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Borneo Birdwatching Highlights

Duration: 16 Days/15 Nights

Grade: Easy

scarlet rumped trogonKalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, the world’s third largest island which is well known as off the beaten track for world birdwatchers. Kalimantan is massive, making up by far the biggest proportion of the island of Borneo. There are at least 5 best diversity and accessibility birding sites in this Borneo of Indonesia, they are; Tanjung Puting National Park, Sungai Wain Reserve, Mahakam River, Kutai National Park, and Maratua Island. These Indonesian Borneo Birdwatching Highlights are rarely visited, many birdwatchers prefer to visit the easier Sabah and Sarawak states of Malaysia. However, this least visited birding makes several of the Bornean endemic and rare bird species such as Borneo Peacock Pheasant, Bornean Bristlehead, Bornean Ground Cuckoo, Bornean Banded Pitta, Bornean Crested Fireback, Bornean Black Magpie, Maratua Shama, Storm’s Stork, Garnet Pitta, Blue Naped Parrot, Bornean Brown Barbet, Bornean Blue Flycatcher, Bornean Flowerpecker,  and others are much easier to be found than in the neighbor sites.

Day 01  ARRIVAL IN PANGKALAN BUN – TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK

Meet at airport and directly transfer to Kumai village for boarding the houseboat to Tanjung Puting National Park. The houseboat is a traditional wooden river boat with roof forms the upper deck where you can view the rainforest as it glides by. The boat crew including the boatman, cook and expert guide. In the peaceful afternoon, we will slowly explore the quite river by the houseboat while observing the primates and birds along the riverside, such as racket tailed drongo, little green and pink necked pigeons, spotted dove, stork billed kingfisher, herons, kinds of bul-bul, etc. Lunch, dinner and staying overnight on houseboat. (L,D)

Day 02  TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK

Early morning, we will proceed to Pesalat station which is inhabited by species of birds such as greater and lesser coucals, kinds of bul-bul, chestnut bellied and raffless malkohas, bristlehead, red throated barbet, hooded and garnet pittas, sunda pygmy and banded woodpeckers, minivet, leafbird, babblers, flowerpeckers, trogons, bulwer’s pheasant, asian paradised flycatchers, etc. Next, boarding the houseboat for cruising upward the creek to Camp Leakey where the older orangutans are reintroduced into the rainforest. At this station, we will visit the feeding station to see rehabilitated orangutans are given additional foods. Afterwards, cruising downward the river into Pondok Ambung Station for staying overnight on the houseboat. During the boating, we will have opportunity to spot some birds on riverside such as stork billed and blue eared kingfishers, black and red broadbills, rhinoceros, black, and oriental pied hornbills, storm’s stork, etc. If the weather is good, we can do a night trekking to explore nocturnal animals such as tarantula and species of birds. Lunch, dinner and staying overnight on houseboat. (B,L,D)

Day 03  TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK

Early morning, we will proceed to the birding spot on Pondok Ambung Station which is inhabited by species of birds such as greater and lesser coucals, kinds of bul bul, chestnut bellied and raffless malkohas, red throated barbet, hooded and garnet pittas, sunda pygmy and banded woodpeckers, minivet, leafbird, babblers, flowerpeckers, trogons, asian paradised flycatchers, etc. Lunch will be served on boat while sighting wild animals and birds along the riverside. Next, we will depart to Tanjung Harapan Feeding Station for viewing the feeding process of orangutans. Back to the houseboat for enjoying the natural river view cruising. Lunch and dinner will be served on houseboat. (B,L,D)

Day 04  TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK – BANJARMASIN – BARITO RIVER

Breakfast at houseboat and cruising the Sekonyer river while exploring the wildlife and birds on riverside and then return to Kumai port to catch the car for driving to Pangkalan Bun airport for your flight to Banjarmasin. Arrive in Banjarmasin and directly driving to hotel for check in. In the afternoon, we will cruise downward the Barito River to the estuary for exploring the fascinating mangrove forest which is inhabited by proboscis monkeys, silvery langurs, long tailed maccaques, and many birds. Afterwards, return to hotel while birding with slow boating across beautiful rice field, bushes, mangrove forest, and remote villages. (B,L,D)

