UJUNG KULON BIRDING TOUR
: 10 Days - 9 Night (wooden boat trip)
: USD 3000,- per pax for 2 person
: USD 2500,- per pax for 4 person
Key bird species:
Javan Barred Owlet, Javan Frogmouth; Banded Kingfisher; Lineated Barbet; Banded Pitta; Javan Cuckoo-shrike; White-breasted Babbler; Grey-cheeked Tit Babbler; Fulvous-chested Jungle Flycatcher, Crimson Sunbird, Javan Sunbird; seabirds.
Ujung Kulon is a big, wild, and inaccessible national park occupying the south-western tip of Java. For those with time on their hands, exploring this park means entering a real wilderness where pristine forest ends on white sand beaches. Your chances of seeing wild Javan Rhino are remote, but you chances of encountering most of Java’s lowland forest specialities is pretty high.
The options for birding in Ujong Kulon are a bit all or nothing. Undoubtedly the best option for seeing the most is to take on a week-long trek along the south coast and crossing the peninsular to Cidaun at the western end of the park. This will take you through the full range of coastal scrub and forest and pristine lowland rainforest. The walking is pretty tough (much of it on sand) but the opportunities this would provide for birding would be hard to beat. If you add an extra day or so and take the trail to the furthest point of mainland Java at the Tanjung Layar Lighthouse the opportunities for seeing seabirds are very good, with Brown Booby, Streaked Shearwater, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Bulwer’s Petrel and Christmas Island Frigatebird all being recorded in the past.
For those without the time or inclination to make the long walk in, the alternatives are to visit one of two small islands that lie just offshore of the main peninsular. The first option is to visit Pulau Handeuleum. This small island is on the north side of the park and is dominated by mangrove around its edges and a small area of proper forest in its centre. The second option is to visit Pulau Peucang. This island lies off the western side of the park, opposite Cidaun and is bigger with more forest (plus better views of the sea if you were inclined to try a bit of seawatching). The birding on these islands is likely to be more limited than on the main peninsula, but you should still be able to pick up many of the good birds on offer.
Particular points about birding:
A Walking in the lowland forests
The best trail is the Cibunar Trail, which runs across the peninsula from Cidaon grassland, which is very close to Pulau Peucang. Also walked up to the waterfalls on the Cigenter river during the canoe trip there and I also rummaged around in the forests behind Nyuir beach, finding some dry riverbeds to walk up and so allow easy access further inland. Many of the forests are quite devoid of ground level vegetation and so are quite easy to explore even in the absence of trails. There were lots of great forest birds everywhere I tried, including Oriental Dwarf-Kingfisher (common), Banded Kingfisher (male seen brilliantly on Cibunar trail), all three of Java’s hornbills seen very well, Black-banded Barbet (common on call; four seen well; note that Blue-eared Barbet is much more abundant), Orange-backed Woodpecker, Javan Banded Pitta (again widespread and easy; four seen and many calling), Asian Fairy Bluebird, a rather limited variety of common bulbuls and babblers but also including Grey-cheeked Tit-Babbler and Large Wren-Babbler (one only, needs luck!), Fulvous-chested Jungle-Flycatchers (irritatingly elusive until you know the song, a distinctive sweet, mournful warbling with some takking notes interspersed) and Javan Sunbird (one pair seen).
B Grassland clearings
One very close to Pulau Handeuleum (Cigenter grassland) and the other very close to Peucang (Cidaon grassland). Very early and very late is, of course, best. Green Peafowl and Banteng are the two targets here, and both were quite easy, as was Blue-throated Bee-eater. It also worth scanning for flyover hornbills, Grey-cheeked Green-Pigeons and Slender-billed Crow, amongst other species.
C Cigenter River trip
Silently travelling up this serene and idyllic river, edged by massive trees and swampy palm forest and with kingfishers pinging off round every corner is one of the highlights of a trip to Ujong Kulon, four species of Kingfisher with Blue-eared and Stork-billed most common but also including Ruddy (with another in the swamp forest on the path into Cidaon grassland). White-crowned Forktails are easy, Grey-rumped Treeswift, Silver-rumped Needletail, Black-banded Barbet, and Javan Banded Pitta amongst commoner species.
D Pulau Handeuleum and Peucang islands
These islands are covered in dense forest, although that on Peucang is much more expansive, with bigger trees and a good trail that runs right through to the other side of the island : Nicobar Pigeon, included Asian Koel and Mangrove Whistler (Handeuleum) and a group of close Green Peafowl, two species of hornbill, Fulvous-chested Jungle-Flycatcher and White-rumped Shama (Peucang).
These are represented mainly by terns. Some fishing platforms soon after leaving Sumur had lots but otherwise they were mostly evident off the outer edge of Handeuleum. Swift and Lesser Crested Terns are the most obvious, with scattered Bridled and Black-naped Terns, plus 25 Roseate Terns seen on the last day. Brown Noddy also featured once, with further variety provided by a few distant frigatebirds and Brown Booby. There is a good chance the frigatebirds are Christmas Island, but the ones I saw here (and another 6 off Carita) were immatures and probably indistinguishable from Lesser.
At Ujong Kulon these are pristine and go on forever. They are also mostly empty of birds, but with enough scanning, something will eventually show up: Pacific Reef-Egrets, Lesser Adjutant twice, Great-billed Heron once (opposite Peucang) and, eventually, along an especially deserted section, the unmistakable silhouette of Beach Thick-knee.
What you have to bring :
light clothes like T-shirts and shorts (daytime) long trousers and long sleeved shirts in bright colour (evening and night time), One small backpack and comfortable boots for jungle treks (additional sandals for for explorer & observation treks) light and warm socks, raincoat, plastic or waterproof bag for your personal belongings, hut, sunglasses, sun lotion, insect repellent, toilet paper, camera, mobilphone and cards, mosquitonet and flashlight, swimming suit and towel personal medical kit and recommended medicine like anti diarrhea medicine, dehydration salt, aspirin and antibiotic
Tips for visitors
To avoid the adverse effect of severe heat, smear uncovered skin with sunblock and to protect your health, use antimosquito cream while traversing the forest.
Wear muted-color garments while watching animals in their habitat or grazing locations.
For safety's sake during a trip, every group of tourists is advised to use the services of a guide.
Don't disturb or feed wild animals in the national park, especially long-tailed macaques on Peucang island, which look so tame.
Don't throw rubbish in the park, but collect and take it back to the guest house or outside the park. Obey all regulations effective in the national park and also the local customs. It may also be able to combine a trip to the islands with a bit of exploration on the mainland.
Packages Include :
- Transport from Jakarta
- Boat Charter 10 days
- Room 9 night
- Full board meal
- Snorkeling gear
- Mineral water
- Cold soft drink
- Permit/National park donation
- Local guide
Packages Exclude :
- Alcohol beverage
- Travel insurance