Birding Tour New Caledonia: Kagu and Other Endemics


Dates and Costs

 

18 – 23 November 2023

Price: US$3,700 / £2,797 / €3,225 per person sharing based on 4-8 participants.

Single Supplement: US$660 / £499 / €575

 

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

 

08 – 13 September 2024

Price: US$3,700 / £2,797 / €3,225 per person sharing based on 4-8 participants.

Single Supplement: US$660 / £499 / €575


Tour Details

Duration: 6 days
Group Size: 4 – 8
Tour Start: Nouméa (La Tontouta International Airport), New Caledonia
Tour End: Nouméa (La Tontouta International Airport), New Caledonia


Price includes:

All accommodation (from Day 1 to Day 5 as described)
Meals (from dinner on Day 1 until lunch on Day 6)
Drinking water – please bring a refillable water bottle
Expert tour leader and guide
Birdwatching site entrance fees
All ground transport and tolls/taxes while on tour, including airport pick-up and drop-off

Price excludes:

Flights to/from Nouméa (La Tontouta International Airport), New Caledonia
Expenditures due to flight cancellations/delays or other causes beyond our control (force majeure) 
Visa fees if visa required
Departure tax
Items of a personal nature, e.g. porter fees, gifts, laundry, internet access, phone calls, etc.
Any pre- or post-tour accommodation, meals, or birding/sightseeing/monument excursions
Soft/alcoholic drinks
Personal travel insurance
Gratuities (please see our tipping guidelines blog)

Birding Tour New Caledonia: Kagu and Other Endemics
November 2023/
September 2024

 

This small group, short tour, visits the island of Grande Terre, New Caledonia, and focuses on the many exciting endemic birds found across the island. Grande Terre is part of an ancient archipelago of Gondwanan (continental) origin. Most of the island is covered in tropical evergreen forest at higher elevations, while savanna and maquis dominate the lower elevations. Most famous for being the home of the unique Kagu (a highly sought-after monotypic family), Grande Terre hosts a total of 22 island endemics as well as about a dozen more Melanesian endemics. We will spend time birding at the following areas: Parc de la Rivière Bleue, Mt Koghi, and La Farino reserve. The prime target will be finding the endemic star bird of New Caledonia, the charismatic Kagu.

New Caledonia birding toursKagu, our main endemic target of this trip which we will hope for repeated great views.

 

Most endemics found on Grande Terre should be encountered during our time here, and these include White-bellied Goshawk, Kagu, Cloven-feathered Dove, Goliath Imperial Pigeon, Horned Parakeet, New Caledonian Parakeet, New Caledonian Myzomela, Barred Honeyeater, New Caledonian Friarbird, New Caledonian Whistler, the tool-using New Caledonian Crow, New Caledonian Cuckooshrike, Yellow-bellied Flyrobin, Green-backed White-eye, Striated Starling, and Red-throated Parrotfinch. Two species, the Critically Endangered (IUCN) Crow Honeyeater and the increasingly rare New Caledonian Thicketbird, are becoming more difficult year on year but we will still try to find them in suitable areas where they may still be hanging on. Unfortunately, four endemic species are now considered likely to be extinct with no recent sightings, these include New Caledonian Nightjar, New Caledonian Owlet-nightjar, New Caledonian Rail, and New Caledonian Lorikeet.

New Caledonia birding toursNew Caledonian Crow is a fascinating species because it uses tools to forage.

 

If you would like to extend your time in New Caledonia after this short tour finishes, we can offer extensions to visit either, or both, of the nearby islands of Lifou and Ouvea (both part of New Caledonia). These islands are home to several endemic and range-restricted species not found on the main island of Grande Terre such as Ouvea Parakeet, Small Lifou White-eye, Large Lifou White-eye, Red-bellied Fruit Dove, Melanesian Whistler, Cardinal Myzomela, and Blue-faced Parrotfinch. Please just ask us about these optional extras and we would be happy to help.

In 2023 this short tour can be combined with either of the following two tours, Eastern Australia: From the Outback to the Wet Tropics (before) and/or New Zealand: Birding Extravaganza (after).

The striking Cardinal Myzomela can be found on the smaller islands of Lifou and Ouvea.

 

 

Itinerary (6 days/5 nights)

 

Day 1. Arrival in New Caledonia

Arrival at La Tontouta International Airport, Grande Terre, New Caledonia, and transfer to our hotel in Nouméa. Afternoon at leisure relaxing in our comfortable beachside hotel.

