Request for Information – 1 night in Sorong, West Papua, October 2023

Hi, My wife and I will be in Sorong, West Papua, in late October and have one night available to look for local mammals.  We would appreciate any advice on a local who could guide us to see any of the mammals of the area.

John Goldie, Australia.

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John Goldie


  • Jon Hall

    Hi John. How long have you got? Probably malagafuk is your best bet. It’s a couple of hours from Sorong and you could stay the night there. Have you read my report? Absalom is the local guide to contact. Do you have anyone helping the rest of your time in west Papua?

  • Jon Hall

    Also the long beaked echidnas are seeable again in malagafuk but not guaranteed of course.

  • John Goldie

    Hi Jon, Thanks for your advice. We arrive in Sorong the day before a tour starts, so only have the night before to go looking for things. I have read the 3 trip reports for your amazing adventure and Malagafuk looks Sooo tempting although I thought maybe at a couple of hours driving each way it might be too far out and back in a night. Do you think the echidna is back near Malagafuk or would we need to go to “your” village ? Steve Anyon-Smith’s report from 2014 said Taman Wisata Alam Sorong National Park (aka Hutong Lindu) was only 12km out of town and was excellent birding because of the forest quality, which made me wonder if it would also be good for nocturnal mammals – assuming it was in the same state as 9 years ago. Do you have contact details for Absalom (email them if preferred). Regards, John.

  • Jon Hall

    Let me ask Carlos about the closer NP. Several people have seen echidna(s) in malagafuk last month so you could (in theory) drive there, do a few hours walk along the boardwalk etc and drive back. Absalom is reachable on Facebook (sometimes!). Will get back to you.

  • CarlosBocos

    Hi there!
    That place near Sorong delivers no good birding and I have not visited it at night but I wouldn’t expect many mammals there

  • danboyland

    Echidnas seem to be quite reliable in Malagufuk these days. They were seen twice in August by my guides. I was there in September and we managed to find one within 30 minutes. Another group of tourists found one the following night.

  • John Goldie

    Hi Carlos, thank-you for replying and thank-you for the information on that park. On this basis we won’t put any effort into going there. At Jon’s suggestion we are getting in contact with Absalom, via Facebook, to organise a night’s mammal watching around Malagafuk before we start our Rockjumper tour the next day. Regards,

    • davegeo

      Hi John Goldie, I’m also planning to do a mammal watching trip during that time in sorong, can you share your whatsapp number?

  • machunter

    We have been trying to communicate with Absalom via Whatsapp and have had very sporadic results. Three times he has responded but quite vaguely. “Yes, he can take us out” but when we ask for any specifics, like a cost estimate for one vs two nights, no answers are forthcoming and he goes dark for 2 or 3 weeks. Please let me know if you have better luck via Facebook or find an alternative guide…. mac hunter

  • BrettHartl

    I am going to be in Sorong for a night or two next fall so would love to hear how this resolves, and if possible get the contact info for facebook and/or WhatsApp too if possible. Thanks for leading the way Jon!

  • jurekmammalwatching

    While not as good as Magalufuk, in 2017, there was a place on the outskirts of Sorong reached by a normal taxi without a guide. We arranged a taxi to drop us off and pick us up on the main road. We saw good birds in the afternoon and a Dusky Pademelon in the evening at -0.848339, 131.387103 . This is called Popa Road on ebird (

    On the outskirts of Sorong, you drive on an asphalt road. From there there is a broad side track, which goes through well preserved rainforest, several kilometers up and down over hills. I remember some part was paved with concrete blocks, no entry signs which we ignored, and some signs of industry. It finally ended on a riverside with some enclosed buildings. It may or may not be old or current city water pumping station. The area seemed free of people or hunting and well preserved, possibly because of this water source. This place may, of course, be degraded or dangerous now, but in 2017 seemed to be OK for us and a good bet.


    • jurekmammalwatching

      Sorry – the proper name is Pipa forest – Pipa apparently can mean a pipe in Indonesian.

      • jurekmammalwatching

        Sorry again – Brown Dorcopsis, naturally. We even got photos. Sorry, I am just tired and editing messages is apparently impossible.

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