Sulawesi Birding and Trekking Explorer

This is the longer trip of our two 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.

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Day 1: International Arrival in Jakarta – Makassar (D)

International Arrival at Soekarno Hatta International Airport Jakarta, Our guide will be waiting to continue flight to Makassar. Transfer to your Hotel for rest.

Overnight Hotel Makassar

Day 2: Kareenta Forest – Palu – Lore Lindu National Park (B,L,D)

You will begin the day birding early morning in Karaenta forest to find the key species of the park; Black-ringed White-eye Sulawesi Streaked Flycatcher and White-vented Myna. After this, you will drive to the airport for a short flight to Palu. The trip continues with a minibus ride which will take 3-4 hours to get to Lore Lindu National Park. Birding along the way.

Overnight in Guest House or camp site near park
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 3-4: Birding at Lore Lindu National Park (B,L,D)

Two days birding along Anaso track and the lake Tambing to see montane species such as Geomalia, Great Shortwing. Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Diabolical Nightjar, Grey-headed Imperial Pigeon, Rufous-throated Flycatcher, Blue-fronted Flycatcher, Maroon-backed Whistler, Malia, Olive-flanked Whistler, Sulphur-bellied Whistler, Streak-headed Dark-eye, Malia, Sulawesi Thrush, Small Sparrow-hawk, Red-eared Fruit-dove, Chestnut-backed Bush-warbler, Sulawesi Lesser Honey-eater, Rusty-bellied Fantail, Greater Honey-eater, Mountain Serin and Cinnabar Boobook. We will spend part of the day birding along Padaeha roadside and Salibu forest for a good view of Yellow-and-green Lorikeet, Ornate Lorikeet, Sulawesi Goshawk and Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher.

Overnight in Guest House or Camp site near the park

Day 5: Lore Lindu NP – Palu (B,L,D)

Continue birding in the Park to find species that we have missed. Return to your accommodation to pack stuff. 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.

Overnight – Palu Golden Hotel

Day 6: Palu- Gorontalo (B,L,D)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Gorontalo via Makassar. You will be given the opportunity to spend a few days discovering mammals in Nantu Nature reserve, Pinembani Forest and Watumohai National Park.

Overnight in a guest house or camp site near the park

Day 7-12: Nantu Nature Reserve – Watumohai National Park – Pinembani Forest (B,L,D)

After breakfast, we drive around 5-6 hours to the park for view a range of mammals at Nantu Nature reserve. Babirusa (Pig-deers) and Anoa (Dwarf Buffalo) are two examples of the endangered mammals that can be seen in the park. Other places we can discover that you will have the chance to see  endangered mammals include Rawaopa at Watumohai National Park in South-east Sulawesi, and Pinembani forest on Gawalise Mountain, Central Sulawesi

Overnight in Guest House or campsite near the park

Day 13-14: Bogani Nani Wartabone National park (B,L,D)

Drive to Bogani Nani Wartabone NP for 2 days of exploring endemic species formerly known as Dumoga Bone. Continue to Tambun where you will have the chance to see Maleo and its nesting ground. We will continue birding along Molibagu roadside. After lunch, we will continue birding on Toraut Forest and here we will find speckled Boobook and there will be a good opportunity to see Raptors, Hornbills and Racquet-tails.

Overnight in Guest House or campsite near the park
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 15: Bogani Nani Wartabone National park – Kotamubagu (B,L,D)

After breakfast, we will pack up our stuff and the trip continues,driving to Kotamobagu. Birding along the way. Tonight we will see if we can see the Sulawesi Masked Owl roosting over Durian trees.

Overnight at Senator Hotel or Ranger’s House at Sinsingon Village

Day 16: Kotamubagu – Gunung Ambang (B,L,D)

Wake up early in the morning then drive to Sinsingon village, which is a gateway to Gunung Ambang. Birding along the trail, this section is a bit muddy and there might be heavy rain. Today we aim to discover target species such as the Scaly-breasted Kingfisher and Matinan Flycatcher. We then return to the hotel to have lunch and continue driving for to Doloduo.

Overnight Guest House or campsite near the park

Day 17: Gunung Ambang – Doloduo – Tomohon (Minahasa Highland) (B,L,D)

We continue birding in the park, then our journey continues driving 4-6 hours to Tomohon. Afternoon birding on Mahawu forest to see the Scaly-breasted Kingfisher as we might have missed it on Gunung Ambang. The Diabolical Nightjar should be seen within this forest.

Overnight guesthouse or campsite near the park

Day 18: Tomohon –  Tangkoko Nature Reserve (B,L,D)

After breakfast we pack our stuff. The trip continues, driving to Tangkoko Nature Reserve in Bitung, Manado. Birding along the way (if possible)

Overnight guesthouse or campsite near the park
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 19-20: Tangkoko Nature Reserve (B,L,D)

Two days of birding in the park to look for target species such as Red-backed Thrush, Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher, Green-backed Kingfisher, Ruddy Kingfisher, Knobbed Hornbill, Red-bellied Pitta, Spot-tailed Goshawk, Sulawesi Goshawk, Purple-winged Roller, Sulawesi Babbler, Blue-backed Parrot, Yellow-breasted Racquet-tail, Isabelline Bush-hen, Sulawesi Nightjar, Tabon Scrubfowl, Large Hanging Parrot and Pygmy Hanging Parrot. Sulawesi Dwarf Kingfisher, Ochre-bellied Boobook, Pied Cuckoo-shrike, Sulawesi Triller, White-bellied Imperial Pigeon, Silver-tipped Imperial Pigeon, Sulawesi Cicadabird, Sulawesi Hawk-eagle, Sulawesi Serpent Eagle and Sulawesi Short Crested Myna. We will spend part of the day on an outrigger boat trip across mangrove forest to see Black-billed Kingfisher, White-rumped Cuckoo-shrike and shore birds. In the evening you’ll be introduced for nocturnal primate or Tarsier called Tarsius spectrum that can be found only in the North Sulawesi only.

Overnight in Guesthouse or campsite near the park

Day 21-22: Tangkoko Nature Reserve – Lembeh Island (B,L,D)

Birding early this morning in the park to look for target species that might have still been missed. Back to Homestay for packing your stuff. The trip continues driving 15 minutes to Bitung city. Cross to Lembeh Island for some relaxing before flight back home.

Overnight at Bastianos Resort Lembeh

Day 23: Lembeh Island – Jakarta/International Departure (B,L,D)

After breakfast, cross back to the Main Island and transfer to the Airport of Manado for fly Jakarta for your International Departure to your country. Tour end.

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  • Duration23 days / 22 nights
  • Price£2,750$3,850
    Excluding international flights.
  • Tailormade DeparturesOn request
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