Our birding adventure of the endemic-rich Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra begins on the smaller island of Java. This is a land of great beauty, although densely populated, and is dominated by towering volcanos whose forests support important watersheds for the fertile rice fields, which cover most of the lowlands. Nevertheless, Java still supports some wonderful forests and an impressive list of endemic and near-endemic species and we will explore the best of these. From our hotel we will make an excursion to the tiny swamp of Muara Angke for the highly threatened Sunda (Javan) Coucal, Javan Pond Heron, White-capped Munia and Cerulean Kingfisher. Our boat trip into the Bay of Jakarta and onto Pulau Rambut should yield the localised Christmas Frigatebird, Javan Myna and Milky Stork. Thereafter, we take in the famous Gunung Gede - Pangrango National Park, better known to birders as Cibodas. Here we will wander enchanting pathways and trails through pristine montane forest in our search for a long list of mouth-watering endemics and specialties such as Javan Cochoa, Spotted Crocias, Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush, White-bibbed Babbler, Sunda Forktail, Mees’s White-eye (Javan Heleia), Sunda (Javan Blue) Robin, Blue Nuthatch, Chestnut-bellied Partridge, Javan Trogon, Javan Tesia, Brown-throated and Flame-fronted Barbets, Javan Hawk-Eagle and the exquisite White-flanked Sunbird among many others.
A short flight from Jakarta takes us to the island of Sumatra, a vast, wild island that is surprisingly poorly-explored and yet supports a fabulous range of habitats and many rare, beautiful and endemic birds and mammals. We will range from the bird and mammal rich lowlands of Way Kambas National Park to the volcanic slopes of Gunung (Mt) Kerinci, Sumatra’s highest mountain. The lowland forests harbour a spectacular array of species including several very little-known and/or endangered species such as the globally endangered White-winged Duck. Way Kambas is arguably THE best place in all of SE Asia to seek out a number of the continent’s rarest and least-seen lowland forest owls, frogmouths and nightjars; and we hope to find Large, Gould’s and Sunda Frogmouths, Malaysian Eared and Bonaparte’s Nightjars, (the latter is currently only known from this site) in addition to a remarkable suite of owls including Reddish Scops Owl and the peculiar Oriental Bay Owl. From Way Kambas we will make our way to the enormous Kerinci Seblat National Park that protects a vast chunk of Sumatra’s Barisan Ranges. We will bird the slopes of Gunung Kerinci in the midst of some of the most exquisite forests on our planet. The birding is certainly not easy, however, the rewards are fabulous and include such rare endemics as Bronze-tailed Peacock-Pheasant, Salvadori’s Pheasant, Red-billed Partridge, the incomparable Schneider’s Pitta, Sumatran Trogon, Brown-winged and Shiny Whistling Thrushes, Short-tailed (Sumatran) Frogmouth, Rusty-breasted and Sumatran Wren-Babblers and if we are incredibly fortunate, the brilliant but ultra-elusive Sumatran Cochoa. We then end off this fantastic Asian birding tour along the famous Tapan Road where Marbled Wren Babbler, Graceful Pitta, Blue-masked and Sumatran Leafbirds, Cream-striped and Spot-necked Bulbuls, Sumatran Treepie and Sumatran Green Pigeon await us, along with an impressive suite of lowland species such as the regal Rhinoceros and Wreathed Hornbills and the rarely-seen White-tailed Flycatcher.
Sunda Coucal, Cerulean, Rufous-collared & Javan Kingfishers, Bar-winged Prinia, Javan Plover, Christmas Frigatebird, Milky Stork, Black-naped & Pink-headed Fruit Doves, Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker, Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot, Trilling & Pied Shrike-babblers, Pygmy Bushtit, Javan Tesia, Javan, White-capped & White-headed Munias, Javan & Sumatran Cochoas, Javan, Sumatran, Scarlet-rumped, Diard's & Red-naped Trogons, Javan, Gould's, Sunda, Sumatran & Large Frogmouths, Brown-headed, Black-banded, Flame-fronted, Red-crowned & Fire-tufted Barbets, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Javan, Shiny & Brown-winged Whistling Thrushes, Sunda Thrush, Mees's & Black-capped White-eyes, Cresecent-chested, White-bibbed, Black-throated & Sumatran Babblers, Javan Hawk-Eagle, White-winged Duck, Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon, Oriental Bay Owl, Reddish, Sunda & Rajah Scops Owls, Barred Eagle-Owl, Bonaparte's & Salvadori's Nightjars, Orange-backed & Olive-backed Woodpeckers, Green Broadbill, Malayan Banded, Bornean Banded, Graceful & Schneider's Pittas, Fiery & Sunda Minivets, White-flanked Sunbird, Red-billed & Chestnut-bellied Partridges, Salvadori's Pheasant, Bronze-tailed Peacock-Pheasant, Orange-spotted, Cream-striped, Spot-necked, Scaly-breasted, Sunda & Ruby-throated Bulbuls, Sunda Warbler, Sumatran, Marbled, Eyebrowed & Rusty-breasted Wren-Babblers, Pygmy Cupwing, White-browed (Sumatran & Javan) & Lesser Shortwings, Rufous-vented Niltava, Sunda (Sumatran & Javan) Robins, Sunda Cuckooshrike, Sumatran Drongo, Sumatran & Blue-masked Leafbirds, Sumatran Treepie, Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush, Spotted Crocias & Sunda Forktail
Leopard Cat, Asian Elephant, Siamang, Agile Gibbon, Javan Surili (Grizzled Leaf Monkey), Silvery & Javan Lutung (Langur), Malay Civet, Red Giant Flying Squirrel, Yellow-throated Marten, Long-tailed & Pig-tailed Macaque, Greater & Lesser Mouse Deer, Wild Boar, Sunda Colugo, Malayan Porcupine, Sunda Slow Loris, lots of squirrels and treeshrews
lowland rain-forest, montane and hill forest, grasslands, wetlands, botanical gardens
most days in the lowlands will be hot, dry and sunny, but overcast conditions are fairly frequent and some rain, heavy at times, can be expected. In montane areas it will range from very cool to warm. The humidity is often rather high.
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader
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 comfortable to fairly basic
medium to difficult
average to good
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.
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.
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.
Although the tour was a little more strenuous than I had anticipated, it was a fantastic tour. All of the endemics except for two very rare ones—more than I’d hoped to see in my wildest dreams. Glen is an excellent guide, the local guide a very positive addition, and the driving crew was just fabulous. And when things went awry with the cancelled flight and the steep increase in the fee for Komodo, Glen, our local guide and crew handled it in complete transparency to us, so that we didn’t miss a beat. Hats off to all involved!
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