|Duration||Ports of Call||Dates Dates||Per person from|
|8 Days / 7 Nights||Gorontalo, Gorontalo||06 March 2018 - 13 March 2018||3.106 €|
They are formed by volcanic activity, the islands are covered by lush rainforest and surrounded by ancient coral reef formations. Both the terrestrial and marine ecosystems teem with exotic wildlife – much of which is extremely rare or endangered. The reefs and coastal areas provide habitat and breeding areas for hawksbill turtle, the green turtle and the dugong. Togian skies and wild jungles are filled with exotic birds such as the Sulawesi hornbill, the Togian boobook, the White-bellied Imperial Pigeon, Kites, Eagles, Kingfishers, Hanging Parrots, the Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker, the Yellow-billed Malkoha, and the Pied Cuckooshrike to name but a few. Within this tropical paradise, 37 villages of several ethnicities provide bright spots of gaiety and culture, including the Bajau or sea gypsies. All are happy to see visitors and are exceptionally hospitable.
Every day from dawn till midday we will be bird watching and trekking on the various islands in the company of professional spotters. In the afternoons there will be opportunities to do some snorkelling on the colourful coral reefs and to visit remote villages in the area, but of course, the afternoons can also be a time for trekking and bird watching ashore. The itinerary will be as follows, but please be aware that some changes might be made.
Endemic birds of the Togian Islands include: the Togian White Eye, Togian Boobook and Togian Golden Bulbul. Many other birds on the islands are endemic to the Sulawesi-area, like the Maleo, Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, Sulawesi Hawk Eagle, Sulawesi Goshawk, Small Sparrowhawk, Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Blue-faced Rail, Isabelline Bush-Hen, White-faced Cuckoo-Dove, Sulawesi Ground-Dove, Maroon-chinned Fruit-Dove, White-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, Grey-headed Imperial Pigeon, Bay Coucal, Yellow-billed Malkoha, Black-billed Koel, Sulawesi Masked-Owl, Sulawesi Scops-Owl, Speckled Boobook, Sulawesi Nightjar, Knobbed Hornbill, Sulawesi Hornbill, Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher, Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher, Great-billed King-fisher, Green-backed Kingfisher, Scaly-breasted Kingfisher, Purple-bearded Bee-Eater, Purple-winged Roller, Sulawesi Woodpecker, Golden-mantled Racquet-Tail, Yellow-breasted Racquet-Tail, Ornate Lorikeet, Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot, Sulawesi Myzomela, Ivory-backed Woodswallow, Pied Cuckoo-shrike, White-rumped Cuckoo-shrike, White-rumped Triller, Sulawesi Cicadabird, Sulawesi Drongo, Sulawesi Blue-Flycatcher, Rufous-throated Flycatcher, Rusty-backed Thrush, Yellow-sided Flowerpecker, Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker, Grey-sided Flowerpecker, Pale-headed Munia. But of course there are many, many other Indonesian-birds that can be seen in the area as well.
Note: This is a first-time exploratory trip for SeaTrek, and as such it is reflected in the lower than normal price of the tour, but we will have professional guides on board to help us find the best locations and as many birds as possible en route. Please be aware that the itinerary may be subject to change due to tides, weather conditions or harbour restrictions.
Guests will meet the ship in Gorontalo, and will also disembark in Gorontalo. The airfares are not included in the cruise price but our SeaTrek office will be happy to assist you with any information and local flight reservations.
Around 1pm, you will be met at the airport and transferred to Gorontalo Harbour where our beautiful boat, the Katharina will be waiting. En route, we will visit the Portuguese-built Fort Otanaha, from where we will have a stunning view of the vast Limboto Lake and parts of the city of Gorontalo. With any luck there will be some Black Eagles and Black Kites flying around, while Yellow-billed Malkohas and Crimson-crowned Flowerpeckers hopping in the trees. After embarking the Katharina in the late afternoon we will depart straight away for Pulau Una-Una (Pulau is the Indonesian word for island) in the northwest of the Togian Archipelago. We will then cruise overnight to our next destination.
At dawn there will be a special ceremony as we cross the Equator before reaching the volcanic island of Una-Una. In the morning we will do an easy trek within the surroundings of Binaguna village, where we can expect to see a variety of birds. In the afternoon there will be ample opportunity for snorkelling at Tanjung Kalama on the north side of the island, but those who prefer to go bird watching are of course free to do so.
Before dawn we will start climbing Gunung Colo volcano (highest point Sakora Peak 507m, southwest crater 235m), to experience a stunning view over the whole of the Togian Archipelago. On the way we will spot a variety of Indonesian birds. In the afternoon we can visit another very nice snorkelling spot at Tanjung Apollo, on the south side of Una-Una. In the evening we will cross over to Pulau Togian.
From early morning until midday we will go trekking and bird-watching on Pulau Togian. In the afternoon we will visit Danau Mariona, on the north side of the island to snorkel with thousands of multi-hued stingless jelly fish: it still remains a mystery as to how this lake was formed. The rest of the afternoon will be spent at nearby paradisical spots such as Karina Beach for snorkelling and other kinds of water sports. In the evening we will cruise to Pulau Malenge.
We will set out as dawn for a long trek and bird-watching excursion on Pulau Malenge. We will start our walk from Tanjung Malenge, on the southwest side of the island, and end up on the north side. In the afternoon we will take the dinghies to go snorkelling at the famous Hotel California Reef, north of Pulau Malenge. In the evening we will cruise to Pulau Talatakoh.
Early morning will find us bird-watching and trekking on either Pulau Talatakoh or Pulau Waleakodi. In the afternoon we can visit a sea gypsy village on the south side of Pulau Talatakoh. These are the Bajao people who build their homes on stilts over the sea. Historically, Indonesia has had many nomadic tribes often referred to as ‘sea-gypsies’ due to the fact that they mainly travelled and lived in boats. On Talatakoh we will get a glimpse of how the formerly nomadic Bajau have adapted to life in a static village. Nevertheless, still being so close to the water, the tribe’s dependence on the sea is not lost. Their children are introduced to the sea at a young age and grow accustomed to living and playing within the ocean environment. Later, we will explore the nearby Pulau Tabalabala, a group of more than 50 very small rocky islands. An alternative might be to visit a sea gypsy village and climb a hill on Pulau Papan, east of Pulau Malenge; there is good snorkeling nearby. In the evening we will cross to Pulau Waleabahi.
Early morning we will be bird-watching and trekking on the fabulously beautiful and almost uninhabited island of Waleabahi. In the afternoon we will have a last snorkelling opportunity near Lia Beach on the north side this island. In the evening we will have our farewell party with the crew of the Katharina at the beach or on board. During the night we will be cruising to our final destination: the harbour of Gorontalo.
After breakfast we will bid farewell to the crew and the Katharina – our beautiful sea-based home for the last 8 days. We will take the tenders ashore and you will be transferred to Gorantalo Airport for your return flights to Bali, Jakarta or elsewere.
Dr. Kees Groeneboer
A linguist, historian and 30-year resident of Jakarta, Dr. Kees Groeneboer is passionate about the spectacular birdlife of his adopted homeland. He has travelled extensively though Indonesia’s eastern isles on countless missions to see, hear, and identify as many as possible of these graceful, colourful and often-endangered denizens of the forests and the cliffs.
He often shares his enthusiasm with others by leading specialist bird-watching cruises aboard the Katharina during which he embellishes his bird expertise with his in-depth knowledge of Indonesian history and culture. He is published on language policy and has a PhD in the history of the Dutch colonial policy in Indonesia from 1600 onwards.