Birding in Fak Fak

Fak fak

Fak fak is a small town on the coast in one of the least visited areas of West Papua. All human life is concentrated on the coast, so the vast forests inland are mostly unspoilt. From Fak fak it’s relatively easy to visit excellent lowland and foothill forests and enjoy the wildlife hidden inside it. Because it’s quite of the beaten track, you will be virtually on your own in the forest with the local guides that will show you around. Also the remoteness of this place to other well-known places in West Papua delivers the serious birdwatcher some special species (there is still no hot-spot for it in eBird!). And last but not least your visit will support the local forest-based tourism activities, that are crucial for the protection of the delicate environment.

Key Bird Species

Southern Cassowary:  One of the largest birds alive today, standing up to 180cm tall. With their big claws on powerful legs and their ability to jump until 2 meters high, it’s wise not to mess around with them. They are shy and peaceful fruit-eating animals, but when they are threatened they turn into fierce warriors, that can even attack and seriously hurt other animals, including humans. 

Lesser Bird-of-Paradise: Beautiful forest bird that is, despite of its name, quite big and males are very impressive with their elongated flank feathers that spread to a flashy yellow and white shawl of half a meter long and wide. You have to see it to believe it. 

Olive-yellow Robin: Mysterious bird of foothill forest, that’s only known from a couple of scattered places in Papua. Altough not spectacular, it’s nicely colored and certainly one of the species that will probably stay unique on your life list. 


Other special bird species are: Wallace’s Owlet-nightjar (forest, fairly common), Radja Shelduck (coast, common), Wompoo Fruit-dove (forest and gardens, common), 

More nature

Many marsupial species are living in the forest, including Black-spotted Cuscus and Common Spotted Cuscus, Sugar Glider, Bandicut and even Grizzled Tree Kangaroo. Also there is a big variety in snakes like boas and pythons, but they are shy and not easy to see. Lizards are plentful as well with lots of special species available and probably there are unknown species hidden in the forest as well. More chances of finding new species will be there if you also focus on the enormous amount of butterflies, dragonflies and beetles. Follow the footsteps of Alfred Wallace and help to discover the wealth of biodiversity of this special place.


Minimum amount of days: 3 (2 night).

Advised amount of days: 5 (4 nights).

Maximum amount of days: 6 (the accommodation is comfortable, but the entrances to the forest are limited).

Price level: $… pp/pd.

Needed level of fitness: Average, good if you want to go deeper into the forest, comfortable accommodation.


Nearest airport: Fak fak, connections to Sorong only.

Transport: Private car.


Grand Papua Hotel:

Comfortable hotel in town, near the birding sites.

Combinations and extensions:

Good destinations to combine with Fak fak: Sorong, Malagufuk and Waigeo.

Typical itinerary:

1Arrival at airport, birding in afternoon
2Birding in forestEarly morning and late afternoon (lunch break)
3Birding in forestEarly morning and late afternoon (lunch break)
4Birding in morning, at 11.00 back to airport.


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