This is the shorter trip of our Sulawesi Birding itineraries. This is a birdwatching and trekking adventure discovering the marvellous national parks dotted across the island. Full of opportunities to see a number of fascinating birds.
This trip aims to provide you with some of the best bird watching to be had in Sulawesi, Indonesia an area that boasts one of the largest endemic bird populations on earth with the main island of Sulawesi being home to no less than 12 endemic genera and over 40 endemic species. A further 56 species are endemic to the Sulawesi sub-region which covers the neighbouring islands of Sula and Banggai. However most can be found on the main island. Birdwatchers who visit this mysteriously K-shaped island are guaranteed to find a host of new and unusual species.
In addition to a rich bird life Sulawesi is home to nearly 80 endemic mammals such as the unique dwarf buffalo known as the Anoa, a curious pig known as the Babirusa, the Spectral Tarsier, the Sulawesi Bear Cuscus and the Crested Black Macaque that is found in the Tangkoko Nature Reserve .
The island boasts eight national parks of which four are forested, with the others covering marine areas. In order to see the widest selection of species present we visit three of the four national parks. They are the and Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi, Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park on the Northern Peninsula and the Tangkoko Nature Reserve.
BIRDING AND TREKKING DISCOVERY ITINERARY
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN JAKARTA
Arrive at Jakarta International Airport to be greeted and then transferred to your accommodation.
DAY 2: PALU- LORE LINDU NATIONAL PARK
Your day will start with a short flight to Palu where you will drive directly to Lore Lindu National Park, giving you the opportunity for bird view along the main road. Here you will check into your overnight accommodation at Mama Sendy Homestay in Wuasa.
DAY 3-4: BIRDING AT LORE LINDU NATIONAL PARK
Two days birding along Anaso track and the lake Kalimpa’a with the possibility to see highland species such as; Malia, Pygmy Cuckoo-Shrike, Great Shortwing, Streak-Headed Dark-Eye, Blue-Fronted Flycatcher, Rufous-Throated Flycatcher, Henna-Tailed Jungle-Flycatcher, Yellow-and-Green Lorikeet, Piping Crow, Sulawesi Thrush, Maroon-Backed Whistler, Yellow-Flanked Whistler, Red-Eared Fruit-Dove, Sulawesi Ground Dove, Sombre Pigeon, Grey-Headed Imperia Pigeon, Purple-Bearded Bee-Eater, Satanic (diabolical) Nightjar, Barred Honey-Buzzard, Dark-Eared Myza, Black-Ringed White-Eye, and with the highlight species of this park, Geomalia.
Lore Lindu National Park (2290 square kilometers) has the majority of (80%) of Sulawesi’s endemic birds. The park has an altitude of 2,350 meters above sea level and includes spectacular mountain rainforest around Mount Rorekatimbu. The lowland forest in the park is in poor condition and therefore the higher-altitude areas are best for birding. Some of the key birds to look out for are the Fiery-browed Starling and the unparalleled Purple-bearded Bee Eater,the Sulawesi Woodcock, Geomalia, Great Shortwing, and Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker. The Giant Civet with it huge paws, that enables it to climb trees and seek out the Sulawesi hornbills, is also found here.
DAY 5: Lore Lindu National Park – Palu
An early start as you continue birding in the Park to find species that we have missed. Then return to your accommodation to pack stuff and have lunch. The trip continues driving down to Palu – Birding on rice fields at Oloboju Pale-headed Munia, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, White-shouldered Triller and Savana Nightjar. If there is enough time, we will take time to discover more birds on salt ponds – seeing shore birds.
DAY 6: PALU- PARIGI
After breakfast, transfer to Parigi, birding on the way. Lunch and dinner will be at a local restaurant in Parigi.
DAY 7: Parigi – Marisa
After breakfast, drive to Marisa. Lunch will be eaten on-route. Dinner and overnight at Irene Hotel Marisa
DAY 8: MARISE – GORONTALO
Breakfast box, check out at 5.00 then drive for about 2 hours to Randangan Panua Nature Reserve for more birding. Continue to Gorontalo for dinner and overnight at Grand Q Gorontalo
DAY 9: GORONTALO – NEAR MOLIBAGU
After breakfast, journey via South Route visit Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park (formerly known Dumoga Bone)
Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park comprises 3000 square kilometers of protected tropical jungle from sea level to a height of 1920 meters. The park has a large proportion of the wildlife that is found at low to middle altitudes within Sulawesi. A must see species here is the Maleo – a ground dweller that is famous for laying its eggs volcanically heated soil to incubate its eggs. Other must see birds of this national park are the Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, Sulawesi Hawk Eagle, Knobbed and Sulawesi Hornbills and Purple-Winged Roller and the Golden-Mantled and Yellow-Breasted Racquet-Tails
DAY 10-11: MOLIBAGU – DOLODUO
In the morning explore more of Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park from the East side. Then an afternoon drive to Doloduo., about a 1 hour drive away.
