Cruising the Avian World of East Sulawesi

November 22, 2017 - 4 minutes read

Whether your clients are already card-carrying feathered fanatics or new to birdwatching, they’re sure to love SeaTrek Bali’s ornithological-focused cruises in Indonesia.

Birding on the exotic island of Sulawesi is out of this world. Ninety of the 507 bird species that have been recorded there are endemic or near-endemic — meaning you can only see these birds in Sulawesi. Among the notable species are the Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Purple-winged Roller, Golden-mantled Racquet-tail, and Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher.

Sulawesi’s signature bird is the Maleo, an odd megapode that lays its eggs in the island’s warm volcanic soils. SeaTrek cruises afford an opportunity to visit Maleo nesting sites and maybe even see them laying their eggs.

And did we mention birds of prey? Among the raptors one might spot on the island are the Sulawesi Serpent-Eagle, Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle, Black Eagles, Rufous-bellied Eagles and Black Kites.

From the break of dawn until lunch time, our professional spotters lead birdwatching excursions at various stops along the Sulawesi coast. Afternoons can be spent on more birdwatching, other outdoor activities (like trekking, swimming, snorkeling and village visits) or just kicking back and relishing the laid-back lifestyle aboard our ships.

The Avian World of East Sulawesi

(aboard the Ombak Putih, 10 days/9 nights, 13 Feb to 22 Feb 2018)

With ports of call in Kendari, Banggai, the Togian Islands and Gorontalo, this birdwatching cruise is priced lower than others because it’s a first-time exploratory trip for SeaTrek.

The cruise takes passengers through the remote, rainforest-clad coast and nature reserves of East Sulawesi, an extraordinary opportunity to add significant numbers to their birding life-lists because almost every species spotted will be something new and unique.

Outside of birding, the area’s pristine reefs offer the possibility of spotting exotic tropical fish or larger creatures like the hawksbill turtle, green turtle and dugong (manatee). Within this area are 37 villages, home to several welcoming ethnic groups eager to share their customs and culture.

The Beautiful Birdlife of Togian

(onboard the Katharina, 8 days/7 nights, 6 Mar to 13 Mar 2018)

From Gorantalo in North Sulawesi to the Togian Islands and back, this cruise charts a course through a watery warren of 56 islands and inlets covered in lush rainforest and surrounded by ancient coral reefs.

Because of its remoteness, the area teems with rare and endangered species. The Togian forest is home to exotic birds like the Sulawesi hornbill, Togian boobook, White-bellied Imperial Pigeon, Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker, Yellow-billed Malkoha and many more.

Beautiful Birds, Bays and the Underwater World

(onboard Katharina, 8 days/7 nights, 24 Oct to 2 Nov 2018)

Guest expert Kees Groeneboer leads this special 10-day cruise that explores parts of the famous Raja Ampat region as well as a coastal area of West Papua as far as Kaimana. Among the other ports of call are Triton Bay, Misool and Waigeo.

Perched at the easternmost end of the Indonesia archipelago, West Papua is home to many endemic and rare animals. Raja Ampat, which comprises 15,000 square miles of land and sea off the northwestern tip of Papua province, also promises dazzling birdlife. Who knows? Your clients may be lucky enough to witness the extraordinary courtship dances of both the red bird of paradise and Wilson’s bird of paradise.