Indonesia: Biak, Numfor, & Kofiau - Stunning Paradise Kingfishers and Small-Island Endemics


Dates and Costs:

 

17 – 29 May 2025

Spaces Available: 7

Price: US$10,964/ £9,241 / €10,801 per person sharing, assuming 4-8 participants.

Single Supplement: US$455 / £383 / €448

 

* 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.

 


Recommended Field Guide

(Please also read our blogs about recommended field guides for the seven continents here)


Tour Details

Duration: 13 days
Group Size: 4 – 8
Tour Start: Biak, Indonesia
Tour End: Sorong, Indonesia

 


Price includes:

All accommodation (double room)
Meals (from lunch on Day 1 until lunch on Day 13)
Drinking water – please bring a refillable water bottle
Expert tour leader
Local bird and wildlife guide fees
Birdwatching site/national park entrance fees
Private boat trips: Biak-Numfor-Biak and Sorong-Kofiau-Sorong
All ground transport with AC and tolls/taxes while on tour, including airport pick-up and drop-off

Price excludes:

Flights to Biak and from Sorong
Domestic flights Biak-Sorong
Expenditures due to flight cancellations/delays or other causes beyond our control (force majeure)
Visa fees if visa required
Departure tax if required
Items of a personal nature, e.g. 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)

Download Itinerary

Indonesia: Biak, Numfor, & Kofiau – Stunning Paradise Kingfishers and Small-Island Endemics May 2025

 

This unique small-group birding tour, which visits the little-known and rarely visited trio of the Indonesian islands of Biak, Numfor, and Kofiau gives a wonderful opportunity to see some of the most spectacular kingfishers in the world, the paradise kingfishers. On this very special tour, we will be searching for four species of paradise kingfisher, one endemic to each of the three islands we visit, namely Biak Paradise Kingfisher, Numfor Paradise Kingfisher, and Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher, as well as another on the mainland of New Guinea, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, yet another rarely seen bird.

Biak, Numfor and Kofiau birding tours Numfor Paradise Kingfisher, restricted to the small Indonesian island of Numfor, is one of several restricted-range endemic paradise kingfishers to be found on this unique tour.

 

Not only will we be looking for the four paradise kingfisher jewels – incredibly good-looking birds even by the very high standards set by other kingfishers around the globe, but we will also be looking for other small-island endemics at the same time, and some of these include Biak Scrubfowl, Biak Scops Owl, Geelvink Pygmy Parrot, Geelvink Fruit Dove, Biak Leaf Warbler, Numfor Leaf Warbler, Biak Monarch, Biak Myzomela, and Kofiau Monarch. There’s plenty of widespread, yet equally thrilling, species that we will pick up along the way too, including Palm Cockatoo, Hooded Pitta, Blyth’s Hornbill, and King Bird-of-paradise.

This tour will result in a great list of highly sought-after birds and will be an exciting exploration of a remote part of Indonesia. It is sure to be a thrilling expedition and one not to be missed. We have put this tour together to allow plenty of time to focus on the special birds of each site we visit, rather than rush around with limited time on each island and we are sure you will get a great deal of satisfaction from it.

This Biak, Numfor, and Kofiau birding tour can also be combined with several other of our Indonesia bird tours, such as our Lombok birdwatching tour for the endemic Rinjani Scops Owl, or our Bali and Java birding tour, for species such as Bali Myna, Javan Banded Pitta, and Pink-headed Fruit Dove.

Biak, Numfor and Kofiau birding tours The amazing-looking Palm Cockatoo can often be found at a couple of areas we will be visiting on this great birding tour of Biak, Numfor, and Kofiau.

 

Itinerary (13 days/12 nights)

 

Day 1. Arrival on Biak Island

Following your morning arrival in Biak, Indonesia you will be transferred to our nearby comfortable hotel where you will be able to rest after your journey. We will meet for a group welcome lunch together and in the late afternoon we will commence our birding for the targets listed for Days 2 – 3.

