Bird watching is sleeping giant for PNG Tourism
By Anderson Kopono
Eco tourism is a thriving economic sector in PNG with the potential of boosting PNG economy to a whole new level given its natural environment with its unique animal species.
About 75 percent of the PNG landmass is covered with tropical rainforest giving an edge to all kinds of animal species and spectacular landscapes for tourism attraction.
With that in mind the PNG Highlands Exotic Tours intends to promote and market the highlands-based tourism products by helping individuals, SMEs and organizations to write featured articles for their tourism products and publish on its website, blog, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, 7 Summits Club, Google plus and on the wider Internet.
Bird watching and orchid gardening is another exciting prospect in the eco tourism sector with an average of 8 bird watching companies visiting various bird watching sites in the Highlands region recently.
The PNG Highlands Exotic Tours come across an amazing individual wishing to set up to launch his career into bird watching and orchid gardening specialist. Max Mal, a middle aged man from Angi village, Wapenamanda District in the Enga Province was a bird watcher guide with the Kumul Lodge Tour Guide team in the highlands for the last seven (7) years.
He is well versed with the different species of birds and knows how to identify the sounds and tunes of different bird species. “I can tell from their sound if they want to sleep, or when they are happy, mourning/crying or when they are angry,” said Mr. Mal proudly.
“I have long wished to start up my own bird watching and orchid gardening business because I have the land and forest. I have collected different species of orchids which I planted in my own backyard,” he added.
Thanked God for PNG Highlands Exotic Tours who wishes to help me promote and market my new bird watching and orchid gardening, he said.
Upon visiting his sites at Anji village in Wapenamanda, the PNG Highlands Exotic Tours was impressed with the views and the perfect sightseeing of his orchid garden and the different species of bird which frequented his place. Marketing officer Peter Kinjap said the avenue provides a perfect opportunity to launch his own business. “Bird watching and orchid gardening for Max Mal is a prospective venture as a SME,” Mr. Kinjap added.
According to Mr. Mal some of the Birds of Paradise found in his yard at Angi Village at Wapendmanda are Superb, Ribbontail (Shaw Mayer’s), Brown Sicklebill and Crested.
The Bird of paradise is discovered to be originated from the Island of New Guinea. Of the forty-five (45) species found on the planet earth, only six are found elsewhere. Two in Indonesia, four in Australia and the rest is in PNG. Max Mal’s bird watching yard confirmed to have 11 species of the most popular Birds of Paradise but not the Reggiana Bird of Paradise.
The Bird of Paradise also signifies as the symbol of national identity. The national symbol of PNG is the Reggiana Bird of Paradise found both on the National Flag and the National Crest, found only in PNG ranging from the coastal rainforests to about 1,600 meters in many highlands valleys. Birds of paradise are some of the most remarkable creatures in the animal world. Not only are they magnifant looking but their display behaviors set them apart from virtually all other animals.
Other areas in the highlands where PNG Highlands Exotic Tours is eyeing to develop, identify, promote and market Bird Watching as ecotourism product are the forests near Mt. Giluwe from Tambul, the famous Baiyer Zoo Bird Sanctuary, currently renovated, and the forests of Kutubu area around Mt. Bosavi. In Mt. Giluwe there is also a story of a Singsing Wild Dog and in Mt. Bosavi there is a Giant Rat.
“Mr. Mal has registered his interest with PNG Highlands Exotic Tours for his tourist products to be marketed globally and we will help him to register a business name for what he is doing and provide guide he needs to start up as a SME,” Mr. Kinjap said.
So far two business groups and four individuals have register their interest with PNG Highlands Exotic Tours for tourism products marketing.
*Anderson Kopono is a freelance journalist based in the Highlands of PNG, email: email@example.com
- Mal from right posing with the PNG Highlands Exotic tours Marketing Officer Mr. Peter Kinjap in Mount Hagen .(left). This meeting signifies the beginning of Mr. Mal’s venture into his private bird Watching and Orchid Gardening Business.
- Entrance of Mr. Max Mal Orchid Garden at his village Anji village in Wapenamanda, Enga Province.
- various species of Orchids found in Mr. Max Mal Garden
Entrance of Mr. Max Mal Orchid Garden at his village Anji village in Wapenamanda, Enga Province.
Various species of Orchids found in Mr. Max Mal Garden.
This picture was taken from the booklet, Papua New Guinea Birds of Paradise by William Peckover.
From top is the Goldie’s Bird of paradise and bottom is the female of the Surperp Bird of Paradise species. This two species where of the eleven which frequented the Kumul lodge.
The bird watching track of the Kumul lodge covers much of Mr. Max Mal land in Wapenamanda,the which Mr. Mal is venturing into his own SME bird watching and orchid eco tourism business.