Indonesia: Java & Bali

Dedicated coverage of the most endangered birds in the Greater Sundas. Truly a last-chance to search out several rapidly declining species while they can still be easily targeted, with hopefully every other endemic bird from west to east as we explore the southern extremity of Asia. Includes Spotted Crocias, Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush, Javan Cochoa, Javan Trogon, Javan Banded Pitta, Javan Blue-Flycatcher, Javan and Cerulean Kingfishers, Black-winged and Bali Mynas, plus Pink-headed Fruit-Dove and Javan Scops Owl.

Northern Sumatra: Aceh Extension

Exceptional birding in the largest and least-exploited tract of accessible hill forest on Sumatra, holding some of the least-seen and most threatened endemics which may end up beyond reach in the near future. Sumatran Laughingthrush, Sumatran Mesia, Aceh Bulbul, Roll’s Partridge and Sumatran Woodpecker are the main targets, but the forest also holds endemics such as Schneider's and Graceful Pitta, Blue-masked and Sumatran Leafbird, Sumatran Trogon, and more.

Next dates

1-15 June 2023

Tour length: 15 days

Group size limit: 7


Joshua Bergmark and a local leader

Guaranteed departure

Northern Sumatra: Aceh Extension

26 May - 1 June 2023

7 days

Group size limit: 4


Joshua Bergmark and a local leader

Guaranteed departure

Day 1: Evening arrivals into Jakarta International Airport (CGK). Night in Jakarta at a hotel near the airport.

Day 2: Early morning departure towards Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park, arriving in time for an afternoon and evening session of birding. Night at Ceikini Research Station.

Day 3: Full day inside the national park with an abundance of native species to see. Most important is the beautiful Spotted Crocias which are often difficult elsewhere, alongside Javan Trogon, Javan Leafbird, Javan Hawk-Eagle, Flame-fronted and Brown-throated Barbets, White-breasted, White-bibbed and Crescent-chested Babblers, Javan Bulbul, Javan Spiderhunter, Javan Frogmouth, Salvadori’s Nightjar, “Javan” Banded Broadbill, “Javan” Brown Prinia, and a slim chance of “Javan” Blue-banded Kingfisher. Mammals here could include Javan Surili, Javan Lutung, Javan Gibbon, and Javan Small-toothed Palm Civet. Night at Ceikini Research Station.

Day 4: We will spend some time this morning in search of species we missed the previous day before driving east to Cibodas at the base of Gunung Gede to prepare for our overnight expedition up the slope. Night at Cibodas. IMPORTANT: We will spend the night of Day 5 camping at elevation before returning to our rooms in Cibodas late on the night of Day 6. Anyone who wishes to avoid camping is welcome to stay lower down and go birdwatching independently of the group for this period, please let us know at the time of booking.

Day 5-6: Exploring the hiking trail towards the summit of Gunung Gede is likely to be a highlight of the tour, with the majority of Java’s endemic birds found here. The walk up is steep in places, but at a leisurely birding pace we expect to search out the Critically Endangered Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush, Javan Cochoa, Chestnut-bellied Partridge, Javan Scimitar Babbler, White-flanked Sunbird, Pygmy Tit, Javan Tesia, Javan Fulvetta, Javan Shortwing, Javan Scops Owl, Rufous-tailed Fantail, Pink-headed Fruit Dove, Sangkar White-eye, Trilling and Pied Shrike-babblers, “Javan” Sunda Blue Robin, Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch, Blue Nuthatch and Fire-tufted Barbet with outside chances for Indonesian Serin, Javan Woodcock and Volcano Swiftlet.

Day 7: We have the morning to bird around Cibodas in search of Sunda Thrush, Javan Kingfisher, Yellow-throated Hanging-parrot and “Javan” White-crowned Forktail before making our way back to Jakarta for a flight to Yogyakarta. If time allows in the afternoon we will search nearby paddyfields for Javan, White-headed, and White-capped Munia. Night in Yogyakarta.

Day 8: To the west of this bustling city in the center of Java lies Jatimulyo, a village at the forefront of conservation and ecotourism in Indonesia. With constant nest monitoring offering protection from trapping, we hope to be shown Javan Blue Flycatcher, Javan Sunbird, Ruby-throated and Melodious Bulbul, all now very difficult elsewhere. We will then transfer to the north coast. Night in Surabaya.

