Borneo Long-lost Birdwatching 07 Days

Duration: 07 Days/06 Nights

Grade: Moderate

The Meratus Mountain is a low-elevation range skirting the south-east corner of Borneo in the Indonesian province of South Kalimantan. They run north-northeast and are c.300 km in length and 65 km wide, with a highest point at Mt. Besar (1,901 m). The mountains consist mainly of an early Cretaceous volcanic arc and ophiolite sequence.
Most forest in the Meratus Mountains is intact compared to the surrounding lowlands, but it is largely unprotected from logging and development, except the southern section, which lies within the Martapura-Pleihari Reserve.
In Meratus Mountains area, there are about 316 bird species from 47 tribes of 358 bird species of Kalimantan and at least 3 of these species are of great interest to bird-watchers, they are;

The black-browed babbler (Malacocincla Perspicillata) is a songbird species in the family Pellorneidae. The species is endemic to Borneo. It is only a single specimen, collected in the nineteenth century was known, until the bird was rediscovered in Borneo during 2020.
The natural habitat of M. Perspicillata is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, at altitudes of 200–1,170 m (660–3,840 ft). Its rediscovery in 2020 solidified the belief that the bird is from southeast Borneo. The conservation status of M. Perspicillata is insufficiently known. Formerly, it was classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN. But new research has shown the lack of reliable information, while on the other hand, some conjectural presumptions have been gleaned from the specimen, opening up new lines of research. Consequently, its status was changed to Data Deficient in 2008. The songbird is threatened by agriculture, logging allowed within protected areas, plantations for rubber and palm oil, and drought fires. Within the next few years, there is risk of near complete loss of dry lowland forest in Kalimantan. In October 2020, M. Perspicillata was rediscovered in South Kalimantan, 170 years after the last confirmed sighting.

The New Meratus jungle flycatcher (Cyornis kadayangensis) is a species of Old World flycatcher closely related to the Dayak blue flycatcher (Cyornis montanus). The species has a lighter blue color than the Dayak blue flycatcher on the upperparts and more whitish and less red color on the under-parts. The species is confined to the Meratus Mountains of Borneo, Indonesia, which are surrounded by degraded secondary woodland or converted land space.

The new Meratus white-eye is most closely related to Zosterops chloris but distinguished by olive upper-parts and darker under-parts. Is visually distinctive with its overall more olive-greenish appearance.

Day 01 ARRIVAL IN BANJARMASIN – RINDU ALAM – SERONGGA VILLAGE

Arrive at Banjarmasin airport with morning flight and directly driving across villages, lowland, rainforest, mountainous landscape, and beaches to reach the Rindu Alam Forest to spot the Javan White-eye and other bird species. We will then proceed to the limestone hills near Serongga Village to spot the Black-Browed Babbler. Afterwards, driving to the local hotel in Serongga Village for overnight. (L,D)

Day 02 SERONGGA VILLAGE – LIMESTONE HILLS – LOKSADO

Early morning, we proceed to the limestone hills to spot the Bornean black-browed babbler and other bird species. Afterwards, we will drive across rainforest and mountainous landscape to reach Loksado for overnight at the lodge. Lunch and dinner will be served at local restaurants. (B,L,D)

Day 03 LOKSADO – KADAYANG – MERATUS MOUNTAIN

After breakfast, we will proceed to kadayang Village by motorcycle to meet our local guides and porters. We will then trekking up the Meratus Mountain to set our campsite in the jungle. In the afternoon, we can do bird-watching to spot the Meratus jungle flycatcher, Meratus white-eye, and other bird species. Lunch, dinner, and staying overnight at the campsite. (B,L,D)

Day 04 MERATUS MOUNTAIN BIRDWATCHING

Full day birdwatching to spot Meratus jungle flycatcher, Meratus white-eye, and other birds such as Bornean barbet, Bornean treepie, Bornean whistler, Bornean leaf-bird, Chestnut-hooded laughing thrush, Bornean Stubtail, etc. Return to the campsite for overnight. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided.. (B,L,D)

Day 05 MERATUS MOUNTAIN– KADAYANG – LOKSADO

Second day birdwatching in the area of Meratus Mountain upper the Kadayang Village to spot Meratus jungle flycatcher, Meratus white-eye, and other birds such as Bornean barbet, Bornean treepie, Bornean whistler, Bornean leaf-bird, Chestnut-hooded laughing thrush, Bornean Stubtail, etc. Next, trekking down to Kadayang Village and then proceed to Loksado for overnight at the lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 06 BAMBOO RAFTING – SUNGAI RUTAS – BANJARMASIN

After breakfast, we will get the adventure trip of bamboo rafting across beautiful landscape of tropical rainforest along the Amandit riverside. We can do bird-watching during the bamboo rafting. Next, driving to Sungai Rutas village to get our boat crossing the romantic river to spot wildlife such as proboscis monkeys, long tailed macaque, black leaf monkeys, monitor lizards, and bird species like; kingfishers, bee-eaters, long tailed parakeet, buffy fish owl, green pigeons, oriental darter, lesser adjutant, etc. Afterwards, proceed to Banjarmasin for staying overnight at hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 07 FLOATING MARKET – JUMPUN PAMBELOM– SAMPIT

Early in the morning, we will leave to floating market for exploring the unique culture of Banjarese that trade commodities from boat to boat, then return to hotel crossing Banjarmasin River while sightseeing people activities at riverside. Free at your own leisure till the proper time for transferring to airport for your next destination. (B)

Included:

  • AC land transportation
  • Motorized boats
  • Bamboo rafting
  • Accommodation based on twin share:
    01 Night at local hotel in Serongga Village
    02 Nights at Loksado Lodge
    02 Nights at bivouac/tent in Meratus Mountain
    01 Night at 3 stars hotel in Banjarmasin
  • Entrance fee, donation & refreshments
  • English speaking guide
  • Meals as stated on program, indicated as (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: dinner)
  • Porters on trekking

Excluded:

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

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