Indonesia’s reputation as a paradise is held up not only by idyllic beaches and lush jungles, but also a rich variety of wildlife. The tropical weather and untouched rainforests have sustained the existence of at least 380 endemic species and hundreds more migratory species. Discover the best spots to bird watch in Indonesia.
Although located just two hours drive from the capital Jakarta, the Puncak area on the ridge of Mount Gede-Pangrango is a whole other world, compared to the busy urban scene. Aside from its strategic and near location from the city, this area is also popular among bird watchers for its wildlife richness, as a natural habitat to some Javan endemics, including the Javan Hawk-Eagle, Javan Frogmouth, Javan Trogon, Sunda Blue Robin, and more. Bird watching can be done while trekking through the jungly trail with breathtaking views to the waterfall and hot water spring. In October, the bird almanac of Puncak expands as migratory birds and raptors pass by the area.
Compared to some national parks, Puar Lolo’s biodiversity may not be as rich. The endemic species are limited and there aren’t so many habitats in the area if compared to other popular bird watching sites. But Puar Lolo forest makes up for it with a well-preserved, pristine raw nature. The site also owes its popularity among domestic and international tourists to its prima donna, the Flores eagles. This mighty hawk-eagle is endemic to Flores and unfortunately is listed as critically endangered. Bird watchers can also observe other Flores endemic species, including the Flores corvus and Flores scops owl.
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Kerinci Seblat National Park is mostly known for being the habitat of tigers and tropical plants, but its wildlife variety actually includes hundreds of Sumatran endemic birds. Bird watchers have the chance to encounter almost all Sumatran endemics in this natural reserve, including the Salvadori’s Pheasant, Red-billed Partridge, Sumatran Peacock-Pheasant, Sumatran Treepie, and more. Although the park covers a vast 1.6 million hectares of forest, bird watching is usually concentrated in the Tapan Road or Gunung Kerinci summit trail. During the hike, tourists can also encounter unique plants species, like the world’s largest flower Rafflesia arnoldi and the tallest flower Titan arum.