Raja Ampat trekking

Raja Ampat trekking
  • Trips start and end in Waisai
  • Pickups can be arranged from some homestays
  • Trek lengths: From 2 days/1 night to 5 days/4 nights
  • Maximum distance per day: 10km (5 to 7 hours walking)
  • Fitness level required: Moderate (high humidity/rough terrain)
  • Accommodation: Homestay, jungle hut, or bivouac (sometimes sleeping on wooden floors)
  • Price: Depends on group size and trek length.
  • Maximum group size: 6 people

Raja Ampat trekking routes

These Raja Ampat trekking routes have been developed by the Waifoi and Warimak communities of Waigeo’s Mayalibit Bay, with the support of a number of NGOs.

The treks explore Waigeo’s wildlife-rich tropical rainforest and the hills and river valleys near the villages of Waifoi and Warimak, which lie on the eastern shore of northern Mayalibit Bay. You’ll get to experience the remote village life of the Ambel Maya people and (on some treks) visit their ancient cultural sites. The Maya are the original inhabitants and traditional owners of Waigeo and many of the surrounding islands, and are the people from whom Mayalibit Bay takes its name.

Waigeo has been famous for its terrestrial biodiversity since Alfred Wallace made the first serious attempt at cataloguing it in 1860. Raja Ampat jungle trekking provides the chance to see many rare birds, animals and plants, many of which are endemic to Waigeo.

You will fall asleep to the nocturnal serenade of the deep Waigeo jungle. You’ll be welcomed in seldom-visited villages and experience traditional Maya village life. You will be immersed in a culture which is markedly different to that of the Biak peoples who inhabit Raja Ampat’s coastal villages.

The boat journey from Waisai to the northern reaches of Mayalibit Bay passes through some utterly spectacular scenery and, if you’re lucky, you may encounter the unique white dolphins that inhabit the bay. If you’re really lucky, you may even get to lay eyes on one of the many crocodiles that frequent the Bay’s dark waters.

Another highlight of the trek packages is a side trip up a small river that winds through the mangrove forests that line Mayalibit’s shores. Where the river meets the land, you can explore a traditional village farm, see how the staple island food of sago is harvested and get to taste fresh cacao. If you’d like to see the mangrove forest’s nocturnal animals (and increase your chances of seeing crocodiles) the mangrove forest inclusion can also be arranged as a night trip.

Your Raja Ampat trekking guides are birding specialists with extensive knowledge of local fauna, flora and cultural sites.

Your participation in the Raja Ampat trekking program will make a huge difference to the lives of the remote Mayalibit Bay communities and will both inspire and empower them to further their role as conservators of Waigeo’s rich jungle habitats.

Read on for/click the link to jump to more information and photos about:

3 day/2night Waifoi/Warimak trekking trip photos

…and thanks to Katrin and Mark for this short film of their experience :)

Trekking requirements

Treks are at an easy pace to allow for all ages and most fitness levels, but they are not recommended for those with a low level of physical fitness. The trekking routes include some sections of steep and rough terrain of medium-high difficulty. Stream and small river crossings are also encountered. Conditions are always warm and very humid and, on clear days, it can be very hot on trail sections exposed to sun.

Sturdy footwear is a must to protect against tripping hazards, foot injuries on rough and rocky ground, and splinters from tree roots and forest debris that is often underfoot. When choosing footwear, bear in mind that you’ll need to walk through water occasionally.

Lightweight clothing that dries quickly is best. (Even if the weather is fine, it’s virtually guaranteed that you’ll be freely perspiring!) Only carry the minimum you consider essential for your trek length. A hat is a must for sun protection, and a lightweight but sturdy poncho is recommended in case of rain. Anyone from a temperate climate is unlikely to need anything warm, even at night.

Before departing Waisai, trip participants must produce the permit card that proves payment of the Tariff to Support Environmental Services in Raja Ampat.
Sunscreen, insect repellent and a headtorch or flashlight are highly recommended.
You may want to consider bringing a sleeping mat: Mosquito nets are supplied, but mattresses are unavailable at the forest camps and you will be sleeping on wooden floorboards.

Raja Ampat trekking prices

Contact Wolter for prices.

