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!
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)
lowland and montane rainforest, savanna, grasslands, wetlands
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.
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.
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.
moderate, can be difficult to challenging at times
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.
My thanks to Keith and Glen Valentine for taking so much time in getting me on the birds. They are so patient and really nice.
"This trip was my very first with Rockjumper and I was not disappointed. Birding and logistics were very well organized and everything was done to optimize our time in order to see as many species as possible while naturally giving priority to endemics. Glen Valentine is not only a top guide and a top birder, he is also a nice person excellent in communication, very friendly with a good sense of humor. I really enjoyed doing this trip with him as well as the good state of mind of the group. As a Frenchman I sometimes had difficulties speaking or understanding English and everyone was patient and helpful with me. Great! I got a large number of lifers in this trip and the search for endemics was exciting. A big thank you to Glen, our group members and Rockjumper!"
Rich Lindie was super; very funny, witty, with a good sense of humour, easygoing, knowledgeable and intellectual, and flexible. 10 stars out of 10!
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