Trip report: Papua New Guinea (July 2012) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Nick Leseberg.  9-26 July (Main Tour) & 26 -30 July (New Britain Extension)

The simple mention of Papua New Guinea will send most keen birders into a swoon. That is not surprising given the host of incredible birds possible like the King-of- Saxony Bird-of-Paradise (above). The focus tends to be on birds-of-paradise but Papua New Guinea is also home to a huge variety of brightly colored pigeons and parrots, bowerbirds, kingfishers a number of other curious species like the Wattled Ploughbill and Blue-capped Ifrita. It would be great if all these birds were as accessible as they are on David Attenborough’s wonderful documentaries, but unfortunately birding in PNG is much tougher than people think. The national saying is ‘expect the unexpected’ and this applies to every aspect of the trip, from transport and accommodation through to land access and of course the birds. All this turns at the end into the greatest birding anecdotes and stories. Many people say it is the most difficult place they have ever birded so if you are planning a trip to PNG, it is important to be thoroughly prepared for the experience. It is certain you will see some of the world’s most amazing birds and you will see them well, but it is also certain you will have to work hard for many of the other great birds that PNG is deservedly known for, being well rewarded at the end.

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