EASTERN INDONESIA: Buru, Tanimbar, Papua, Biak and Numfor 26 days

Departure to be decided
Price on request

General information:
This is a 26 day long, tough bird trip to Buru, Tanimbar (Yamdena) and Papua (the outskirts of Foya mountains, Biak and Numfor). The price is low, because we have chosen to travel by cheap local transport, when there is an option. When we’re out birding, there are no hotels. We stay in local houses where the accomodation is simple and rooms have to be shared. Toilets and washing facilities will be very basic, but available in every village we stay. Bring your own sleeping matress and mosquito net. Sleeping bags are not necessary – a sarong or blanket is enough.
The trekking will be moderate to tough (tough in Buru). In Buru the last leg of the journey to Bara -about 40 km – will be on motorbike, with experienced drivers.
Regarding the itinerary; we travel in a develloping country, where flight schedules change without notice and forces of nature are powerful. An openminded and flexible attitude towards sudden changes will be helpful.

As we travel off the beaten track, it will be far to doctors and hospitals. Please be prepared with your prescribed medicines from your local doctor. Be sure to take the enoculations that your doctor prescribes. Malaria vaccine is mandatory as both Buru and Papua are infested with malaria.

The trip starts and ends in Bali.

Day1: Flight from Bali-Makassar-Ambon (6 hours). Night in hotel or homestay in Ambon. Birding around the city.

Day 2: Speed boat in the afternoon from Ambon to Namlea (4-6 hours depending on weather) in Buru. The lowland forests close to Namlea are long gone, replaces by gardens, still many species can be encountered in this new landscape such as White-throated Pigeon, Moluccan King-parrot, Moluccan Red Lory, Buru Racquet-tail Parrots, Buru Oriole, Buru White-eye, Flame-breasted Flowerpecker. Night in hotel in Namlea.

Day 3: Travel by car or bus and motorbike to Bara in north-west Buru (approx. 6 hours). Birding around Bara in the afternoon.

Day 4-5: Birding northwest Buru. Chances to see: Spotted Whistling Duck, Black Kite, Superb and White-bibbed fruit Doves, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Spectacled Imperial Pigeon, Eclectus, Red-cheeked, Great-billed and Red-breasted Pygmy Parrots, Golden Bulbul, , Buru Cuckoo-shrike, Slaty Flycatcher, Black-tipped Monarch, Island Monarch, White-naped Monarch, Black-faced Friarbird, Rusty-breasted Cuckoo and the endemic subspecies of Olive-backed Sunbird.
During my last trip to the island I was lucky to encounter 2 very rare species, the Lesser Masked Owl and the Blue-fronted Lorikeet. With some luck these 2 can be spotted again.

Day 6: Going back towards Namlea; stop at Airbuaya and bird south of the village for the Buru Raquet-tailed Parrot and other species. Night in local village.

Day 7: Speedboat back to Ambon. Bird around the city. Night at hotel or homestay.

Day 8: Flight from Ambon to Soumlaki (2 hours) on Yamdena in the Tanimbars.Afternoon birding around the airport and city. Night at hotel.

Day 9-12: Stay with local people in the jungle. The birding on Yamdena Island is easier that on Buru as the land is relatively flat and the trails are fairly good but muddy at times. Many of the endemic bird species are quite common such as Tanimbar Corellas, Blue-streaked Lory, White-tufted Honeyeater, Cinnamon-tailed Fantail, Golden-bellied Flycatcher and Tanimbar Starling. The other endemics are not as common but can be encountered with some effort.
Other bird species relatively easy to see on Yamdena are Dusky Cuckoo-dove, Rose-crowned and Wallace’s fruit doves, Pink-headed and Yellow-eyed Imperial Pigeons, Great-billed, Red-cheeked and Eclectus Parrots, Pied Bronze Cuckoo, Wallacean Cuckoo-shrike, White-shouldered Triller, White-bellied Whistler, Rufous-sided Fairy Warbler, Arafura Fantail, Scarlet Honeyeater and Mistletoe bird.

Day 13: Flight from Soumlaki to Ambon. From Ambon to Sentani, Papua (via Makassar, 8 hours). Birding around Sentani. Organising travel permits. Night in hotel.

Day 14: 6 hour travel by bus or jeep to Tajah on the sloops of the Foya mountains.

Day 15-18: Staying with local people in Tajah. Birding the local area for Pesquets parrot, Variable and Hooded pitohui, Lesser bird of paradise, King bop, Pale-billed sicklebill, Crinkle-collared manucode.

Day 19: Back to Sentani. (6 hour drive) Afternoon birding around the airport and Lake Sentani. Night in hotel.

Day 20: One hour morning flight from Sentani to Biak. Birding north of the city. An afternoon reward after all the birding by swimming on a deserted beach. Night in hotel.

Day 21-22: Birding east Biak for Biak paradise kingfisher, Black-winged lory, Biak white-eye, Long-tailed and metallic starlings, Biak flycatcher and Emeperor fairy-wren. Nights in hotel.

Day 23: Flight (30 min.) or boat (8 hours) from Biak to Numfor. Birding around the airport and shore.

Day 24-25: Birding the south side of Numfor. Chances to see: Numfor paradise kingfisher, Eclectus parrot, Red-cheeked parrot, Geelvink pygmy parrot, Yellow-bibbed and Claret-bresated fruit-doves and Torresian Imperial Pigeon. Staying the nights with families in houses on stilts on the water. Traditional barbeque (baropen) one night.

Day 26: Flight back to Bali via Biak (approximately 8 hours).

Price: US$5400

The price includes:
An English-speaking guide (Mehd Halaouate) at all times and local guides. (Mehd is also fluent in Indonesian, French and Swedish.)
All domestic flights, including tax and transfers.
All local transport – mainly motorbikes – when we’re out birding.
Local guides.
All accomodation and all meals when staying in local villages.
All hotel nights including breakfast.

The price does not include:
Air fare from your country to Denpasar, Bali.
Visa to Indonesia. (Please contact the Indonesian Embassy.)
Tipping guides and the local families we stay with.
Lunch and dinner when we stay in hotels.

Accomodation in remote areas can be very basic and rooms have to be shared.

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