Welcome to Birdquest

SUMATRA

Indonesia Birding Tours: our Sumatra birding tour explores this huge but fascinating island that is visited by few birdwatchers yet has a very high number of endemic birds and restricted-range Sundaic birds. Our Sumatra bird watching holiday offers very comprehensive coverage, with more time in the key areas. It is not surprising that this extra time yields results, for some of the best of Sumatra’s special birds are very hard to find. These include mouth-watering species such as Salvadori’s Pheasant, Sumatran Trogon, Schneider’s and Graceful Pittas, Sumatran Wren-Babbler, Sunda Blue Robin, Temminck’s Sunbird, Red-bearded Bee-eater and Rufous-collared Kingfisher, as well as a surprising number of nocturnal species, including three species of frogmouth.

Sunday 8th July — Sunday 22nd July 2018
(15 days)


Leader: János Oláh

Group Size Limit: 7

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

White-winged Duck is one of a number of lowland specialities that may be found on this tour. For a selection of other photos from this excellent destination, have a look at the tour reports (Pete Morris)

White-winged Duck is one of a number of lowland specialities that may be found on this tour. For a selection of other photos from this excellent destination, have a look at the tour reports (Pete Morris)

Lying at the northwestern end of the Indonesian archipelago, the fascinating and little explored island of Sumatra is the second largest of the Greater Sundas – one of the biologically richest areas on Earth. Stretching nearly 2,000 km from end to end, it is one of the world’s largest islands. Less populated than adjacent Java, Sumatra has an extraordinary wealth of natural resources which today form an integral part of the Indonesian economy. Its remote jungles, forested volcanoes and fascinating variety of peoples and cultures make any visit to this mystical island an unforgettable experience.

Sumatra boasts nearly 400 resident species, many of which are shared with the Malay Peninsula and the other Greater Sundas. Of primary interest, however, are the 29 or so (depending on which taxonomic authorities you believe) strict endemics, although some of these are known from just a handful of specimens or are from small offshore islands, and the several Sundaic endemics that are shared only with Borneo or Java.

Although this is primarily a tour for those who want to see the exciting endemics of this important island, our exploration of Sumatra will also give us the opportunity to see a wide variety of Indo-Malayan species, from the broadbills, trogons and hornbills of the lowland rainforest to the many montane species that inhabit the highland forests. Fortunately, Sumatra is endowed with some excellent national parks, and we will be concentrating on two of these; Way Kambas, a lowland rainforest in the south, and Gunung Kerinci, a forested volcano (still active!) in the centre of the island.

Our starting point will be the city of Padang on the western coast of Sumatra. From Padang we will make our way to Gunung Kerinci which, at 3805m, is the highest peak in Sumatra. This remote area has recently hit the headlines with detailed reports of a new terrestrial ape, as yet unknown to science. Here we will explore mist-clad montane forest as well as nearby submontane forest and waterfalls. During our visit to Gunung Kerinci we have a good chance of finding many of Sumatra’s endemic species including Pale-headed (or Sumatran) Frogmouth, Cream-striped and Spot-necked Bulbuls, Sumatran Drongo, Sumatran Treepie, Rusty-breasted and Sumatran Wren-Babblers, and Shiny and Sumatran Whistling Thrushes. We will also hope to find some Sundaic endemics including many of the following: Sumatran Green Pigeon, Pink-headed Fruit Dove, Sumatran Trogon, Sunda Cuckoo-Shrike, Sunda Minivet, Sunda Bulbul, Sunda Laughingthrush, Sunda Blue Robin, Lesser Forktail, Sunda Warbler, Indigo Flycatcher and Black-capped White-eye. We will also have a good chance of finding some of Sumatra’s rarest birds which include Salvadori’s Pheasant, Schneider’s and Graceful Pittas, and Sumatran Cochoa, though, as with many of these spectacular families, the dense forest makes them very difficult to find!

