Indonesia: General Information



We have six exciting set departure Indonesia birding tours, all focusing on the different endemic and special birds found in each region. Our Indonesia birding tours are as follows:

  1. Indonesia: The Lesser Sunda Islands – Comprehensive Tour
  2. Indonesia: Sulawesi and Halmahera – Spectacular Endemic Birding
  3. Indonesia: West Papua – Birds-of-paradise and Endemics of the Arfak Mountains and Waigeo Island
  4. Indonesia: Biak, Numfor, and Kofiau – Stunning Paradise Kingfishers and Small-Island Endemics
  5. Indonesia: Lombok Extension – Rinjani Scops Owl Premium Tour
  6. Indonesia: Bali and East Java – Bali Myna and Other Regional Specials

Indonesia has a staggering bird list of around 1,800 species, including over 450 endemics! Our set departure tours each focus on finding the endemics and specials of each province we visit. We can also put together custom Indonesia birding tours. Some of the exceptional birds we find on our bird tours of Indonesia include Maleo, Pink-headed Fruit Dove, Sumba Hornbill, Rote Boobook, Rinjani Scops Owl, Black-banded Flycatcher, Flores Crow, Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise, (Wallace’s) Standardwing, King Bird-of-paradise, Black Sicklebill, Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Ivory-breasted Pitta, Green-backed Kingfisher, Biak Paradise Kingfisher, Numfor Paradise Kingfisher, Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Spotted Jewel-babbler, Bali Myna, and so many more!

The information here is general to all our Indonesia birding tours and we’ve also prepared tour-specific information for each of the above tours.


Ahead of our Indonesia birdwatching tours we will email you a detailed daily itinerary (along with arrival instructions) and we will provide you with a printed version of this on your arrival in Indonesia.

We will provide you with a bird list and list of other animals possible on the tour (or a blank sheet to write in any interesting wildlife sightings). At Birding Ecotours we always use the latest International Ornithological Congress (IOC) taxonomy for birds and for all other wildlife recorded we follow the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) taxonomy, so all our itineraries and checklists follow these taxonomies. We will complete eBird checklists for all birdwatching time during the tour and these can be shared with all participants who use eBird, if desired. Please provide your eBird user details to us at the beginning of the tour so we are able to do this.

Due to the complexities of bird taxonomy in the Indonesian region and naming of birds in the recommended Indonesia field guide, compared to the IOC taxonomy and Clements checklist (used in eBird), we will provide extensive and useful notes to accompany the bird list to help make the process of birding in the country easier and hopefully make keeping track of any future splits/lumps easier.

Every evening during the tour we will go through the daily bird and animal list, noting all the species recorded during the day. The list session is totally optional, we know that some of you are not fussed about the listing aspect of the trip, but others very much are. We will also go through the itinerary with you to let you know of any specifics to be aware of for the following day (such as information on what clothes and equipment will be needed, when we will be having breakfast, departure time from the hotel, and key target species we will be looking for, etc.).

Soon after the completion of the tour, we will email you a PDF copy of an illustrated trip report. This will include a complete checklist of all wildlife recorded during the tour and if we are able to get any interesting bird, animal, or landscape photographs these will be included in the trip report and will also be added to our new Flickr page (usually at a later date when time permits).


To visit Indonesia, you will require a visa on arrival (VOA) and a passport with at least six-months validity after your arrival date. Visas can be obtained on arrival in either Denpasar (Bali), Jakarta (Java), or Makassar (Sulawesi) or several other international airports, after your arrival in the country. The cost for this is currently Rp500,000 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR/Rp) and this can be paid in local currency by cash or card, and is approximately US$35, GBP£27, AU$50, Euro31 (June 2023). Only a 30-day VOA is available currently, the 60-day visa option that was possible pre-Covid 19 has not come back into existence. The 30-day VOA can be extended once in-country for another 30-days, but it is not an easy process and requires multiple embassy visits over multiple days. On arrival in Indonesia (or potentially before you will be allowed to board your flight), you will need to show the following:

  1. Proof of Covid-19 vaccinations (at least two doses) – these should be official documents, not appointment cards and they should have full details of your names that match your identification documents.
  2. Proof of having the SATUSEHAT application (app) on your phone, available as a free download from Apple App Store/Android equivalent etc.
  3. Proof of departure from Indonesia (e.g. your onward flight ticket out of Indonesia).

