Overview

Quite simply, this is a tour unlike any other! Each island that we explore on this epic adventure exhibits its own distinctive ensemble of characteristic and rarely-seen endemics, including some of our planet’s least-known species; and, although these oceanic islands and their bird lists are not large, they are nevertheless very special indeed. On this trip, we will be treated to a wonderful assortment of imperial pigeons, fruit doves (one of the most beautiful of all bird groups), parrots and lorikeets, kingfishers, hosts of flycatchers, monarchs, fantails, whistlers, honeyeaters and white-eyes, all of which are endemic and consequently found nowhere else on earth. In the mid-80s, the Kagu was critically endangered and seemingly impossible to see. Now, thanks to concerted conservation efforts by the local park authorities, it has staged a remarkable comeback, and with special help, we have an excellent chance of seeing this “missing link” in the avian world. And while seeing this iconic species may well be the main focus of the tour for many of us, we should also encounter a remarkable diversity of other spectacular avian endemics.

We begin on the islands of Samoa, visiting the main island of Upolui. Here we will explore O Le Pupu-Pu’e National Park, where we should be able to find a large proportion the Samoan specialities, including the lovely White Tern, Crimson-crowned Fruit Dove, Blue-crowned Lorikeet, Flat-billed Kingfisher, Samoan Fantail, Samoan Flycatcher, Samoan Whistler and Samoan Starlings.

Moving westwards, we will next wing our way to the lovely Fijian Islands, where we will wander balmy, sun-bleached beaches and explore luxuriant forests only a short distance from our delightful hotels. We will visit three islands, Viti Levu, Taveuni and Kadavu, each supporting its own coterie of exciting endemics and near-endemics. Among mist-draped montane forests, we may be treated to such spectacular surprises as Orange Fruit Dove (an almost unbelievable colour!), the enigmatic Taveuni Silktail, Azure-crested Flycatcher (a real humdinger!) and a plethora of other attractive endemics, including Fiji Goshawk, Golden and Whistling Fruit Doves, Tongan Ground Dove, Barking Imperial Pigeon, Collared Lory, Maroon Shining and Masked Shining Parrots, Polynesian Triller, Fiji Bush Warbler, Slaty Monarch, Vanikoro Flycatcher, Fiji Shrikebill, Fiji Whistler, Fiji White-eye, Sulphur-breasted Myzomela, Fiji Wattled Honeyeater, the spectacular sounding Giant Honeyeater, Fiji Woodswallow, and the handsome Fiji Parrotfinch. We will also seek out some of Fiji’s most elusive and least-known species, including Long-legged Thicketbird and Pink-billed Parrotfinch.

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

Tour Facts Top Birds
Samoa: Crimson-crowned (Purple-capped) & Many-colored Fruit Doves, Metallic (White-throated) Pigeon, Pacific Imperial Pigeon, Blue-crowned Lorikeet, Flat-billed Kingfisher,
Samoan & Polynesian Triller, Mao, Wattled Honeyeater, Samoan Whistler, Samoan Flycatcher, Samoan Fantail, Samoan Starling, Cardinal Myzomela, Red-headed Parrotfinch Fiji: Golden, Orange & Many-coloured Fruit Doves, Tongan (Shy) Ground Dove, Barking (Peale’s) Imperial Pigeon, Fiji Goshawk, Masked Shining Parrot, Red-throated Lorikeet (very rare), Collared Lory, Giant & Wattled Honeyeater, Silktail, Black-throated(-faced) & Fiji Shrikebill, Long-legged Warbler (Long-legged Thicketbird), Pacific Golden Plover, Fiji Woodswallow, Bristle-thighed Curlew, Pacific Reef Heron, Fiji Goshawk, Vanikoro Flycatcher, Slaty Monarch (Flycatcher), Sulphur-breasted (Orange-breasted) Myzomela, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Polynesian Triller, Vanikoro & Azure-(Blue-)crested Flycatcher, Fiji Bush Warbler, Fiji (Layard’s) White-eye, Red-headed & Pink-billed Parrotfinch Kadavu: Whistling (Velvet) Fruit Dove, Crimson Shining Parrot (split from 
Red), Kadavu Fantail & Kadavu Honeyeater
Top Mammals
Tongan Flying Fox
Habitats Covered
various forest types, small islands, beaches, shoreline, open ocean, airports
Expected Climate
mostly tropical conditions; warm and humid with some rain expected, can be very cool in the highlands
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper Leader or 9 - 12 with 2 Rockjumper leaders
Tour Pace & Walking
mostly easy with some short walks over steep ground, with the possibility of one very steep and strenuous optional hike for a specific target species
Accommodation
comfortable lodges & hotels
Ease of Birding
moderate with some tricky species
Other Attractions
great food, little-explored islands, fantastic scenery, fascinating collage of landscapes & culture, lovely accommodation
Photographic Opportunities
excellent
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials
H

Marius Coetzee is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced safari (field) guides I have met on my more than 30 trips to Africa. His knowledge of the bush and ability to work with his tracker to find animals is unique and appreciated. As an accomplished photographer, Marius knows how to position his vehicle to get the best photograph and has the patience to make sure that his guests see what they need.

The ability of our guide, Rich Lindie, to locate the birds from the faintest movement or call under difficult and trying conditions was outstanding.

Expert guiding by Keith and Glen Valentine, aided by fabulous local talent, ensured we saw the maximum number of endemics and other birds and mammals. Perhaps more importantly, these two brothers enjoyed their time together and provided a warm, friendly and caring environment in which we all had a good time with lots of laughs, and looked out for each other to ensure everyone got on the birds and did not falter on a tough hike or challenging car ride.

We felt that the trip was very well organised and efficient so we could spend as much time in the field as possible. Glen was a terrific guide - excellent birder as well as his concern that everyone was seeing the birds. Glen was very even in his manner at all times and with everyone.

J

André our game ranger for the third time once again is impeccable! His eyesight is actually too good for words!

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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