Indonesia: Sulawesi & Halmahera - Birding Tour
Sulawesi and Halmahera are located in eastern Indonesia, and sit within the biogeographical region of Wallacea, so named, after the great naturalist and explorer Alfred Russel Wallace. In his long visit to the region he recognized the distinct changes in fauna between western and eastern Indonesia, and marked an invisible line separating Bali to the west from Lombok to the east (later referred to as “the Wallace Line”), which serves to illustrate the change from Asian biota to the west, and Australasian fauna to the east. This has since been expanded to recognize a general zone of transition between these two great biogeographical zones of Asia and Australasia-Wallacea. Long periods of geographical isolation have left this region loaded with endemics, with some 90 or more found on Sulawesi (taxonomy dependent), and more than 40 regional endemics found on the “Spice Island” of Halmahera, (part of a rich group of islands which were the subject of war and conflict between colonial powers such as Portugal and the British Empire during the 17th Century, when native spices such as nutmeg, mace and cloves were more valuable than gold). Halmahera alone offers up 2 more pittas, 2 birds-of-paradise, 3 more multicolored fruit-doves, up to 3 more owls, another nightjar, an owlet-nightjar, 4-5 more kingfishers, and up to 8 more parrots that cannot be seen on the first part in Sulawesi! For many, this “side trip” to Halmahera is the highlight of the tour. This all adds up to ensures that any first time visitor to the region will leave with over 100 life birds, with some spectacular species such as Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Ivory-breasted Pitta, Wallace’s Standardwing and Sulawesi Lilac Kingfisher likely to be among them.
20 July - 9 August (Price: TBA)