We refer you to the official Indonesian immigration website here where you can find all the details you need and the latest information. Clicking “EN” at the top right of the page will convert the page to English. On the visa page here, clicking “Bahasa Inggris” at the top left of the page will also convert the page to English. Please also refer to your own government information for additional details.

It is likely that you will have to show proof of onward travel on arrival in Indonesia (or before you are even allowed to board your flight). Most airlines will not actually let you board a plane to Indonesia without first seeing that you have a ticket to leave. Please make sure that you have all the necessary documents required and please contact us if you have any questions. Please talk to your local embassy, consulate, or immigration office as they will be aware of any recent changes that we may be unaware of. Indonesia has some very strict laws, and these can change often without much notice. Please read the full list of local laws as detailed on your government website. 

Please make sure that you bring a photocopy of your passport with you on the tour, this can be kept with other important documents like vaccine certificate, emergency contact details, and insurance documents.


As referenced in our standard Terms and Conditions, we strongly recommend that you purchase comprehensive trip cancellation insurance to protect against unexpected events that might cause delays and interruptions to travel. This insurance should also cover illness, medical issues, accidents, repatriation, loss of luggage or any valuable items, etc.


Please consult your local travel clinic or doctor regarding vaccine requirements before your tour to Indonesia. We recommend doing this around two months prior to the tour start date so that any vaccine courses can be completed in time.

Yellow Fever is not present in Indonesia, however, there is a certificate requirement for anyone arriving in Indonesia from countries with a risk of Yellow Fever transmission (including layovers in these countries of over twelve hours). Please refer to the World Health Organization’s list of countries where Yellow Fever transmission is possible, here. Please make yourself familiar with the Indonesia Covid-19 vaccination entry requirements ahead of the tour.

Everyone visiting Indonesia should be up to date with standard vaccinations and boosters, like Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio and Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR). Most people should be vaccinated for Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus, and Typhoid. Some people should be vaccinated for Cholera, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, and Tuberculosis.

Please refer to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website here, for further information on vaccines and how to stay healthy in Indonesia. Another great source of data is the “Travel Health Pro” website, information on Indonesia can be seen here. Both these linked webpages are worth studying ahead of joining the tour.

Malaria is low risk throughout most of Indonesia, with the exception of Papua, where it is considered high risk (see our Indonesia: West Papua tour-specific information for further details). Other insect (or tick) borne bites can lead to Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya, Leishmaniasis, Scrub (Bush) Typhus (a rash from Chiggers) so these are all worth being aware of. Insect repellent with a high DEET content is highly recommended for most of the areas we visit in Indonesia (DEET works against both ticks and mosquitoes).  

Tap water is not potable throughout Indonesia. Contaminated water can lead to Leptospirosis and Schistosomiasis so care should be taken to avoid any potentially contaminated water and adjacent areas. Diarrheal diseases are very common throughout Indonesia. Airborne and droplet transmitted diseases such as Avian/Bird Flu and Hantavirus are present in Indonesia. 

We recommend that any scratches from plants (see the “Dangerous Animals and Plants” section below) or bites from insects should be cleaned, treated with antiseptic cream/wipes, and covered quickly to reduce the chance of any unpleasant infection.

Sunscreen (rated SPF 30+) should be used frequently, and a sunhat should be worn to protect from the sun’s powerful rays, with sunglasses used to help prevent glare. A plentiful intake of water (please bring a reusable water bottle, which we can fill daily with safe drinking water) is essential to maintain hydration.

