Overview


New Guinea is one of the world’s largest tropical islands, surpassed in size only by Greenland, and is blessed with an incredible avifauna, including some of the planet’s most outlandish birds.  The Indonesian half of the island, the province of West Papua (Irian Jaya), is a destination few birders have visited, with large expanses of pristine habitat, from towering snow-capped peaks to huge tracts of humid lowland forest. Of particular importance to birders are several distinct mountain ranges, some of them quite isolated. This isolation has led to the evolution of a diverse and unusually interesting avifauna with numerous endemics, a significant number of which being restricted to West Papua and its offshore islands; our pioneering tour is designed to see as many of these restricted-range and endemic species as possible.

The attraction of West Papua for many is the fact that it remains relatively under-developed and primitive, and affords the intrepid birder a glance into cultures from a bygone era, having barely emerged beyond the stone-age! This does mean however that this tour is not for the faint-hearted and we will be camping in rustic conditions in remote areas during much of the tour. This is a small price to pay for the opportunity to see some of the most spectacular and mythical birds on the planet, including Collared Brushturkey (Brown-collared Talegalla), Snow Mountain Quail, Papuan Eagle, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Victoria and Western Crowned Pigeon, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Palm Cockatoo, Pesquet’s Parrot, Salvadori’s Fig Parrot, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Modest Tiger Parrot, Black Lory, New Guinea Woodcock, Archbold’s Nightjar, Barred and Mountain Owlet-Nightjars, Crested and Tit Berrypeckers, Greater Ground Robin, Smoky and Green-backed Robins, Papuan Logrunner, Vogelkop Scrubwren, Spotted and Blue Jewel-Babbler, Arfak Honeyeater, Belford’s, Short-bearded and Vogelkop Melidectes, Lorentz’s Whistler, Pale-billed, Black-billed, Black and Brown Sicklebills, King-of-Saxony, Red, Wilson’s, Magnificent and Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise, Loria’s and Crested Satinbirds, Splendid and Arfak Astrapias, Western Parotia, Long-tailed Paradigalla, Vogelkop and MacGregor’s Bowerbirds and Western Alpine Mannikin (Snow Mountain Munia) to name but a few!

To see this suite of incredible birds you will journey with us to the spectacular Arfak Mountains; the northern lowlands bordering the Cyclops Mountains, the mysterious Snow Mountains including the upper Ibele Valley and finally the island of Biak, brimming with endemics. For those dedicated birders with a sense of adventure and a desire to see birds that few birders have ever seen, this remains one of the most incredible destinations on the planet. This strange land, is sure to expose you to the avian wonders of remote West Papua, and we greatly look forward to having you aboard what is sure to be an incredible adventure!

2023 Tour price is an estimate and will change. Tour dates could be adjusted.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Collared Brushturkey (Brown-collared Talegalla), Snow Mountain Quail, Papuan Eagle, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Victoria & Western Crowned Pigeons, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Palm Cockatoo, Pesquet’s Parrot, Salvadori’s Fig Parrot, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Modest Tiger Parrot, Black Lory, New Guinea Woodcock, Archbold’s Nightjar, Barred & Mountain Owlet-Nightjars, Crested and Tit Berrypeckers, Greater Ground Robin, Smoky and Green-backed Robins, Papuan Logrunner, Vogelkop Scrubwren, Spotted & Blue Jewel-Babblers, Arfak Honeyeater, Belford’s, Short-bearded & Vogelkop Melidectes, Lorentz’s Whistler, Pale-billed, Black-billed, Black & Brown Sicklebills, King-of-Saxony, Red, Wilson’s, Magnificent & Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise, Loria’s & Crested Satinbirds, Splendid & Arfak Astrapias, Western Parotia, Long-tailed Paradigalla, Vogelkop & MacGregor’s Bowerbirds, Western Alpine Mannikin (Snow Mountain Munia)
Habitats Covered
lowland and montane rainforest, savanna, grasslands, wetlands
Expected Climate
weather is unpredictable and somewhat dependent on local topography. While mostly dry and sunny, it can be rather hot and humid in the lowlands. At higher elevations, temperatures are pleasant during the day, but can get very cool at night.
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader
Tour Pace & Walking
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.
Accommodation
most of this tour will be spent camping and some campsites will be basic. This tour is thus not suitable for those who are sensitive to camping and basic outdoor facilities.
Ease of Birding
moderate, can be difficult to challenging at times
Photographic Opportunities
good
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

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.

Rich Lindie is a very skilled and enthusiastic guide, and has an outstanding talent for locating birds (during the day and in the dark!). He is also an enjoyable person to be on tour with, and is never short of conversation.

David was notable in his high level of enthusiasm, how careful he is with identifications and how quick he is at spotting things. Our group was quite mixed in age and skills, and David was patient with members whose eyesight was not so good, and quick to get a spotting scope onto even difficult forest birds. I’d happily travel elsewhere with him and is every bit of what I could hope for in a guide. The overall group felt well run and there was always a plan B if one was needed. David’s knowledge and sense of humor also made him fun to travel with.

Glen and Keith Valentine worked seamlessly together to make this one of the best Rockjumper trips! The logistics went well, local guides were great, and the boat was quite comfortable and offered good food and variety. Best of all, the birds were plentiful and everyone got lifers galore. The bros Valentine did everything possible to be sure that everyone got onto the birds and they worked tirelessly doing so. I would travel with either or both of them anywhere, thanks guys!

I am writing to let you know what an amazing trip we had with David Erterius and Tuomas Seimola. They are both outstanding bird guides and a pleasure to travel with.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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