty and uniqueness they have. I myself who is a photographer cannot possibly miss the opportunity given by God to me to capture the beauty of the bird of paradise in my camera. Thirdly, due to the birding tour operator spirit that I have from a long time ago made me want the desire to continue to develop the tourism potential in the Arfak region. This is also inseparable from my love for the local community because they have very kindly accepted me like their own family in this strange land. I want to provide even the smallest assistance to lift the economy in this Arfak region.

It was a decision that I will never regret in 2016 in Waigeo and  when I took the first step towards Manokwari for Arfak mountains in the land of Papua. Although many things happened that were beyond my ability, I am proud to have dared to take this path. Leaving my beloved family far from my arms, sometimes traveling for months so rarely stay at home just to spend time with family and others does not make me afraid of the goals that I want to achieve. I am very grateful to be blessed with a family that is very understanding of my profession so that even though they are out of reach there is no worry in my heart. It has been the purpose of my life to devote myself to trying to lift the economy wherever it’s place that is related to the world of tourism. By setting foot in the land of Papua has made me realize that there are still many things that we have to fix and build together to improve the welfare of the indigenous people of Papua in the land of West Papua. Contributing to the economy of the local community is enough to make me proud to wrestle in the world of tourism for more than 20 years. This will not stop here. Going forward, there are still many other things that we will do in the future with hope of prospering the lives of local people and preserving and also protecting together the population of Birds of Paradise, Arfak endemic birds (Vogelkops) and their culture also.

Guest Comments:
Three of us—two from the US and one from Australia—recently took a two-week trip to West Papua and Papua. We were guided expertly by Monal, who not only knows the birds but shows great care for those on the tour. We visited Mingre village in the Arfak Mountains.
“Mingre village in the fabled Arfak Mountains, requiring about 2 hours driving upslope from Manokwari. The guesthouse was outstanding, the food excellent and, again, the birds were unbelievable. Local guides were keen observers and knew just where to look for the area’s specialties. Early starts took us to the nearby mountain trails and bird hides, from which we added five more birds-of-paradise, Vogelkop and masked bowerbirds, feline and mountain owlet-nightjars, vulturine (Pesquet’s) parrot, as well as a number of robins and honeyeaters. Other highlights included Oriental hobby, pygmy eagle, Gurney’s eagle, and New Guinea eagle. “ Mr. Robert N. Wiedenmann, November 2019

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