Papua New Guinea Birding-2019

2 | I T I N E R A R Y

Papua New Guinea ( PNG ) is indeed a birder’s paradise. Thirty-four birds-of-paradise live on the island of New Guinea, of which thirty-one can be found in Papua New Guinea, and a large number of these are possible on this tour! The island of New Guinea is home to approximately 400 endemics! Together with awe-inspiring scenery, endless rainforests, and fascinating highland societies that only made contact with the outside world in 1930, this makes Papua New Guinea a definite must-do destination for any avid birder. We start our adventure in the tropical savanna near Port Moresby. This area holds species restricted to northern Australia and PNG, such as the remarkable and huge Papuan Frogmouth, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, and a couple of gorgeous kingfishers, Yellow-billed Kingfisher and Brown-headed Paradise Kingfisher. We then fly to the Mount Hagen Highlands, where we base ourselves at Kumul Lodge, the holy grail of PNG highland birding. At Kumul’s legendary feeding table some of PNG’s most spectacular birds await us in form of Ribbon-tailed Astrapia (surely one of the best-looking of the island’s birds-of-paradise?), Rufous-naped Whistler, Brehm’s Tiger Parrot, Archbold’s Bowerbird, Crested Satinbird, and many more. The area around Mount Hagen also holds a host of other birding gems, Brown Sicklebill, King of Saxony Bird-of-paradise, and Lesser Bird-of-paradise among them. Our next destination is the western lowlands around Kiunga, a port town on the Fly River in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. In this remote part of the country we will search for a host of breathtaking specialties, including the giant Southern Crowned Pigeon, the bizarre Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise and the gorgeous and rather small King Bird-of-paradise, complete with snail-shell-like tail streamers! Our next stop is the little-visited Star Mountains, where we search for some hard-to-find and highly-sought species such as Queen Carola’sParotia, Greater Melampitta, and Shovelbilled Kookaburra. We then fly back east to PNG’s western highlands around Tari, the capital of the Tari-Pori district. More dazzling birds await us here, like the unique Blue Bird-of-paradise, Lawes’sParotia, Princess Stephanie’s Astrapia, Papuan Eagle (sometimes referred to as Papuan Harpy Eagle!), and many, many more. The Tari region is also home to the legendary HuliWigmen, and our tour includes the opportunity to experience this very unique cultural attraction, which is certain to be a non-avian tour highlight that will live in memory for a very long time. Finally we return to Port Moresby and spend our last day birding the nearby Varirata National Park. Varirata is home to the beautiful Raggiana Bird-of-paradise, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooded Pitohui, an array of spectacular fruit doves, and much more.

You may also like to consider our West Papua: Arfak and Waigeo Birding Expedition (3 – 14 August 2019).

This tour visits the northwestern side of the island of New Guinea, being a province of Indonesia, and looks for endemic Wilson’s Birds-of-paradise, Red Bird-ofParadise, ArfakAstrapia, Black Sicklebill, Long-tailed Paradigalla, and more!

3 | I T I N E R A R Y

 Itinerary ( 19 Days/18 Nights )

Day 1.

Arrival in Port Moresby, birding around Pacific Adventist University After your morning arrival at Port Moresby’s Jacksons International Airport we will transfer to the nearby Gateway Hotel. After check-in we proceed to an afternoon of birding at the grounds of Pacific Adventist University. Overnight: Gateway Hotel, Port Moresby

Day 2.

Varirata National Park Today we will have a short drive to Varirata National Park, which provides splendid low- and mid-elevation birding. We will spend the day here and might be able to find, among many others, such exciting birds as Barred Owlet-nightjar, Pheasant Coucal, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Brown-headed Paradise Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Black Berrypecker, or, if we are lucky, even our first bird-of-paradise and Papua New Guinea’s national bird, the magnificent Raggiana Bird-of-paradise. Overnight: Gateway Hotel, Port Moresby

Day 3.

Flight to Mount Hagen and birding around Kumul Lodge We transfer to the airport for a flight to Mount Hagen. On arrival we will be met and transferred to Kumul Lodge. In the afternoon we will be birding around the lodge, targeting some of the birds listed below. Overnight: Kumul Lodge, Mount Hagen

Days 4 – 5.

Birding Mount Hagen We will have two full days birding this avian wonderland, including looking for Blue Bird-ofparadise. Some other birds that we hope to see on Mount Hagen include Papuan Harrier, Chestnut Forest Rail, Goldie’s Lorikeet, Papuan Lorikeet, Yellow-billed Lorikeet, OrangebilledLorikeet, Mountain Owlet-nightjar, Black-breasted Boatbill, White-winged Robin, Regent Whistler, Rufous-naped Whistler, Black Sittella, Common Smoky Honeyeater, Grey-streaked Honeyeater, Fan-tailed Berrypecker, Crested Berrypecker, Mountain Firetail, Yellow-breasted Bowerbird, Crested Satinbird, Ribbon-tailed Astrapia, King of Saxony Bird-of-paradise, Brown Sicklebill, and Lesser Bird-of-paradise. Overnight: Kumul Lodge, Mount Hagen

Day 6.

Flight to Kiunga We transfer back to the airport for a flight from Mount Hagen to Kiunga. We will be met and transferred to Kiunga Guesthouse. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy some birding, if time permits. Overnight: Kiunga Guesthouse, Kiunga

Days 7 – 8.

Birding the Kiunga area We will again have two full days to bird another famous PNG birding area, during which we might encounter more extraordinary species like Long-tailed Honey Buzzard, Southern Crowned Pigeon, Collared Imperial Pigeon, Pesquet’s (New Guinea Vulturine) Parrot, Blue Jewel-babbler, Emperor Fairywren, White-bellied Pitohui, Yellow-eyed Starling, Flame Bowerbird, Large Fig Parrot, Yellow-capped Py

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