This is the ultimate birding tour! We offer trained local bird guides in Bali, Flores, Borneo and Sumatra who will help you discover well over 150 of Indonesia’s bird species on both sides of the Wallace line.
This tour also includes a chance to meet Indonesian people, experience their different and fascinating cultures. Finally, you will have a chance to spot many endangered mammal species along the way including; Orangutans, Proboscis Monkeys, Komodo Giant Lizards, Sumatra Elephants and Rhino, a possible whiff of the Sumatran Tiger and many more including endemic bird species.
Birding in Indonesia
Indonesia is the largest archipelago on earth, with an estimated 13,000 to 17,000 islands!
In some islands, for example, Sulawesi, the fauna is entirely unique to the islands. In general, the Wallace line, between the islands of Bali and Lombok divides the country into two distinct ecological zones; the dry tropics where the fauna and flora are Australasian and the wet tropics where it is Asian.
There are over 380 endemic bird species and many hundreds of migrant birds throughout Indonesia. Of these, around 50 species are considered endangered and around 70 are considered vulnerable. Our company, Ecolodges Indonesia has a clear mandate to organise tours which help in the protection of these vital species for Indonesia and for the world.
Two of our lodges are specialist bird lodges in the national parks of Way Kambas (Satwa Sumatra Ecolodge) and the Mbeliling protected conservation area (Mbeliling Mountain Ecolodge) in West Manggerai, Flores, near Labuan Bajo and the Komodo islands. Both have specialist bird guides for their respective areas.
We are very proud of our guides; whose passion and experience make for renowned birding and cultural adventures.
Heri Kusumanegara in West Bali National Park; who also guides on other islands,
Heriyono at Satwa, Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra,
Ucok Hakim in Tandjung Puting National Park, Borneo
Sam Rabenak at the Mbeliling Conservation Area in West Flores.
Heriyono and Ucok Hakim are employees of Ecolodges Indonesia, the others are specialist local bird guides who are our partners.
FLEXIBLE PRIVATE TOURS
Our birding tours are private and as such, perfectly flexible. They can be customised to your needs, interests and schedule. You may wish to spend more time in some places and less in others, do more or less hiking or include different experiences that are not in the suggested itinerary.
We welcome a chance to plan your ultimate birding tour with you.
Birding Tour Itinerary
DAY 1 - Bali
Welcome to Indonesia! You will arrive at Ngurah Rai International airport in Bali, where you will be met by one of our senior staff members. We will transport you to the hotel of your choice for a welcome and briefing and depending on your arrival time, you may be offered a bird-walk at Nusa Dua Settling Ponds.
Here you will see many water birds and hopefully over 20 species in a short time.
Locals include the Purple Heron, Javan Pond Heron, Little Heron, four species of Egrets, Small Blue Kingfisher and many others.
DAY 2 - West Bali National Park
Explore Baru Richfield, Tabanan to look for the Javan Kingfisher, Long-tailed Shrike and Glossy Starling. We then drive you along the West Coast of Bali through Tabanan and Jembrana to your hotel near West Bali Barat National Park, stopping for lunch along the way.
Here you will be briefed by your guide, who will immediately take you for an afternoon bird walk hoping to see the Bali Starling, Banded Pitta and other key Bali bird species.
You may also see the Ebony Leaf Monkey. Overnight here at our partner hotel with dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 3 - Bali Starling
You will have the chance today to spend most of the day birding in the National Park with your guide.
Enjoy hiking through several stunning areas where bird species should be seen.
If you have not seen the Bali Starling on day 2, we will go to great lengths to spot this special bird on day 3.
DAY 4 - Birding Handara Gardens
Today you will spend another morning birding around this unique National Park and after an early lunch depart to Bedugul and the beautiful mountain lake region of Bali and check into our partner hotel (usually the Handara).
In the afternoon and evening, your guide will take you birding around Handara Gardens. You will overnight here and enjoy lunch and dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 5 - South Bali
It’s Day 5 and you will spend most of the day birding around Bedugul Botanical Gardens with your guide. These beautiful gardens have many species of interest. Lunch will be in a restaurant in Bedugul town in the invigorating mountain air. In the afternoon you will drive back to your hotel in South Bali in preparation for an early start to Flores.
DAY 6 - Kelimutu, Flores
For the next stage of the tour, you fly to Ende via Labuan Bajo. You will be picked up by your guide and begin the magical run through valleys and mountains to the Kelimutu Crater Lakes Ecolodge.
If there is time enroute, you will visit a traditional village to view some of the fascinating cultural aspects of the Lio people who inhabit the area around Kelimutu.
From here you will visit a market village and the village of Moni at the base of Mount Kelimutu, only one kilometre from the lodge for a welcome and lunch. After a siesta, you can either wander birding through the stunning valley area around the lodge or take an agricultural tour through the lodge gardens and embryonic farm to view our lush local produce.
DAY 7 - The Multi-Coloured Lakes of Kelimutu
You will rise before the birds around 04:30. After a quick coffee/tea, you will be transported 17km to the Kelimutu crater lakes car park, followed by a twenty-minute walk in semi-darkness with the aim of arriving at dawn.
This is a breathtaking experience! Watch as sunlight wakes the spiritual volcanic lakes as you learn about local beliefs and folklore. On the way back, the birdsong is a treat!
