Indonesia Highlights: Sulawesi, Java & Komodo: Aug 25—Sep 10, 2018

Register NowTour Details

Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: Manado
Ends: Denpasar
Tour Limit: 8
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (169.7 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Dion Hobcroft

Dion Hobcroft has been working for VENT since 2001. He has led many tours (more than 170) to...

More Information

Knobbed Hornbill

Knobbed Hornbill— Photo: feathercollector/shutterstock

A nation of thousands of islands, Indonesia is one of the world’s great birding and wildlife destinations. Our itinerary includes comfortable hotels, well-protected forests, and good infrastructure. We will visit the fabulous temple complex of Borobudur, get up close to the incredible Komodo Dragon, and take in a fabulous cross section of Indonesian birds.

Indonesia is home to more than 1,500 species of birds. Alfred Russel Wallace spent eight years exploring this remarkable country, collecting more than 100,000 specimens including an amazing series of birds. After Wallace realized that the deep passage of water, the Sunda Strait separating Bali from Lombok, had two very different populations of wildlife on either side, the term Wallace’s Line was coined. We will visit national parks on both sides of Wallace’s Line and obtain firsthand experience of the great differences in wildlife as experienced by Wallace.

Borobudur Temple, Central Java, Indonesia

Borobudur Temple, Central Java, Indonesia— Photo: Richard Susanto/shutterstock

We will begin on the northern peninsula of the extraordinary star-shaped island of Sulawesi. Here, in hill forests and lowland forests, staying in lovely hotels, we will search for a trove of wildlife. Mammal possibilities include the goggle-eyed Spectral Tarsier, the bizarre Bear Cuscus, and fabulous Black Crested Macaques. Kingfishers, hornbills, parrots, pigeons, cuckoos, and strange starlings lead the way in an impressively rich birding region.

From Sulawesi we will travel to Java, a volcanic island with fertile soils and a massive population. As one of the Greater Sunda Islands, Java has a wildlife representation similar to Southeast Asia. Here forests resound to the calls of gibbons while partridges, scimitar-babblers, trogons, and cochoas hide in tall forests. We will spend two days in the well-protected forests of the Gede National Park and adjacent Botanic Garden. The ancient temple complex of Borobudur is one of Indonesia’s most impressive cultural sites, on a par with Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We will spend time taking in this archaeological masterpiece and hopefully connecting with some rare birds here like the Java Sparrow.

Komodo Dragon, Komodo Island

Komodo Dragon, Komodo Island— Photo: Kjersti Joergensen/shutterstock

From Java we will fly across to Flores and cross Wallace’s Line again. Exploring mountain and lowland forest, we will search for such gems as Bare-throated Whistler, White-rumped Kingfisher, and Elegant Pitta to mention a few. As a finale to the main tour we will spend a day exploring Komodo Island. Here we can spend the coolest part of the day enjoying an encounter with the remarkable Komodo Dragon, easily the world’s largest lizard. There are plenty of interesting birds to attract us here including the rare Yellow-crested Cockatoo. We will fly onward to Bali where the main tour concludes.

On an optional extension to the lovely island of Bali we will search for the beautiful and very rare Bali Myna and other special birds.

Good to excellent accommodation; easy terrain trail and roadside birding (although some optional uphill forest hiking in Java and some steps at Borobudur); tasty fresh cooked food; some good wildlife photographic opportunities, especially in Tangkoko and Komodo; down time in the middle of the day where possible; hot and humid in the lowlands to cool and pleasantly fresh in the mountains, reaching an altitude of 7,000 feet on occasions.