Day 05  FLOATING MARKET – BALIKPAPAN – SUNGAI WAIN RESERVE

Early in the morning, we will cross the Banjarmasin river into floating market for exploring the unique culture of Banjarese that trade commodities from boat to boat. We will have opportunity to spot birds on riverside including green pigeons, munias, bul-buls, sunbirds, tailorbirds, kingfishers, babblers, brahminy kites, etc. Return to the hotel for having breakfast. Free at your own leisure till the proper time for transferring to airport for your flight to Balikpapan. Arrive at Balikpapan airport and directly driving to Sungai Wain Reserve and check in to a homestay. In the afternoon, we will do birdwatching with hope to see Bornean peacock-pheasant, Bornean ground-cuckoo, Malaysian honeyguide, blue-headed pitta, bristlehead, bornean wren-babbler, grey-breasted babbler, yellow-rumped flowerpecker, red bearded bee-eater, banded woodpecker, hornbills, Asian paradise flycatcher, etc. Return to the homestay for overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 06  SUNGAI WAIN RESERVE

Early morning we will start our full day birdwatching with hope to see the exotic birds such as Bornean peacock-pheasant, Bornean ground-cuckoo, Malaysian honeyguide, blue-headed pitta, bristlehead, bornean wren-babbler, grey-breasted babbler, yellow-rumped flowerpecker, red bearded bee-eater, banded woodpecker, broadbills, hornbills, Asian paradise flycatcher, etc. Meals and staying overnight provided at homestay. (B,L,D)

Day 07  SUNGAI WAIN RESERVE – SAMARINDA

Full day birdwatching with hope to see the exotic birds such as Bornean peacock-pheasant, Bornean ground-cuckoo, Malaysian honeyguide, blue-headed pitta, bristlehead, bornean wren-babbler, grey-breasted babbler, yellow-rumped flowerpecker, red bearded bee-eater, banded woodpecker, broadbills, hornbills, Asian paradise flycatcher, etc. Afterwards, driving to Samarinda for check in to hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 08  SAMARINDA – KABO VILLAGE – KUTAI NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast at hotel, we will be driving to Kabo village for cruise up to Kutai National Park by motorized canoe, during the boating we will have opportunity to sight some birds such as oriental pied hornbill, coucals, brahminy kite, kingfishers, broadbills, etc. Arrive at the national park and then trekking to the jungle to spot orangutans and birds as many as possible such as; kinds of bulbul, chestnut bellied and raffless malkohas, brown and red throated barbets, sunda pygmy and banded woodpeckers, hornbills, fiery minivet, leafbirds, babblers, scarlet backed flowerpecker, crimson sunbirds, bornean blue flycatcher, hooded and blue headed pittas, red bearded bee-eater, Bornean bristlehead, spider hunters, oriental dwarf kingfisher, trogons, violet cuckoo, hornbills, white rumped shama, black and red broadbill, hill myna, scoop owls, green imperial pigeon, crested fireback, etc. In the evening, we can do night trekking to explore tarantula and other animals such as insects, sleeping birds, frogs, etc. (B,L,D)

Day 09  KUTAI NATIONAL PARK – DELTA SANGATTA – SAMARINDA

Early morning, we will do birdwatching to spot as possible such as; kinds of bulbul, chestnut bellied and raffless malkohas, brown and red throated barbets, sunda pygmy and banded woodpeckers, hornbills, fiery minivet, leafbirds, babblers, scarlet backed flowerpecker, crimson sunbirds, bornean blue flycatcher, hooded and blue headed pittas, red bearded bee-eater, bristlehead, spider hunters, oriental dwarf kingfisher, trogons, violet cuckoo, hornbills, white rumped shama, black and red broadbill, hill myna, scops owls, green imperial pigeon, crested fireback, etc. Next, we will cross downward the river into Delta Sangatta to spot estuarine crocodile, proboscis monkeys, as well as the birds such as; white bellied sea eagle, dollarbirds, collared kingfisher, brahminy kites, little green pigeons, plovers, etc. Afterwards, we will be driving back to Samarinda for overnight on hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 10  SAMARINDA – MAHAKAM RIVER – MUARA MUNTAI

After early breakfast at hotel, we will proceed to boat station for cruising the Mahakam River with public houseboat, here you can explore the local people way of life, the riverside civilization that certainly different with our normal life on the land. The houseboat is public wooden boat with two decks, the first deck carrying goods and economy class with capacity about 100 passengers and the second deck is the executive class with capacity of 75 passengers. At the back side, there are Borneo style toilets and canteen providing Indonesian food, tea, coffee, and snacks. The boat stops sometimes to pick and drop passengers or loading supplies. During the boating, we can explore some birds on riverside such as; herons, egrets, kingfishers, barned swallow, shrikes, oriental pied hornbill, bee-eaters, changeable hawk, brahminy kite, pigeons, coucals, etc. Arrive at Muara Muntai and directly check in to the homestay. (B,L,D)

