Borneo Birdwatching Highlights

Duration: 16 Days/15 Nights

Grade: Easy

scarlet rumped trogon Kalimantan, 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 at 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 explore the story of first orangutan project in the world, we will then trekking to the feeding station to see rehabilitated orangutans are given additional foods. Afterwards, cruising downward the river while spotting 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 at houseboat. (B,L,D)

Day 03 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 04 FLOATING MARKET – SUNGAI RUTAS – LOKSADO

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, etc. Breakfast at hotel and then driving to Batu Hapu village to explore the cave with remarkable panorama that has graced the stalactite and stalagmite. We will then continue driving to Sungai Rutas village to get our boat crossing the romantic river to spot wildlife and birds such as; proboscis monkeys, long tailed macaque, black leaf monkeys, kingfishers, lesser adjutant, herons, long tailed parakeet, green pigeons, bee-eaters, brahminy kite, coucals, etc. Afterwards, proceed to Loksado across the beautiful swampy and lowland landscape into the plateau of Meratus mountain. Lunch will be served en route, dinner and overnight at lodge in Loksado. (B,L,D)

Day 05 BAMBOO RAFTING – BANJARMASIN – BALIKPAPAN

In the morning, we will take an adventure trip of bamboo rafting across beautiful landscape of tropical rainforest along the Amandit riverside while spotting birds on riverside such as kingfishers, blue flycatchers, babblers, barbets, coucals, flowerpeckers, woodpeckers, leafbirds, broadbills, etc. We will then driving to Banjarmasin to catch your afternoon flight to Balikpapan. Arrive at Balikpapan airport and then transfer to hotel for check in. (B,L,D)

Day 06 BALIKPAPAN – SUNGAI WAIN RESERVE

Early morning, we will drive to Sungai Wain Reserve to 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 – BUKIT BANGKIRAI

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 Bukit Bangkirai for check in to a cottage. (B,L,D)

Day 08 BUKIT BANGKIRAI – LOA JANAN – MAHAKAM RIVER

Early morning, we will trek and climbing the canopy bridge to explore the rainforest from above as well as spotting birds such as hornbills, Borneo magpies, velvet-fronted nuthatch, leafbirds, malkohas, Asian paradise flycatchers, woodpeckers, blue-crowned hanging parrots, barbets, etc. We will then return to the cottage for packing up our stuff and then leaving to Loa Janan for boarding the houseboat to start the exciting adventure of Mahakam River. During the boating, we can explore the river civilization and spotting birds such as; herons, egrets, kingfishers, barned swallow, shrikes, oriental pied hornbill, bee-eaters, changeable hawk, brahminy kite, pigeons, coucals, etc. Lunch, dinner and overnight at houseboat. (B,L,D)

Day 09 MUARA MUNTAI – OHONG RIVER – MANCONG – MAHAKAM RIVER

In the morning, we can have sightseeing the villagers daily activities from the long wooden bridge which is made of iron wood. 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 explore an 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, return to houseboat for cruising downward the Mahakam River. Lunch will be served en route, dinner and overnight at houseboat. (B,L,D)

Day 10 MAHAKAM RIVER – KABO VILLAGE – KUTAI NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast at houseboat, we will be driving to Kabo village for crossing up the river into Prevab camp of Kutai National Park, 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. Lunch will be served en route, dinner and overnight at the camp. (B,L,D)

Day 11 KUTAI NATIONAL PARK

Full day birdwatching with hope to see 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. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the camp. (B,L,D)

Day 12 KUTAI NATIONAL PARK – DELTA SANGATTA – BALIKPAPAN

Early morning, we will do birdwatching to spot 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, 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, proceed back to Balikpapan for overnight at hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 13 BALIKPAPAN – BERAU – TANJUNG BATU – MARATUA ISLAND

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 the cottage. 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 14 MARATUA ISLAND – KAKABAN – SANGALAKI – MARATUA ISLAND

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 cottage for overnight. (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

Early morning, we can do birdwatching to spot 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. Afterwrads, 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
  • Private houseboat in Mahakam River
  • Motorized boats
  • Accommodation based on twin share:
    02 Nights at houseboat in Tanjung Puting National Park
    01 Night at 3 stars hotel in Banjarmasin
    01 Night at Loksado Lodge
    02 Nights at 3 stars hotel in Balikpapan
    01 Night at homestay in Sungai Wain
    01 Night at cottage in Bukit Bangkirai
    02 Nights at houseboat in Mahakam River
    02 Nights at camp in Kutai National Park
    03 Nights at cottage 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