Mahakam River Birding

Duration: 04 Days/03 Nights

Grade: Easy

adjutant The mighty Mahakam River is the second longest river of Indonesia, it flows east for another 920 km to the Makassar Strait, east of Samarinda city. The Mahakam River offers some opportunities to spot birds and some Borneo’s rare animals such as proboscis monkeys, false ghavial, otters, monitor lizards, snakes, turtles, and freshwater dolphin. Dayak longhouse and Malay river civilization can be a nice additional attraction. The starting point of the classic river journey start from Samarinda to Muara Muntai by a houseboat, there are plenty of brahminy kites, kingfishers, herons, and egrets flying around during the houseboat journey. The boat cruise will end at Muara Muntai village, one of the busiest villages in the Mahakam middle lakes area, which is well known as the best point for birdwatching in Mahakam River that can be combined with other wild animals spotting and Dayak longhouse sightseeing.


Meet at airport and directly driving to Kebun Raya Balikpapan for spotting species of birds, such as; Wallace hawk’s Eagle, Bornean Brown Barbet, Racket tailed Drongo, rhinoceros hornbill, Chestnut bellied Malkoha, Black and yellow Broadbill, Garnet Pitta, Bornean black Magpie, Black and yellow Bul-buls, Crested fireback, Black thighed Falconet, etc. Afterwards, driving to Samarinda for overnight at hotel. (D)


After breakfast, we 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 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, shrike, 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)


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’s 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, proceed to Kuyung village to catch our car for driving back to Samarinda for overnight at hotel. (B,L,D)


Breakfast at hotel and free at your own leisure till the proper time for transferring to airport for your flight to next destination. (B)


  • AC land transportation
  • Motorized boat
  • Accommodation based on twin share:
    02 Nights at 3 stars hotel in Samarinda
    01 Night at homestay in Muara Muntai
  • Entrance fee, donation & refreshments
  • English speaking guide
  • Meals as stated on program, indicated as (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: dinner)


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

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