Trips must be paid for prior to departure from Waisai.

You can pay by Paypal or bank transfer prior to arriving in Raja Ampat, or by cash or credit card in Waisai. Be sure to check that your credit card will work in Indonesia before relying on it.

All trek prices include:

  • Return boat transport Waisai-Mayalibit Bay-Waisai (~130km)
  • Food and accommodation
  • Drinking water (bring your own reusable bottle)
  • Payments to guides
  • Village community fund payments

Prices do not include the Tariff to Support Environmental Services in Raja Ampat that all visitors to Raja Ampat must pay. Be sure to purchase your permit before meeting your guides in Waisai.

Raja Ampat trekking itineraries

You are free to design your own itinerary of any length, but here are 6 suggested routes.

2 day/1 night treks include between 3 and 5 hours’ walking per day, with a maximum distance per day of about 5km.

5 day/ 4 night treks require between 5 and 7 hours’ walking per day and cover a maximum distance of 10km per day.

Suggested trek itinerary details can be viewed here. (PDF: 868KB)

Trekking map and photo gallery

Raja Ampat trekking bookings & enquiries

For bookings, prepayments, and any questions not answered on this page, please contact Wolter (Otter) Gaman.

Otter’s contact details are:

Phone +6281254357477

WA: +6281288863768

Email: woltergaman9@gmail.com


If you have trouble contacting Wolter, the Raja Ampat Homestay Information Center will be able to help.

Trekking accommodation details

Conservation tourism in Warimak and Waifoi villages began in 2016 with the development of trekking routes to several tourist destinations near Warimak village. The Warimak routes were based on old logging trails from the 1990s and were extended into untouched areas that include hills from which panoramic views are available, river valleys and cultural sites.

In Warimak and Waifoi villages, trekkers are accommodated in family homes. You will usually have a room to yourself and mattresses and mosquito nets are supplied. Most village homes do not have their own toilets though. There will be a public toilet building somewhere nearby.

Accommodation while trekking is either at homestay style huts, or in bivouacs. Mosquito nets are supplied, but mattresses are unavailable at the forest camps, so you will be sleeping on wooden floorboards unless you bring a mat.

Kamtabai Forest Hut
Built by Wolter Gaman (who is known as Otter to his friends), Kamtabai Forest Hut is located at Otter’s family gardens, about a 2km walk from Warimak. Kamtabai has a large 3 room hut with a verandah that has table and bench seating. There is also a dining room, a great circular shelter with bench seating surrounding a table, and an outdoor seating area around a firepit. A 2 room bathroom shelter has bucket bathing and a squat toilet.

The garden at Kamtabai provides fresh banana, papaya, sweet potato, sugarcane, jackfruit, rambutan, taro, cacao and coconut. If you want, you can also hunt Balobe (a local freshwater shrimp) in the nearby river.

Attractions near Kamtabai Forest Hut include a waterfall, Red Bird of Paradise display trees, Western Crowned Pigeon habitat and sago harvesting sites. The surrounding forest is full of birds during the day, and full of fireflies at night.

Laen Sorongga Hut
Laen Sorongga Hut was originally a shelter built by Yeheskiel Dawa’s family to provide them with accommodation while working in their food gardens. The family has since converted the hut as part of Warimak’s eco-tourism trekking venture.

Laen Sorongga provides four rooms, a dining shelter, and basic bathroom facilities.

Kanyum and Pindo forest and river camps
Kanyum and Pindo are bivouac style camps that provide basic shelters for sleeping and dining and have pit toilet facilities. Built specifically for trekkers, they were established by Warimak villagers with help from Fauna & Flora International (FFI).

Homestay and trekking camps photo gallery

Waigeo’s fauna and flora

Waigeo is unique among the Raja Ampat islands due to its range of habitats. A mix of weathered volcanic mountains, karst hills, metamorphic hills, and alluvial plains built by river sedimentation create a wealth of ecosystems and microclimates.

Waigeo has a “very wet” climate according to the Schmidt Ferguson classification. Between 2003 and 2016, average rainfall was 254mm per month. Most rain falls between May and July, which typically receive about 339mm per month. September is the driest month with an average of 129mm.

