The huge islands of Java and Sumatra share around 50 endemics, and we can hope to see the majority of these. Though many species are shared between the two islands, the landscapes are quite a contrast between the lush, green forests of Sumatra and the dry islands and volcanic mountains of west Java.
On Java we will work our way clockwise around the western half of the islands, ranging from the coastal mangroves for Javan White-eye and White-capped Munia, to the volcanic interior that hosts the majority of endemics including a trogon, cochoa, scops owl, swiftlet, two fantails and two sunbirds amongst others. Finally, visiting the coastal forest will give us the opportunity for Javan Frogmouth and Javan Banded Pitta.
Sumatra is the largest island in Indonesia at over 1,000km in length, and still has large tracts of rainforest remaining, which are some of the richest on earth. We will concentrate our time at three of Sumatra's most accessible birding sites - two in the Barisan Mountain range within the huge Kerinci-Seblat National Park and at Way Kambas National Park in the southern lowlands.
Arrivals into Jakarta International Airport, Java. Night in Jakarta.
Early morning visit the mangroves east of Jakarta in search of White-capped Munia, Javan Plover and the Endangered Javan White-eye. Following our visit here we drive south to the lower slopes of Gunung Gede, at Cibodas in preparation for the following two-days on the mountain. Night at Cibodas.
Cibodas is the starting point for our exploration of Gunung Gede, home to the vast majority of Javan endemics. The walk up is steep in places but well worth the effort as we look for such gems as Javan Cochoa, Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush, Chestnut-bellied Partridge, White-bibbed Babbler, Javan Trogon, Spotted Crocias, Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch, Javan Whistling-thrush, White-flanked Sunbird, Pygmy Tit, Javan Tesia, Horsfield's Thrush, Pink-headed Fruit Dove, Sunda Blue Robin, Javan Shortwing, Sunda Warbler, Rufous-tailed Fantail, Javan and Sunda Scops Owls and Sunda Thrush.
On day 3 we shall be camping on the upper slopes of Gunung Gede, on day 4 night back at Cibodas.
Following some early mornings birding in search of Javan Kingfisher, Yellow-throated Hanging-parrot and Sunda Thrush we drive south-west to one of Java's largest remaining tracts of forest, inside the Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park, hopefully in time for some early evenings birding. Night at Cikiniki Research Station.
We have all day birding inside the national park, with plenty of species possible, including Spotted Crocias, White-breasted, White-bibbed and Crescent-chested Babblers, Javan Trogon, Deignan's and Bar-winged Prinias, Salvadori's Nightjar, Javan Frogmouth, Melodious Bulbul, Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon, Sumatran Green Pigeon, Javan Sunbird, Pygmy Bushtit, Brown-throated and Flame-throated Barbets, Javan Bulbul, Banded Broadbill, Eye-browed Wren Babbler, Javan Leafbird, Pin-tailed Parrotfinch and the Endangered Javan Hawk Eagle. Night at Cikiniki Research Station.
We will spend the morning at Gunung Halimun searching for any species we may have missed the previous day. Depending on success we will leave Halimun for Carita in the late morning, lunch en-route, arriving at some point in the early evening, hopefully in time for some night-birding, with Javan Frogmouth possible.
Night at Carita.
A mornings birding at the small forest patch behind Carita will be spent searching for some of Java's lowland endemics, of which most important is the Javan Banded Pitta. Grey-cheeked Tit Babbler, Black-banded Barbet, Javan Frogmouth and Javan Owlet will also be searched for along with Banded Kingfisher, Black-naped Fruit Dove and Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon. Following our birding we head back to Jakarta, ready for our trip to Sumatra. Night in Jakarta.
Early morning around the small but bird-filled marsh at Maura Angke where with luck we might see Javan Coucal, along with commoner species such as Bar-winged Prinia, Sunda Teal, Purple Swamphen and Black Bittern before taking the short flight across to south Sumatra arriving at Bandar Lampung then transfer to nearby Way Kambas Nature Reserve, an area of swamp forest and regenerating logged, lowland forest which is an excellent site to search for lowland sunda specialities. Following lunch we head into the national park for our first taste Sumatran birding. Night at Way Kambas.
