Birding Tour Indonesia: Sulawesi and Halmahera October 2019

Tour Details

Duration: 18 days
Group Size: 4 – 8
Date Start: October 28, 2019
Date End: November 14, 2019
Tour Start: Manado
Tour End: Jakarta

Vehicles to be used:
North Sulawesi: a large bus, more than 10 seats
South and Central Sulawesi: minibus (Toyota), maximum three to six persons per car
Halmahera: minibus (Toyota), maximum three persons per car
4-wheel drive/pickup vehicle for a short trip to Foli (Halmahera)
Tangkoko: outrigger boat for Black-billed Kingfisher and White-rumped Cuckooshrike
Ternate to Sofifi: ferry

Tour Costs

Price: IDR97,127,682 / $6,977 / £5,435 / €6,112 per person sharing, assuming 4-8 participants.

Single Supplement: IDR13,306,680 / $956 / £744 / €837

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when making final payments.

Price includes:
Domestic flights (Manado – Ternate, Ternate – Manado, Manado – Makassar, Makassar—Palu, Palu – Luwuk, Luwuk – Palu, Palu – Jakarta)
All reserve entry fees shown in the itinerary
Accommodation
Meals (dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 18)
Mineral water
Conservation fees
Expert bird guide during the entire trip
Private transportation during the tour
Transfers to and from the airports

Price excludes:
International airfare
Personal insurance
Beverages (soft drinks and alcoholic drinks)
Camera fees in the parks
Items of a personal nature, such as laundry, souvenirs, etc.
Gratuities
Expenditures due to flight cancellations/delays or other causes beyond our control (force majeure)

Sulawesi and Halmahera Birding Spectacular 2019

 

Sulawesi, a large, four-pronged island of Indonesia that sits between Borneo and New Guinea, is an amazing destination absolutely teaming with Indonesian endemics. Nearby Halmahera is equally exciting – while much smaller, it hosts a couple of the most sought-after of the endemics. Probably most famous among the many endemic birds we’ll be looking for on this tour of these two islands is the Standardwing bird-of-paradise, whose raucous calls echo through the forest from their leks. Ivory-breasted Pitta, a plethora of stunningly-colored kingfishers which illuminate the forest, and mound-building Maleo are also top targets. Popular on this tour are also things like Purple-bearded Bee-eater and brightly-colored parrots (especially on Halmahera, which is more Australasian than Sulawesi, although both islands are east of Wallace’s Line and thus poor in more Asian groups such as woodpeckers). Not only are the birds spectacular, but many endemic mammals also inhabit these islands. This itinerary gives us a chance to crisscross both islands to find many of the endemics and some of the really good mammals. 

 

Itinerary (18 days/17 nights) 

Day 1: Arrival in Manado – Tangkoko

A flight by Silk Air departs from Singapore directly to Manado. After arrival in Manado we will drive to Tangkoko Nature Reserve (two to three hours). We’ll spend the afternoon birding around the park; at this time we should get a chance to see one of the smallest primates on earth, the Spectral Tarsier, as well as the Celebes Crested Macaque.

Overnight: Tangkoko Lodge, Batuputih, or similar accommodation in Batuputih

Day 2. Tangkoko Nature Reserve

We’ll have a full day birding in the Tangkoko Nature Reserve for target species like Green-backed Kingfisher, Lilac Kingfisher, Ruddy Kingfisher, Sulawesi Dwarf Kingfisher, Sulawesi Pitta (split from “Red-bellied Pitta”), Spot-tailed Sparrowhawk, Blue-backed Parrot, Philippine Megapode, Stephan’s Emerald Dove, Ashy Woodpecker, Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker, Yellow-breasted Racket-tail, Golden-mantled Racket-tail, Grosbeak Starling, White-necked Myna, Sulawesi Myna, White-rumped Triller, Purple-winged Roller, Ochre-bellied Boobook, Red-backed Thrush, and Grey-sided and Yellow-sided Flowerpeckers. For part of the day we’ll use an outrigger canoe to boat across the mangrove forest to see Great-billed Kingfisher, White-rumped Cuckooshrike, Great-billed Heron, various frigatebirds, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Blue Rock Thrush, and a number of terns.

