HUNTING PAPUA ORCHIDS

anggrek hitam

 

My departure to Papua was certainly approved by my family. Before leaving, my mother advised, “Do not forget to bring orchids for me”, so she said. Initially I only consider passing because I think orchids in Papua, there is also in Java.

This orchid hunting trip I started at the third day of the trip in Papua. The first time I realized that how special orchid Papua was when we visited the Forest Wapsdori. On the way to the waterfall Wapsdori, we saw many kinds of orchids and they are all really beautiful. Instantly I remembered my mother’s message that she wanted orchids. In the forest of Wapsdori, I saw some kinds of ground orchid, tiger and rabbit orchids. I wanted to pick and bring it home. However, I realized that we should not be arbitrary in picking herbs in the forest.

Returning to visit Wapsdori forest, I was determined to look for orchids that only exist in Papua, to take them home. My second trip orchid hunting was when our team was in the area of ​​West Supiori, Biak. Down the river and explore the natural reserve Wabudori was really amazed me. These orchids just looked like ordinary tall grass and they were anywhere. Even when we were down on the Wabudori river on the way home, we saw a very large orchid flower once and white. Unfortunately, because of the speed of the boat we were on, making us unable to photograph and picking flowers. Foundered again my intention to have orchids.

Upon my return in Biak after visiting Supiori, we popped into one of the famous lake, the Blue Pool. A very strange phenomenon because the pool is really blue, but there is no water plants which make it blue. “Maybe because the mineral content”, said my partner. Around the pool there are orchids that I often have encountered in the forest. Therefore, once we are satisfied to take pictures, I took myself to inquire with one resident who was there regarding the orchids. It turned out that he has a lot of orchids in his house. Finally I bought three kinds of orchids to take home. Thank goodness my intentions finally came true.

Although orchids were already in my hand, but I was still looking for one type of orchid that only exist in Papua, black orchid. As the name implies, this orchid has flower with black color. I thought this would be the orchid gift special for my mother. But it looked like I need to refrain from having this orchid, since this black orchid is classified as protected species, so it could not be brought outside Papua land. In addition, because the black orchid is very difficult to get so the price is very expensive. So I would not want to be discouraged to get the orchids.

In the midst of sorrow since I could not get black orchid, I cheered after hearing that we will visit the Orchid Garden and Bird Park. Indeed I could not hunt orchids there, but at least I can get to know and see the various types of orchids in Papua. Unfortunately, while visiting there, orchids were not done at the time of flowering. So, I could only be satisfied with seeing the leaves of the orchid without being able to see the beauty of the flowers.

Our team trip continued to Nabire. Driving around the islands in the Gulf Paradise of course was very enjoyable. Even more fun again, at the time we spent the night in one of the islands in the Gulf of Paradise, the Moor Island, I was given some orchids by locals. The orchid is a Tiger orchid, iron orchid, and Kribo orchid. Papua hunting trip was really enjoyable. For orchids lovers, perhaps Papua is a paradise. It can be said that all types of orchids are available here. In fact, you simply come to the forest and pick any kind of orchid that you want.

 

 

 

THE SHARK NAMED WOBBEGONG

wobbegong-shark

Indonesia does have amazing underwater paradise. Surprisingly there are not many photographers in the country who explore this potential. Many books and literature under water photography from abroad actually take objects and underwater scenery Indonesia.

Raja Ampat represent everything, the land is still virgin, lagoons and sheltered bays, beautiful beaches and blue sea. The islands are too broad to be explored in a week. It may take a full month to be able to visit the entire islands. Main dive spots for domestic and foreign divers to explore is in the region of South Waigeo. Strategic location of Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort is located in the region of South Waigeo, and it is very easy for divers to meet the desire to dive in various spots which has its own uniqueness.

One type of fish that always to be sought by divers is a type of shark. Raja Ampat is famous for various types of sharks. There is an interesting species of shark, known as carpet sharks, also known by the name wobbegongs. This species of sharks has a beard carpet with a pattern resembling the skin color of batik.

During the day, these sharks are usually hiding in cave with his head sticking out. While at night, these sharks can be found lying on the seabed in the outdoors. These sharks are not violent and do not attack humans unless disturbed and touched. To be able to see what kind of shark it is, you do not need to look far, around the area of ​​Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort enough to take 10 minutes we can already see this shark. We can see sharks wobegong sleeping leaning on the corner of a coral sand. This kind of small sharks spotted pattern dots all over his body. Generally this shark just remain silent. But not for this one, suddenly he shot floated away.

Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort is located on the Urai island and placed in the territory of South Waigeo District. The island is located at the entrance of Kabui bay.

We can also see other type of shark that run with no less interesting in Raja Ampat such as walking or epaulette shark. Wobeggong has many complexion depending on the species, but in general is white with brown spots such as military uniforms. This helps shark to camouflage themselves from predators. Sharks running normally only be found in diving at night. It was the first time I saw the fish runs under the sea. And he walked quickly. Maybe he was shy to be photographed, so I did not manage to take a picture as a whole because he was hiding in coral hole.

 

 

 

NUDIBRANCH IN RAJA AMPAT

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Raja Ampat has more than 1,070 kinds species of fish, 600 species of coral reef, and 699 species of mollusk. Compare with the entire Caribbean region who just have no more than 70 species of coral.

There is no place on this earth that has so much diversity of marine life as Raja Ampat does. This could be due to the total population of the very few who still use traditional fishing gear and limited access between islands that actually protects it from damage natural ecosystems.

Diving at night in Raja Ampat is extremely interesting. Underwater life at night is much different than in the daytime. When in daytime, we can easily see clown fish (anemone fish), but at night, difficult to find since they are hiding somewhere. At night usually can be found various types of crab, shrimp, squid and octopus.

While in daytime diving is no less interesting, colorful coral reefs of Raja Ampat is very unique. In addition, the number of fish scattered everywhere with variations of different types. It was hard to describe how wonderful underwater Raja Ampat. As an Indonesian citizen, I am very proud of Indonesia which has territorial waters of Raja Ampat as unique and different from other countries.

Heading north, we passed under the equator line marked with Kawe Island. Crossing the equator through the ocean is unique. These waters can also dive. There can be found the sea hare (nudibranchs), when it was the first time I came across the sea hare were chatting. Sea hare is also abundant to be encountered in the area Friwen, Urai and strait Kabui.

For divers who have explored several oceans in the world, no doubt, Raja Ampat has unique underwater lifes. Coral reefs are colorful, the fish diversity and natural beauty of the land are the perfect mixture.

From the book titled “Beautiful Raja Ampat”, Obviously without the support from government and the local people, no body will be successful optimally and sustainably.

It is highly important the cooperation of the various parties to preserve the environment. And it is also the responsibility of all of us, the divers and visitors to participate in the preservation of Raja Ampat.

Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort is very supportive in preserving the eco system in Raja Ampat, a way to invite guests to be able to preserve nature and nurture existing reefs.

A marine biologist and author of numerous reference books ever researching marine on the island of Kri. He noted there are 283 species of fish in a single dive. Topography here is steep slope with beautiful coral reefs and group of fish and the stars: fish pompano, snapper, grouper, reef sharks, napoeleon wrasse, barracuda, tuna and giant trevally.

Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort itself has dive spots with coral reefs, sponges and soft corals with striking color tinge. Different types of topography in Kri, here tend coral walls – walls – although there are also characteristic sloping reef. It is also easy to encounter many types of nudibranchs or commonly called sea hare, part of the mollusk family.

Late in the afternoon we hunt the presence of Mandarin Fish. This small fish patterned blue, red, orange like motif pattern of Chinese culture. Do not know why, this species appear on magic hours – hours limited hours – ie approximately at 5-6 pm. After a long wait, a number of mandarin fish appear and posing behind a bend contortion of fire coral and other coral reef.

We also can walk down the street of small islands uninhabited area around Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort and to see coral reef rock sticking out and surrounded by calm waters and clear greenish.

 

 

 

PLAN YOUR VACATION TO RAJA AMPAT WELL

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Trip to Raja Ampat is expensive? Not really actually, especially if we plan it well.

The word “expensive” is something that is relative actually. In general, Raja Ampat when it is compared to other tourist spots in the country, it is relatively more expensive. This is because Raja Ampat is marine tourist spot, where everybody knows that normally is more expensive than tourist spots on land. Moreover, Raja Ampat is located in Papua, where infrastructure is minimal when compared to other provinces in Indonesia.

However, all of the high expenses will be paid off when you see the breathtaking view of Raja Ampat, both underwater and above the sea.

Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort is also very supportive when there are tourists from within the country who also want to see the beauty of Raja Ampat, considering that tourists who come to Raja Ampat are dominated by foreigners, especially European. Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort suggests to local tourists to come by group, between 4-6 people. Traveling by group will greatly reduce the cost of transportation by speed boat up to 50%. For your info, since Raja Ampat is an archipelago, so in order to explore Raja Ampat, we have to ride speed boat every where. Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort has been serving and has prime customers who are nation wide companies, where they always come in group between 6-12 people.

Here is a step by step things to do to plan your trip to Raja Ampat well.

FLIGHT TICKET.

Plan your trip well in advance. Then buy a ticket through the local booking online now widely available in the country. Buying through online ticket booking has proved to be cheaper, since it gives a combination of multiple flights from multiple airlines.

Generally ticket with a transit flight will be cheaper than a direct flight. And also longer transit flight will be cheaper than shorter transit.

Once you are finished with airline ticket, and now assuming you are in Sorong city already. From Sorong you proceed to Waisai, the capital city of Raja Ampat.

Going to Waisai city using a medium large ship, Marina Express or Ave Maria, and there are two other large ships will take around 2.5 hours. In this case, we recommend guests to take the Marina Express ferry owned by local private company. They three ships serves the route Sorong – Waisai every day. The ships are quite in good shape and well maintained, equipped by air-conditioned, spacious enough and comfortable seating area.

Ticket prices are Rp. 130.000,- and VIP Rp. 230,000, -. Now there are 2 times per day at 9 am and 2 pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday schedule only serve at 2 pm.

A glimpse about the capital city of Raja Ampat. 11 years ago the city was officially formed. Formerly the city was just like any other islands in Raja Ampat, it was totally dense forest. But now Waisai city is rapidly developing their infrastructure. There are hospitals, government offices, restaurants, shops and hotels for approximately Rp.350.000, – Rp.450.000.- per night.

Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort itself provides a shuttle with a speed boat from Waisai – Doberai Resort – Waisai, which are already included in the package of Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort. The travel time from Waisai to Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort is approximately 25 minutes.

From Waisai city, you can tour to the islands by speed boat. One ride speed boat to an island costs for between Rp.1,000,000 – Rp. 10.000.000, -. So if you go in a group of 10, it means the cost can be shared all together. Why it so so expensive? Because the price of subsidized gasoline in other provinces in Indonesia is Rp. 6.500,-, but the price in Raja Ampat varies from Rp.15,000,- – Rp. 20.000,- / liter. And for a speed boat to run to a nearest island will take about 70 liters.

Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort offers several attractive option packages such as: Raja Ampat Doberai Snorkeling Package, Raja Ampat Doberai Tour Package, Raja Ampat Doberai Dive Package , Raja Ampat Doberai Dive Package, and Raja Ampat Doberai Honeymoon Package. These packages are in US Dollar. These packages include lodging, meals 3 times, speed boat, guide, snorkeling and diving equipment.

Packages offered by Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort are between 5 to 6 nights. Within this 6 nights Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort will bring you for island hoping to witness the beauty and uniqueness of Raja Ampat.

For those who are not diving, Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort will take you for snorkeling in the marine park around the islands. There are lots of snorkeling locations that can be seen with a diverse habitat. There are several locations with shallow water and white sand beach safe enough for children.

Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort is located in Urai island. Up to this moment, Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort is the only resort in Raja Ampat that occupies an island individually or privately. Urai island itself is located nicelly at “the door way” of Kabui bay.

A little advise for you who will travel here, always bring your personal gear such as: waterproof half covered sandals, hat, sunglasses, t-shirts, short-board, sun cream, personal light medicine, and of course camera, if possible with a waterproof casing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESERVING EXOTICISM OF RAJA AMPAT ARCHIPELAGO

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Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort is very concerned with the preservation of the Raja Ampat area within the scope of the overall ecosystem. Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort and we all of course do not want Raja Ampat to suffer the same fate just like other tourist destinations in Indonesia, where there are damages to forests, coral reefs and also socially negative changes of the social and cultural life of the community.

When we heard the name of Raja Ampat, the imagination of every person will wander into an archipelago in West Papua which is famous for its natural beauty. Raja Ampat is now well-known among tourists, both foreign and domestic. Especially for those who have a hobby of diving (diving). Raja Ampat is like a paradise for divers.

What makes Raja Ampat Islands are so attracted for tourists, so they do not care about the costs that they should spend to enjoy the exotic nature? Natural exoticism of Raja Ampat archipelago

according to various sources is known as one of the 10 best waters for diving sites around the world. In fact, it may also be recognized as number one for the completeness of underwater flora and fauna at this time. Very many oceanographers say that, Raja Ampat archipelago located in the westernmost tip of the island of Papua, about 50 miles northwest of Sorong, having the best coral regions in Indonesia. Approximately 450 species of coral had been identified during the two weeks of research in that area.

Enjoy the exoticism of the Raja Ampat Islands from height is an experience that is hard to describe with words. A carpet of green and clear with dozens or even are small coral islands scattered. There is an indescribable peace by simply looking at the expanse of it and enjoy the sea air is far from air pollution. Words that may be appropriate in describing the feeling is ‘biofilia’.

The term biofilia was first introduced by a naturalist named EO Wilson. By this biofilia Wilson defined as an innate human relations to other living organisms. According to him, our relationship with nature is rooted strongly with human evolutionary past. And it is embedded in our genes. That’s why every year more and more people are visiting the zoo than attending the game all sporting events combined.

Raja Ampat archipelago itself is located in Raja Ampat is one of the districts in West Papua carved out of Sorong regency since 2003. There are approximately 610 islands in this region, although only about 35 islands are inhabited. Among these are the four main islands in the district, namely, Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool. The population census last known about 42 508 inhabitants in the area of ​​46 296 km2.

As an archipelago with 85% area is an ocean, Raja Ampat has many peculiarities, which is the main attraction for this area. The surrounding sea is the heart of the Coral Triangle region that is recognized worldwide as a center of coral reef biodiversity. Raja Ampat Islands are home to more than 75% of coral species in the world. A total of 537 species of hard coral have been identified in the Ecological Study Brief (Rapid Ecological Assessment / REA) by TNC in 2002.

Raja Ampat is also the richest region in the world for a number of reef fish fauna reach at least 1427 species. The number indicates the highest number of marine biodiversity compared to other regions in the same area in the world. Currently, the number of species has increased to 553 hard coral species and 1470 the number of reef fish fauna. In Raja Ampat, the scientists also find more fish than the area of ​​the same size in other areas in the world-some kind of even only found in Raja Ampat.

There are several areas of the reefs are still very good condition with the percentage of live coral cover up to 90%, which is in the Dampier Strait (the strait between Waigeo P. and P. Batanta), Kofiau Islands, Misool Islands-South East and Wayag Islands. Types of coral reefs in Raja Ampat generally is fringing reef with ramps up the steep contours. But found also the type of atoll and the type of charred or taka. In some places such as the village Saondarek, when the lowest tides, coral reefs can be seen without a dive and with his own adaptation, corals can still be alive despite being in the open air and exposed to direct sunlight.

Unique species that can be found at the time of diving is some kind of dwarf seahorse, wobbegongs, manta rays and fish. Also there is a fish endemic to Raja Ampat, namely Eviota king, which is a kind of fish gobbie. At Manta Point located in Arborek Dampier Strait, we can dive in the company of some tail Manta Ray benign like when we dive in Derawan Islands, East Kalimantan. If diving in Cape Kri or Chicken Reef, you can be surrounded by thousands of fish

Sometimes a collection of tuna, giant trevallies and snappers. But stressful if we are surrounded by a collection of barracuda, even though it is relatively harmless (dangerous if we see barracuda solitary or alone). Reef sharks are also frequently seen, and if you are lucky you can also see the turtles were quietly eating sponge or swim around you. In some places, such as in Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo also seen dugong or sea cow.

Because the area of ​​many islands and narrow straits, then most of the dive at a particular time has a strong current. It is also possible to do a drift dive, dive followed by a strong current of water is very clear as it broke through a collection of fish (Wikipedia).

This then makes the Raja Ampat Islands as “underwater paradise” with the beauty of diversity that is difficult to surpass by any place in this world.

Increasing number of tourists and Threat

Indication of the growing recognition of the Raja Ampat Islands as a marine tourism area which is worth a visit is reflected in the number of tourists visiting the past 4 years. According to data from the Department of Culture and Tourism Raja Ampat, if in 2008 the number of tourists is just around the 2000s of visitors, then in 2010 this number increased to 3,855 people. In 2012 this number increased to 6000’s of people. At the end of 2013 this number is expected to be much increased.

