Our birding-watching adventure will begin in Ternate, in Indonesia’s North Maluku province. After everyone has been picked up at the airport or from a hotel in Ternate City, we will travel by speedboat to Sofifi Harbour on Halmahera. From there, our journey continues by car to the Weda Resort on the east side of the island. This ride of 3-4 hours takes us through some facinating landscape. Stops will be made along the way so that we can catch our first glimpses of some of the birds of Halmahera. We will check in at the Weda Resort and have lunch there. In the afternoon, we can enjoy our first bird watching experience in the Weda Forest, where we will see more of the endemic birds. Hopefully we can also observe the beautiful courtship dance of the Standardwing (Wallace’s) Bird-of-Paradise, which only lives on Halmahera.
At dawn we will set out on a trek through the Weda Forest looking for more of the fabulous birds of Halmahera. We will start from another spot where we can watch the Standardwing (Wallace’s) Bird-of- Paradise again, dancing in the trees above us. The rest of the morning we may spot many more birds of Halmahera, including, perhaps, the endemic Paradise Crow. In the afternoon we can enjoy additional bird watching in the area or some fantastic snorkelling in Weda Bay.
This morning presents our last chance to spot more of the endemic Halmahera birds in the Weda Forest. After lunch, we will check out of the Weda Resort and join our beautiful boat, the Katharina. Our tour leaders will give a safety briefing and, if time allows, we can go for another wonderful snorkel in Weda Bay. In the afternoon we will start the long overnight crossing east to Pulau Gebe, (pulau is the Indonesian word for 'island‘).
The island of Gebe is situated halfway between Northern Raja Ampat and Halmahera, and birds can therefore be found from both regions. In the morning we will trek from the village of Umera to try to spot some of these birds. We may see imperial pigeons, fruit-doves, cuckoos, kingfishers, parrots and maybe we will see the Glossy-mantled Manucode. In the afternoon we can explore some of the tiny islands nearby for snorkelling and water sports. Overnight we will cruise south to Pulau Kofiau.
In the morning we can go trekking in search of some of the endemic birds on Pulau Kofiau: Spectacled Imperial Pigeon, Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher, Spotted Kestrel, Kofiau Monarch, Black-faced Munia. In the afternoon we can enjoy some good snorkelling and explore the area using the dinghies. In the early evening we will begin our cruise to the
island of Gam.
Starting before dawn, we will trek from the village of Yanbesir on Pulau Gam in the hope of seeing the Red Birds of Paradise performing their spectacular courtship dances. On the way back we should see many other birds native to the area. Hopefully we will also meet the Glossy-mantled Manucode. In the afternoon we will visit the nearby tiny island of Mioskon, which is home to a number of special birds. There is also the possibility of some good snorkelling off the beach. At dusk, we can watch thousands of flying foxes crossing over to the mainland of Waigeo Island. In the evening we, too, will head to Waigeo.
Starting once again before dawn, we can participate in a long trek from the village of Sapokoren on Pulau Waigeo in search of the fabulous Wilson’s Bird of Paradise, hopefully we will see its elaborate mating display just in front of us on the forest floor. Making our way back to the boat we will be accompanied by the calls and sounds of the jungle coming to life, and we can be sure to spot a variety of birds along the way. We might even see the Glossy-mantled Manucode and Red Bird-of-Paradise flying around. In the afternoon we will move to the nearby island of Mansuar for snorkelling and beach activities, and in the evening we will cruise to the south side of Pulau Batanta.
On Pulau Batanta we will set off in the early morning to go birding from the village of Walibed, where once again we will have the opportunity to see various birds-of-paradise, parrots, pigeons and other native birds of Raja Ampat. In the afternoon we may do another walk in this area, and in the evening the Katharina will cross to the nearby island of Salawati.
Early in the morning we will go bird-watching in the Salawati Forest, the home of the King Bird-of-Paradise. With a bit of luck, we might also find the Magnificent Riflebird, Magnificent Bird-of-Paradise, Lesser Bird-of-Paradise or Trumpet Manucode. We even might get to meet the Northern Cassowary here too. In the afternoon we can take another bird watching walk in this area. In the evening we will have our farewell party with the crew of the Katharina and overnight we will cruise to our final desination, the harbour of Sorong.
After a quick stop for a last swim and refreshments on one of the nearby islands, we will make our way back to the harbour of Sorong. Here we will bid farewell to the ship and her crew. Our tenders will take you ashore for your transfer to the airport for your onward travel.