Overnight: Biak

 

Days 2 – 3. Birding Biak Island

We will spend two full days exploring the beautiful island of Biak. Our initial focus will be on finding the spectacular single-island-endemic Biak Paradise Kingfisher. While looking for this stunning bird, and after we’ve enjoyed watching them, we will focus on all of the other fantastic endemics and regional specials that are found on Biak (a couple of which are also shared with Numfor). Our major target birds here will include Biak Scrubfowl, Biak Scops Owl, Geelvink Fruit Dove, Geelvink Imperial Pigeon, Black-winged Lory, Biak Lorikeet, Geelvink Pygmy Parrot, Biak Coucal, Biak Fantail, Biak Triller, Biak Whistler, Biak Myzomela, Biak Gerygone, Long-tailed Starling, Biak White-eye, Biak Black Flycatcher, Biak Monarch, and Biak Leaf Warbler. We will also search for several endemic subspecies that are considered by some authorities (but currently not by IOC, who we follow) as full species, such as the stunning Hooded Pitta (known as Biak Hooded Pitta).

Biak, Numfor and Kofiau birding tours We will be looking for the endemic Biak Paradise Kingfisher, a striking bird found in lowland forest and dense secondary growth forest on Biak.

 

There are plenty of other interesting and impressive birds to look for whilst on Biak (and Numfor in the coming days, for those species that occur on both islands), such as Great-billed Heron, Gurney’s Eagle, Long-tailed Buzzard, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Nicobar Pigeon, Victoria Crowned Pigeon, Torresian Imperial Pigeon, Moustached Treeswift, Papuan Frogmouth, Large-tailed Nightjar, Beach Kingfisher, Papuan Eclectus, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Red-fronted Lorikeet, Blyth’s Hornbill, Golden Monarch, Island Monarch, Black Sunbird, and Emperor Fairywren.

During our time on Biak there will be time for relaxing and swimming in the sea near our accommodation while we take breaks during the heat of the middle of the day.

Overnight: Biak

Biak, Numfor and Kofiau birding tours Claret-breasted Fruit Dove is one of several gorgeous pigeons and doves possible on this tour.

 

Day 4. Boat trip from Biak Island to Numfor Island

We will take a four-hour boat ride in the morning across the 37-mile (60-kilometer) stretch of water between Biak and Numfor, arriving later in the day. During the crossing we will look out for any seabirds that might be in the area which might include Great Frigatebird, Lesser Frigatebird, Red-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Matsudaira’s Storm Petrel, Bulwer’s Petrel, Streaked Shearwater, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Bridled Tern, Sooty Tern, Black-naped Tern, and others.

Once we arrive in Numfor we will get on with our birding in the afternoon, making a start on the birds listed for Days 5 – 6, as we make our way to our basic accommodation for the next few nights.

Overnight: Numfor

 

Days 5 – 6. Birding Numfor Island

We will have two full days birding on the rarely visited Numfor Island, where we will focus our attention on finding the endemic and spectacular Numfor Paradise Kingfisher. We will also look for the endemic (but probably not quite as spectacular) Numfor Leaf Warbler, both this species and Biak Leaf Warbler, which we should have seen on Biak earlier in the tour, were recently split from Island Leaf Warbler. We will also make note of the Long-tailed Starlings on Numfor, this is a Bay Islands endemic (also found on Biak) but the subspecies occurring on Numfor (brevicauda) is smaller, with a shorter tail and rather different from the subspecies on Biak, and a potential future split. Similarly, the local form of Hooded Pitta (mefoorana) is different and part of the “Eastern Hooded Pitta” complex, as recognized by some taxonomies.

There are plenty of other great birds to look for on Numfor, and some of these include Biak Scrubfowl, Geelvink Fruit Dove, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Geelvink Imperial Pigeon, Black-winged Lory, Geelvink Pygmy Parrot, Papuan Frogmouth, Biak Black Flycatcher, Common Cicadabird, and Barred Cuckooshrike.

Overnight: Numfor

 

Day 7. Boat trip from Numfor Island to Biak Island

We will take a morning boat trip from Numfor back to Biak, where we will aim to arrive in time for lunch. We will again look out for the birds listed for Day 4. After a break from the heat of the day we will have an optional final afternoon birding in Biak.

Overnight: Biak

 

Day 8. Travel (flight) between Biak Island and Sorong, West Papua (via Jayapura)

Essentially a travel day as we travel between Biak and Sorong. The flight will likely go via Jayapura. Depending on our arrival time in Sorong, there might be time for some late afternoon birding in the mangroves nearby, where we might find Blue-black Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher, Little Kingfisher, Barred Rail, Black Bittern, Collared Imperial Pigeon, Little Bronze Cuckoo, Orange-fronted Fruit Dove, and Blue-fronted Fig Parrot. We will spend the night at a comfortable hotel in the city.

