Indonesia, spread across 17,508 islands and boasting over 1,600 bird species and over 600 endemics (far more than any other country on Earth!) should be at the forefront of every international birder’s destination list! Rockjumper is proud to offer an extensive suite of tours to this mind-bogglingly biodiverse region that includes this comprehensive exploration of the endemics-rich Lesser Sundas. This diverse and rugged chain of volcanic islands, stretching across the Java Sea between Bali and New Guinea, supports over 100 Indonesian endemics with more than 80 of these restricted to the Lesser Sundas. Our tour visits five of these islands (Sumba, Timor, Rote, Flores and Komodo) and targets every single one of the area’s localised and highly sought-after endemics occurring on these five islands, other than a few isolated species restricted to East Timor. The Lesser Sundas fall within a region known as Wallacea and its avifauna is a startling mix of Asiatic and Australasian families. Starting and ending in Bali, we explore montane rainforests, lowland monsoon forests, wetlands, mangroves, coastal mudflats, grasslands and dry scrub. We begin this epic birding adventure in eastern Sumba, where mouth-watering specialties include Red-naped Fruit Dove, Sumba Hornbill, Least and Sumba Boobooks, Mees’s Nightjar, Sumba Green Pigeon and the little-known Sumba Buttonquail. Our next leg of the tour takes us to West Timor and the tiny island of Rote, situated just off western Timor. Over the course of the next week, we hope to encounter avian specialties such as Timor and Rote Boobooks, Pink-headed Imperial Pigeon, Jonquil Parrot, Tricolored and the yet-to-be described Timor (Mt. Mutis) Parrotfinch, Flame-breasted Sunbird, Orange-sided and Chestnut-backed Thrushes, Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher, Black-banded Flycatcher, Timor and Black Cuckoo-Doves, Buff-banded Thicketbird, Timor Stubtail and Timor Sparrow to mention just a few!
We end the tour on Flores Island, where the magnificent Flores Hawk-Eagle, White-rumped (Glittering) Kingfisher, sensational Ornate Pitta, Wallace’s Hanging Parrot, Leaf Lorikeet, Wallace’s and Flores Scops Owls, Flores Monarch and the superb Bare-throated Whistler will be among the many targets on the island. One of the undoubted highlights of the trip will be the visit to Komodo Island just off of Flores, where 10ft (3m) Komodo Dragons roam this almost prehistoric paradise along with Green Junglefowl and Orange-footed Scrubfowl. Here we will also seek the beautiful and critically endangered Yellow-crested Cockatoo. The Lesser Sundas has something very special to offer the keen birder and nature enthusiast and this 20-day comprehensive, endemics-rich birding tour promises to be a classic among international birding adventures!
Red-naped, Banded, Rose-crowned & Black-naped Fruit Doves; Sumba Hornbill; Great-billed & Jonquil Parrots; Sumba, Flores, Timor, Least & Rote Boobooks; Mees’s & Timor Nightjars; Flores, Wallace's & Moluccan Scops Owls; Marigold, Leaf, Olive-headed & Iris Lorikeets; Sumba & Flores Green Pigeons; Pale-shouldered Cicadabird; Sumba & Red-backed Buttonquails; Wallacean Cuckooshrike; Sumba, Black-breasted & Rote Myzomelas; Sumba, Sumba Brown, Sumba Jungle, Flores Jungle, Timor Blue & Black-banded Flycatchers; Pink-headed & Timor Imperial Pigeons; Metallic Pigeon; Flame-breasted & Apricot-breasted Sunbirds; Orange-sided, Chestnut-backed & Chestnut-capped Thrushes; Cinnamon-banded & White-rumped Kingfishers; Buff-banded Thicketbird; Timor Sparrow; Timor Stubtail; Elegant & Ornate Pittas; Flores Crow; White-browed (Flores) Shortwing; Black, Timor, Ruddy & Eucalypt Cuckoo-Doves; Wallace’s Hanging Parrot; Flores Monarch; Cream-browed & Yellow-ringed White-eyes; Crested & Thick-billed Heleias; Bare-throated, Rusty-breasted, Yellow-throated & Fawn-breasted Whistlers; Rote, Timor & Brown-capped Fantails; Blue-cheeked, Black-fronted, Golden-rumped & Blood-breasted Flowerpeckers; Tricolored & Timor (Mount Mutis) Parrotfinches; Pale-headed, Black-faced & Five-colored Munias; Streak-breasted & Flame-eared Honeyeaters; Green Junglefowl; Orange-footed Scrubfowl; Beach Stone-Curlew; Great-billed Heron; Yellow-crested & Orange-crested Cockatoos.