Biogeographically, Waigeo is part of the Sahul Shelf. In the past, Waigeo was joined to the Australian continent and subsequently is home to many animals that share ancestry with their Australian counterparts.

70% of Waigeo’s 3000 square kilometre area lies in protected areas managed by The Natural Resources Conservation Agency of West Papua. The conservation areas are dominated by forested hills over a volcanic rock substrate, but also include alluvial plains and karst hill areas.

Waigeo’s highest point is Danai Mountain at 978m, and primary forests cover 80% of its area. A further 9% is secondary forest. These lowland forests are dominated by big trees with an average diameter of 44 cm and height of 25-30m. FFI’s 2016 biodiversity survey found Vatica rassak to be the most common species, followed by other forest trees such as Teijsmanniodendron bogoriense, matoa (Pometia pinnata), pimelodendron amboinicum and palaquium lobbianum.

Waigeo fauna & flora photos


FFI’s 2013 and 2016 biodiversity surveys indicate that Waigeo is home to 210 bird species, which represents 31% of all known bird species in Papua. The most sought after by birders are probably the Wilson’s (Cicinnurus respublica) and the Red (Paradisaea rubra) Birds of Paradise, but many other rare and endangered species can also be observed.

Of the 210 bird species recorded in Waigeo, 13 are endemic to Indonesia and 27 are migratory. 174 of the 210 are protected under Indonesian law, 32 species are listed in the CITES appendix, and 12 species are classified by the IUCN as endangered.

A full list of the species that may be seen during a Waigeo forest trek can be viewed here. (PDF: 86KB)

If birding is your specific field of interest, you may also be interested in reading this comprehensive Raja Ampat birding report.

Reptiles & Amphibians

Biodiversity surveys have catalogued 42 species of reptile and 28 species of amphibian on Waigeo. The largest of Waigeo’s terrestrial reptiles are the pythons and monitors.

Pythons you might be fortunate enough to see on a Waigeo forest trek include D’Albertis’ Python (Bothrochilus albertisii), Papuan Olive Python (Liasis papuano), Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis) and the Amethystine or Scrub Python (Simalia amethistina).

Monitors that live on Waigeo and may be encountered on treks include Waigeo’s endemic Golden Speckled Tree Monitor (Varanus boehmei), the Blue-tailed Monitor (Varanus doreanus), and the Peach-throated Monitor (Varanus jobiensis).

Fourteen of Waigeo’s reptile species are classified as endangered by IUCN and the CITES appendix, and are protected by Indonesian law.

Mammals and Marsupials

23 species of mammal and marsupial were logged by the 2016 FFI-IP biodiversity survey.

The Waigeo Spotted Cuscus (Spilocuscus papuensis) is endemic to Waigeo and is almost certain to be seen at night during a trek. The Grey Cuscus (Phalanger orientalis) may also be observed.

Waigeo is also home to nine bat species. Beaufort’s Naked-backed Fruit Bat (Dobsonia beauforti) and the Round-eared Tube-nosed Fruit Bat (Nyctimene cyclotis) are two notable species that you may encounter.

Other animals encountered in the 2016 survey that you may also see include:

Long-nosed spiny bandicoot (Echymipera rufescens)
Long-tailed pygmy possum (Cercartetus caudatus)
Striped possum (Dactylopsila trivirgata)
Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)
Himalayan field rat (Rattus nitidus)
Mosaic-tailed rats of the Melomys genus


Waigeo’s botanical biodiversity rivals that of Raja Ampat’s famed marine environment, and is worthy of the same protections, especially as the Waigeo forests may prove to hold an invaluable pharmacopeia.

An indication of this potential is the discovery that a compound extracted from the bark of the dominant forest tree (Vatica rassak) will inhibit the growth of human colon cancer cells.

There are over 150 species of woody plants alone in Waigeo’s forests. In addition to those, there are 3 species of pitcher plants and 57 species of orchid, most of which are endemic to Waigeo.