The second part of our Sumatran journey features the Way Kambas reserve, in the south of the island. Way Kambas is perhaps best known ornithologically for its population of the endangered White-winged Duck, which we have a good chance of seeing. In addition, many lowland specialities occur here: storks, occasionally including the rare Storm’s Stork, frequently fly over the river and the dense forests hold a whole host of species ranging from the spectacular Green Broadbill and Malayan Banded Pitta to rare nocturnal denizens such as the remarkable Large Frogmouth.

Birdquest has operated tours to Sumatra and Java since 1984.

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

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels/lodges are mostly of good or medium standard. In Sungai Penuh (3 nights) we will be staying in a fairly basic but adequate hotel with rooms with private bathrooms. At Keresek Tua (5 nights) we will be staying in a basic but friendly family guesthouse with very basic shared bathroom facilities and no hot water. Road transport is by small coach or minibus and roads are variable in quality.

Walking: The walking effort during the main tour is mostly easy, except at Gunung Kerinci where the walking is moderate or harder. During the Java extension the walking 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 Kerinci and 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: REMOTE SUMATRA and/or JAVA

Tour Price: £3690, €4200, $4830 Padang/Jakarta. Single Room Supplement: £308, €350, $403. Deposit: £450, €540, $590.

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

Also includes these flights: Padang-Jakarta, Jakarta-Bandar Lampung-Jakarta.

Single rooms may not be available at Keresek Tua for all those requesting them, as the lodge has only a limited number of rooms. Anyone having to share unexpectedly will be given an appropriate refund.

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.

The lowland forests of Way Kambas have a rich variety of spectacular Sundaic species such as this Rufous-collared Kingfisher (Pete Morris)

The lowland forests of Way Kambas have a rich variety of spectacular Sundaic species such as this Rufous-collared Kingfisher (Pete Morris)

... and this Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Pete Morris)

... and this Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Pete Morris)

The fantastic Oriental Bay Owl is one of several nocturnal denizens that we target. (János Oláh)

The fantastic Oriental Bay Owl is one of several nocturnal denizens that we target. (János Oláh)

41 photos View Gallery Photos From SUMATRA
Sumatra is, without question, one of our best tours for nightbirding. The fantastic Large Frogmouth is one of several nocturnal denizens that we target (János Oláh)

Sumatra is, without question, one of our best tours for nightbirding. The fantastic Large Frogmouth is one of several nocturnal denizens that we target (János Oláh)

Other amazing nightbirds that we may encounter include the bizarre Pale-headed Frogmouth (János Oláh)

Other amazing nightbirds that we may encounter include the bizarre Pale-headed Frogmouth (János Oláh)

... and Reddish Scops Owl (János Oláh)

... and Reddish Scops Owl (János Oláh)

Lesser Adjutant is one of a number of lowland specialities that may be found at Way Kambas (Pete Morris)

Lesser Adjutant is one of a number of lowland specialities that may be found at Way Kambas (Pete Morris)

... and other forest species present here include the stunning Red-bearded Bee-eater (Pete Morris)

... and other forest species present here include the stunning Red-bearded Bee-eater (Pete Morris)

... and the elusive Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo (Pete Morris)

... and the elusive Malaysian Hawk-Cuckoo (Pete Morris)

The montane forests cloaking the impressive volcano of Gunung Kerinci are THE place to search for Sumatra's endemics (Pete Morris)

The montane forests cloaking the impressive volcano of Gunung Kerinci are THE place to search for Sumatra's endemics (Pete Morris)

... which include the secretive Salvadori's Pheasant (Pete Morris)

... which include the secretive Salvadori's Pheasant (Pete Morris)

... the colourful Sumatran (Blue-tailed) Trogon (János Oláh)

... the colourful Sumatran (Blue-tailed) Trogon (János Oláh)

... the secretive Schneider's Pitta (János Oláh)

... the secretive Schneider's Pitta (János Oláh)

... and the distinctive Spot-necked Bulbul (Pete Morris)

... and the distinctive Spot-necked Bulbul (Pete Morris)

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

top of page

Website crafted by the Accent Design Group.

Valid CSS| Level A compliant on bobby| 508 compliant on bobby| Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional|