We start our tour on the island of Java, one of the most densely populated places on our planet. This is a land of great beauty, dominated by towering volcanos whose forests support important watersheds for the fertile rice fields, which cover almost every square inch of the lowlands. Nevertheless, Java still supports some wonderful forests and we will explore the best of these. From our hotel we will make a short excursion to a tiny swamp on the very edge of the teeming metropolis of Jakarta for Sunda Coucal and Cerulean Kingfisher. Next we take in the famous Gunung Gede – Pangrang National Park, better known to birders as Cibodas. Here we will wander enchanting pathways and trails through some of Java’s least disturbed montane forests in our search for a long, long list of endemics and specialties such Javan Fulvetta endemic Spotted Crocias – a fantastic vocalist, Sunda Warbler, Indigo Flycatcher, endemic Mees’s White-eye and the exquisite endemic White-flanked (or Kuhl’s) Sunbird.
A short hop 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. 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 mouth-watering list of species including several very little known and/or endangered species such as the globally endangered White-winged Duck and Crested Fireback – quite common here. Way Kambas is arguably THE best place in all of SE Asia to seek out nocturnal birds and mammals; 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. From Way Kambas we will make our way to the enormous Kerinci National Park, which occupies 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. To be sure, the birding is 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 Thrush, and if we are incredibly fortunate, Sumatran Cochoa.
All of the locations we visit in Sumatra afford superb opportunities to see some very special mammals and reptiles including Tiger, Sunda Clouded Leopard, Leopard Cat, Sun Bear, Asian Elephant, Siamang and a host of other wonderful primates.
Sunda Coucal, Cerulean, Rufous-collared & Javan Kingfisher, Bar-winged Prinia, Javan Plover, Black-nest, Cave, Waterfall & Edible-nest Swiftlet, Christmas Island Frigatebird, Milky Stork, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Black-naped & Pink-headed Fruit Dove, Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker, Yellow-fronted Hanging Parrot, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Pygmy Tit, Javan Munia, Javan & Sumatran Cochoa, Javan & Sumatran Trogon, Javan, Gould’s, Sunda, Short-tailed & Large Frogmouth, Brown-headed Barbet, Javan Whistling Thrush, Sunda Thrush, Mees’s, Black-capped & Javan White-eye, Cresecent-chested, Black-throated & Sumatran Babbler, Javan Hawk-Eagle, White-winged Duck, Cinnamon-headed Pigeon, Oriental Bay Owl, Reddish & Rajah Scops Owl, Barred Eagle-Owl, Bonaparte’s & Salvadori’s Nightjar, Orange-backed & Olive-backed Woodpecker, Green Broadbill, Malayan Banded, Black-crowned, Graceful & Schneider’s Pitta, Fiery & Sunda Minivet, Red-throated & Temminck’s Sunbird, Red-billed Partridge, Salvadori’s Pheasant, Bronze-tailed Peacock-Pheasant, Javan Woodcock, Green-spectacled Pigeon, Orange-spotted, Cream-striped, Spot-necked, Scaly-breasted, Sunda & Ruby-throated Bulbul, Sunda Warbler, Sumatran, Marbled & Rusty-breasted Wren-Babbler, Rufous-vented Niltava, Shiny & Chestnut-winged Whistling Thrush, Sunda Robin, Sunda Cuckooshrike, Sumatran Drongo, Sumatran & Blue-masked Leafbird, Sumatran Treepie and Sunda Forktail
Tiger, Sunda Clouded Leopard, Leopard Cat, Sun Bear, Asian Elephant, Siamang, Banded Linsang, Javan Surili (Grizzled Leaf Monkey), Silvery & Javan Lutung (Langur), Javan Ferret Badger and Sunda Stink-badger, Banded, Masked and Small-toothed Palm Civets, Malay Civet, Red Giant Flying Squirrel, Yellow-throated Marten, Long-tailed & Pig-tailed Macaque, Greater & Lesser Mouse Deer, Wild Boar, Asiatic Golden Cat, Marbled, Fishing & Flat-headed Cats, Binturong, Sunda Colugo, Malayan Porcupine, Sunda Slow Loris, Sun Bear, Malayan Tapir, Otter Civet & Banded Linsang
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.
Comfortable, with some moderate walking. 2 days of strenuous hiking up and down Mount Kerinci
What our clients say about tours to Indonesia
David Ertrius is above all patient, with the birds, with the participants and the local guides. He very modestly shares his incredible knowledge of the birds.
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…
David Erterius was a really fantastic guide, like all the Rockjumper guides have been. He certainly maintained the high bar set by all my Rockjumper guides. He was organised and friendly and was onto birds in near-mythical speed. I didn’t have any problems on the tour, but if I did, I would be confident that he…
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 Erterius is an excellent birder and a great tour leader. Unfailing enthusiasm while birding, and a great manner during non-birding time. The combination of the birders and the guides made this probably the most enjoyable trip I have been on.
The ultimate birding trip: stunning destinations, endemics galore, cruising through the Raja Ampats and Maluku on a lovely wooden boat with wonderful crew and great food, gorgeous sunsets, awesome snorkelling and two of the best Rockjumper guides – Keith and Glen Valentine. And to top it off, Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise!!!!!!!!!
As expected, I had a fabulous time on the Sulawesi and Halmahera trip. It was everything I wanted – amazing birds, fantastic guide, great tour participants, highly organised logistics and wonderful forests. I particularly appreciated that for one morning the group was split into two so some participants had the chance to head part-way back…
I have been on birding trips for many years, but this is the first time with Rockjumper. The trip was easily the best birding trip I have ever been on. In particular, both David and Glen made life so easy and their birding knowledge was remarkable. Other members of the group were very easy to…
One of the best tours I’ve had so far with Rockjumper.
This was a fabulous tour! Living on the Seahorse and going ashore each day to explore, in many cases, remote and under-birded locations was a truly exciting and wonderful experience. In addition, it was a fabulous and memorable experience to have Glen and Keith Valentine as leaders. They teamed seamlessly and ensured that everyone had…
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.
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.
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.