Notable species include:

Agrostophyllum majus
Coelogyne asperata
Dendrobium antennatum
Dendrobium azureum**
Dendrobium mirbelianum
Grammatophyllum scriptum
Paphiopedilum praestans
Vanda lissochiloides
Pitcher plants
Nepenthes danseri**
Alstonia beatricis**
Calophyllum parvifolium
Hopea novoguineensis

(** Waigeo endemics)


Add Comment

    Absolute must! We (a group of five) did the 5 days/4 nights tour and would do it again any time. The hike started off at Waifoi village after being ipciked up at our Home Stay and included two nights each at two different Home Stays that exceeded our expectations. Both were located by a riverbed and really well-kept, a small restroom and even electricity were provided. The food was amazing, and we were always supplied with fresh water and even coffee.
    The best part though are the guides! Wolter, who is fluent in English, guided the tours we did on day one and two. However, he was required for business in Sorong later, so we continued the hike guided by four wonderful people who appeared to be guides-in-training. As some were just beginning to learn English, communication had us worried at first, but this was soon overcome and we had the best time together. If you are looking for a way to peek into traditional Papuan lifestyles while also enjoying untouched nature and supporting a business idea entirely based on locals, this is just for you!
    What to mind while packing:
    – bring good, solid shoes (venomous snakes!)
    – DryBags/shielded plastic bags for both electronics and clothes: your clothes will not be entirely dry for th length of your trip
    – essential medication/ wound care, especially desinfectant, Ibupfofen AND Paracetamol (in case of Dengue-Fever)
    – really important: mosquito repellent

  2. Lewis on

    We did a 4D/3N jungle trek in November 2023 organised by Wolter. Yuseb was our guide and the trip was amazing. The trip started in Waifoi and ended in Warimak, we spent time at the Kamtabai homestay and Laen Sorongga homestay. The boat journey from Waisai to Waifoi through Mayalabit bay was beautiful and very scenic.
    We trekked through the jungle visiting bat caves, known bird watching spots (to see many red birds of paradise, hornbills, parrots, cockatoos and many more), water falls and Kali Biru.
    The trip was incredible, Yuseb was very knowledgeable about the area and so much fun to be around! Wolter arranged our transport at the end of the trip to our next homestay on Pam island and even reunited us with a bag of medication that we left behind.
    Thank you Wolter and Yuseb for an incredible adventure that we will never forget!
    Lewis & Adam

  3. Simon and Isabelle on

    We did a 5 days/4 nights trekking in November. Wolter met us the first morning in Waisai but was not able to be on the trek with us. Alfred and the team were our guides and looked after us. On our way to Waifoi we visited Kali Biru/Blue River, which was beautiful to see. On our way back to Waisai we stopped at Kolam Air Ajelly. Both those trips had a local entry fee which was not included in the price of the trekking. Wolter asked us in advance if we wanted to visit them. The length of the treks worked well for us, there was always an opportunity to rest after a few hours tops, which was great in the heat and humidity. The treks included multiple river crossings (not in deep water), so shoes that dry quickly are a plus. On our treks, we visited a waterfall (where we also got to swim), two bat caves and Warimak village. We saw a big variety of birds (Hornbills, Red Birds of Paradise, kakadus, a variety of parrots, kingfisher), two snakes, beautiful butterflies and some big spiders. The sago tour on the last day with our very enthusiastic guide was a highlight. We spent two nights each at Kamtabai Forest Hut and Laen Sorongga Hut. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly and the food was great at both places. Alfred’s English was good to communicate about our next activity. We were curious to ask questions and find out more about the local culture and life but that turned out to be difficult, as our Indonesian is very limited. Overall, it was a very interesting and memorable experience. 4 days might have been enough for us but we can definitely recommend getting to know this part of Raja Ampat too. Thank you very much!

  4. Loubna and Pierre on

    We did a wonderful 5 days/4 nights jungle trekking with Walter. What an incredible adventure, we have such wonderful memories!!! We spent 3 nights in two different homestays and 1 night in a bivouac. We received a very warm welcome. Walter is an exceptional person; he works very hard to preserve and protect the customs and life of the locals. He facilitates the conversations with local people and helps to fully understand daily life and local customs in the Mayalibit Bay.
    Above all, we remember local people kindness and smiles, their generosity and willingness to share their customs and beliefs. We also remember the delicious food as well as the incredible beauty of the Nature jungle. It was a journey at Raja Ampat that will mark us for the rest of our lives. Thank you, Walter, and thank you to all your teammates, one day we will return to see you, we promise!!!

