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Indonesia Birding Tours: our Java birding tour explores this large but fascinating island that has been visited by few birdwatchers yet has a very high number of endemic birds and restricted-range Sundaic birds. Our Java bird watching holiday offers very good coverage, with more time in the key areas. It is not surprising that this extra time yields results, for some of the best of Java’s special birds are hard to find.

Sunday 22nd July — Tuesday 31st July 2018
(10 days)

Leader: János Oláh

Group Size Limit: 7

Tour Category: Easy to fairly demanding walking and mostly comfortable accommodations

During this enjoyable tour we will explore the island of Java, the southeasternmost of the larger Greater Sunda islands. Java is a land of great beauty, dominated by its mountainous interior, where high peaks and smoking volcanoes are flanked by forests and fertile terraced fields that trip down the slopes like giant steps. The birds here have more in common with those of mainland South-East Asia than with those of eastern Indonesia, beyond ‘Wallace’s Line’, which have shared affinities with the Australasian avifauna. Boasting over 300 species, of which 35 are strictly endemic and many others endemic to the Greater Sundas as a whole, Java offers a birding experience not to be missed.

Java, with its population of around 100 million, plays a central role in Indonesia’s economy and culture. Besides being the geographical and political hub of the country, and hosting Indonesia’s three largest cities, many of Indonesia’s most significant historical developments took place here, including the struggle for independence. The peoples of both islands are Malay in origin, but the Muslim faith of the Javanese is in stark contrast to the Hindu beliefs of the adjacent Balinese. Bali’s geographical location and the tides of history have served to isolate it from the Hindu mainstream in the Indian subcontinent, but this very isolation has been responsible for the extraordinary vitality of its culture. From the wonderful costumes and dances to the incredible number of temples (in some districts there seem to be more temples than houses!), Bali and its friendly people constantly fascinate and delight the traveller.

Our journey begins in the Jakarta region, where we will look for such specialities as Javan Plover, Javan (or Sunda) Coucal, Javan White-eye and White-capped Munia.

From there we travel inland to Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park, named after the sister volcanoes Gede and Pangrango which tower to over 3000m and which are still active to this day. With its hot springs, spectacular waterfalls, billowing plumes of sulphurous gases and beautiful moss-encrusted montane forest, this amazing national park holds nearly all of Java’s endemic birds, including Javan Hawk-Eagle, Chestnut-bellied Partridge, Javan Trogon, Flame-fronted and Brown-throated Barbets, Javan Whistling Thrush, Javan Tesia, Crescent-chested Babbler, Javan Fulvetta, Rufous-tailed Fantail, Pygmy Bushtit, Mees’s White-eye and the exquisite White-flanked Sunbird.

Next we travel to the more remote Gunung Halimun National Park, the largest tract of true rain forest on Java, and the only place where we can go birding in intact lowland rain forest. Based at a research station inside the forest, we will search for the many specialities of this beautiful and little-known protected area, which include Sumatran Green-Pigeon, Javan Scops Owl, White-breasted Babbler, Spotted Crocias, White-bellied Fantail, and Javan Sunbird, as well as one of Java’s few healthy populations of the endangered Javan Gibbon.

Afterwards we will visit the Carita area, where endemic and near-endemic specialities include the gorgeous Javan Banded Pitta, Black-banded Barbet, Yellow-eared Barbet and Grey-cheeked Tit-babbler.

As something of a contrast, our last birding in west Java will involve a boat trip to Pulau Rambut, a small island in the Java Sea off Jakarta, where we hope to find the declining Milky Stork as well as other coastal species like Christmas Frigatebird and Pied Imperial Pigeon.

Birdquest has operated tours to Java since 1984.

Important: We want to stress that a significant number of Javan specialities are difficult to find, so more time spent in the habitat is the key to success. The Birdquest tour spends longer at Gunung Gede than other tours.

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels/lodges are of good or medium standard. Road transport is by small coach or minibus and roads are variable in quality.

Walking: The walking effort is mostly easy, but walking at Gunung Gede is moderate, or even fairly demanding to reach the higher levels.

Climate: In most areas the weather should be mainly hot and dry with perhaps an occasional, sometimes prolonged shower. At Gunung Gede the weather will be warm or hot lower down, but may be quite cool higher on the mountains. At this time of the year the weather is often largely dry, though afternoon showers are a common feature.

Bird Photography: Opportunities are worthwhile.

Can be taken together with: SUMATRA

Tour Price: £2290, €2610, $3000 Jakarta/Jakarta. Single Room Supplement: £261, €297, $342. Deposit: £300, €360, $390.

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

Base prices for this tour are in US Dollars. The exchange rates applied at the time of costing were: £1 = $1.310 and €1 = $1.150.

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 flights and 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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