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Finding a Mountain Owlet-nightjar Aegotheles albertisi on its day-time roost in dense thickets inside montane forest of the Arfak Mountains is a thrilling experience.

Amazing Arfak

Birding expedition

This West Papuan birding expedition focuses exclusively on the isolated and rugged Arfak Mountains in the eastern sector of New Guinea's Bird's Head or Vogelkop Peninsula, near the provincial capital Manokwari. On the first leg of our birding adventure we basically follow in the footsteps of the great Italian naturalists D’Albertis and Beccari, who once collected in the Hattam-country only a few kilometers away from our base in the Arfak Mountains on the mid-slopes of majestic Mount Indon, towering 2,425 m above the Prafi Valley. Nearly a century and a half elapsed since the intrepid D’Albertis was the first westerner to penetrate any distance into the mountains of New Guinea exactly here in 1872, but birding these magnificent woods, swathed in clouds during parts of most days, remains an irresistible adventure. A privileged opportunity also, to be taken in tow by the Hattam, across their ancestral lands, and marvel at endemic birdlife that few outsiders have ventured to come and see before. The second leg of our expedition takes us to the Anggi Giji basin, situated at 1,860 m elevation in the Sougb-country of the southern Arfak Mountains, primarily in search of its endemic Grey-banded Munia. But the visually stunning Anggi Giji basin is also an excellent place to come to grips with more widely ranging wet grassland specialists like Lewin’s Rail and Spotless Crake. And stands of swampy Pandanus-dominated forest at the base of the surrounding slopes support the nearly mythical Shovel-billed Kookaburra, with a good selection of the montane Arfak avifauna waiting to be explored uphill.

When?

Possible year-round, but most certainly best from June to November.

Scheduled departures

Please enquire for details on our upcoming departures.

Physical effort

Reasonable physical fitness and good agility are required for this tour which plies some challenging terrain.

Tour summary

Day 1 > Manokwari and Arfak montane forests.
Day 2-4 > Arfak montane forests.
Day 5 > Arfak montane forests and Manokwari.
Day 6 > Arfak montane forests and Anggi Giji basin.
Day 7 > Anggi Giji basin.
Day 8 > Anggi Giji basin and Manokwari.
Day 9 > Manokwari.

Tour description

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Related links

Read on about the birdlife of the Arfak Mountains.

Browse our terms and conditions.

Browse our check-list of the birds of West Papua.

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The celebrated 19th century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described the King Bird-of-paradise Cicinnurus regius as a wanton waste of extreme beauty. Copyright © Dubi Shapiro

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9 days/8 nights

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Needless to say we are still talking about our trip and the wonderful time we had, not the least of which was the pleasure of your company. There is nothing we can think of that would enhance your tours. You have literally thought of everything and really go the extra mile to ensure your guests are comfortable and get maximum value. We were also most impressed with the way you deal with the local communities.
Doug and Ulai Kirwin, Thailand