Poor air quality is a significant public health concern around the world and can be problematic in Indonesia in cities and rural areas. Air quality in major cities can reach levels considered ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’, or ‘unhealthy’. Ash plumes from volcanoes can affect air quality and have an impact on health. Our tours occur during the dry season (see the “Weather/Climate” sections of the tour-specific information for each tour) when widespread forest fires can occur – particularly in Sumatra and Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), this can result in poor air quality across parts of Indonesia. Please be aware of this if you have any underlying breathing or respiratory health issues (e.g. asthma) and prepare accordingly.

The standard of health services in Indonesia are lower than what you will be familiar with at home. Bringing a supply of commonly required medicines and creams, etc. can be useful and efficient. The CDC website provides a list of suggested items to pack that may help on your trip to Indonesia, here. Earplugs are always useful, especially if you are a light sleeper.

Indonesia sits along the ‘Ring of Fire’ and is prone to natural disasters as a result of this, as well as due to extreme weather events. Earthquakes can lead to direct damage as well as cause landslides and tsunamis. There are hundreds of active volcanoes in Indonesia, any of which can erupt without warning. Flooding is a frequent problem during the rainy season (generally September – February). Our tours should miss this period, however damage from a previous flooding (or a previous natural disaster) could take many months to be cleaned up. The Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika (BMKG), or in English, the Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency website has lots of information on the above. They have an alert system in place and a mobile application (app) which is very useful.

Please also be sure to check the “Dangerous Animals and Plants” section below.


Please make sure you are suitably covered with comprehensive medical insurance in the instance of any emergency situation while on any of our Indonesian bird tours. Without insurance, the cost for medical care is likely to be very high. As detailed in Birding Ecotours’ general Terms and Conditions, we require you to notify us when signing up for this tour of any medical conditions that we should be aware of. The sort of things we should know about include, but are not be limited to, any walking/mobility issues, diabetes, epilepsy, food and medicinal allergies, heart conditions, and long-term illnesses etc.

Some of the places we are birding in the tour are very remote and without many medical facilities. In the case of medical treatment being required, this might necessitate flying to a different island with suitable medical facilities, the costs for this sort of situation can be expensive (requiring extra flights etc.).


Indonesia is defined as a megadiverse country with thousands of creatures present across the thousands of islands. Some of the islands are home to megafauna and some of these are dangerous, though the chance of coming into contact with them are extremely low, such as (Sumatran) Tiger, (Javan) Leopard, Asian Elephant (Sumatran and Bornean forms sometimes split and called Pygmy Elephants), and Javan Rhinoceros. While not as big or as spectacular, monkeys, such as the macaque family found mainly in western Indonesia can pose a threat due to their being particularly aggressive and potentially biting you. Feral dogs should be given a wide berth also, due to the chance of contracting rabies if bitten.  

Komodo Dragon is the largest living lizard in the world (growing to a massive ten feet / three meters) and weighing in at 200 pounds (90 kilograms). We will be looking for this deadly giant in the (heavily controlled) environment on Komodo Island on our Lesser Sunda Islands tour. Other reptiles we will need to be considerate of, include Saltwater Crocodile and many poisonous snakes (such as King Cobra, Malayan (Blue) Krait, White-lipped Tree Viper, and Southern Indonesian (Javan) Spitting Cobra). 

There are many dangerous creatures in the oceans of the region, including the Australian Box Jellyfish (Sea Wasp), “Blue-ringed Octopus” (its venom is 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide!), and plenty more. If you go snorkeling in Indonesia, make sure not to touch anything, and keep your wits about you.

All wildlife should be viewed from a safe distance to prevent disturbance and care should be taken when walking in the forest, particularly where you put your hands and feet when moving through vegetation. A wide range of “creepy crawlies” are to be expected throughout Indonesia, such as biting or stinging scorpions, spiders, ants, rove beetles, ticks, centipedes, wasps (e.g. Megalara garuda), and mosquitoes, etc. Before you put your boots on in the morning, please check there is nothing hiding inside of them.

