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WEST PAPUA EXPEDITION

Wednesday 6th November — Tuesday 19th November 2019
(14 days)


Snow Mountain Robin Extension: Friday 1st November — Wednesday 6th November (6 days)

Leader: Mark Van Beirs

Group Size Limit: 7

Tour Category: Mostly easy walking and comfortable to basic accommodations (but the optional pre-tour extension is strenuous)

Our regular West Papua tours, which we have been perfecting and fine-tuning since we organized the first ever birding trip in 1992 to what was then called Irian Jaya, are now classic, smooth running trips which observe a fantastic percentage of the West Papua specialities.

There are, however, still a number of very localized endemic or special birds in far flung corners of the western half of New Guinea and on this expedition we will be aiming to get to grips with some of these.

The marshes and savannas of the southern lowlands are inhabited by an Australian-influenced avifauna, but hold several very localized endemic species like the spectacular Spangled Kookaburra and Black and Grey-crowned Mannikins. There is even an unconfirmed record of Fly River Grassbird from the area.

The fabled Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher only lives in two disjunct areas in New Guinea and in the surroundings of Sorong we will be trying hard to observe this avian jewel.

The distant Raja Ampat island of Kofiau holds another two endemics, the Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher and the Kofiau Monarch, which we should add to our tally during our visit.

During the optional pre tour extension we will hike to the top of Mount Trikora, the third highest mountain in New Guinea, where we will admire the fabled and little known Snow Mountain Robin in its barren, rocky habitat.

Waigeo Extension Option: If there are interested participants, we will also arrange aqn extension to the higher altitudes on the island of Waigeo, where the shy Waigeo (or Bruijn’s) Brushturkey lives. We will be hoping to admire this close relative of the more widespread Wattled Brushturkey as it attends its breeding mounds high in the karst wilderness of Waigeo’s interior. The extension will most likely be of 7 days and the cost will depend on the number of participants. Please inform our office at the time of booking if you are interested in participating in this extension.

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels used are of good or medium standard. Elsewhere we stay in a simple guesthouses with two or more people per room and basic washing and toilet facilities. We will have to camp for some nights during the optional Snow Mountain Robin extension. Road transport is by minibus or 4x4s. Roads are rather poor and few and far between, but then we do not have to travel long distances on them.

Walking: The walking effort is mostly easy, sometimes moderate during the main expedition. Walking in the Snow Mountains during the optional pre-tour extension is strenuous at times.

Climate: Unpredictable and dependent on local topography but at this season it should be mostly dry and often sunny. It is generally hot and humid in the lowlands and foothills. At high altitudes daytime temperatures are pleasant but it can get cool at night or when it rains.

Bird Photography: Opportunities are worthwhile.

West Papua Tour Prices: We are sometimes asked why West Papua tour prices are so expensive, especially when there are basic accommodations for much of the trip. The answer is straightforward, but not entirely obvious to an outside observer; the very high price levels that are charged by the local agents. There are very few competent local ecotourism agents in West Papua and the best of them have to have an unusual level of expertise in order to function well in this remote and very undeveloped part of the world. They assure us that their operating costs in West Papua are very high.

It is possible the expedition dates may have to change by a few days on either side before being finalized, to fit infrequent air and boat schedules.

Prices are provisional

Expedition Price: £4650, €5220, $6370 Jayapura (Sentani)/Sorong. Single Room Supplement: £210, €236, $288. Deposit: £550, €660, $770.

Snow Mountain Robin Extension: £1890, €2120, $2590 Jayapura/Jayapura. Single Room Supplement: £60, €67, $82. Deposit: £250, €300, $350.

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

Also includes these flight: Jayapura (Sentani)-Merauke-Jayapura, Jayapura-Sorong and Jayapura-Wamena-Jayapura.

The single room supplement relates to Merauke, Sorong and Wamena only.

Base prices for this tour are in US Dollars. The exchange rates used are: £1 = $1.370 and €1 = $1.220.

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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