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The specialities of Rondonia, Inambari & Acre

Brazil Birding Tours: our Southwestern Amazonia, Brazil bird watching holiday is a very unusual and pioneering birding trip to the parts that others do not reach. Our Southwestern Amazonia, Brazil birding tour focuses on the many endemics and other specialities of the little-visited but bird-rich Rondonia, Inambari and Acre regions.

Sunday 5th July — Tuesday 21st July 2020
(17 days)

Leader: Eduardo Patrial

Group Size Limit: 8

Tour Category: Easy walking for the most part and mostly good quality hotels (but some nights of simple accommodations)

No other place on the planet is so rich in term of species than the Amazon Forest of South America. One of the reasons for this extraordinary biodiversity is the complex mosaic of vegetation types that covers the entire region, which includes several types of forests and savannas at different altitudes. This ecological complexity over such huge area also results in a remarkably diverse avifauna, with over 1300 species of birds. Another important factor helping to create diversity is the influence of the main rivers of the Amazon basin on the distribution of bird species. The large Amazonian rivers represent important geographic barriers that help isolate their own biotas and create an interesting pattern of evolutionary relationships. As result, there are eight recognized centres of endemism in the region, based on both bird and primate studies: Guiana, Imeri, Napo, Inambari, Rondônia, Tapajos, Xingu and Belem.

In this context, this exciting new tour aims to offer a thrilling birdwatching opportunity in one of the richest area of the whole Amazon, the Madeira River basin in Brazil, a region possessing more than 800 species of birds, almost half of Brazil’s total. The Madeira River watershed in Brazil comprises two of the endemism centres, the Inambari in the west and the Rondônia in the east, both of which are very little covered in terms of birding tours.

From Porto Velho, the capital of Rondônia state, the tour will cover three distinct areas: two localities in eastern Rondônia, Tabajara and Campos Amazônicos National Park, and the Campina habitats around Humaitá in the southern part of Amazonas state. After that there will be an optional extension to the Rio Branco area in the neighbouring state of Acre. Despite being part of the ‘arc of deforestation’ in Amazonia, the region still guards some dazzling examples of wild and conserved areas, containing a rare avifauna with at least a dozen of the fifteen new species of birds described for the Amazon basin in 2013 alone!

Commencing at Porto Velho, we first will cover the northeast portion of Rondônia state, giving special attention to the endemics and other rarities of Rondônia. Five hours by car will bring us to the village of Tabajara by the bank of the beautiful Machado River, a large tributary of the Madeira. We shall stay here in simple accommodation in the village in order to explore the heterogeneous habitats present in the area, which include areas of ‘campina’, ‘campinaranas’, ‘terra firme’ and ‘varzea’ forest. In addition, boat trips will be taken to cover the riverine forest along the Machado River. Among the over 400 species recorded in the area, we can expect to find a number of specialities, including the endemic Roosevelt (Stipple-throated) and Aripuana Antwrens, Manicore Warbling Antbird, the gorgeous White-breasted Antbird, the secretive Pale-faced Bare-eye, Hoffmanns’s and Rondonia Woodcreepers, Chico’s Tyrannulet and rarities such as Wing-banded Antbird and Black-bellied Gnateater.

From Tabajara we will return to Porto Velho. We will be crossing the Madeira River to the west bank in search of the specialities of the Inambari endemism centre. Taking the highway BR-319, we will drive about an hour to reach some birding sites in the Campinas of the Humaita area of southernmost Amazonas state, sites which include areas of ‘campina’, ‘campinarana’ and ‘terra firme’ forest. Here we will be seeking such specialities as Western Striolated Puffbird, Humaita Antbird, Madeira (Stipple-throated) Antwren, Inambari Woodcreeper, Tupana Scythebill and the Brazilian endemics Predicted Antwren, Inambari Gnatcatcher and Campina Jay. While covering this region we also will be looking for some other fascinating birds such as Ocellated Crake and the army-ant followers Hairy-crested and White-throated Antbirds, and Reddish-winged Bare-Eye.

After an amazing journey through Rondônia and southern Amazonas, we shall continue to the neighbouring Brazilian state of Acre. Based at the state capital Rio Branco, our goal is to give special attention to the ‘terra firme’ forests of the region, especially the bamboo-dominated habitats which are responsible for the presence of several rare and localized species. Here we will cover several dirt roads that lead through some superb birding areas, where we will be looking for recently-described species such as Bamboo Antwren, Acre Tody-Tyrant and Rufous Twistwing, plus a fantastic array of additional bamboo specialties that include Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Rufous-capped and Fulvous-chinned Nunlets, Bamboo Antshrike, Manu, White-lined and Striated Antbirds, Rufous-fronted Antthrush, Bamboo Foliage-gleaner, Peruvian Recurvebill (which as so often is rare here), White-cheeked Tody-Flycatcher, Dusky-tailed Flatbill and Sulphur-bellied Tyrant-Manakin.

As well as this remarkable array of bamboo inhabitants, the forests of Acre are home to hundreds of other bird species, and we should also expect to find such goodies as Blue-headed Macaw, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, White-throated Jacamar, Curl-crested Aracari, Fine-barred and Rufous-breasted Piculets, Goeldi’s Antbird, Amazonian Antpitta, Black-faced and Purple-throated Cotingas, and Opal-crowned Tanager among others.

A major target endemic, perhaps one of the rarest birds in the whole Amazon, is the enigmatic Rondonia Bushbird. This species was, until recently, known only from a single female specimen and two sightings of males at the type-locality in Rondônia state in 1986 and a few subsequent records after the year 2000. Still very poorly known and naturally rare, it inhabits ‘terra firme’ forest dominated by dense vine-tangles and bamboo. This ‘mega-bird’ was recently found (and documented) in the area we will be exploring, so we do have real chances to find and observe it.

Of course, the bushbird is not the only special bird here. Another endemic rarity that we shall look for is the little Buff-cheeked Tody-Flycatcher, plus some other interesting species such as Pearly Antshrike, Ferruginous-backed Antbird and Yellow-browed Warbling Antbird.

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels in Porto Velho and Rio Branco are of good standard. At Tabajara we will stay in simple homestay accommodations. Road transport is by minibus or cars and roads are mostly good but sometimes poor.

Walking: The walking effort is mostly easy, but there are some moderate grade walks.

Climate: It is generally hot and humid. Periods of sunshine alternate with overcast spells and there is regular rainfall.

Bird Photography: Opportunities are worthwhile.


Birdquest Inclusions: our tour prices include all tipping, including tips for local guides and drivers. Some bird tour operators do not do this, yet for participants these costs are an unavoidable part of the tour. The value of these inclusions on this Birdquest tour amounts to approximately $220.

Price is provisional

£5140, €5880, $6940 Porto Velho/Rio Branco. Deposit: 10%.

Includes surface transportation, accommodations, meals, entrance fees and tips/gratuities.

Single Room Supplement: £496, €568, $670.

This tour is priced in US Dollars. Amounts shown in other currencies are indicative.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.

Many of the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOL Certificate

Birdquest Ltd is Registered in England, Company No. 01568270. The address of our registered office is Two Jays, Kemple End, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 9QY

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