Our Indonesia birdwatching tours take place during the dry season and therefore the chance of coming across Leeches are lower than at other times of the year. They are an annoyance rather than being a real health issue, though we acknowledge they can cause angst! Insect repellent sprayed on shoes and ankles can help to keep them at bay (as well as being great for reducing issues with other annoying creatures such as ticks, mosquitoes, and chiggers). “Leech socks” can be worth having within your luggage, should we hit an unusually wet period or area during the tour. Leech socks can be purchased fairly easily online.

Many tropical plants are protected by rather ghastly spikes, needles, or sharp thorns so that they don’t become food to a wide range of animals. Sometimes these appendages are used to help pull themselves through other plants to reach the canopy and the sun. These projections can be rather painful if they pierce the skin and can catch and rip clothing. Please do not just grab plants without checking for any potentially sharp or painful spikes etc. (this is also a good way of reducing the chance of getting ant, spider, and snake bites).


It is not safe to drink the tap water in Indonesia. Bottled mineral water is safe and available everywhere (please bring a reusable water bottle to help us reduce the amount of plastic waste generated during the tour). The majority of alcoholic drinks are usually inexpensive, but in some areas the sale of alcohol is prohibited (or it is difficult and expensive to get hold of) due to religious reasons. Coffee and tea are commonly found across the country but are usually not of the taste/standard familiar in the west, so if you have particular preferences for hot drinks, it would be worth bringing your own supply with you. Note that getting fresh milk is not often possible on most of our tours, powdered milk or UHT might should be possible in most places, but shouldn’t be taken for granted. Most coffee comes in a 3-in-1 packet containing coffee, powdered milk, and sugar and is not to everyone’s taste as they are usually very sweet!

Mealtimes are likely to be somewhat flexible depending on our birding or travel plans for the day and so if you need to eat food at a specific time of day (e.g. to accompany any medication you are on) we recommend that you bring snacks to supplement the meals, such as cereal bars/protein bars, dried fruit etc. There may be the opportunity to purchase some snacks from a convenience store/bakery while we are passing through the cities on some tours, however, if you want items that are recognizable then it is probably best to bring these from home.

If you have any dietary requirements or food allergies, please let us know when you book the tour, so we can advise whether it will be suitable for you and make sure we can notify the people who will be preparing meals ahead of time.

Please see the tour-specific information for further details regarding “Food and Meals”.


The Indonesian rupiah (Rp/IDR) is the official currency of Indonesia. The rupiah is divided into 100 sen (sen are obsolete due to the high inflation rate – the currency is the fourth weakest in the world). The most frequently used notes are Rp1,000, Rp2,000, Rp5,000, Rp10,000, Rp20,000, Rp50,000, Rp75,000, and Rp100,000. Coins frequently used are of the values Rp100, Rp200, Rp500, and Rp1,000. New smaller-sized notes are currently (June 2023) being added into circulation.

When we are in large hotels, shops, and restaurants in tourist areas or major cities, Visa and Mastercard can usually be used, but note if there are problems with the electricity supply or the phone/internet connection then payments by these methods might not work.

It is worth noting many transactions are made with cash in Indonesia, so a supply of cash is useful for any personal expenses you may incur (such as drinks, souvenirs, gratuities, and laundry etc.). It is possible to withdraw cash from ATMs, but bank charges are likely to apply. You may need to notify your card supplier about your trip, so you do not find a block on your card preventing its use. Not all foreign bank cards are accepted in all ATMs. Note that in Indonesia the ATM machines usually limit the amount of cash you can get out in one go (usually Rp2,000,000 or Rp3,000,000). They also give you your cash before they return the card, so be careful not to walk away from the ATM without having your card returned. Please see the tour-specific information for extra important information for the different tours.

It will be possible to exchange or draw money at the ­airports and some of the major cities we visit but away from the cities getting cash out can be difficult or simply impossible. We recommend that you draw cash/exchange currency at the international airports as this is likely to be the most convenient for everyone. Please note that any bills dated 1996 or 1999 will not be accepted anywhere in Indonesia due to counterfeiting problems in the past and also note that throughout Indonesia, people will not accept bills that are worn or ripped. A rip of only 1/16th of an inch can make a bill unusable.