Increasing tourist numbers has resulted in an increase in tourism facilities, which also experienced a significant increase. From the beginning to now, number of resorts are seven resorts and five home stay in the tourist village. Same thing on the number of cruise ships, exclusive vehicle alternative to enjoy the beauty of Raja Ampat, increased from 12 ships to 36 ships in three years.

Tourists visiting Raja Ampat generally come from Europe, and only a small part of the country, so that the tariff charged to visitors usually in the Euro standards. In some places, with a very simple accommodation just a walled and thatch roofs typically cost a minimum of 75 euros, or Rp 900,000 a night. And had to spend 30 euros more, or about Rp 360 thousand to be one dive at a particular location.

For a hotel with international standards and equipped with modern facilities and the food was a bit of luxury usually cost 225 euros, or about Rp 2.7 million per night. Not only for lodging, tariffs for sea transport was quite expensive with prices ranging between $ 2 million – USD 5 million. Even to visit one of the farthest island rental costs and speed can reach USD 15 million. The high cost of transportation rental price is due to the price of fuel is also expensive because it is difficult to obtain in this place.

The growing recognition of the Raja Ampat Islands as a marine tourism area which is accompanied by increase in the number of tourists visiting though has become a blessing for residents and local government, but on the other hand leaves its own problems. If there is no visitor restrictions and rules been feared to potentially damaging existing ecosystems.

Local Government Raja Ampat actually has issued the decree No. 4 of 2011 on the Development of Recreational Diving Raja Ampat, and the decree No. 3 of 2011 on Business Registration Procedures for Tourism. Both of these rules is the reference management tourism business that will contribute to revenue and create a competitive investment climate in Raja Ampat. The regulation also discussed procedures for diving, diving conditions, diving safety rules, the circulation of tourist boats in Raja Ampat, environmental conservation, and sanctions for tour operators who violate.

However, the publication of these rules must always be guarded in terms of implementation.

An interesting view of the experts is submitted that the management of marine tourism in Raja Ampat need well designed and managed so as not to undermine the sustainability of marine natural resources in Raja Ampat. And vice versa, but it provides economic and ecological benefits are high for the government, society and the environment. It is believed that if the tour program in Raja Ampat is designed and managed well, then this program will not damage the marine natural resources in Raja Ampat, but instead will provide significant benefits for the region.

The fact that Raja Ampat regency until now there has been an indication Spatial determination of the tourist area of ​​the current can be changed at any time. And this means that in the future the charm of Raja Ampat as a tourist area with abundant natural wealth and exotic might just be the historical record only.

Conservation Efforts

Other threats are also related to the marine ecosystem in Raja Ampat. Despite conservation efforts have been made, including by involving the local indigenous people, but exploration efforts extractive still sometimes do, for example, fishing with cyanide (potassium) and fishing in excess (over fishing). Infrastructure development as well as new areas potentially disrupt the continuity of existing ecosystems in the area.

Other environmental issues are increasingly reduced due to the exploitation of mangrove communities and land conversion of mangrove land into residential land, which is the case a lot going on in Waisai, Kabui, Arawai, Kalitoko, Waigama, Salafen, Kalatlap and a number of other places.

In the middle of the magnitude of the potential threats to ecosystems in Raja Ampat, hope for improvement and enhancement of the environment remain.

Many conservation activities that have made this region became the first district in Indonesia, which declared a CTF Network (Water Conservation Area). Conservation area is globally recognized as an effective tool in supporting sustainable fisheries, protect important marine habitats and ensure food security and livelihoods for local communities. Currently there are seven CTF in the network that covers more than 1 million acres of coastal and marine areas.

With this declaration CTF Network, local communities have now been using the data of ecological and socio-economic along with their local knowledge to prepare a zoning plan for every CTF. Traditional practices such as SASI are included into the zoning plan. Each of these plans will be included in a management plan CTF larger networks.

We certainly hope that the exoticism of the Raja Ampat Islands region can be maintained as it exists now. Interesting what the experts say that that welfare assessment should not only be seen in what is now, but it should also be sustainability. Welfare should be interpreted with a fixed environment is preserved around, which is not sacrificed just because of novelty.