Overnight: Tangkoko Lodge, Batuputih, or similar accommodation near the reserve

Day 3. Tangkoko Nature Reserve

Today is the third day of birding in the park to look for species that possibly are still missing.

Overnight: Tangkoko Lodge, Batuputih, or similar accommodation near the reserve

Day 4. Tangkoko – Tomohon

In the morning we will continue birding Tangkoko Nature Reserve, again looking for species we might still be missing. After lunch we will drive to Tomohon to bird the Mount Mahawu Protected Forest for Barred Rail, Sulawesi Goshawk, Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher, Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker, Isabelline Bush-hen, and for a chance for Scaly-breasted Kingfisher.

Overnight: Mountain View Resort, Tomohon  

Day 5. Tomohon – Manado – flight to Ternate – Sofifi – Wasile

After breakfast we will drive to the airport in Manado for a flight scheduled to depart to the island of Ternate, North Maluku, and from there we’ll continue on a speedboat or ferry to Sofifi on the island of Halmahera, from where we’ll drive to the Wasile district. We’ll do some birding along the way for Blyth’s Hornbill, Blue-and-white Kingfisher, Sombre Kingfisher, Moluccan Cuckooshrike, Halmahera Cuckooshrike, Goliath Coucal, Long-billed Crow, Blue-capped Fruit Dove, Red-cheeked Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, Gurney’s Eagle, Moluccan Flycatcher, Spectacled Monarch, and Northern Golden Bulbul. We’ll also do some night birding here for Halmahera Boobook, Moluccan Scops Owl, and Moluccan Owlet-nightjar.

Overnight: Wisma Kita Homestay, Wasile

Day 6. Birding the Foli area

Today we depart early in the morning and drive to Foli, from where we walk to the lek of Standardwing. Their raucous calls echo through the forest, and we’ll spend a while enjoying these amazing birds. Then we continue birding along a logging road to look for Purple Dollarbird, Ivory-breasted Pitta, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Sombre Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Dusky Megapode, Halmahera Oriole, Spectacled Imperial Pigeon, Grey-headed Fruit Dove, Blue-capped Fruit Dove, Scarlet-breasted Fruit Dove, Chattering Lory, Moluccan Goshawk, Moluccan Hanging Parrot, Drab Whistler, White-naped Monarch, Paradise-crow, and Cream-throated White-eye. We’ll do some night birding again to look for Halmahera Boobook, Moluccan Scops Owl, and Moluccan Owlet-nightjar.

Overnight: Wisma Kita Homestay, Wasile

Day 7. Birding the Buli roadside

Today we will be birding along the Buli roadside for species that might still be missing, like White-naped Monarch, Dusky Friarbird, White-streaked Friarbird, Nicobar Pigeon, Violet-necked Lory, Gurney’s Eagle, Paradise-crow, Halmahera Cuckooshrike, Moluccan Cuckooshrike, Moluccan King Parrot, Chattering Lory, Halmahera Flowerpecker, Scarlet-breasted Fruit Dove, Moluccan Goshawk, and Moluccan Hanging Parrot.

Overnight: Wisma Kita Homestay, Wasile

Day 8. Foli – Binagara – Sofifi – Ternate

We’ll spend the morning looking for species we may have missed the day before and then continue to Sofifi. After breakfast we drive to Binagara, where there is a chance to look for Invisible Rail, and then continue toward Sofifi. Our afternoon birding will be at Binagara. Species here include Ivory-breasted Pitta, Chattering Lory, Goliath Coucal, and Azure Dollarbird. On arrival in Sofifi our birding continues in the mangrove forest to look for Beach Kingfisher. Finally we will be traveling by speedboat or ferry, returning to Ternate.

Overnight: The Batik Hotel, Ternate

Day 9. Ternate – flight to Makassar/Rammang-Rammang

After breakfast we’ll transfer to the airport for a flight to Makassar. After arrival in Makassar we will be birding near the airport to look for Barred Buttonquail, Pale-headed Munia, and Lemon-bellied White-eye. Then we’ll drive to the village of Rammang-Rammang. Our afternoon birding will be in a secondary forest to look for Black-ringed White-eye, Sunda Teal, Sulawesi Pitta, Sulawesi Babbler, Piping Crow, Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, Speckled Boobook, Minahassa Masked Owl, and Sulawesi Masked Owl.