Overnight: Nouméa

 

Day 2. Full day birding at Mount Koghi

We will spend the full day birding Mount Koghi and the surrounding area for a range of endemic birds, such as the simply spectacular endemic Cloven-feathered Dove, which is a real assault on the eyes. We could also find White-bellied Goshawk, an endemic raptor that nests in the forests here. We will also look for the unique, tool-using New Caledonian Crow, and we may also get our first look at the humongous Goliath Imperial Pigeon, this is the largest arboreal pigeon in the world. Plenty of other great birds will be found throughout the day, we have recorded almost 50 species here during our tours in the past, no mean feat in New Caledonia! Some of the species we will look for include Metallic Pigeon, Melanesian Flycatcher, Southern Shrikebill, Striated Starling, and Green-backed White-eye.

Overnight: Nouméa

New Caledonia birding toursCloven-feathered Dove is one of the best-looking pigeons in the world! It needs to be seen to be believed!

 

Day 3. Full day birding at Parc de la Rivière Bleue

We will travel to Parc de la Rivière Bleue in search of endemic birds, including the star endemic, the flightless and extremely rare Kagu. We will focus our attention on finding this great bird and getting the best views, and hopefully photographs, possible. While searching for the Kagu we are likely to come across many other endemics and regional specials in this excellent reserve, such as New Caledonian Parakeet, New Caledonian Myzomela, Barred Honeyeater, New Caledonian Friarbird, Green-backed White-eye, Fan-tailed Gerygone, Metallic Pigeon, Goliath Imperial Pigeon, Sacred Kingfisher, South Melanesian Cuckooshrike, New Caledonian Cuckooshrike, Horned Parakeet, Southern Shrikebill, Yellow-bellied Flyrobin, Red-throated Parrotfinch, White-bellied Goshawk, Cloven-feathered Dove, and New Caledonian Crow. This is our best chance for the Critically Endangered Crow Honeyeater, a bird getting harder and harder to find each year, unfortunately.

Overnight: Nouméa

New Caledonia birding toursWhilst at Parc de la Rivière Bleue we will look for many endemic birds, such as this White-bellied Goshawk.

 

Day 4. Morning birding Parc Rivière Bleue and transfer to Sarraméa

We will spend the morning birding the Parc de la Rivière Bleue area once more, focusing on getting further good views and photographs of Kagu and keeping an eye out for any other endemics and targets we may still be searching for, such as the very rare Crow Honeyeater.

In the afternoon, we will transfer to the Farino area for a couple of nights’ stay in the central section of Grande Terre. In the afternoon we will look for another of the really rare birds of the island, New Caledonian Thicketbird. This is a super-skulking species and will require patience, but we hope to find them where we have found them during previous tours.

Overnight: Sarraméa

 

Day 5. Full day birding the Farino area

We will spend the full day birding around Farino and the surrounding area, such as Parc des Grandes Fougères. Again, we will target the rare New Caledonian Thicketbird while in suitable habitat, where we may also find Red-throated Parrotfinch. Other special birds here may include Cloven-feathered Dove, New Caledonian Crow, and Horned Parakeet among many other species such as Southern Shrikebill, Yellow-bellied Flyrobin, New Caledonian Whistler, and Striated Starling. The forests here also have a population of Kagu that is increasing in size due to predator control, so we may again bump into this unique species. White-bellied Goshawk and New Caledonian Crow are often around our accommodation so we will also look out for these.

Overnight: Sarraméa

New Caledonia birding toursThe endemic Red-throated Parrotfinch is one stunning bird and it can be seen in the Sarraméa area.

 

Day 6. Transfer from Sarraméa to La Tontouta International Airport, departure

We will have time for some morning birding around our hotel grounds and the local area, seeking out any other endemics or regional specials, such as Red-throated Parrotfinch, Melanesian Flycatcher, and Cloven-feathered Dove. A small group of waterbodies near our accommodation often hold a range of wildfowl and we will check this area for anything interesting, on previous tours we have found some great birds here, such as White-browed Crake, a national rarity.

After our final birding session we will transfer back to La Tontouta International Airport, where this short but endemic-packed tour concludes in the mid-afternoon.

Overnight: Not included

 

 

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, the discretion of the guides and other factors such as internal flight availability. In addition, we sometimes have to use a different international guide from the one advertised due to tour scheduling.

Download Itinerary

NEW CALEDONIA TRIP REPORT DECEMBER 2018

This is a sample trip report. Please email us ([email protected]) for more trip reports from this destination.

Andy is a superb guide with a wonderful knowledge of birds and where to find them. He is enthusiastic and keen, great company and a real pleasure to bird with. Our Australian trip was very successful in terms of sightings and also really enjoyable. Andy played a big part in that with his superb organisation, excellent birding skills, easy-going nature and positive attitude. I would happily join Andy on a birding trip again and hope to be able to do so later this year!

Janice — Kent, UK

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