Birdwatching in Indonesia from our lodges in Bali, Flores, Borneo and Sumatra
19 Days - 18 Nights, 5 Ecolodges
This is a birders tour using our company bird guides in all locations in Bali, Flores, Borneo and Sumatra. You should see well over 100 of Indonesia’s bird species on both sides of the Wallace line. You also will meet many of the Indonesian people, see much of their different cultures and see also many endangered mammal species
The main aim of this tour is to emphasise the potential for birding from all of our lodges using all our company specialist bird guides Nyoman (Mrs) Martini and Wahyudi in Bali, Heriyono in Satwa, Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra and Ucok Hakim in Tandjung Puting National Park, Borneo. However the tour is much more than that as you will experience the peoples of this country with their many cultures and also if you wish, you can view some key endangered animal species – Orangutans, Proboscis monkeys, Komodo Giant Lizards, Sumatra Elephants and Rhino and a possible whiff of the Tiger and others. We now are running special tours for birders. Also we collaborate with specialist birding companies, for example Rockjumper Birding Safaris (South Africa), Wings (USA) and Birdquest and Birding Asia (UK), who all send groups to our lodges with their international guides.
Indonesia is the largest archipelago on earth with between 13,000 and 17,000 islands, these numbers varying according to different sources. In some islands, for example Sulawesi, the fauna is 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 is Australasian and the wet tropics where it is Asian.
There are over 380 endemic bird species and many hundreds of migrant birds throughout Indonesia. It seems around 120 species are either endangered (around 50) or vulnerable (around 70) . Our company mandates to organize tours which will help in the protection of these vital assets to Indonesia and the world.
Our tours use our eco lodges, on both sides of the Wallace Line, in the wet and dry tropics, as bases for our bird tours. In areas where we do not have a lodge, we use local hotels which we have personally vetted or have been recommended by trusted persons. We also use local guides, some are staff of Ecolodges Indonesia, while others specialist local guides.
The main aim of this tour is to show you birds on four of the main islands of the Indonesian archipelago using all our company specialist bird guides. However the tour is much more than that as you will experience the many of the peoples of this country with their many cultures and also view key reptile and mammal species. You may wish to adjust your tour and spend longer in one area and not visit another. We are very flexible and can adjust to your needs.
Ecolodges Indonesia is a conservation company, mandated in our Mission statement to “empower local people so that they use eco tourism as a basis for their sustainable jobs and thus form a conservation stakeholder in the areas where they are living at the edge of national parks.
Day 01 Udayana Lodge – Bali
Arrival at Ngurah Rai International airport in Bali, where you will be met by a senior staff member. You will then proceed to Udayana Kingfisher Eco Lodge, Bali – welcome and briefing by the manager and then your guide. Depending on arrival time, you will be offered either a bird walk in the gardens of the Lodge or at the Nusa Dua Settling Ponds. At the latter, you should see many water birds and hopefully see over 20 species in a short time. Species such as the Purple Heron, Javan Pond Heron, Little Heron, four species of Egrets, Small Blue Kingfisher and many others can be seen.
Day 02 West Bali National Park
After an early breakfast, you will proceed to Baru Richfield, Tabanan to look for the Javan Kingfisher, Longtailed Shrike and Glossy Starling, then you will drive along west coast of Bali through Tabanan and Jembrana to The West Bali Barat NP having lunch along the route. There you will be briefed by Bapak Wahyudi, who will immediately take you for an afternoon bird walk hoping to see the Bali Starling and Banded Pitta and other key Bali bird species; you may also see the Ebony Leaf Monkey. Overnight Taman Sari Resort with dinner at the Local restaurant.