Overnight: Rammang – Rammang Eco Lodge or Dalton Hotel, Makassar

Day 10.  Rammang – Rammang – Karaenta Forest – Malino

We depart early in the morning and drive through the Karaenta Forest for a chance at seeing Black-headed Kingfisher, Piping Crow, and subspecies of Sulawesi Hornbill and Sulawesi Streaked Flycatcher. Afterwards the trip continues, driving five to six hours to Malino. Afternoon birding will be on farm lands to look for Pale-vented Myna.

Overnight: Syafira Guest House, Malino

Day 11. Malino (Gunung Lompobattang) – Makassar – flight to Palu

We’ll rise early in the morning and then hike up to the Lompobattang Forest to look for key species like Lompobattang Flycatcher, Lompobattang Leaf Warbler, Lompobattang Fruit Dove, and a subspecies of Hylocitrea.

Afterward we drive back to Makassar to catch a flight scheduled to depart at night to Palu.

Overnight: Sutan Raja Hotel near the airport, Palu

Day 12. Palu – flight to Luwuk – Taima

In the morning we will fly to Luwuk and then drive four to five hours to Taima. We’ll be birding along the way. Keep your eyes open for Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, Sulawesi Honey Buzzard, Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle, and other endemic species. In the afternoon we’ll be birding for Maleo at its nesting ground on a white, sandy beach.

Overnight: Home Sweet Home, Taima

Day 13. Birding the Taima forest – Luwuk

In the morning we’ll be birding the Taima forest, hoping to see Maleo (again?) and many fascinating lowland Sulawesi species. After lunch we will be driving to Luwuk, again making birding stops along the way.

Overnight: Santika Hotel, Luwuk

Day 14. Luwuk – flight to Palu – Lore Lindu

After breakfast we’ll transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Palu. From there we continue driving toward Lore Lindu for three to four hours. We’ll be birding along the way for a chance to see Pale-vented Myna and Pale-headed Munia.

Overnight: Nasional Homestay, Wuasa, or Ranger’s homestay near the park

Day 15. Birding Lore Lindu National Park: roadside and Lake Tambing

We’ll spend two days exploring one of Indonesia’s most famous parks. Today we’ll bird in the early morning along the roadside to find Cinnabar Boobook and Sulawesi Thrush, then continue to Lake Tambing to see more endemic species like Sulawesi Drongo, Dark-eared Myza, Citrine Lorikeet, Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher, Blue-fronted Blue Flycatcher, Spot-tailed Sparrowhawk, Dwarf Sparrowhawk, Sulawesi Goshawk, Malia, Pygmy Cuckooshrike, Cerulean Cuckooshrike, Streak-headed White-eye, Sulawesi Leaf Warbler, Fiery-browed Starling, and much more… We will do some night birding to look for Speckled Boobook, Sulawesi Masked Owl, and Minahassa Masked Owl.

Overnight: Nasional Homestay, Wuasa, or Ranger’s homestay near the park

Day 16. Birding Lore Lindu National Park: Anaso track and Padaeha roadside

We’ll depart very early in the morning, hiking up the Anaso track to look for our target species: Satanic Nightjar, Grey-headed Imperial Pigeon, Sombre Pigeon, Great Shortwing, Purple-bearded Bee-eater, White-eared Myza, Mountain Serin, and Hylocitrea. After that we’ll continue to the Padaeha roadside for other endemic species such as Sulawesi Cicadabird, Piping Crow, Knobbed Hornbill, Rufous-throated Flycatcher, Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher, Ivory-backed Woodswallow, and Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker.

Overnight: Nasional Homestay, Wuasa, or Ranger’s homestay near the park

Day 17. Lore Lindu National Park – Palu/Poboya-Paneki Forest Park

After breakfast we’ll still be birding in the park to look for species that may be missing, and then we’ll drive to Palu and head to the Poboya-Paneki Forest Park for a chance to find Sulawesi Pitta if missed in Tangkoko and Makassar. Other species should be seen like Sulawesi Hornbill, Grey-sided Flowerpecker, Yellow-sided Flowerpecker, Black Sunbird, Pale Blue Monarch, Sulawesi Triller, Purple Needletail, Maroon-chinned Fruit Dove, Sulawesi Swiftlet, etc.