Overnight: Sorong

Biak, Numfor and Kofiau birding tours Little Kingfisher is a miniscule inhabitant of the mangroves near Sorong.

 

Day 9. Boat trip from Sorong, West Papua to Kofiau Island

We will take a morning boat trip from Sorong to Kofiau Island. This trip is of around 170 kilometers (106 miles) and usually takes four-five hours. Along the way we will keep our eyes peeled for seabirds, likely a similar mix to those listed for Day 4.

We will likely arrive at Kofiau in the middle of the day. We will make our way to our basic accommodation before getting started on the birding in the late afternoon, looking for the birds listed for Days 10 – 11.

Overnight: Kofiau

 

Days 10 – 11. Birding Kofiau Island

Our two days birding on the very rarely visited Kofiau Island will be about searching for yet another single-island endemic, Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher. This gorgeous endemic is found in the island’s shaded primary and secondary forest, where it is still fairly common. The island is also home to the endemic Kofiau Monarch which we will also be looking for. Several other interesting species can be found here and may include Dusky Megapode, Great-billed Heron, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Spectacled Imperial Pigeon, Violet-necked Lory, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Great-billed Parrot, Beach Kingfisher, Hooded Pitta (novaeguineae, part of the “Eastern Hooded Pitta” complex), Common Cicadabird, Large-billed Gerygone, Spangled Drongo, Island Monarch, Northern Fantail, Black Sunbird, Olive-crowned Flowerpecker, and Black-faced Munia. Some of these are distinctive subspecies and may eventually gain full species status and it certainly pays to see as much as possible out here.

Overnight: Kofiau

Biak, Numfor and Kofiau birding tours Noisy flocks of Red-flanked Lorikeets can be found on this tour.

 

Day 12. Boat trip from Kofiau Island to Sorong, West Papua

We will depart Kofiau Island in the morning as we take our boat back to Sorong. On arrival in Sorong we transfer to our comfortable hotel and the rest of the afternoon will be at leisure.

Overnight: Sorong

 

Day 13. Birding Sorong (near Malagufuk/Klasow Valley) and international departure from Sorong

We will have an early start this morning to bird some forests a couple of hours’ drive out from Sorong, where we will hope to find our fourth paradise kingfisher of the tour, the rare and interesting, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher. This species has a very odd distribution with a population found in the west of the island of New Guinea (e.g. including near Sorong) and another right in the east of the island, in northeastern Papua New Guinea (such as the Huon Peninsula vicinity), with no known populations in between!

Biak, Numfor and Kofiau birding tours A record shot of a Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, a tough species to photograph. These tend to stay higher in the trees and remain well-hidden, compared to several other species.

 

We will also stand a chance at a few species of birds-of-paradise during the morning, which are always a delight, and could include Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird-of-paradise, and Lesser Bird-of-paradise. Other very high-quality birds here could include Papuan Pitta, Blyth’s Hornbill, Palm Cockatoo, Red-cheeked Parrot, Coconut Lorikeet, Black Lory, Moluccan King Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Blue-black Kingfisher, Red-billed Brushturkey, Golden Cuckooshrike, Brown Oriole, Dwarf Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Superb Fruit Dove, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Frilled Monarch, Rusty Pitohui, Lowland Peltops, and Long-tailed Honey Buzzard.

After the morning’s birding we will return to our hotel in Sorong to freshen and have a final lunch together. After lunch the tour will conclude with an airport transfer, in time for your afternoon onward flight.

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. In addition, we sometimes have to use a different international guide from the one advertised due to tour scheduling.

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‘I had a terrific trip, and realized virtually all my expectations for this excursion. There were 6 people on the trip, and I was the only one NOT a birder, but that did not detract from my enjoyment. My goals with this trip were to see and hopefully photograph the birds-of-paradise, and to my delight, I was able to do that. The local guides were terrific.

Andy Walker was our overall tour guide, and his knowledge of the birds is encyclopedic. He kept the group well organized, on time, and in position to see many very special birds. Andy has promised to send me information on additional trips to PNG and Vietnam.’

Alan

 

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