Sulawesi outer-islands:

Wangi Wangi, Togian, Peleng and Taliabu

Sulawesi outer-islands:

Wangi Wangi, Togian, Peleng and Taliabu

Sulawesi outer-islands:

Wangi Wangi, Togian, Peleng and Taliabu

Sulawesi outer-islands:

Wangi Wangi, Togian, Peleng and Taliabu

Sulawesi outer-islands:

Wangi Wangi, Togian, Peleng and Taliabu

Sulawesi outer-islands:

Wangi Wangi, Togian, Peleng and Taliabu

Sulawesi outer-islands:

Wangi Wangi, Togian, Peleng and Taliabu

Sulawesi outer-islands:

Wangi Wangi, Togian, Peleng and Taliabu

Sulawesi: outer-islands endemics

Wangi Wangi, Togian, Peleng, Selayar, Kalao and Taliabu

11th - 27th October 2025

Leader: James Eaton

This is truly one of the most remote regions and tours of Asia, the islands of Wangi Wangi, Togian, Peleng, Taliabu and Selayar around Sulawesi have barely been visited by birders despite hosting some of the world’s rarest birds, except by us, with multiple private visits and on tours - we've even discovered new species to science here. Years of planning and our intimate knowledge of the area means we manage to do a thoroughly comprehensive itinerary in as short a period of time as possible.
There are some 33 currently-recognised species strictly endemic to the islands we visit, and obviously a few more expected future splits (most of which are already recognised in the field guide for the region). Visiting these islands is well-known for its discomforts and lack of luxury. However, aboard our luxury liveaboard vessel, we are able to offer this tour from the comfort and luxury of excellent cuisine, hot showers and a comfortable bed (as well as the obliagetory cold towel and fruit juice on returning from the field). Those that have experienced our Banda Sea Cruise will very much appreciate, and understand this!

There is a whole raft of mouth-watering species to search for and enjoy, several of which are either endangered or only very recently described to science: Bare-eyed Myna, Helmeted Myna, Banggai Crow, Sula Scrubfowl, Sula and Banggai Fruit Doves, Red-and-black Thrush, and Taliabu and Peleng Leaf Warblers, Wangi Wangi, Togian and Wakatobi White-eyes, Tukangbesi Sunbird and Solilongan Cuckoo Dove. We also have the prospect of an endemic pitta too, Sula Pitta. While at night, we have two endemic scops owls, a masked owl and a boobook to find. All these species that you will have read about in our 'Remote Sulawesi' tour reports, which was previously only for the most dedicated, fit and insane of birders - we're making these islands accessible for all of you.

Day 1:
Arrivals into Denpasar International Airport (DPS) on Bali. Night in Bali.

Day 2:
Morning flight to Labuanbajo on the west coast of Flores. Here we will board our fine, private Liveaboard boat - those that have joined our Banda Sea Cruise can expect a similar quality vessel - and begin our journey on the open ocean, heading north deep into the Flores Sea.

Day 3:
Our first destination is the island of Kalao, we have the single island endemic to see here, Kalao Jungle-flycatcher, along with chances of Flores Sea Cuckoo Dove and Flores Sea Sunbird, while Great-billed Parrot and Yellow-crested Cockatoo are present, as is Elegant Pitta. After early morning here we head directly north, to Selayar, off the southwest tip of Sulawesi, possibly in time for some late afternoon birding.

Day 4:
A morning birding the little-known Selayar will be an early cruise highlight. It may not have any endemics accordingly to IOC taxonomy, but the same can be said for several islands we visited on our Banda Sea Cruises in the early days, yet now due to advancements in taxonomy, several are present on most islands. The same is true of Selayar. BirdLife recognises a 'golden whistler' here as Selayar Whistler, as does the Indonesian field guide, and there is an endemic, undescribed Phylloscopus warbler, that James discovered here in 2018, that doesn't look like any other warbler in the region, and found only in the remnent forest blocks, which we shall visit. In addition, Selayar Tarsier is endemic to the island, and we will visit predawn in search of this, and there is an endemic race of Sahul Sunbird.

Day 5:
Day at sea, possibly with a stop en-route, with a chance of our first endemic Zosterops - Kendari (also known as Pearl-bellied and Sulawesi) White-eye.

Day 6:
Arriving in the Tukangbesi islands, a small island chain off southeast Sulawesi is home to three recognised endemics - Wangi Wangi White-eye, Wakatobi White-eye and Tukangbesi Sunbird, all three of which are quite easy to see. There's also a number of other endemic subspecies we will search for. We bird here for a morning, and then spend much of the next 38 hours at sea.

Day 7:
Day at sea, sailing through the northern end of the Banda Sea, a vast, deep-sea area, ornithologically unexplored - we hope to find some intresting seabirds and cetaceans during this time, and who knows, maybe even another surprise landing.