Overnight: Mercure Hotel, Palu

Day 18. Palu – flight to Jakarta for departure

Today early in the morning we will fly by Garuda Indonesia airline directly to Jakarta, from where you will connect with your international flights home. End of service.

Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability  of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads or birding sites, and the discretion of the guides and other factors.  

Download Itinerary

We just returned from our trip to Thailand. It was wonderful. Thank you very much for arranging our tour with Andy Walker. He was the best guide we ever had. He is knowledgeable, easy going, hard working, and has all the qualities that people expect from a guide. We really enjoyed birding with him. We would be happy to go birding with him any time and would highly recommend him as a guide to any of our friends.

Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to have him as our guide.

Our Best Regards,

Ahmad and Sue – Canada

Accommodations: 

Tangkoko Lodge or Tangkoko Hill Cottage in Tangkoko (North Sulawesi)
-Has shower, but no hot water in the rooms
-Has western-style toilets in the rooms
-Has air conditioning and a fan in the rooms
-Has mosquito nets in the rooms
-No swimming pool 

Mountain View Resort or Highland Resort in Tomohon (North Sulawesi)
-Has shower, has hot water in the rooms
-Has western-style toilets in the rooms
-Has WiFi connection, but not in the rooms
-No air conditioning, no fan in the rooms, not needed (located in highlands, cooler place)
-No mosquito nets in the rooms, not really needed
-No swimming pool

Wisma Kita Homestay in Wasile (Eastern Halmahera)
-Has shower, but no hot water in the rooms
-Has western-style toilets in the rooms
-No WiFi connection
-Has air conditioning and a fan in the rooms
-No mosquito nets in the rooms, not really needed
-No swimming pool

The Batik Hotel in Ternate (North Moluccas)
-Has shower and hot water in the rooms
-Has western-style toilets in the rooms
-Has WiFi connection in the rooms
-Has air conditioning in the rooms
-No mosquito nets in the rooms, not really needed
-No swimming pool

Rammang-Rammang Eco Lodge in Makassar (South Moluccas)
-Has shower, but no hot water in the rooms
-Has western-style toilets in the rooms
-No WiFi connection in the rooms
-No air conditioning, but has a fan in the rooms
-Has mosquito nets in the rooms
-No swimming pool

Dalton Hotel in Makassar (South Sulawesi)
-Has shower and hot water in the rooms
-Has western-style toilets in the rooms
-Has WiFi connection in the rooms
-Has air conditioning in the rooms
-No mosquito nets in the rooms, not needed
-Has swimming pool

Syafira Guesthouse in Malino (South Sulawesi)
-Has shower and hot water in the rooms
-Has western-style toilets in the rooms
-No WiFi connection
-No air conditioning in the rooms, not needed (located in highlands, cooler place)
-No mosquito nets in the rooms, not needed
-No swimming pool

Sutan Raja Hotel near airport in Palu (Central Sulawesi)
-Has shower and hot water in the rooms
-Has western-style toilets in the rooms
-Has WiFi connection in the rooms
-Has air conditioning in the rooms
-No mosquito nets in the rooms, not needed
-Has swimming pool 

Home Sweet Home in Taima (Central Sulawesi), a very simple accommodation
-Only has one sharing shower available outside of the bungalows
-Has one shared western-style toilet
-No WiFi connection
-No air conditioning in the rooms and no fan either. Located near a beach, has a nice breeze
-Has mosquito nets in the rooms
-No swimming pool

Santika Hotel in Luwuk (Central Sulawesi)
-Has shower and hot water in the rooms
-Has western-style toilets in the rooms
-Has WiFi connection in the rooms
-Has air conditioning in the rooms
-No mosquito nets in the rooms, not needed.
-Has swimming pool

Nasional Homestay in Wuasa – Lore Lindu (Central Sulawesi)
-Has shower, but no hot water in the rooms, but provides boiled water
-Has western-style toilets in the rooms
-No WiFi connection
-No air conditioning in the rooms and no fan either (located in highlands, cooler place)
-Has mosquito nets in the rooms
-No swimming pool

Mercure Hotel near Palu (Central Sulawesi)
-Has shower and hot water in the rooms
-Has western-style toilets in the rooms
-Has WiFi connection in the rooms
-Has air conditioning in the rooms
-No mosquito nets in the rooms, not needed
-Has swimming pool