Day 03 Bali Starling
After breakfast, you will spend most of the day birding in the National park with your Guide. This will involve hiking in a number of areas of the park as directed. A number of bird species should be seen to complete your list of this park. If you have not seen the Bali Starling on day 2, much effort will be made to show this bird on day 3. Overnight Taman Sari Resort and Lunch and dinner at the Local restaurant
Day 04 Mountain lake regin of Bali, main source of water
After breakfast, you will spend another morning in this unique park birding around National Park and after an early lunch depart to Bedugul and the beautiful mountain lake region of Bali where you check into the Handara hotel. In the afternoon and evening you will be accompanied by Wahyudi birding around Handara gardens. Overnight Handara, lunch and dinner at local restaurant
Day 05 Udayana
After breakfast, you spend most of the day birding around Bedugul Botanical Gardens with your guide. These beautiful gardens have a number of species of interest. Lunch will be in a restaurant in Bedugul town in the envigorating mountain air. In the afternoon you will drive back to Udayana Kingfisher Eco Lodge in preparation for an early start to Flores. If time prevails, a further visit to the Settling Ponds will be organised.
Day 06 Kelimutu, Flores
After a very early breakfast you depart for Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar for check in to Ende via Labuan Bajo. Ende where you will be picked up by your Guide Bapak Gabriel and you will then begin the magic run through valleys and mountains to the Kelimutu Crater Lakes Eco Lodge. En route you will stop at a traditional village for approximately one hour to view some of the cultural aspects of the Lio people who inhabit all the area around Kelimutu. From the village you will make your way through a market village to the village of Moni at the base of Mount Kelimutu; then only one km to the lodge, welcome and lunch. After a siesta, you can either wander birding through the valley area around the lodge where there should be plenty of birds.
Day 07 The multi coloured lakes of Kelimutu
Another very early start in the dark rising at around 04:30; after a quick coffee/tea, you will take the 17km run to the Kelimutu crater lakes car park followed by a 20 minute walk in the semi darkness to aim at arriving at dawn. This is a unique experience and you will not only see a unique and beautiful setting but be informed of the local beliefs and folklore about the lakes. The songs of the birds are very pleasing. You will now explore this beautiful national park, an important spiritual area of the Lio people, which provides great birding. Here often is seen 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 are especially pleasing. Further down the Arboretum’s network of tracks we may add 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 also 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 08 Around the paradise of the Kelimutu Crater Lakes Eco Lodge
This is a relaxing day around the lodge where we suggest you spend time around 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. A walk up river from the Ecolodge is also recommended where Thick-billed Darkeyes may call. Other birds seen are fairly common in other parts of Flores – Black-naped Oriole, Flame-breasted Sunbird, Brown-throated Sunbird, Golden-rumped Flowerpecker, Wallacean Drongo, and Helmeted Friarbird. After lunch and a short siesta, you may like to try the turnoff to Kelimutu Crater National Park from the main road just above the tourist bungalows and walk up to the first creek crossing and in the forest there the Rufous-chested Flycatcher and the exquisite Chestnut-capped Thrush have been seen. In the evening you could search for Wallace’s Scops Owl.
Day 09 Bajo Komodo Eco Lodge
After an early breakfast, you depart for the airport at Ende to catch the plane for the short hop to Labuan Bajo to start the West Flores part of the tour. You will proceed in the direction of the Golo Lusang pass via the bird sanctuary of Mbeliling There is a lot of forest clearing here – but some good patches remain. The glorious song of the Bare-throated Whistler may echoe across the valley. Other species which may be seen in the forest here include the Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Mountain Tailorbird, Little Minivet, Thickbilled and Yellowbrowed Darkeye, Timor Leaf Warbler, Little Pied Flycatcher, and Brown-capped Fantail. In the evening, you will have dinner and stay at the iconic Bajo Komodo Eco Lodge.
Day 10 Komodo island
Day 10 Komodo island
This is a long day but very worthwhile. After an early breakfast, you will proceed to the harbor for your boat to Komodo Island for a very early departure, 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 Komodo island around 09:00 (depending on currents) passing the world famous Pink Beach on your way. You may see Raptors on the 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 then you have a choice continue hiking in the park for birds or proceed for snorkeling on The Pink Beach, 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. In the afternoon you proceed back to Labuan Bajo and dinner at the Lodge.
