Java and Sumatra are two of the most populated islands in the Indonesian archipelago but at the same time they are both endowed with a high level of species endemism. With around fifty endemic species between the two islands (and further splits likely to increase that) we have a good chance at a high proportion of these as well as lots of other regional specialities that are extremely scarce elsewhere.
Beginning with the fantastic lowland forest at Way Kambas, in southern Sumatra, we will be able to search for White-winged Duck, Storm’s Stork and Malayan Banded Pitta as well as some of the best night birding in the region. Moving north to central Sumatra we visit Gunung Kerinci, a forest-clad volcano where such gems as Schneider’s Pitta, Salvadori’s Pheasant and Sumatran Trogon lurk while nearby Tapan Road provides some wonderful forest birding with the possibility of the superb Graceful Pitta as well as an abundance of Sumatran endemics such as Sumatran Treepie, Blue-masked Leafbird and Sumatran Drongo.
The second half of the tour visits West Java where we have a variety of forest and open country birding. Beginning in Jakarta we visit a scrap of habitat for Sunda (Javan) Coucal before taking a boat out into Jakarta bay to observe Christmas Island Frigatebirds at rest. Moving on to the lovely botanical gardens at Cibodas we will look for the tiny Pygmy Tit and Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot before making the trek up Gunung Gede to look for a hatful of Javan endemics including Javan Trogon, Javan Cochoa and Spotted Crocias. We will continue our journey around Java by moving on to Hamilum-Salak National Park then Carita forest to look for a wide range of lowland forest birds which should include the wonderful Javan Banded Pitta, Black-naped Fruit Dove and the stunning Black-banded Barbet. The pace of the trip gives us ample time to locate the target species and at the same time enjoy the variety of birdlife found in West Java and Sumatra, with multiple chances at most of the key species.
Weds 4th - Weds 25th September
Leaders: Nick Upton and local guides.
Ground Price: £4250.00 – Jakarta/Jakarta
Airfare: £550.00 - £700.00(approx) - UK/UK
Single supplement: £580.00
Group size: Minimum for tour to go ahead 5 and maximum 8
Included in cost: Accommodation in twin rooms en-suite (mostly), all meals including picnic lunches where necessary, all entrance fees to National Parks, bottled water, transport throughout in air-conditioned vehicles, boat trips and services of leaders.
Not included: International airfare, insurance, departure tax, drinks, tips and items of a personal nature.
Accommodation: A variety of accommodation from smart airport hotels, pleasant wildlife lodges to simple homestays will be used. The quality of these ranges from very good to relatively simple but all are chosen either for their proximity to the birding sites and/or best quality for the area. There will be internet connections in most accommodation but not all.
Tour Code: This is a fairly standard tour for a developing country with travel being slow at times and a mostly moderate pace. There are some harder walks up mountain trails which will be done at a slow birding pace but participants do need to be fit enough to be able to walk all day on Gunung Gede and be able to deal with some steep sections at Gunung Kerinci. The tour itinerary is designed to break up these more energetic sections of the trip with easier birding and some comfortable hotels.
We can expect a variety of weather conditions over the course of this trip to Sumatra and Java. In the lowlands temperatures will be in excess of 30C with high humidity although up in the mountains it will be pleasantly cool for much of the time. Early morning/late afternoon temperatures in the mountains are likely to be quite chilly so a warm fleece/jacket will be essential at times and the possibility of some rain showers is quite high too.