Days 8-9:
Our two days on Taliabu will be mainly spent in the coastal lowlands. Birding along the coastal roads through degraded forest we should see the vast majoirty of the Sula Archipelago endemics, all of which are found on Taliabu. Pride of place goes to the huge Bare-eyed Myna, Sula Lorikeet, Sula Fruit Dove, Sula Cicadabird, 'Sula Spangled Drongo', Sula Jungle-flycatcher, Sula Golden Bulbul, Sula Dwarf-Kingfisher, While at night, Sula Scops Owl and Taliabu Masked Owl. Of course, the white-eye here, Black-crowned, will likely become the next endemic here. In addition, several species are shared with the Banggai islands, and we have a good chance of those too - Helmeted Myna, Sula Pitta, Slaty Cuckooshrike, Solilongan Cuckoo Dove (also more boringly known as Sula Cuckoo Dove), Red-and-black Thrush, Sula Hanging-Parrot and Sula Scrubfowl.
For those keen enough, we plan to spend the second day here trekking into the highlands (up to 800m), where a trail leading up should get us into the zone for the recently-described Taliabu Myzomela, Taliabu Leaf Warbler and perhaps Taliabu Fantail - this will be a long, arduous day for those fit enough. Others can stay in the lowlands to bird for the morning and afternoon with local bird guide.

Day 10:
We have a final morning on Taliabu, if required, before setting sail once again, heading west , to the Banggai archipelago.
The cetacean action can be highly productive between Taliabu and Peleng, and we've also encountered Heinroth's Shearwater on all our previous visits to this area.

Days 11-12:
Next island is Peleng, part of the Banggai island group. Peleng is home to a whole swathe of Banggai endemics too, Peleng Leaf Warbler, Peleng Fantail, Banggai Golden Bulbul, Banggai Jungle-flycatcher, Banggai Scops Owl, Banggai Crow, and even some endemic mammals we could see including Peleng Tarsier and Peleng Cuscus.
In addition, several species are shared with the Sula islands, and we should see all of these during our time spent across both islands - Helmeted Myna, Sula Pitta, Slaty Cuckooshrike, Solilongan Cuckoo Dove (also more boringly known as Sula Cuckoo Dove), Red-and-black Thrush, Sula Hanging-Parrot and Sula Scrubfowl.

Day 13:
Heading around the eastern arm of Sulawesi is a well-known hotspot for cetaceans, including a few rarities possible - let's see what we see! Eventually we'll arrive in the Togian islands. If required, we can spend part of the morning on Peleng.

Day 14:
A full day birding will be concentrated on the two new species to science recently described from Togian islands, namely Togian Boobook and Togian White-eye, along with the islands third endemic, Togian Golden Bulbul.
In addition, the Togians have three mammals we're search for: Togian Tarsier, Togian Babirusa and Togian Macaque. There are also a good number of Sulawesi mainland endemics possible, along with migrant Elegant Pitta that visits during its non-breeding season.

Day 15:
Potentially we can remain on Togian for early morning birding, if it's required, before heading to the Sulawesi mainland. Night in Luwuk. After arriving back into Luwuk we will do some Sulawesi mainland birding, we can visit an area of lowland forest where both Snoring Rail and Sulawesi Ground Dove have been recorded.

Day 16:
We have a morning birding neary lowland forest, where Snoring Rail and Sulawesi Groudn Dove have both been recorded - obviously a large slice of luck would be required to encounter either species, but you never know!
Afternoon flight from Luwuk to Makassar. Night in Makassar.

Day 17:
International departures from Makassar International Airport (UPG).

Note: itinerary is for illustrative purposes, the final itinerary will likely vary slightly from the above, but we still visit Wangi Wangi, Peleng, Taliabu and Togian.

Should you be keen on an extnension to anywehre in-and-around Sulawesi, we can organise this wishing our network of local guides, including Sangihe and Talaud.

Tour details

Cost: £ TBC or $ 7,930

Deposit: £ 1,000 or $ 1,400

Single room supplement (land only):
£ TBC / $ 80

Maximum group size: 11

Tour cost includes: all accommodation, main meals, drinking water, internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, ferry, tips to local drivers and guides (but not boat crew), entrance fees, and guide fees.

Tour cost excludes: International flights, flights to/from start/end of tour, tourist visa, travel insurance, tips to boat crew, laundry, drinks and other items of a personal nature.

Accommodation: onboard our privately chartered Liveaboard boat for 13-nights, in twin-sharing cabins, each cabin with private facilities. On land, either side of the cruise, comfortable twin, and single, rooms with private facilities.

Walking difficulty: generally moderate, with optional hikes:
Wangi Wangi, Togian, Selayar, Kalao: coastal, easy walks along tracks and roads.
Taliabu: easy, flat tracks, with optional day hike up to 600-800m elevation (13km round trek).
Peleng: walking from 600m-1,100m on our second day, while the first day is standard birding level.

Expected number of species: 200+ species.

Number of endemics and range-restricted species:
on current taxonomy we would have a chance of 32 species endemic to these specific islands, with a further 5-10 potential future splits.

Togian: 3 endemics.
Banggai islands: 7 endemics.
Sula islands: 12 of 13 (3 as optional day-trek into highlands).
Sula/Banggai shared: 7 endemics.
Wangi Wangi: 3 endemics.
Kalao: 1 endemic (+ 1 regional endemic)
Selayar: 1 undescribed endemic + 1 BirdLife endemic.

Map of the tour

Tour Reports

Our latest tour reports from the islands - itinerary not the same as this cruise