In Indonesia the power plugs and sockets are of Type C (known as the standard “Euro” plug) and Type F (known as the “Schuko” plug). The standard voltage is 230 volts (V), and the standard frequency is 50 hertz (Hz). Plug types C, E, and F will also work in these sockets. Further details (and photos) can be found here.

Adaptors are likely to be needed for some visitors from overseas, you may also need a voltage converter and should be careful with certain appliances that utilize different frequencies. You can use your electric appliances in Indonesia, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia, and most of Asia and Africa). If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100 – 127 V (as is in the US, Canada, and most South American countries), you need a voltage converter in Indonesia.


All our Indonesia bird tours require domestic flights, sometimes the costs for these are included within the tour cost and sometimes they are not. Please refer to the tour-specific documents for further details, including information on baggage allowance for these flights. Flight delays are a constant issue, so patience is required.


Loose, lightweight field clothing with green, brown, or dark colors works best while we are birding in the forest. Sand and khaki-type colors are fine for when birding coastal areas. Please avoid bright colors for birding time (for example no pale colors in forests and no white, red, orange etc. anywhere during birding time). Due to the huge illegal bird trapping and hunting issues in Indonesia some birds at some locations are particularly sensitive to human presence and so we need to blend in with our environments as much as possible and our choice of clothing plays a vital part in that.  

Given the potential insect issues in the forest (and strong tropical sun), we suggest trousers/long pants and long-sleeved shirts (these can be rolled up should you get too hot) for all birding activities. Some people may be more comfortable wearing shorts at the coastal sites, though again please be aware of biting insects, spiky plants, and the sun which can all result in lots of discomfort.

If you are joining our Java and Bali, Sulawesi and Halmahera, or our West Papua birding tours you will need to bring some warmer clothes due to higher elevations visited. Please refer to the tour-specific information for these tours as they cover a range of elevations where different clothing will be needed. 

Although we will be birding during the dry season in Indonesia, rain is always a possibility, so light rain gear (and a small umbrella) is always worth having as a back-up.

Casual and informal dress is appropriate for the hotels/accommodation we use. Swimwear can be useful as there may be opportunities to swim at some of the accommodations. Sunglasses, sunhat, and sunscreen (rated SPF 30 or higher) are essential.

Lightweight walking boots are recommended for all of our Indonesian tours as they give extra ankle support while walking (necessary given some of the trails we will be birding on) and added protection against animal stings/bites. A pair of sandals (flipflops) or trainers (tennis shoes) can be useful for when in vehicles and when walking between your room and restaurant in the hotels. Rubber boots can be useful in some circumstances. Please refer to the tour-specific documents for further important information on clothing.


Do not forget: Binoculars, camera, field guide (see “Books” section below), flashlight (torch – e.g. headtorch), spare batteries, power bank, converter plugs, plug adaptors, chargers, prescription drugs (please bring the generic names for these drugs with you), toiletries, prescription glasses (and a spare pair), insect repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses, alarm clock, money pouch, hiking poles/walking sticks, suggested medical kit (see here), and daypacks.

Our tour leader/local guide will have a communal telescope for use during the tour, on some of our Indonesian bird tours the scope will be more useful than on others. The communal scope will allow everyone opportunities to look at birds briefly on a rotation basis. If you like to “digi-scope/phone-scope”, or you would like to take prolonged scope views of the birds, please bring your own scope to do so, the communal scope will be for everyone to look at the birds but not for photography.  

Some additional items to remember to bring include important travel documents, passport, cash (or ATM/credit cards to draw money), proof of vaccinations, and your travel or health insurance cards – photocopies of all can be carried by the tour leader in case of emergency.

Bringing a couple of different colored pens along with a 12-inch (30 centimeter) ruler can make the checklist session easier to follow.  

Please refer to the tour-specific documents for further information of items to bring on the individual tours. Additional details on what to bring on a birding tour can be seen on our informative blog post here.


