Tour Dates: Saturday 10th – Wednesday 28th September 2022 (Jakarta to Jakarta)
Price: £4,495pp plus flights
Estimated International Flight Price: London to Jakarta approx. £700 return
Internal Flights: Jakarta – Jaypura – Manokwari – Sorong – Jakarta approx: £650
Deposit: £600 per person
Conservation Donation from Wise Birding: £300 – £500
Minimum Number: 6 people
Maximum Group Size: 8 people
Birds: Magnificent, Twelve-wired, Lesser, King, Red, Magnificent and Wilson’s Birds-of-Paradise, Black Sicklebill, Pale-billed Sicklebill, Western and MacGregor’s Honeyeater, Magnificent Riflebird, Masked Bowerbird, Vogelkop Bowerbird and Fawn-breasted Bowerbird. Plus Feline Owlet-Nightjar, Mountain Owlet-Nightjar, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Blyth’s Hornbill, Rufous-bellied Kookaboora, Black-capped Lory, Lowland Peltops, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove, Yellow-faced Myna, Long-tailed Paradigalla, Arfak Astrapia, Western Crowned Pigeon, Red-breasted Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Papuan Pitta, Northern Cassowary and many more!!
The island of New Guinea, north of Australia, is arguably an island-continent where evolution has simply gone mad with birds! From the extraordinary architects, landscape gardeners and collectors known as Bowerbirds, to the incredibly beautiful and elaborate Birds-of-Paradise! They come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny ‘blood and snow’ King Bird-of-Paradise to the huge heron-sized dark and rather sinister Black Sicklebill, with everything imaginable in between. A trip to West Papua allows you to see some of the most amazing birds on Earth!
Birdwatching in West Papua (Irian Jaya) is on many birders’ dream wish lists and it has some of the best birding in Indonesia. From the steamy lowland swamp forest, to lush mountain forests, to remote islands, West Papua has a great variety of habitats and a great variety of birds to match. The birding is tough but the rewards are high!
The birds are often very elusive and our local guides are vital to see the birds and to see them well. Most birds-of-Paradise and Bowerbirds are only likely to be seen well at their traditional display trees and courts, known only to a few local guides.
For the more adventurous birder: Be prepared for rain, mud, heat, humidity, biting insects, some simple accommodation, tough treks and shy birds! However, the reward will be seeing some of the most sensational birds on the planet!
ACCOMMODATION: 2 nights Jakarta, 13 nights West Papua and 3 nights Weigeo Island
1 night Jakarta, 4 nights Nimbokrang, 6 nights Arfak Mountains, 1 night Manokwari, 2 nights Malagufuk, 3 nights Weigeo Island and 1 night Jakarta
Inclusive Meals: Full board – A mix of locally cooked meals whilst camping and hotel meals towards the end of the itinerary
DAY 1: Arrival Jakarta
After meeting with our Indonesian guide we will transfer to an airport hotel where we will have lunch and rest before an overnight flight to Jayapura. Afternoon rest at Jakarta Airport Hotel
DAY 2: Arrival Jayapura – Nimbokrang
After an overnight flight from Jakarta with our guide we will arrive in Jayapura in the early morning. We will then drive for around 90 minutes to the village of Nimbokrang. Here we will stay at out local guide’s home for the next four nights and trekking into the forest each day to search for the numerous specialties found here.
Nimbokrang consists of hot and humid lowland forest and swamp. It is crawling with birds and it is relatively easy to access. Nimbokrang is the name of an old transmigration project site, in which farmers from other parts of Indonesia were encouraged to open up land in more under populated parts of the archipelago. The result is an area of open farmland that has now become dominated by scrub but surrounded by large areas of intact lowland forest and swamp forest.
Close to our accommodation, the land rises and areas of low hill forest can easily be accessed. We will head out on our first afternoon, guided by our local guide and host for our first BOP Quest! Overnight Nimbokrang Simple Guesthouse
DAYS 3 – 5 : Nimbokrang
During the next three days we will be looking for a number of fabulous species such as Lesser Bird-of-Paradise, King Bird-of-Paradise, Twelve-wired Bird-of-Paradise, Pale-billed Sicklebill, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Triton Cockatoo, Manucodes, Butcherbirds, Fawn-breasted Bowerbirds, Papuan Frogmouth and much much more!
Each morning we will start very early so we are in the lekking areas before first light and we will wait for the birds to come and display. If we don’t encounter rain, the day heats up by around 10am and at this time, the birds disappear deep into the forest. In order to access the all important lekking sites, we will be often be walking on a variety of wet soft muddy ground and wooden planks sometimes uphill for short distances, dependent on the species we are looking for. Nimbokrang Simple Guesthouse
DAY 6: Nimbokrang – Jayapura – Manokwari – Sioubri (Arfak Mountains)
Today we will take a short flight to Manokwari, the gateway to the Arfak Mountains. On arrival we will pick up some for supplies and then travel in a 4×4 pickup for around two hours to the village of Sioubri. The journey from Manokwari to reach Sioubri passes through some very good forest habitat and we may make the odd stop en route.
The village runs a simple guest house where we will stay for the next six nights. We will be birding with another local guide and one of Indonesia’s finest birding guides. There is a basic camp site higher up the mountain that we may use in order to access some of the higher altitude species more easily, namely Arfak Astrapia and Black Sicklebill.