We have two full days to enjoy the excellent birding in this area.
The fauna of the lowland forest here is very rich and we have a good chance of seeing several species which are difficult to see elsewhere. The wetlands and swamp forest here hold Storm's Stork, Lesser Adjutant and Cinnamon-headed Green Pigeon and the increasingly rare White-winged Wood Duck while highlights in the lowland forest may include Malayan Banded Pitta, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Malaysian Hawk Cuckoo, Grey-chested Jungle Flycatcher or Malaysian Black Magpie among an excellent selection of lowland species. Way Kambas also offers some of the finest night-birding in south-east Asia, Large, Gould's and Sunda Frogmouths, Reddish Scops Owl, Oriental Bay Owl, Brown Boobook and Bonaparte's Nightjar are all possible. Night at Way Kambas.
After some early mornings birding at Way Kambas we transfer to Bandar Lampung to fly back to Jakarta to connect with our onward flight to Padang, arriving at midday before driving up into the hills and into the Kerinci Sablat National Park, arriving at our base of Mount Kerinci for dinner. Night at Keresek Tua.
With a friendly guesthouse in nearby Keresek Tua as our base we will spend three full days exploring Mount Kerinci, at over 3,800 metres, Sumatra's highest peak. Exploring the mountain between 1,800 and 2,500m we will be searching in particular for Sumatra's montane endemics; Schneider's Pitta, Sumatran Cochoa, Salvadori's Pheasant, Red-billed Partridge, Sumatran Trogon, Sumatran Shortwing, Rusty-breasted and Sumatran Wren Babblers and Shiny and Sumatran Whistling-thrushes. Other specialties include Sunda Woodcock, Pink-headed Fruit Dove, Rufous-vented Niltava and Spot-necked Babbler. Both Salvadori's Nightjar and Sumatran Frogmouth could be seen during night-birding forays though we'll need some luck to find Rajah Scops Owl. Night at Keresek Tua.
After a final morning on Mount Kerinci searching for any missing specialties we will transfer to nearby Sungai Penuh, our base for the next four nights.
Exploring the submontane forest between Sungai Penuh and Mauro Sako village we should find several species difficult or absent at higher altitudes. We will make a special effort to find Graceful Pitta here along with endemic Blue-masked and Sumatran Leafbirds, Cream-striped, Sumatran, Ruby-throated and Spot-necked Bulbuls, Sumatran Drongo and Sumatran Treepie. We also have further opportunities to search for Sumatran Trogon and Sumatran Green Pigeon, and this is a good site for a number of sundaic species including Marbled Wren Babbler, Rufous-chested and White-tailed Flycatchers and Banded Kingfisherl. We also have a day visiting another forest site where there are slim chances of both Sumatran Peacock Pheasant and even the Critically Endangered Sumatran Ground Cuckoo.
After a final mornings birding in the Mauro Sako area we return to Padang in the afternoon. Night in Padang.
Departures to connect with our international flights.
Deposit: £ 500 or $ 700
Single room supplement: £ 430 or $ 560
Maximum group size: 6
Tour cost includes: all accommodation, main meals, drinking water, internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, tips to local drivers and guides, entrance fees, and guide fees.
Tour cost excludes: International flights, visa, travel insurance, tips to tour leaders, laundry, drinks and other items of a personal nature.
Accommodation: comfortable, though basic twin-bed, and single rooms, with private facilities with a few exceptions:
Gunung Halimun: two nights with shared facilities. Single room may not be available.
Gunung Gede: single night camping (porters carrying all our equipment for us).
Walking difficulty: Easy to moderate at most sites on a mixture of roadsides and trails with the following exceptions;
Gunung Gede: walk from 1,200m to at least 1,900m on day, camp, then walk back down the next day.
Mount Kerinci: daily walking from 1,400m up to 2,100m.
Expected number of species: 310 - 390 species, depending on season.
Number of endemics and range-restricted species: 65-80 Indonesian endemics, vast majority restricted to Sumatra, Java and Bali.