Duration: 21 days
Group Size: 4 – 8
Date Start: February 20, 2020
Date End: March 12, 2020
Tour Start: Manila
Tour End: Manila
Accommodation: hot shower and private bath in Luzon and Palawan, basic dormitory in Kitanglad.
Join our Birding Tour Philippines adventure now! From a birding point of view, the Philippines uniquely combine influences from tropical Southeast Asia and the more temperate parts of the continent (Japan, China, and Korea). About a third of the country’s birds are endemic, including some of the most spectacular species on the planet. Philippine Eagle is the largest eagle on earth and is reason enough for most wildlife enthusiasts to visit this island nation. This is, quite simply, one of the “must-visit immediately” countries of the world, since the birds are quite literally going extinct due to massive-scale deforestation. Palawan Peacock-Pheasant, Luzon Bleeding-heart, 17 endemic owl species, six kingfishers, 10 hornbills, 11 parrots, two broadbills, two pittas, Celestial Monarch (which truly does look celestial), and Sulphur-billed Nuthatch are just a few of the 223 endemic birds that are becoming increasingly out of reach to the birder as each year goes by.
All domestic flights are included in the price.
Itinerary (21 days/20 nights)
Days 1 – 3. Luzon, Subic Rainforest
Our guests arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), serving Manila on the island of Luzon. We will then travel by land to the Subic Rainforest in the Luzon Montane Rainforests Ecoregion to start the first leg of the tour, targeting lowland endemics of the Luzon Faunal Region. We will spend three days here looking for Luzon specialties.
Days 4 – 7. Luzon, Mount Makiling
We will transfer from Subic to Mount Makiling to look for more Luzon endemics. We will try to see some lowland and mid-montane endemics for four days. We hope to see Luzon Hawk-Owl, Philippine Eagle-Owl, Luzon Hornbill, Guaiabero, Scaly Thrush, Montane Racket-tail, Elegant Tit, Lowland and Mountain White-eyes, White-browed Shama, three species of pittas (Hooded, Philippine, and Whiskered), several sunbird species, and more.
Days 8 – 14. Mindanao, Bislig
We will transfer to NAIA Terminal 3 and take a one-hour flight to Butuan City on the island of Mindanao. Then we’ll travel by land for three hours to reach Bislig City. We will spend seven days of birding here for a taste of lowland Mindanao specialties including Wattled Broadbill, three endemic species of Hornbills (Mindanao, Writhed, and Rufous), Azure-breasted Pitta, four endemic species of Kingfishers (Hombron’s, Southern Silvery, Winchell’s, and Philippine Dwarf), three endemic species of owls (Everett’s Scops Owl, Giant Scops Owl, Chocolate Boobook), Celestial Monarch, Mindanao Bleeding-heart, and more.
Days 15 – 17. Mindanao, Mount Kitanglad
It will take a day of traveling in a comfortable van to reach Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park on the Bukidnon Plateau. Here we will spend the remaining three days of our Mindanao birding adventure to see one of the rarest eagles in the world, Philippine Eagle. We will stay in a dormitory-type accommodation at 1000+ meters elevation to look for more upper-elevation birds like Mindanao Scops Owl, Coleto, Red-eared Parrotfinch, the funky-looking Apo Myna, several species of flowerpeckers, Bukidnon Woodcock, etc.
Days 18 – 21. Palawan
From Mt Kitanglad we will transfer to Laguindingan Airport at Cagayan de Oro for a flight to Manila and connect with a flight to Puerto Princesa City on the island of Palawan. We’ll spend the last four days of our tour on this beautiful island, voted the world’s best island in 2014 by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. We will be looking for several endemics known only from this island, including Palawan Scops Owl, Palawan Hornbill, Palawan Tit, Palawan Flowerpecker, Palawan Blue Flycatcher, Palawan Flycatcher, Palawan Peacock-Pheasant, Falcated Wren-Babbler, Ashy-headed Babbler, Melodious Babbler, White-vented Shama, Blue-headed Racket-tail, Blue Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Leafbird, and more. Birding is more relaxed here compared to the other destinations; it is mostly roadside birding in a comfortable van. On our last day we will transfer to the airport for a flight to Manila, where the tour ends.
Please note that the detailed itinerary below 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.
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