Warkesi Bird Watching Area

West Waigeo, Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua

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Traveling to Raja Ampat, tourists have nothing to lose. This is because there are many hidden destinations, both on land and in the waters. In Waigeo Island, a hidden forest called Warkesi forest is home to flocks of cendrawasih, the birds ofparadise.

Here tourists can watch the dance of cendrawasih, an endangered animal. To reach this forest, tourists can travel for 25 minutes from Waisai by car. This forest is more popular among natural-loving foreign tourists rather than domestic tourists.

Tourists will enjoy the unspoiled forest here, so that the time to wait for the birds to dance will not be boring. The scorching heat of Raja Ampat will not interfere with tourists’ trips along the cendrawasih trail in this forest.

There are two types of cendrawasih that tourists can seein Warkesi. They are Red cendrawasih and Wilson’s cendrawasih. These two types of cendrawasih are not found in many areas other than Warkesi. This is another reason for exploring the Warkesi forest.

Red Cendrawasih is a type of cendrawasih that is not only knownfor its dance. Its beautiful voice is also one of the attractions that tourists are waiting for. The bird, whose scientific name is Paradisea rubra, has colorful feathers, unlike the cendrawasih we commonly know which only has brown, white, and yellow feathers.

The extremely rare red cendrawasih has striking colored feathers: yellow, brown, blood red, white, and emerald green. All these colorfulfeathers, combined with a yellow beakare in a single cendrawasih. Seeing this paradise in the wild is almost impossible because of its very limited habitat on the islands of Waigeo and Batanta of Raja Ampat.

Finding the sweet voice of cendrawasih and its dancing is quite a challenging job. Apart from having to go through the jungle terrain where the density of the trees is still thick on foot, tourists also have to keep silent during the trip. Tourists who want to listen to cendrawasih are prohibited from speaking out loud, laughing, or making other loud noises.

Often times, local tour guides who are native residents around Warkesi, ask tourists to turn off their cellphones. This is just a precaution so that activities on your cellphone do not disturb the tranquility in the forest. Cenderawasih is very sensitive to sound and can be disturbed by ringing sounds from cellphones and vibrations. Tourists’ hours of effort can bear fruitless  due to the ringing or vibration of their own smart devices.

Tourist visits to Warkesi are a source of livelihood for the local community. In addition, they are accustomed to utilize forest products to meet the needs of their families. Because of that, the local people really protect the Warkesi forest. So no need to be surprised if there are many super strict rules for tourists who want to visit Warkesi to watch the cendrawasih sing and dance.

Also for environmental sustainability reasons, as of October 2020, visits to the Warkesi Forest have been very tight. Not all tourists are given access to the forest. There is a quota system in place for tourists who want to visit Warkesi. The aim is to maintain the carrying capacity of the forest as the original habitat for the extremely rare cendrawasih and other living things in the Warkesi wilderness.

Therefore, tourists who have long planned to explore Warkesi to enjoy the rare moment of seeing the Cendrawasih dance, must reserve a ‘place’ in advance. Tourists can contact their tour agent so that their visit schedule can be arranged. The tour agent will then arrange the schedule of tourist visits together with the local community who manage tourism in Warkesi.

Its location which is not far from Waisai, the capital city of Raja Ampat, allows tourists to schedule additional visits beyond those specified in the itinerary arrangement that has been made by the travel agent. Of course, with notification a maximum of two days in advance so that tourist arrivals are not rejected because the quota is full on that day. Easy access is also an added value for tourists who want to visit Warkesi.

Some tourists who have visited Warkesi even said that access to the location can be reached by renting a motorbike taxi service. Of course this adds to the sensation of a new adventure for tourists, especially for those who like to have their adrenaline pumped. In addition, tourists won’t have to worry about staying overnight because there are so many choices of hotels and guest houses in Waisai that can be used to rest after a day of exploring Warkesi.

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