The village is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and stunning birds. Overnight Sioubri Simple Guesthouse
DAYS 7 – 11: Arfak Mountains
There are great birding sites above and below the village and we will visit a number of sites during our time here to give the best chance of seeing as many key birds as possible. The weather is cool and pleasant during the day, but quite cold at night, so a sleeping bag will be necessary. The walking here can be quite challenging, particularly if walking to the higher altitude camps.
We will mostly spend the early mornings sitting in hides and then trekking to the upper camps looking for other species. Key birds in this region include Black Sicklebill, Long-tailed Paradigala, Magnificent Bird-of-Paradise, Arfak Astrapia, Western Parotias, Masked Bowerbird, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Feline Owlet-Nightjar, Mountain Owlet-Nightjar. Plus various Cuckoo-doves and Imperial Pigeons. Overnight Sioubri Simple Guesthouse / Basic Camp
DAY 12: Sioubri – Manokwari
After a final morning birding the Sioubri area, we will return to Manokwari for the night where we will spend the night at a comfortable hotel for some well earned rest and comparative luxury! Overnight Manokwari Hotel
DAY 13: Manokwari – Sorong – Malagufuk
This morning we will take a short internal flight to Sorong and after collecting supplies in Sorong we will drive approximately 2 hours towards Malagufuk. We will then walk for an hour through swamp forest to reach our village homestay. The birding rewards here are fantastic. Here we will look for Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird-of-Paradise, Red-breasted Kingfisher and Common Paradise Kingfisher, Papuan Pitta; Black Lory, Northern Cassowary and more!! Overnight Malagufuk village (Basic Accommodation)
DAY 14: Malagufuk Village
A full day birding this bird rich area where we are sure to see some of the most highly sought after species! Overnight Malagufuk village (Basic Accommodation)
DAY 15: Manokwari – Sorong – Waisai
After a final morning birding we will travel by road to Sororng on the western tip of New Guinea. We will arrive during the afternoon in time to take a ferry to Waisai on the southern shore of Weigeo Island. Here, we will stay in a Diving resort with an air conditioned room and hot showers! We will spend the afternoon birding nearby or for those that wish to, there will be the option of simply relaxing and taking advantage of some great snorkelling opportunities. Overnight Dive Resort near Sapokreng
DAYS 16 – 17: WEIGEO ISLAND
Weigeo Island one of the Raja Ampat Islands, also known as the Four Kings, An archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, submerged ridges and reefs surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo.
We will have two full days to spend looking for a number of target species. The star bird will of course be the incredible looking and mesmerising Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise but we will also be searching for the equally impressive Red Bird-of-Paradise. Other birds on Weigeo that we hope to find include Eclectus Parrot, Triton Cockatoo, Western Crowned Pigeon, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Glossy-mantled Manucodes, Red-cheeked Parrot, Lesser Frigatebird and Claret-breasted Fruit Dove. Overnight Dive Resort near Sapokreng
DAY 18: Weigeo Island – Sorong – Jakarta
After a final morning birding and targeting any key species that we may be missing, we will sail back to Sorong. Back on dry land, we will then take a late afternoon flight to Jakarta. Overnight Jakarta Airport Hotel
DAY 19: Jakarta Airport
Transfer to Jakarta airport for international flights home where the tour concludes.
Please note this is a flexible itinerary which may need to be adjusted slightly dependent on arrival / departure times, weather conditions and the most recent information from our local guides
Leaders: Wise Birding Leader, Sujan Chatterjee & local bird guides
Included in cost: Accommodation, all meals bottled / filtrated water, all entrance fees, all transport including, boat trips, plus services of the local guides and leader
Not included in cost: International airfare, internal flights, travel insurance, snorkelling equipment, drinks other than bottled water and any airport/visa fees
Single Supplement: TBC
Transport: There are no long drives on this tour (up to 2-3 hours), though many of the roads are in poor condition.
Small SUVs and 4×4 Pick-Up in Arfak Mountains
Although we expect to see a good cross-section of Papuan birds, birding in Papua is recognised as being some of the most difficult in the world and can be fairly frustrating at times! There may be days when most birds seem to have disappeared but these should be more than compensated for by others with spectacular rewards!
Walking: Particularly after rain some of the trails can be very muddy and sometimes steep and therefore must be negotiated with great care. At other sites, there may be no specific trail and we will simply be walking through the forest. Walking poles, muck boots or wellies and waterproofs are essential.
Accommodation: The guesthouses at Nimbokrang and Sioubri are simple and have shared bathroom facilities. Cold water for showers, and bucket showers may be the only option here. Whilst in the higher camp in the Arfak Mountains and Malagufuk conditions will be more basic. Shared toilets and bush toilets are standard.
In contrast, the accommodation at Manokwari and Weigeo is modern and very comfortable.
Climate: Very hot and humid (with some rain) in the lowland areas. In the Arfak Mountains the days will be cool and the nights will be cold and a sleeping bag will be required.
Tour Start Point: Jakarta airport, India
Tour End Point: Jakarta airport, India
Suggested Airlines: British Airways, Virgin or Air India