Indonesia is a fairly safe country with some very friendly people, particularly for the type of tourism activities we will be undertaking on our tour. However, street crime and pickpocketing are a concern in the big cities, tourist areas, ports, and airports. Take particular care of your passport and bank cards. Credit card fraud and scams are common. If you do any sightseeing or arrive ahead of the tour or stay later, only book taxis with a reputable firm (such as Bluebird, Silverbird, or Express), your hotel should be able to book these for you or you can use the official desks at the airports. Avoid unlicensed and lookalike competitors.  

Please store any personal items in hotel safety deposit boxes, though note that many of the places we stay on our Indonesian tours will not have such facilities, so the best advice is probably to not bring anything of value that isn’t really essential to the tour (e.g. jewelry etc.).

Domestic terrorism and political violence can erupt at any time and there has been several areas that have been particular flashpoints over recent years, these have included Jakarta (mainly student protests), West Papua, Central Sulawesi (e.g. Palu), Maluku Province, and Aceh (where Sharia Law is in force). The overall political situation in Indonesia is considered to be stable now, but can change if there is an election (or related activity) within the country, or the Middle East. Avoid any and all protests, demonstrations, and political rallies as they can turn violent. We are constantly monitoring the situation on the ground where our tours operate. Please see the tour-specific information for further information.


The official language is Indonesian (locally known as Bahasa Indonesia), a standardized form of Malay, which serves as the lingua franca of the archipelago. The vocabulary of Indonesian borrows heavily from regional languages of Indonesia, such as Javanese, Sundanese, and Minangkabau, as well as from Dutch, Sanskrit, Portuguese, Arabic, and more recently English. Our local guides will help with translating when needed.


Indonesia covers a huge area and until recently suitable field guides have been thin on the ground. Now there are two modern books that cover the region, one covering the Indonesian archipelago (includes Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Bali, Sulawesi, Halmahera, Flores, Sumba, Timor, and thousands of smaller islands) and the other covering the island of New Guinea (which includes the Indonesian part of the island in the west and Papua New Guinea in the east):

Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago: Greater Sundas and Wallacea – James A Eaton et al. (2021), Lynx Edicions. 2nd Edition. We would suggest using the flexibound version of the 2nd edition of this book, rather than the hardback or 1st edition versions that are also available. This guide is recommended for our Bali and Java birding tour, Lombok birding tour, Sulawesi and Halmahera birding tour, and our Lesser Sunda Islands birding tour. This book is also good for our Borneo birding tours. 

Birds of New Guinea: Including Bismarck Archipelago and Bougainville – Phil Gregory (2017), Lynx Edicions. Unfortunately, there is only a hardback version of this book currently and it might now be out of print according to some book seller websites. Recommended for our West Papua birding tour and our Biak, Numfor, and Kofiau birding tour (though also see the first book mentioned below for a good alternative).

Note: The taxonomy used in the above field guides is very advanced and ahead of its time, it is therefore quite different to the well-established world bird lists (e.g. IOC and Clements/eBird, which are gradually catching up with the taxonomy used in these field guides, i.e. accepting many of the splits/lumps suggested in these field guides). We will provide everyone who books onto our Indonesian tours with a full comparative list of bird names to make the process of understanding the birds found in Indonesia easier. 

Please take a look at our recommended field guide blog for additional information on this region. Some of the other bird books relevant to Indonesia include:

Birds of New Guinea – Thane K Pratt and Bruce M Beehler (2014), Princeton University Press, 2nd Edition.

Birds of the Philippines, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Borneo, Sulawesi, the Lesser Sundas and the Moluccas – Norman Arlott (2018) William Collins (HarperCollins imprint).

Phillipps’ Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo: Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan – Quentin Phillipps (2014), John Beaufoy Publishing, 3rd Edition.

Birds of Borneo – Susan Myers (2016), Helm, 2nd Edition.

A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Indonesia – Morten Strange (2012), Periplus Editions.