  5. Niki & Akos on

    We went on a 2-day tour with Walter in March. It was wonderful! The whole team is amazingly kind and smiling. The locations are beautiful, the food is delicious! The hikes are a bit tough in this heat, on undeveloped routes. Water shoes can be useful. I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone.

  6. Sarah on

    My partner and I booked a 5 day trip for 4 nights. For me it was the most memorable time in Raja Ampat and I learned so so much from Wolter and his family. We went into batcaves, really pretty homestays in the jungle, went shrimp and eel fishing, watched birds, saw spiders and a snake and awesome trees, took a bath in rivers and in a waterfall in the jungle, made Sago and got some new friends and became KK (big siblings) from cute kids in the last homestay. We went with Wolter, Alfred, Markus, Erwin, Yusuf aka Mr. Betelnut and Kilion. One other guy from Germany (Hannes) joined us in the first days of the tour. For us it was really awesome because we were a big group and we could sing and laugh together so much. After the experience I miss the jungle but i miss the people even more. There were all so caring and respectful. When I walked slowly because of slippery stones in the river there was always someone who helped me and gave me a hand. There was always someone behind me so I was never the last one, no matter how slow I was. I felt really looked after. I have much respect for everyone who went with us. This is a great way to learn many things about Papua. Wolters english is good and it is a joy to listen to him. We strongly recommend planty of mosquito repellend.

  7. Isabella on

    We really enjoyed our 3 day trek with Wolter. He has a great knowledge of the land, Papuan culture and the wildlife and we found it very insightful learning from him over our trek.
    On the first day we were picked up from our homestay and brought to Waisai. Wolter took us into the local market to pick up some food for the next few days. It was great to be able to look around the market and ask any questions we had. After the market we spent two hours on a long boat to Wolters home village. The journey on the boat was beautiful, there were high cliffs and islands the whole way. Once in the village we tried some traditionally prepared Sago, visited the local school, and had a look at the traditional crafts. That afternoon we trekked to our homestay. The homestay was well built, clean, and had good electricity. The food provided was also very nice.
    On day two and three we visited the red bird of paradise site, bat cave, waterfall, Sago harvesting site, and the panoramic viewpoint. The three day trek was a great option as all treks lasted under 2 hours before resting. All the sites were amazing and we were lucky to watch the birds for an hour each day. The Sago harvesting tour was very interesting and we enjoyed harvesting and eating the traditional Papuan food.
    Overall I would highly recommend this trip. We were able to experience another side of Raja Ampat including traditional Papuan culture and the beautiful nature on the land. Wolter was a great guide and answered all questions we had, communication was also very good in the lead up to the trip.

  8. Francesco on

    Me and my friend did the 3 days/2 nights trekking with Wolter and his friends. Definitely the best experience we had in Raja Ampat. We started in the morning, when Wolter and his friend Cheche picked us up at our place in Waigeo. After grabbing fuel and food in Waisai, we headed to the Kalibiru (Blue River) swimming spot, about one hour from Waisai. After spending there some time, we left for Waifoi, in the northern part of Mayalibit Bay. There we met Lion, our local guide who took us to the homestay that became our home for the next days. Spent the following two days hiking in the surrounding area with Lion, Wolter and Cheche. All of them were familiar with the forest and shared with us lots of info about animals, plants and places. We saw snakes, tons of birds, insects and a cuscus. I particularly enjoyed the walk we did one afternoon, after the rain stopped.

    Overall, Wolter and his friends were amazing company and you could see that they truly care about their guests. It is worth to mention that safeguarding the environment is at the heart of what they do and their commitment is really admirable.

    Should I go back to Raja Ampat, something which I hope I will be able to do in the following years, I will definitely join Wolter for a longer trek (really want to climb that peak we saw in the distance, Wolter!). If you want to experience something different from snorkelling and diving, contact Wolter and let him show you that Raja Ampat is more than just beaches and palms (though that stuff is good too!).

    Finally, want to thank Wolter, Cheche, Lion and his family, and the guy that took us to Waifoi and back by boat. You made our stay in Raja Ampat unforgettable.

