[5th – 15th June 2019]
This 11 day tour takes you on an exciting journey to parts of Indonesia that lie well off the tourist track and are still rarely visited by bird and wildlife enthusiasts. Here you will search for photograph some exciting and rarely seen birds and animals many of which are endemic to the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia. Starting your journey with a search for the huge and amazing Komodo Dragon, followed by a chance to swim with Manta Rays, you will then go back to mainland Flores. There you to explore the island’s lush highland forests, farmlands and stunning beaches fringed by coastal forest looking for endemic birds and animals including nightbirds such as Mee’s Nightjar and Little Sumba Boobook. There will be a chance to climb Mt Kelimutu and see the famous three-coloured lakes and to look down on the spiderweb rice fields near Cancar. From Flores you will fly over to Sumba, famous for its textiles and high peaked houses in carefully laid out traditional villages. This is an island where most of the population are still animists and where the forests contain their own endemic species. This is a journey that takes you well off the beaten track in a largely undiscovered paradise, one which is easily accessible from Australia.
Accommodation will vary from western resort style hotels to village homestays complete with mandi bathing arrangements. There will be a chance to experience local cuisine in the best local eateries.
This is not a strenuous tour and participants need to be of only moderate fitness. You may wish to bring a walking stick as, while the majority of birding will be done from the roadside, there will be some walking along some, possibly muddy, forest tracks. This is a tropical area with relatively hot temperatures throughout the year especially in the lowlands. June however is one of the coolest months with a maximum daytime temperature of around 30°C while the minimum temperature is around 21°C. This is the also one of the driest months though rain is still possible it is more likely to be a shower than a deluge.
2019 TOUR COST:
2019 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
- 10 nights accommodation
- Meals as itinerary (check PDF itinerary)
- Transport including fuel
- Guide services of tour leader
- Site & entry fees
- Travel insurance and other emergencies
- Visa fees and entry clearing fees
- Flights (Domestic or International)
- Drinks & snacks
- Items of a personal nature
Day 1 - Arrival Denpasar
Arrive in Denpasar, Bali and transfer to your hotel to meet your guide and the rest of the group.
Day 2 - Labuan Bajo & night birding
After an early morning transfer to the airport you will fly to Labuan Bajo where you will be met and transfer to the harbour for your boat over to Komodo Island. There will be night birding in Loh Liang.
Day 3 - Searching for Dragons
In the morning you will go trekking and birding in Komodo to search for Komodo Dragons, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Green Junglefowl, Yellow-crested Cockatoo, Black-naped Oriole, Green Imperial Pigeon, Black-naped Monarch and more. Afterwards return to the boat and sail to Pink Beach for swimming and snorkelling before proceeding to Manta Point where we will hopefully be able to swim with the Manta Rays. Later in the afternoon return to Labuan Bajo.
Day 4 - Puarlolo & Ruteng
An early start to Puarlolo for morning birding to look for Flores Monarch, Red-cheeked Parrot, Crested White-eye, Cream-browed White-eye, and many more. Birding will finish at around 1100 before driving for 1 hour to Lembor. Lunch will be at a local restaurant in Lembor. After lunch we will drive to Nte’er to look for the endemic Flores Lorikeet before driving to Ruteng with short stop at the unique Spiderweb Rice fields which have created by the traditional way of dividing communal rice paddies. Check-in to hotel. After dinner there will be the option of night birding to look for Wallace’s Scops-Owl.
Day 5 - Ranamese forest & Ruteng Pu'u Village
Morning birding at Ranamese forest for Flores Scops-Owl, Bare-throated Whistler, Russet-caped Tesia, Brown-capped Fantail, Wallace’s Scops-Owl and more. Back to Ruteng for Lunch. Drive to Liang Bua (Hobbit cave) and in the afternoon visit Ruteng Pu’u Village.
Day 6 - Golo Lusang to Kisol
Morning birding at Golo Lusang until around 1100. Return to the town for lunch before driving to Borong where we will check into a simple hotel. The afternoon will be spent birding in Kisol to look for Flores Crow, Flores Green Pigeon, Black-napped Fruit Dove, Wallace’s Scops-Owl etc.
Day 7 - Kisol to Ende
An early start for the 30 minute drive to Kisol for morning birding and a second chance to see yesterdays target. We will lunch in Bajawa before continuing our drive to Ende.
Day 8 - Ende to Waingapu
Morning flight from Ende to Tambolaka airport in Sumba. We will have breakfast at a restaurant next to the airport before heading out to explore Tana Daru. Later will drive to Waingapu and check in to Hotel.
Day 9 - Billa & nearby National Park
Very early morning at 04:00am drive to Billa in Tabundung subdistrict. Breakfast at local house in Tabundung, and then enter the National Park in Billa. Lunch will be with a local family. In the afternoon we will drive back to Waingapu.
Billa village is in the Tabundung subdistrict located in south Sumba, this place can be reached by car from Waingapu in about 2.5 hours. It is one of new birding area in Sumba and is the best place to see many endemic birds ie: Nusa Tenggara Paradise-flycatcher, Nusa Tenggara Golden Whistler, Sumba Hornbill and a variety of pigeons and parrots, including Orange-crested Cockatoo, the beautiful Red-naped Fruit-dove and Sumba Green Pigeon. In addition Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher, Elegant Pitta, Sumba Jungle Flycatcher, Sumba Brown Flycatcher, Chestnut-backed Thrush, Arafura Fantail, Rusty-breasted Whistler (split from Common Golden Whistler), Pale-shouldered Cicadabird, Yellow-spectacled White-eye and Ashy-bellied White-eye, Sumba Myzomela, Apricot-breasted Sunbird, Blood-breasted (Sumba) Flowerpecker and Lesser Wallacean Drongo can all be found in this area.
Day 10 - Pau & Rende
Today we will go on a cultural tour to visit Pau and Rende, famous for their textiles in the morning and will have an optional relaxation time on the beach in the afternoon before heading to Waikkabubak.
Day 11 - Fly to Bali
This morning we return to the airport and take our flight back to Bali.