Today you will explore this beautiful national park, an important spiritual area of the Lio people, which provides great birding.
Here you will often see the Yellow-breasted Warbler, Yellow-browed and Thick-billed Darkeye, Oriental and Mountain White Eyes, and Timor Leaf Warbler. The rich, melodious calls of the Bare-throated Whistler (up to 18 different calls) are especially pleasing.
Further down the Arboretum’s network of tracks, we may add the Brown-capped Fantail, Wallacean Drongo, Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Flame-breasted Sunbird, Yellow-spectacled White Eye, Russet-capped Tesia and Black-backed Fruit Dove. On our walk down from the Arboretum one may see Long-tailed Macaques, many Glossy Swiftlets and also Crested Darkeyes and Black-backed Fruit Doves. You can stay as long as wish in the park and a packed breakfast and lunch will be provided.
DAY 8 - Exploring Paradise at the Kelimutu Crater Lakes Ecolodge
This is a relaxing day based in the beautiful lodge grounds. Your guide will suggest areas – such as the restaurant where you may see and hear the songs of the Golden-rumped Flowerpecker, Elegant Pitta, and Flame-breasted Sunbird, whilst Glossy Swiftlets may pass overhead.
Walk up river from the Ecolodge where Thick-billed Darkeyes may call. Other birds seen are fairly common in other parts of Flores including: Black-naped Oriole, Flame-breasted Sunbird, Brown-throated Sunbird, Golden-rumped Flowerpecker, Wallacean Drongo, and Helmeted Friarbird.
After lunch, you may take the turnoff to Kelimutu Crater National Park from the main road and walk up to the first creek crossing. In the forest there the Rufous-chested Flycatcher and the exquisite Chestnut-capped Thrush have been seen, and in the evening search for Wallace’s Scops Owl. If you wish during the day, you can be taken to a local Ikat Weaving Village, one of the villages we support. The style of weaving in this area is unique and very beautiful.
DAY 9 - Birding at Mbeliling Mountain Ecolodge
It is time to leave Kelimutu and fly the short hop to Labuan Bajo to start the West Flores part of the tour. You will arrive at our Mbeliling Mountain Ecolodge for a full day of birding in the protected forests around the lodge.
DAY 10 - Rinca Island
This is a long day but very worthwhile! After a very early start with a packed breakfast, you will arrive at the harbour for your boat to Rinca Island, one of the main islands of the Komodo group.
We purposely use a slow boat as it is very relaxing to move slowly through The Sea of Flores, past many islands arriving at Rinca island around 09:00. You may see Raptors on the way. From here you will walk to look for Komodo dragons and you should also see some bird species. Lunch is served once back on the boat and you have a choice to continue hiking in the park for birding or go snorkelling at Bidadari Island. In the afternoon you return to Labuan Bajo and Mbeliling for dinner at the Lodge.
Day 11 - Borneo
After taking the early flight to Bali, you will proceed on to Java and then Pangkalan Bun in Borneo arriving in the late afternoon. After meeting your guide, you will be transported to Kumai to your Klotok (river boat) to start the magical trip up the Sekonyer River to the Rimba Orangutan Ecolodge. On the way (if the weather is clear) you will see many fireflies and after two hours, the welcome lights of Rimba. You will be welcomed by our Manager for dinner and stay in our one-of-a-kind jungle accommodations.
The ultimate wildlife day! You start by boarding a riverboat to famous Camp Leakey to view Orangutans in their natural habitat. Birds spotted here include Kingfishers, Hornbills and Trogons on the river but also primates such as Orangutans, Proboscis Monkeys, Gibbons, Long Tailed Macaques, Silver-backed Langurs and hopefully you will see Crocodiles and Monitor Lizards. On the way home, if the evening is clear, you should have a great sunset with the roosting Proboscis Monkeys.
Lunch will be served back at the lodge before a visit to Tandjung Harapan, the third Orangutan release centre for an afternoon feeding. Return to the Lodge for a short rest and then experience a magical evening dinner on the river surrounded by fireflies - a terrific experience! You may wish to spend longer at Pesalat and not go to Tanggui if the birding is good.
DAY 14 - Satwa Sumatra Elephant Ecolodge
Board a river boat to Kumai and on to the airport to catch your plane to Jakarta, then on to Lampung in Sumatra. You will be met by one of our senior staff for the two-hour drive to The Satwa Sumatra Elephant Ecolodge, where you will arrive in time for dinner. This is a travel day through many different cultures and islands on the Indonesian archipelago. Satwa is our best birding lodge and your guide Heriyono is well known internationally for his birding.
DAY 15-18 - Birding in Way Kambas and the Satwa Elephant Ecolodge
Days 15-18 will be spent with your guide Heri, who has an extensive knowledge of most of the 320+ recorded species in the Way Kambas National Park. Your days will be spent in various parts of the park and will include night walks.
Your time here will include a walk on the main way to Kanan river but also past the Elephant Centre to Bambangan. During this period in the tour you will see over 100 species of birds and many mammals.
Some birding groups see or hear over 150 species over this time period. The endemic White Winged Wood Duck is one to watch for.
DAY 19 - Farewell
After breakfast your tour is done! We will transport you to Lampung to catch your flights to Jakarta and Bali and onwards to your home destination.
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Birding Tour All Inclusive packages start from USD $4,682.