Day 11 Borneo
After breakfast, you will take the early flight to Bali, then 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 magic trip up The Sekonyer river to The Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge. On the way (if the weather is clear) you will see many fireflies and after two hours see the welcome lights of The Rimba on your left side. You will be welcomed by our Manager for dinner.
Day 12 Camp Leakey and Orangutans
A pre breakfast Bird walk with your guide will be organised. Then after breakfast, you will take your river boat to famous Camp Leakey to view Orangutans in their natural habitat; birds will be spotted (Kingfishers, Hornbills, Trogons) on the river but also primates seen will be seen Orangutans, Proboscis Monkeys, Gibbons and Long Tailed Macaques, Silver backed Langurs and hopefully you will see crocodiles and monitors. On the way home, if the evening is clear, you should have a great sunset with the Proboscis Monkeys. Hopefully you will see some of the four species of Hornbills, Storms Stork and a number of raptors.
Day 13 Pesalat
An early breakfast and a vist to Pesalat with a packed breakfast. At Pesalat you can see a reforestation area and you can plant a tree as a momento of your visit. This is a good birding area especially for Flowerpeckers. Then you will proceed to Tanggui, a second Orangutan release centre, in an area famous for Butterflies. After the viewing, you will proceed on a birding hike around the area. This is an opportunity to study the area in a relaxed fashion. You will have lunch back at the lodge and proceed to Tandjung Harapan, the third release centre for the afternoon viewing. You will then return to the Lodge for a short rest and then proceed for an evening dinner on the river with the “fireflies”. The latter is a terrific experience. You may wish to spend longer at Pesalat and not go to Tanggui if the birding is good.
Day 14 Sumatra
After an early breakfast the Lodge, you will proceed down river to Kumai and then 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 drive to The Satwa Sumatra Elephant Eco Lodge, around 90 minutes, where you will have dinner. This is a long travel day through many different cultures and islands on the Indonesian archipelago. Satwa is our best birding lodge and your guide will he Heriyono who is well know internationally for his birding.
Days 15 – 18 Birding in Way Kambas and the Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge
These days will be spent with your guide Heri, who has an extensive knowledge of most of the 320 + recorded species in the park. The days will be spent in various parts of the park and will include night walks. You definitely will walk on the main way to Kanan river but also past the Elephant Centre to Bambangan. During this period mot tour sight over 50 species of birds and many mammals. Most bird group sight or hear over 50 species over this time period. The White Winged Wood Duck is the endemic to be seen.
Day 19 Home
After breakfast to Lampung to catch your flights to Jakarta and to Bali and onwards.
Heriono (fondly know as Heri) was born and educated to secondary school level in Lampung, South Sumatra. He became interested in birds as a “bird smuggler” but luckily joined ECOLODGES INDONESIA in 2007 to work at our Satwa Sumatra elephant Eco Lodge. The management rapidly learnt of his birding knowledge and convinced him to become a Guide for our guests. He became so successful in this role that now he is often booked well in advance by both small and large groups. He has also been used as a Bird Guide Trainer taking course at both Satwa and our Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge. Heri is available for specialist Birding Groups.
Ucok Hakim was born in Kumai, Central Kalimantan (Borneo) and was educated in Pangkalan Bun where attended primary and secondary school. In his spare time, he studied and qualified in Accountancy. He joined Ecolodges Indonesia in 2006 as restaurant staff but worked his way up and is now Assistant Manager. During this process, he came to love and study the wildlife in The Tandjung Puting National park and soon became an expert guide. Now Ucok or Hakim is a member of The Guides Association and well known throughout the world (see Reports on Trip Advisor and other websites) through the groups has guided and helped through Ecosafari Indonesia. He is the Head of our Guides at The Rimba Lodge and is used extensively by primate and birding groups.