Day 11  MUARA MUNTAI – JEMPANG LAKE – OHONG RIVER – MANCONG – BALIKPAPAN

Early morning, we can proceed to the bush and farmland nearby the village to spot some birds such as; pink necked green pigeons, spotted dove, flycatchers, starling, coucal, bee-eaters, tailorbirds, flowerpeckers, sunbirds, spiderhunters, etc. Next, proceed to Jempang Lake by motorized canoe to explore the waterbirds such as herons, egrets, darter, black winged stilt, waterhen, common moorhen, lesser adjutant, whistling ducks, fish eagle, whiskered terns, and storm stork if you are lucky. We will then entering the Ohong River to reach Mancong village to explorean exotic longhouse. The Ohong River is habitat of proboscis monkeys, monitor lizards, golden ringed snakes, reticulated python, and some beautiful birds such as blue eared kingfishers, pittas, broadbills, woodpeckers, green leafbirds, racket tailed drongo, asian paradised and blue flycatchers, blue tailed bee-eater, etc. Afterwards, proceed to Kuyung village to catch our car for driving to Balikpapan for overnight on hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 12  BALIKPAPAN – BERAU – TANJUNG BATU – MARATUA

Breakfast at hotel and free at your own leisure till the proper time for transferring to airport for your flight to Berau. Arrive at Berau airport and directly driving to Tanjung Batu port crossing bushes, mountainous landscape, rainforest, farmland, and villages. Afterwards, crossing the Sulawesi Sea to reach Maratua Island for check in to a guesthouse. In the afternoon, we can do birding to spot species of birds such as; Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Nicobar Pigeon, Grey Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Black-naped Fruit Dove, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Maratua Shama, Maratua Bul-bul, Rainbow Bee-eater, Blue-naped Parrot, Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Kingfishers, Frigate Birds, etc. (B,L,D)

Day 13  MARATUA – KAKABAN – SANGALAKI – MARATUA

After breakfast, we will proceed to Kakaban island for snorkeling on the wondrous lake with 4 different species of jelly fish that can be found by thousands. Next, proceed to Sangalaki for snorkeling on the site which is called as the Capital of The Mantas Rays, including kinds of exotic fish, such as; Napoleons, purple sea horses, tunitates, dwarf scorpion fishes, and not to forget the coral sea garden which is fascinating. Afterwards, return to the guesthouse for overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 14  MARATUA ISLAND BIRDING

Full day birding to spot species of birds such as; Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Nicobar Pigeon, Grey Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Black-naped Fruit Dove, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Maratua Shama, Maratua Bul-bul, Rainbow Bee-eater, Blue-naped Parrot, Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Kingfishers, Frigate Birds, etc. (B,L,D)

Day 15  MARATUA ISLAND BIRDING

Full day birding to spot species of birds such as; Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Nicobar Pigeon, Grey Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Black-naped Fruit Dove, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Maratua Shama, Maratua Bul-bul, Rainbow Bee-eater, Blue-naped Parrot, Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Kingfishers, Frigate Birds, etc. (B,L,D)

Day 16  MARATUA ISLAND – TANJUNG BATU – DEPARTURE

Breakfast at guesthouse and then proceed back to Tanjung Batu port to catch our car for driving to Berau airport for your afternoon flight to next destination. (B)

Included:

  • AC land transportation
  • Private houseboat in Tanjung Puting National Park
  • Public houseboat in Mahakam River
  • Motorized boats
  • Accommodation based on twin share:
    03 Nights at houseboat in Tanjung Puting National Park
    01 Night at 3 stars hotel in Banjarmasin
    02 Nights at homestay in Sungai Wain
    02 Nights at 3 stars hotel in Samarinda
    01 Night at research camp in Kutai National Park
    01 Night at homestay in Muara Muntai
    01 Night at 3 stars hotel in Balikpapan
    04 Nights at guesthouse in Maratua Island
  • Entrance fee, donation & refreshments
  • English speaking guide
  • Meals as stated on program, indicated as (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: dinner)

Excluded:

  • Airfares
  • Airport taxes and extra baggage fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Expenses incurred due to Force Majeure
  • Personal expenses