This tour celebrates the dynamic work of the nineteenth century explorer Albert Wallace, who played a major role in Darwin’s thinking about the evolution and development of our planet and suggested a line of ecological demarcation between the islands of Bali and Lombok.
First, you will visit the dry tropics east of the Wallace line with the Giant Lizards (commonly known as Komodo Dragons (see Note 1 below), only present in small group of Komodo islands. You will also experience fabulous, bio diverse reefs with corals, sponges and fish of great biodiversity, part of the Coral Triangle recognized as one of the best snorkeling and diving areas of the world. Then you will experience the wet tropics, west of the line, with its rain forests unique and endangered primates (Orangutans (see Note 2 below), Proboscis Monkeys, Gibbons, Langurs among nine species in the Tandjung Puting National Park). The Rimba experience has been described by many as “the best wild orangutan experience in the world”. The birds and butterflies also are totally different on both sides of the line being Australasian in the east and Asian in the west. As Bali will be your start point, a day on this unique Hindu island is included.
Note 1. Komodo dragon, a seriously endangered species, grows up to 3.5 metres in length, has a ferocious bite combining serrated teeth with a mysteriously toxic saliva, found mainly only on Komodo and Rinca island west of Labuan Bajo, Flores, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Note 2. There are two species of orangutan living in Indonesia, the Borneo (Pongo pygmaeus) and the Sumatran (Pongo abelii); both species are critically endangered. The orangutan is a close relative of humans and have shown an ability to learn signs as a method for communicating with humans. They are key species of the forest. If they go, all species of plants and animals of the forest also go.
One possible variation of this tour is overnight on the boat at Komodo Island and visiting Rinca island the following day.
After arrival at Ngurah Rai International airport in Bali, you will be picked up by our staff who will transport you to The Udayana Kingfisher Eco Lodge, Bali – welcome and briefing on the tour by one of our senior staff. Depending on arrival time birders will be offered a bird walk either in the gardens of the Lodge or at the Nusa Dua Settling Ponds, a great place to view water birds.
After an early breakfast, you will proceed to Pangkalan Bun, Borneo via Java. You will be met by your guide and taken to the port of Kumai, then by river boat (klotok) two hours to the Rimba Lodge. If flight times are suitable arrival at midday will be organized After check in, you will have lunch and then proceed to The Tandjung Harapan feeding Station to see your first Orangutans You may see wild orangutans on the river on the way from Kumai. Then in the evening you will be taken to see Proboscis Monkeys on the river and perhaps wild Orangutans can be viewed along the river edge. Back to the Lodge for dinner and to enjoy the local lodge Long Tailed Macques. Often Buffy Fish and Scops Owls can be heard in the Lodge grounds; sometimes also a troop of Proboscis monkeys roosts for the night in the trees above the lodge.
After a leisurely breakfast, you take your klotok to famous Camp Leakey to view Orangutans in their natural habitat; other primates to be seen are Proboscis Monkeys, Gibbons and Long Tailed Macaques, Silverbacked Langurs and hopefully you will see many birds, crocodiles and monitors. Camp Leakey (named after the famous Oxford based scientist Louis Leakey), is one of the homes of Professor Birute Galdikas (an investor in Ecolodges Indonesia). Camp Leakey is allegedly the longest biological, documented, scientific experiment on the globe. Galdikas is one of Leakey’s golden angels, the others being Dianne Fossey (Gorilla scientist – deceased) and Jane Goodall (the Chimpanzee scientist). On the way home, if the evening is clear, you should have a great sunset with the Proboscis Monkeys.
After breakfast you will visit a visit to Tanggui (the third Orangutan release centre) in an area famous for butterflies. After the viewing, you will proceed on a hike around the area suitable for those interested in birds, butterflies and trees. This is an opportunity to study the area in a relaxed fashion. You will have lunch on the boat while slowly returning to the Lodge for afternoon tea and a rest. You will then have our dinner on the river with the “fireflies” . The latter is a terrific experience.
At all the release centres, one of the main attractions is the sighting and viewing the behaviour of the relevant Alpha male. You should see at least of these huge animals.
An early start for a bird walk at Pesalat, a reforestation site supported by FRIENDS OF THE NATIONAL PARKS It has some great birding especially Flower peckers and Sun birds. Also at this unique location, you can plant your own tree and leave something behind showing your visit. after a good walk, back to the Lodge for a late breakfast and then of to Kumai for a City Tour of Pangkalan Bun (the main town of the Regency) viewing the Sultans Palace, a Dayak river settlement and other key features of the town. You will then catch the evening flight back to Java and on to Bali for a late dinner.
After breakfast, you will proceed for a full day tour of Bali to show the scenery (the rice terraces and crater area around Mt Batur and Mt Agung), the culture at temples and other places of interest and The Arts Centre at Ubud. You will have lunch at Ubud where you can also have time for shopping in the centre of the town. Back to the Lodge for dinner and a briefing on the next part of the trip to the Komodo islands in Flores on the other side of The Wallace Line.
After a relaxing breakfast, you will leave for Labuan Bajo and our eco Lodge arriving for lunch followed by a siesta. At around 15:30 you will proceed on a snorkeling visit to Bidadari island only 30 minutes by boat. You can test your snorkeling gear in a beautiful coral area for the next part of the trip.
This is a long day but very worthwhile. After an early breakfast, you will proceed to the harbor for your boat to Komodo Island, the main and most beautiful island of the Komodo group of islands. We purposely choose a slow boat as it is very relaxing to move slowly through The Sea of Flores, past many islands and the large island of Rinca on your left arriving at around 09:30 (depending on currents) passing the world famous Pink Beach on your way. You will immediately proceed on a walk to look for Komodos and you should also see a number of bird species. Then lunch back on the boat and proceed for snorkeling on The Pink Beach. This is a fabulous place and is world renowned for its biodiversity; however the current can be strong and you must take local advice where to swim; then back to Labuan Bajo and dinner at the Lodge.
Again an early start to Rinca island (the second largest island in the Komodos). Rinca is more open than Komodo Island and very suitable for those interested in hiking. On arrival, you can choose whether you want a short or long hike and you should see buffaloes, deer, monkeys as well as wild Komodos. You will have lunch on the boat and another stop for snorkeling at Goat Island on the way home. The scenery on this trip is again magnificent. Dinner at the Lodge.
On this day, you can have a choice of either an inland mountain tour to the mountains on the road to Ruteng to view the scenery, do some hiking, birding and a see weaving community or a day diving or snorkeling on two bio diverse coral reef systems on islands on the edge of The Komodo National Park. We have an international dive partner based in Labuan Bajo through which we can arrange a days diving in this very bio diverse coral and fish area. If you wish to snorkel, we can arrange that with the equipment. we go to two or three of the islands on the edge of the park.
After a relaxing breakfast proceed to the airport back to Bali. Enjoy a farewell lunch back at Udayana Kingfisher Lodge and debriefing. Guests are welcome to stay longer at the Lodge, proceed home or to other destinations.
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