The Amazing Wasur National Park
Situated at the most eastern end of Indonesia, directly bordering Papua New Guinea, the Wasur National Park forms part of the largest wetland in the province of Papua and is recognized as the least disturbed by human activity. Playing host to a large number of flora and fauna, the natural park is dubbed “The Serengeti of Papua” for its astonishing high value biodiversity.
Part of the Trans-Fly biome that straddles the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border, Wasur is a low lying area of savannahs, swamps, forests, and slow moving rivers that inundate much of the land during the wet season. The dominant plants here include mangroves, Terminalia, and Melaleuca species.
The park provides habitat for a large variety up to 358 bird species of which some 80 species are endemic to the island. Fish diversity is also high in the region with some 111 species found in the eco-region and a large number of these are recorded as originating in Wasur. The Park's wetland also provides habitat to various species of lobster and crab as well. Highlighted with various species of birds including Trans-Fly specials and many Australian migrants, the national park is an absolute paradise for bird watchers.
During August to November, the national park experience the arrival of thousands of migratory birds from Australia and New Zealand, such as gray storks, pelicans, ibis, Royal Spoonbills, and more. This is a special feature of the park since it only occurrs once a year. Other fascinating rulers of Wasur’s skies include the Southern Crowned Pigeon, New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Dusky Pademelon, Black-necked Stork, Fly River Grassbird, Greater Bird of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise, and more. The national park is also home to at least three species of wallaby, nocturnal cuscuses, sugar gliders, cassowary, Papuan fresh water crocodile, saltwater crocodiles, and more.
To reach Wasur National Park, you can take airplanes from Jakarta to Merauke, at the southern-most part of Indonesian Papua near the border with Papua New Guinea. From Merauke to the entrance of Wasur National Park takes a 2-3 hours drive on the Merauke-Jayapura main road. Alternatively, the town of Merauke is also accessible by a 1.5 hour flight from Jayapura’s Sentani Airport, capital city of Papua Province.