  9. Frank on

    My partner and I went on a 2N/1D trip with Otter at the beginning of January and it was for sure a highlight of our stay in Raja Ampat. Otter and his friends/staff were really great company – not only to help us spotting different birds but also playing the guitar and singing when we swam underneath a waterfall.

    The trip is hightly recommended for the beauty of Mayalabit Bay, the quiet time in unspoiled nature, and suberb guiding by Otter & Co.

    1. iñigo on

      Hi Frank could you tell me how much was the price of the trek per person? Thanks

  10. Lawrance on

    5 of us did a 2 days/1 night trek with Wolter and stayed overnight in his homestay in the middle of the jungle. The huts are basic and clean. We are supported by him and some of his friends and people from the village. They cook, clean and show us around; and some of them (especially Yupi) are also extremely entertaining. There is never a dull moment.
    Wolter took really great care of us and ensured our safety. He is very knowledgeable and very passionate to share stories about the area. We truly enjoyed the two days.
    I will definitely recommend anyone to do this trek. It’s a nice change and different from the other activities in Raja Ampat (mainly snorkelling, diving, visiting villages)

  11. Heather on

    We had a great time trekking with Otter in October 2019. The food was incredible (mud crabs in the mangroves) and fired bananas (yum!).
    Our guides Otter, Edwin, Azriel, Yupi were so knowledgeable and friendly. They shared their homes with great enthusiasm and humour.
    Would highly recommend to anyone visiting Raja Ampat – most come to the area for diving and aquatic life, but you’d be missing out not to discover what’s above the water. The biodiversity on land is as diverse. And it’s so impressive how the local communities are supporting conservation and each other by running these tours.
    Thank you for sharing this spectacular part of the world with us!

  12. Kate on

    A big group of us (12 adults, 1×14 year old) went out on a 1 night/2 day adventure with Otter and his team. We had the best experience from the very beginning to the very end. We had so much fun, saw such amazing and beautiful scenery, were looked after so well, ate wonderful local fresh food (including the freshwater yabbies they helped us to catch at night), were delighted by the beautiful birds of paradise, learned so much about the native flora and fauna, visited some local villages and met some very friendly (and entertaining-Yopi?) locals. We wished we had been able to extend our adventure with Otter- it was such a fabulous part of our Raja Ampat holiday. Definitely recommend it.

  13. Ruby on

    We did a two day one night adventure with Otter, and it was the highlight of the trip!! Otter was very accommodating and knowledgeable throught the trip, and his cousin Yopi made sure there was never a dull moment with his singing and ukelele playing.

    All in all an incredible trip and will definitely be back if I’m ever in Waisai.

  14. Mickey on

    Hi, I am traveling solo and I was wondering how many people are likely to be sharing the boat to and from Waisai with me? If the boat is full (8 people) I can definitely afford the trip but if I am the only one in the boat I definitely cannot afford it. Is there any way to estimate ahead of time how many people will be sharing the boat so that I can figure out if I can afford this trip or not? Thanks!

  15. Weight Family on

    We had a wonderful time trekking with Otter in late December 2018. Otter did a fabulous job organising and catering for our very large group of 14. We did a 2 day trek and wished we had done longer!! The first day we were picked up from Waisai on Waigeo Island by long boat and journeyed up through wonderful conservation areas, swam in beautiful rivers and hiked up to a special gorge. Travelling the expanse of the Mayalibit Bay, passing villages and dramatic, impenetrable jungle was very spectacular and we offloaded at Otter’s village of Waifoi. Otter’s camp in the jungle is a great set up with excellent accomodation in stilted wooden bungalows. Mattresses and mosquito nets were provided, and lots of delicious local food with fresh coconuts from the surrounding trees. Otter’s sister and Aunt cooked and kept camp and his brother Yothi entertained us with his music – a fabulous character with a great voice. Some of our group did the night fishing which they really enjoyed and we all got up early the next morning to head out and find the intriguing Red Birds of Paradise. After returning for breakfast we then spent the morning swimming in a wonderful waterfall before starting on our return journey back to Waisai. We would highly recommend Otter’s trekking journeys and would chose a longer trek next time. This is a very unique and authentic experience and Otter is very professional and accomodating in his dealings. Thanks for a great trek Otter!! Cheers the Weight Family

    1. Laur on

      Could we have an idea of the price per person
      Thank you for your reply

  16. Halie Rebeccaschild & Chris Burke on

    My partner, Chris, and I visited the Mayalibit Bay in September, staying in two different homestays. Hoping to discover reptiles of the local region, we booked a three-day, two-night tour that began by longboat in Waisai. As Otter was in Jakarta during our visit, his brothers Yan and Yopi guided us with the invaluable assistance of Mr. Martin, who provided translation and insight into the local culture.

    Although we saw only two snakes, a monitor, and a scorpion, we delighted in the Birds of Paradise and Flying Fox at the “bat cave,” enjoying our treks through the jungle immensely. A pair of comfortable trail runners would have been perfect for the number of times we crossed streams. Next time, I’ll be better prepared.

    What a rare experience in life to explore a jungle in Papua! But the best of the experience was enjoying the company of Mr. Yan and Mr. Yopi, whose gigantic hearts reached right out and sucked us in. I’m afraid I left a bit of my heart behind at the round table described above by Andre & Francisca, in fact.

    By the time we left, we had made soul connections that cannot be undone or forgotten. My greatest hope is that Otter and his family find success in their endeavors to promote the area for sustainable ecotourism and that this brings health and comfort to the village families of Mayalibit Bay.

    Last, I must mention what a delightful crossing we had from Waisai to the villages of Mayalibit Bay and back. The incredible scenery of bayside cliffs and jungles blew our minds. We especially appreciated that great care was taken by our boat captain, Mr. Solomon, to ensure we had a spiritual experience in such a beautiful place as Mayalibit Bay.

    In steadfast friendship,

    Chris and Halie

  17. Andre & Fransisca on

    I’d like to call myself a collector of experiences – a hoarder of the uncommon and exotic in far-flung places. And I could not thank our friend Wolter Gamman (he goes by his nickname ‘Otter’) enough to have made me realize that no matter how much I’ve seen and how much I’ve learned about the world, there’s always more. We learned and saw some crazy awesome shits exploring the deep Waigeo jungle with him. Otter was very informative, making a stop every few steps to share his knowledge about the birds, the trees, and the life of the Maya people. Early morning we trekked for half an hour to do some Red Birds of Paradise watching. Home to exceptionally diverse numbers of birds and animals, along the way we also sighted many other birds. We were quite amazed that Otter could recognize the species of the birds just from the sound they are making. The next destination was a visit to this beautiful waterfall where we took a dip into the fresh water accompanied by the sound of wildlife. It was right there when the realization hit me that we were among the small numbers of visitors who were lucky to have explored this untouched part of the world.

    The Kamtabai Forest Hut in which we spent the night in was built by Otter at his family garden. We were awed when in the daylight we found out that the hut is surrounded by gardens growing banana, papaya, jackfruit, coconut, and cacao fruit. We got to taste the fresh coconut juice and cacao fruits which he specially handpicked from the tree he climbed. We also saw the undergoing construction of the new private bungalow he is building. It is amazing to witness the gigantic iron wood tree being cut up and transformed into building materials. He was kind enough to cut a small block of the wood for us to bring home as souvenirs. There are 3 large bedrooms with beds, mosquito nets, and fresh towels provided in the hut. Also worry not about getting freshened up and doing your private business too, because there are two bathroom shelters with bucket bathing, reasonably clean water, and a squat toilet. Dinner and breakfast is served on a circular dining table which he built himself out of the woods from the jungle. If you come during the right season, you may be able to fish for some fresh shrimps and clams (they are called “Bia Kodok” in their local language) and have them traditionally cooked for you.

    Otter is not just our guide turned into a friend – he is also a passionate conservator of the jungle habitats. His dream is to encourage the Mayalibit Bay communities to develop tourism both in the jungle and village and letting the world know that there is much more to Raja Ampat than just the beautiful beach and ocean. There is so much room for improvements that can be made to his tour, and he would be able to get there faster with helps from more people. I highly recommend this trekking tour. All the best to you, Otter.

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