Day 9: At a patch of mangroves on the edge of town we will search for the rapidly declining Javan White-eye, which we will hopefully find alongside Javan Plover, Javan Coucal, and the beautiful Cerulean Kingfisher. We will then embark on a fairly long drive to the east coast. Night in Banyuangi.

Day 10-12: Using our hotel as a base, we will spend three full days dividing our time between Baluran National Park and the Ijen Plateu. Nights in Banyuangi.

The dry savannah of Baluran is characterised by an abundance of Green Junglefowl, Green Peafowl, and Timor Deer, but our primary target will be the Critically Endangered Black-winged Myna, with a dozen or so pairs still surviving here. We also hope to encounter Java Sparrow, Javan Flameback, Javan Banded Pitta, Javan Cuckooshrike, Grey-cheeked Tit Babbler, the recently split Javan Black-capped Babbler, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, the lowland “Javan” Scarlet Minivet and Sunda Collared Dove.

Beautiful hill forest at Ijen offers some very pleasant roadside birding, but with luck the new feeding stations will allow us to obtain some excellent views of the East Javan endemic Grey-breasted Partridge alongside usually skulky Horsfield’s Thrush and Javan Whistling-thrush. Javan Bush Warbler is another specialty here in the higher grasslands, while we also have a second chance for several species we may have missed in the west, including Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon, Orange-spotted Bulbul, White-bellied Fantail, Black-banded and Yellow-eared Barbets, Javan Helia (aka Mees’s White-eye) and Javan Owlet.

Day 13: After some final birding we will catch the ferry across the Bali and begin our exploration this afternoon. Night in Gilimanuk.

Day 14: Bali Barat National Park at the far north-west of the island is most famous for a protected population of beautiful Bali Myna, surely one of the most beautiful birds in Asia. During our day birding we will also keep an eye out for a few species we may still need such as Javan Banded Pitta, Ruby-throated Bulbul and Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher. Night in Gilimanuk.

Day 15: After a final morning session birding we will drive to Denpasar International Airport (DPS) where the tour ends this afternoon.


(can be taken as a stand-alone tour)

Day 1: Arrivals into Jakarta International Airport (CGK) today to meet the leader and stay overnight near the airport.

Day 2: Taking the first domestic flight north to Banda Aceh this morning, we will be met by our local guide and drive south along the coast to Meulaboh (5h). Night in Meulaboh.

Day 3-4-5: The Gunung Leuser Ecosystem offers exceptional roadside birding in the largest and least-exploited tract of accessible hill forest on Sumatra. In just a few days we can expect to see some of the least-seen and most threatened endemics which may end up beyond reach in the near future, with particular emphasis on Sumatran Laughingthrush, Sumatran Mesia and Aceh Bulbul. The forest also holds specialties such as Roll’s Partridge and Sumatran Woodpecker (both endemic to the northern hills), Schneider’s and Graceful Pittas, Blue-masked and Sumatran Leafbirds, Salvadori’s Pheasant, Red-billed Partridge, Rajah Scops Owl, and several more widespread Sumatran endemics such as Sumatran Frogmouth, Sumatran Trogon, Sumatran Treepie, Sumatran Babbler, Shiny Whistling-thrush, Brown-winged Whistling Thrush, Cream-striped and Sumatran Bulbuls, with an outside chance of Bronze-tailed Peacock Pheasant. Nights in Meulaboh.

Day 6: Transfer back north to Banda Aceh, then fly to Jakarta for an overnight stay.

Day 7: Morning boat trip into Jakarta Bay to search for Milky Stork and Christmas Frigatebird. We may have time for some extra coastal birding before returning to the hotel where we will meet the main tour this evening. Night in Jakarta.

Tour details

$ 4,500
Deposit: $ 750
Single room supplement: $ 550

Cost: $ 2,300
Deposit: $ 750
Single room supplement: $ 100

Accommodation: Basic but comfortable hotels except for two nights in guesthouse with shared facilities at Ceikini Research Station, and one night optional camping on Gunung Gede.

Walking difficulty: Generally easy walking on roads and small forest trails, but moderately steep walks while birding at Gunung Gede. Those opting to camp higher up may find parts of the ascent strenuous, but we will be taking it slowly.

Tour cost includes: All accommodation, main meals, drinking water, internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, tips to local drivers and guides, travel permits, entrance fees, and guide fees.

Tour cost excludes: Flights before and after the tour start/end, visa, travel insurance, tips to tour leaders, laundry, drinks and other items of a personal nature.