Indonesia Explored

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Indonesia Explored

Very few birding destinations offer a variety of flora and fauna comparable to that of Indonesia. This megadiverse region not only offers over 1770 species of birds, a whopping 459 of which being endemic, but also a stunning list of interesting species to be found above and below water! Of the 515 mammals, for example, a whopping 200 are endemic. This ranks Indonesia second only to Australia for the highest rate of mammalian endemicity on earth! 

Just to help paint Indonesia’s attractions at the very least, picture spectacular snorkelling amongst vibrant coral reefs, peacefully observing colossal Komodo Dragons sauntering over the undergrowth and spotting stunning and possibly unclassified insects at your feet as you navigate the rainforests in search of some of the most seldom-seen birds on the planet. 

For anyone with even the mildest interest in birds or just nature in general, Indonesia is sure to be an absolute paradise destination. 

Our selection of tours below concentrates on just the very best birding areas across the 17,500 Indonesian islands. Read on to find out more about each major birding region to travel to with Rockjumper!   

Thanks to the incredible topography of the Eastern Indonesian archipelago, this tour provides very little overlap with our Highlights of the West tour. The endemic and monotypic Hylocitrea, Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Geomalia, Fiery-browed Starling and an impressive list of endemic kingfishers are just the beginning of the avian attractions to be found in this region! Not to mention the three species of Megapode, Standardwing Bird-of-paradise, Ivory-breasted Pitta, Western Crowned Pigeon, the list goes on and on! All of these wildly exciting bird species are accompanied by some excellent mammal species too, such as Bear Cuscus, Spectral Tarsier, and Moor and Sulawesi Crested Macaques.

From the highland mountains and luxuriant lowland rainforests of Sulawesi to the Australasian-influenced Halmahera in the Moluccan ‘Spice Islands’, our tours in this region give comprehensive coverage of the stunning variety of species on offer.

Focusing our attention to the West, we are greeted by the same level of extreme diversity! This tour is based on the stunning island of Flores in the Lesser Sundas, with a few jaunts to the nearby islands, here we search for an array of ornate species such as Glittering Kingfisher, sensational Elegant Pitta, Wallace’s Hanging Parrot, Leaf Lorikeet and the bizarre Bare-throated Whistler before embarking on one of the undoubted highlights of the trip to Komodo Island. Here, 10ft long Komodo Dragons roam this almost prehistoric paradise alongside Green Junglefowl and the beautiful, Critically Endangered, Yellow-crested Cockatoo.

Non-stop mammalian entertainment is also likely as an excellent selection of primates, Clouded Leopard, Sunda Slow Loris, Javan Rusa Deer and many more will certainly be highlights of the trip! 

This tour typically gets over 70 species of Indonesian endemics and with little overlap between this tour and the Highlights of the East you can see well over 150 Indonesian endemics of combining both!

The South-western corner of Australia holds a remarkably high diversity of endemics, plants, animals and birds included! From the eucalypt forests of the Darling Ranges to the extensive woodlands of Dryandra, the Stirling Ranges, semi-arid mallee woodlands and the rugged windswept heathlands of the south coast, we will spend 6 days searching for all 16 currently recognised south-western Australian endemic bird species. Among these ultra-localised endemics, top of the wish list will be the area’s 3 “megas”: Noisy Scrubbird, Western Bristlebird and Black-throated Whipbird. We also hope to encounter several fabulous mammals such as Echidna, the beautiful but critically endangered Numbat (Banded Anteater), Western Grey Kangaroo, Black-gloved Brush Wallaby, Northern Brown Bandicoot and Southern Right Whale.

The islands of Sumatra and Java play host to another wonderful selection of special and endemic avian gems. Famous sites like Gunung Gede, Gunung Kerinci and Way Kambas are sure to reveal a huge variety of species, possibly even an incredible 40 endemics including Bronze-tailed Peacock-Pheasant, Sumatran Frogmouth, Javan and Sumatran Trogons, Schneider’s and Graceful Pittas, Javan Tesia, Javan and Sumatran Cochoas, Shiny Whistling Thrush and Spotted Crocias. Night birding at Way Kambas in particular could provide specials such as Oriental Bay Owl, Reddish Scops Owl, Large, Gould’s and Sunda Frogmouths, Brown Boobook, and Bonaparte’s and Malaysian Eared Nightjars!

Set in the tropical waters of Wallacea, the Lesser Sundas also offers wonderful endemic birding opportunities and our tour visits five islands in the area (Sumba, Timor, Rote, Flores and Komodo). Incredibly we target every single one of the area’s localised and highly sought-after endemics, other than a few isolated species restricted to East Timor. A perfect blend of Asiatic and Australasian species! 

Combine this awesome adventure with our Bali Birding extension for an even more extensive list of highlights for the region! 

Bali is world renowned for being a tropical beach tourism paradise but what the average holiday-goer may miss, is the superb birding opportunities scattered amongst the stunning scenery. Some of the last wild Bali Starlings in existence and an exciting list of species like Black-winged Starling, Beach Stone-curlew, the dazzling Cerulean Kingfisher, Green Junglefowl, Javan Plover, Javan Sparrow and the spectacular Javan Banded Pitta, call Bali home and some are only shared with neighbouring Java. 

Bali makes for a splendid week-long birding safari adventure, offering exceptional island birding, sensational scenery, world class coral reef snorkelling and fascinating art and culture.

The island of New Guinea hosts some of the world’s most extravagantly plumed species, and West Papua offers an excellent place to search for them! As if forgotten by time, this region gives us a glimpse into the stone age, with the area having remained relatively under-developed and the cultures left behind seemingly from a bygone era.

This particular tour ventures into the very best birding regions of West Papua in search of some of the most spectacular and mythical birds on the planet. Birds-of-paradise take centre stage here with species like Pale-billed, Black-billed, Black & Brown Sicklebills, King-of-Saxony, Red, Wilson’s, Magnificent & Twelve-wired Birds-of-paradise, Loria’s & Crested Satinbirds, Splendid & Arfak Astrapias, Western Parotia, and Long-tailed Paradigalla are just some of the stars of the show! Other species of special interest include the likes of Vogelkop Bowerbird, & MacGregor’s Honeyeater, Collared Brushturkey (Brown-collared Talegalla), Snow Mountain Quail, Papuan Eagle, Victoria and Western Crowned Pigeons, Pesquet’s Parrot, Modest Tiger Parrot and many others.

If island hopping on gorgeous tropical islands in search of some of the most range-restricted and sought-after species of birds sounds like paradise to you then this tour is right up your street! We will be sailing through seas that few people ever get to experience, all the while staying aboard a beautifully appointed liveaboard. The likes of Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher, Kofiau Monarch, and Boano Monarch are just some of the incredible species we may get to see in this area, not to mention one of the best looking birds on earth, Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise! 

Our Buru Extension offers the incredible opportunity to track down a mouth-watering selection of seldom seen endemics! Highlights include little known species like Buru Thrush, Buru Monarch, Moluccan Masked Owl, Buru Boobook, Tawny-backed Fantail, and Cinnamon-chested Flycatcher. The island also plays host to a number of mega birds which include the likes of Black-lored Parrot, Blue-fronted Lorikeet and the little-known Madanga, once a mystery species ‘lost for over 70 years’ it was rediscovered again just a few years ago.