montane rainforests, lowland monsoon forests, wetlands, mangroves, coastal mudflats, grasslands and dry scrub
mostly hot and humid in the lowlands, being very cool to warm in montane areas. Some rain can be expected in the highlands
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader
Tour Pace & Walking
fairly intense, endemics-focused tour with mostly long days but some shorter and more relaxed days. Mostly easy walks and terrain throughout.
Our Mega tours are very fast-paced birding adventures designed for the dedicated lister and serious birder. The focus of the tour is to see as many of the endemics and area specials as possible in our given time. In order to cover the necessary route to maximise the species list we tend to spend a single night at most sites and travel large distances. There is very little down time aside from that spent driving from one site to the next. These tours are not suitable for dedicated or avid photographers; inexperienced or new birders; as well as anyone with serious mobility or health challenges.
Very basic to very comfortable
Ease of Birding
moderate with some tricky species
Number of Species Expected
200 to 240 depending on time of year. Over 100 Indonesian endemics & over 80 endemic to Lesser Sundas
large tracts of forest, rolling forested hills scenery, beautiful beaches and tropical island scenery, 10ft (3m) Komodo Dragons!
worthwhile to good
This is a fantastic tour and it gave us a rare, unique and unforgettable experience. We are in awe of the complex logistics required to make this tour run so smoothly. Everything ran like clockwork. The leaders, Lev and David, the ship’s crew, the local teams of guides and the lovely drivers were amazing. Everyone was so friendly. The efforts that everyone went to to find the special birds of these remote islands were above and beyond! The food was very good throughout, in summary the experience was amazing!
I was extremely impressed with the organisational skills of all involved in this tour. All the guides Rockjumper and local were highly skilled and completely considerate of the non birding needs of the participants. I would like to say that not having an upset stomach at any point during the tour was a big plus to my enjoyment. There were some safely issues that in such a remote part of the world can only be expected, I was very happy to be part of this exciting tour and not sure that it would be possible to micro manage all the safety issues.
This was an adventure to be sure. The places we traveled were indeed remote and with the exception of larger cities like Ambon & Sorong inhabited by few people. This was my first trip to Indonesia and was an adventure to even get to Ambon. However, the Indonesian people must be the kindest most helpful people in the world. The boat was lovely and this amazing trip had so many interworking pieces -- moving from the Indo Seamore to the shore for the next adventure, disembarking at various kinds of dock, piers, rocks, etc, meeting up with our vehicles for rides up into the hills -- everything worked like clockwork. We saw so many fabulous birds thanks to our super guides, David Hoddinott and Lev Frid. The two guides were so helpful and informative; I would gladly travel with either of them or both in the future. However, I have to say that this trip was just about at the limit of my ability. I would never have seen the birds I did without the help of David & Lev and our various local guides and drivers. I think only Rockjumper could have pulled this tour off.
Glen was again a wonderful guide who has excellent field skills and is always willing to help clients who are struggling to find the birds or who have other ‘issues’..
Glen Valentine and Adam Walleyn were superb guides — honestly, they saw birds before they appeared! The local guides were outstanding and the logistics and accommodations were exceptional given our locations.