2 days birding around the park:
Early morning at Tambun where you will get the chance to see the Maleo and its nesting ground. Other endemic species; Sulawesi Black Pigeon, White-Necked, Finch-Billed Myna, Myna, Sulawesi Hawk-Cuckoo, Black-Billed Koel, Ivory-Backed Woodswallow, Sulawesi Cicadabird, Sulawesi Babbler
The second morning you will drive to Toraut via a bamboo raft. Toraut is the headquarters of the park. Here is one of the best, sites for birding. They have a huge range of birds here including, raptors, pied cuckoo-shrike, yellow-breasted racquet-tai, golden mantled racquet-tail, ornate lorikeet, and speckled boobook. Return to the accommodation for overnight.
Please note: that this itinerary is subject to change depending on the Maleo session.
DAY 12: DOLODUO – AMBANG – KOTAMOBAGU
Early morning drive to Ambang (approx. 3 hours). Here you will be able to do more birding and be able to hear the morning calls of Matinan Flycatcher, Drab Whistler, Caerulean Cuckoo-Shrike, Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, Sulphur-Bellied Whistler, Sulawesi Leaf Warbler, Super Fruit-Dove, Fiery-Browed Myna, Sulawesi Drongo, Purple-Bearded Bee-Eater, and with luck, Scaly-Breasted Kingfisher. Trip continues on driving through the western part of the park. Spend the afternoon birding along Molibagu road. Check-in and overnight Hotel Senator Kotamobagu.
DAY 13: KOTAMOBAGU – TOMOHON
After breakfast we will bird around the park, before returning to accommodation to pack up your stuff, and drive ahead to Minahasa highland. Check-in and overnight at Tomohon
DAY 14: TOMOHON – TANGKOKO
After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to the starting point of the trek to Mt. Mahawu but on the way, we stop at a local market in Tomohon which sells dogs, rats, bats and snakes. Then start the 50-minute trekking up Mt Mahawu, take in the huge crater when you reach the top, as well as beautiful panoramic views and surroundings. When you have finished taking in the view you will descend back to the bottom via Tondano Lake, the biggest lake in the province.
An afternoon drive will take you to Tangkoko where you will check into Tangkoko Lodge near the park. Spend the late afternoon at the park observing a nocturnal primate (Tarsius spectrum), and Black monkey of Sulawesi (Macacanigra).
The Tangkoko Nature Reserve is home to 9 Kingfisher species and home to the rare Red-Backed Thrush and the Small Sulawesi Hanging Parrot as well as the opportunity to see one of Sulawesi’s most curious mammals – the Spectral Tarsier.
DAY 15: BIRDING AT TANGKOKO
Birding at Tangkoko for target species of Sulawesi such as; Green-backed Kingfisher, Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher, Dwarf Kingfisher, Red-backed Thrush, Knobbed Hornbill, Spot-tailed Goshawk, Sulawesi Goshawk, Small Sparrow-hawks, Sulawesi Hawk-eagle, Purple-winged Roller, Sulawesi Triller, Ochre-bellied Boobook, Bay Coucal, Yellow-billed Malkoha, White-bellied Imperial Pigeon, Silver-tipped Imperial Pigeon, Isabelline Bush-hen, Sulawesi Scops-owl, Small and Large Hanging Parrot, Sulawesi Nightjar, Ashy Woodpecker, Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker, and Dwarf Hornbill. Other common birds that should be seen namely; Stephan Dove, Rusty-Breasted Cuckoo, Blue-backed Parrot, Black-naped Fruit-dove, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Black-naped Monarch, Great Eared Nightjar, Ruddy Kingfisher, ect.
DAY 16: TANGKOKO – MANADO
Early morning walk looking for tarsiers and birding this morning. Then back to the hotel for lunch and check out. You will then be transferred to Manado where you will have a short city tour and that will visit the Ban Hinkiong Temple, the Samratulangi Monument and the Tunan Waterfall. Dinner and an overnight stay will be at Cocotinos.
DAY 17: MANADO – AIRPORT
Breakfast at the hotel, and then you will be driven to the Manado Airport to be transferred back to Jakarta airport where you can catch a flight to your next destination.