Waigeo Island is the biggest island of Raja Ampat, a region world famous for diving and marine biodiversity. The island was connected to the mainland of Western Papua until about 8000 years ago, so the biodiversity is a lot higher than what’s normal on more isolated islands. The friendly people live on the coast, while the inland is covered in pristine rain forest, full with exciting wildlife. The majority of tourists will be in the water, so you’ll have the forest mostly for yourself. You will be able to discover beautiful birds even in the backyard of your beachside resort and if you walk to the special hides that are prepared in the forest, some world class Birds of Paradise, Pitta’s and Pigeons are waiting for you. If you have time left, put on your snorkle to join the colorfull fishes and corals that are hidden under the surface. Waigeo is a true paradise for every nature lover.
Key Bird Species
Red Bird-of-Paradise: Absolutely stunning bird that is limited to Raja Ampat. Males gather together in traditional leks, where they impress the females with elongated feathers and vibrating colors. They are on bare perches high up in the tree, but with a hide that’s also high up, it’s possible to get good views and nice pictures of this birders’ favourite.
Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise: Another incredible bird that you can’t find anywhere else on the world. By many birders it’s considered the most beautiful bird of the world. The bright blue cap, deep red back and blue curled tail feathers seem to be designed by a modern artist. With a bit of perseverance and luck you can see a male in full display.
Papuan Pitta: This beautifully coloured ground bird is a unexpected jewel at the bottom of the dark forest floor. Normally you have to be extremely lucky to see one, but in Waigeo we’ve got a hide prepared to attract them with deliceous worms, so we can have good views of them.
Other special bird species are: Dusky Megapode (forest, common), Blyth’s Hornbill (forest and gardens, common), Waigeo Shrikethrush (island endemic, forest and gardens, fairly common),
Waigeo Cuscus: Odd species of marsupial. with white fur and black spots. You can find them crawling through the trees in the forest and even in the gardens of the resorts. As it name says, it’s completely restricted to the Waigeo island.
Above the water you can further admire an enormous amount of butterflies, dragonflies, trees, flowers, ferns, beetles and other interesting living creatures. Under water you even have more biodiversity with 1000 (!) species of fish, 75% of the world coral species and sharks, nudibranches and even manta rays.
Minimum amount of days: 2 (3 nights).
Advised amount of days: 4 (5 nights).
Maximum amount of days: you can stay here for ever ;-).
Price level: $350 pp/pd.
Needed level of fitness: Average, some hiking to the hides, comfortable accommodation.
Nearest airport: Sorong, connections to Jakarta, Manado and Nimbokrang.
Transport Sorong-Waideo: Ferry (2 hours).
Transport on the island: Private car and sometimes private boats.
Korpak Villa & Resort Raja Ampat:
Comfortable resort on the beach with a jungle garden with nice bird species.
Combinations and extensions:
Good destinations to combine with Waigeo: Sorong, Malagufuk, Nimbokrang, Arfak, Sulawesi.
Waigeo is the ideal place to start or finish your trip and have a couple of days extra for relaxing or diving/snorkling.