Birds of Java, Sumatra and Bali – Tony Tilford and Alain Compost (2017), Bloomsbury Publishing.

A Guide to the Birds of Wallacea: Sulawesi, The Moluccas and Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia – Brian J Coates and K David Bishop (1997), Dove Publications.

A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali – J MacKinnon (1993), Oxford University Press.

Birds of Bali – Victor Mason (1989), Periplus Editions.

The Birds of Sulawesi – Derek Holmes (1996), Oxford University Press.

Other specific interest books, such as those covering reptiles, mammals, etc.:

A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Bali – Indraneil Das (2015), Bloomsbury Publishing.

The Snakes of the Lesser Sunda Islands (Nusa Tenggara), Indonesia A Field Guide to the Terrestrial and Semi-aquatic Snakes with Identification Key – Ruud de Lang (2011), Edition Chimaira.

The Snakes of Java, Bali and Surrounding Islands – Ruud de Lang (2017), Edition Chimaira.

The Snakes of Sulawesi: A Field Guide to the Land Snakes of Sulawesi with Identification Keys – Ruud de Lang (2005), Edition Chimaira.

The Snakes of the Moluccas (Maluku), Indonesia: A Field Guide to the Land and Non-Marine Aquatic Snakes of the Moluccas with Identification Key – Ruud de Lang (2013), Edition Chimaira.

A Field Guide to the Snakes of Borneo – Robert B Stuebing et al. (2014), Natural History Publications Borneo, 2nd Edition.

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Bali – Ruchira Somaweera (2020), John Beaufoy Publishing, 2nd Edition.

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Mammals of Southeast Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – Chris R Shepherd and Loretta Ann Shepherd (2018), John Beaufoy Publishing.

Field Guide to the Mammals of South-East Asia – Charles M Francis (2019), Bloomsbury Publishing. Second Edition.

Indonesian Primates – Sharon Gursky and Jatna Supriatna (Eds.) (2010), Springer Nature.

Phillipps’ Field Guide to the Mammals of Borneo and their Ecology: Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan – Quentin Phillipps (2018), John Beaufoy Publishing, 2nd Edition.

A Handbook of New Guinea’s Marsupials and Monotremes – James I Menzies (2011), University of Papua New Guinea Press.

Field Guide to the Dragonflies of New Guinea/Buku Panduan Lapangan Capung Jarum untuk Wilayah New Guinea – Albert G Orr and Vincent J Kalkman (2015), Nederlandse Vereniging voor Libellenstudie.

Notodontidae of the Indonesian Archipelago (Lepidoptera), Volume 1 – Alexander Schintlmeister (2020), E J Brill.

A Field Guide to Tropical Reef Fishes of the Indo-Pacific: Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam – Gerald R Allen (2020), Tuttle Publishing, 5th Edition.

The Ecology of Kalimantan: Indonesian Borneo – Kathy MacKinnon et al. (1997), Oxford University Press.


You can listen to and download many Indonesian bird calls and songs from the highly recommended xeno-canto website. However, it’s worth being aware that quite a lot of the vocalizations are restricted now due to the illegal bird trade and trapping issues faced throughout the region. Many species recordings can be found on eBird species pages. 


Aves Vox – an app enabling you to download bird songs from the xeno-canto website onto your cell phone, for species that do not have restricted access due to the illegal bird trade.

eBird – loads of information easy to gather on your cell phone or other devices such as tablet and computer. Sound, photo, and video galleries exist for almost every species in Indonesia via the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library.

IOC World Bird List – the website gives all the latest information on world bird taxonomy according to the scientific body that we at Birding Ecotours follow. You can learn about species that have been newly described, any recent and past splits (creation of a new species, which is happening a lot in Indonesia) and lumps (deletion of a species) of existing species, and plenty of additional useful information.

Lonely Planet – contains reams of information on Indonesia, though some of the places we will be going are not likely to be mentioned. If you are interested in extending your stay in Indonesia before or after the tour, this will help you find some must-see places.

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