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Raja Shelduck Tadorna radjah is one of 245 widespread resident bird species in West Papua that always is a thrill to see. Copyright © Roland Hilgartner

West Papua birding expeditions

Our birding expeditions are prolonged, meticulously keened-out bird-watching adventures in which West Papua's legendary birdlife, greatest hotspots, and some of the most pristine destinations known there, blend with our hospitality, organizational skills and birding expertise into a truly memorable travel experience. Below are highlighted some proven New Guinea birding itineraries designed to maximize time in the field in order to come to grips with as many avian treasures as possible.

Best of West Papua

Wilson's Bird-of-paradise Diphyllodes respublica is among 54 bird species that occur only in West Papua and nowhere else on Earth. It is entirely confined to the Raja Ampat islands of Waigeo and Batanta off New Guinea's western tip. Copyright © Roland Hilgartner

19 days/18 nights
Sorong lowlands, tantalizing Waigeo Island and a Dampier Strait atoll, Arfak montane forests, Lake Sentani and northern lowlands near Jayapura, and Biak Island in Geelvink Bay: this is West Papuan birding at its best!


Waigeo, Arfak and northern lowlands

The Green-backed Robin Pachycephalopsis hattamensis only marginally protrudes into Papua New Guinea and hence the species virtually is a West Papua endemic too. Copyright © Ed Agter

17 days/16 nights
Sorong lowlands, tantalizing Waigeo Island and a Dampier Strait atoll, Arfak montane forests, and Lake Sentani and northern lowlands near Jayapura.


Waigeo and Arfak

The majestic Western Crowned Pigeon Goura cristata is among 54 bird species that are endemic to West Papua and, except for an introduced population on the Moluccan island of Seram, occurs nowhere else on Earth. Copyright © Fabrice Tortey

11 days/10 nights
Sorong lowlands, tantalizing Waigeo Island and a Dampier Strait atoll, and Arfak montane forests: Vogelkop birding at its best!


Arfak and northern lowlands

The adult male Black Sicklebill Epimachus fastuosus can be remarkably unobtrusive and easily overlooked when quietly feeding in fruiting Pandanus. Copyright © Myron Tay

12 days/11 nights
Arfak montane forests and Lake Sentani and northern lowlands near Jayapura: best of the highlands and lowlands.


Amazing Arfak

Mountain Owlet-nightjar Aegotheles albertisi, as most members of the Aegothelid family, responds rather unpredictably to broadcasting of pre-recorded vocalizations and often proves more easily tracked-down on its day-time roost, usually in dense thickets.

9 days/8 nights
Arfak montane forests of Mount Indon and the Anggi Giji basin in a single integrated journey.


    Why go birding in West Papua with Papua Expeditions?
  • Genuine birders catering for birders: we just know what the discerning bird-watcher wants.
  • Expert bird identification and interpretation by great guides, keen on sharing an intimate knowledge, amassed over years of practical field experience.
  • Our unrivaled digital sound library of West Papuan birds, now exceeding 5,000 tracks, maximizes the outlook of coming to grips with the most elusive of species through sparing and cautious playback in the field.
  • Extensively researched, top quality birding itineraries, maximizing time in the field: we take you off the beaten track to pristine hotspots we know inside out!
  • Very small groups for better birding: minimum 4 and maximum 6 participants plus 2 expedition leaders.
  • Small company means attention to people and detail.

I want to say again thank you very much for organizing such a wonderful expedition. Working on the 'Life' project I have been fortunate enough to have filmed many great bird spectacles over the last two years, but our trip to West Papua has been one of my favorites. This is not only because of the truly incredible birds, but also for the excellent logistics which you set up. I don't think I have ever eaten so well while filming in a tropical forest!
Barrie Britton, Cameraman 'Life', BBC Natural History Unit, UK