Birds of Paradise are some of the world’s most beautiful birds, making their home in the lush tropical rainforests, swamps, and mangroves of eastern Indonesia. There are over 40 species of these unique birds which are known for the remarkable appearance of their males. Experience the spectacular display of the Bird of Paradise when you visit Raja Ampat Islands in Indonesia.
Members of the bird family Paradisaeidae include some of the most diverse and intriguing creatures in the world. Each is a dramatic display of form, color, and sound. Their vibrancy certainly characterizes the spectacular range of living creatures that can be observed in these exceptionally biodiverse islands.
Their remarkable vivid plumage includes a variety of unusual feathers and ornamentation including streamers, wires, and ruffs, fan-like head plumes and breast shields. Though the females are rather more dour, they find themselves the center of attention with dramatic mating rituals which are amazing to observe. A well-choreographed performance by the male Bird of Paradise can last hours and will include dances, poses, and movements which show of the best of their appearance and prowess to all observers.
It is no surprise that the Bird of Paradise attracts visitors from all over the world who are keen to catch a glimpse and if fortunate, a snap of these stunning creatures.
Photo credit: Edward KM Leung (https://www.flickr.com/)
Raja Ampat – A Heartland for Exceptional Natural Beauty
The Raja Ampat Islands are the heartland of some of the best of Indonesia’s wildlife and marine life. It is somewhat disconnected from the rest of Indonesia being part of the province of Papua. Though remote, this collection of over 1500 small islands, cays and shoals offers unrivaled opportunity to see one of the world’s most unique ecosystems. It is part of the Coral Triangle and renowned for its unmatched range of sea life. Covering over 40,000 square kilometers of land and sea, Raja Ampat remains relatively unspoiled and untouched. It is no surprise that it is here that the Bird of Paradise can flourish in its natural habitat.
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The remote and undisturbed character of Raja Ampat is precisely why many nature lovers and eco-tourists make the effort to reach and explore these territories. The nature you will find here including marsupials and over 500 bird species is unique and cannot be found anywhere else in Indonesia. This archipelago is made for trekking and adventure and the rewards of the long journey to get there is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The rich rainforests provide a canopy for the Bird of Paradise, in particular, the 12-Wired, Red and Wilson’s Bird of Paradise which make their home on Waigeo, Batanta, and Gam.
Meet the people of Raja Ampat
The Raja Ampat Island chain is also home to a population of 49,000 people who make their lives in coastal settlements scattered amongst the islands. There are few distinctive Papuan tribes but many of residents are Christian and Muslim. Traditional practices often included the hunting of the Bird of Paradise for its feathers which would adorn traditional attire. This practice has now not only been banned, but the people themselves have discerned the value of preserving these birds in their native habitat. Traditional attire, dances, and folk songs still permeate daily life for these island peoples.
The people of Raja Ampat are understandably expert navigators of the sea and have been good stewards of their environment. They are known for being engaging and offer excellent hospitality which provides a fine opportunity to catch a glimpse into their simple way of life.
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Fishing and pearl diving are the main sources of income but with the advent of travel, locals are taking advantage of opportunities to provide unique ‘village-visits’ to those journeying to the region. What is lost by the language barrier is usually overcome with smiles, gifts, and traditional handicrafts. Simple thatched Papuan-style huts house most communities. Though amenity-light, these peoples are rich in warmth, welcome, and immersion in the beautiful surrounds and culture of these islands.
Intrepid Journeys to the Heart of the Bird of Paradise Habitat
This region of Indonesia is only just beginning to open up to outside attention. These islands were little-known to outsiders until recently. Do not expect the infrastructure or amenities of mass tourism. Expect untouched beaches without sun loungers or sunshades just like the desert islands of the imagination.
This Southeast Asian archipelago is truly remote and only the most determined of explorers will get there. Even from Jakarta or Bali, one will find themselves journeying for hours in a combination of domestic flights and transfers, ferries, and private yacht charters.
The mainland city of Sorong on the Western tip of New Guinea is the launch for access to the Raja Ampat Islands. Hire a charter to get up close to the remotest of these Indonesian islands. The only way to explore these territories is by boat. There are few liveaboards that can take you to the region, so niche yacht charters stand out as the simplest and safest way to schedule your trip.
Create the Perfect Indonesian Wildlife Adventure
Explore territories such as Raja Ampat with an all-inclusive yacht charter which can take you to the most remote and unexplored island in safety and comfort. These islands offer an exceptional opportunity to experience some of the most unique habitats and ecosystems in the world and what better way to access them than by a luxury liveaboard yachting experience.
Cruising affords an incomparable opportunity to take in the best of Eastern Indonesia including the exceptional islands of Raja Ampat. There is no better way of setting out to see the best of this region’s wildlife.
Enjoy the peace and isolation of your surrounds without schedules, timings or transfers. You can create and craft a completely bespoke itinerary according to your every requirement and wish. If diving and snorkeling are your passion a yacht charter complete with equipment and experienced crew means that you can focus your time on doing what you love in one of the world’s best locations for marine biodiversity.