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  • Photograph of Javan Trogon

    Javan Trogon in Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park by Lars Petersson.

    JAVA

    Best Wildlife on Java

    Mammals
    Javan Gibbon, Ebony (Javan Langur) and Grizzled (Sunda) Leaf Monkeys, Long-tailed (Crab-eating) Macaque, Banteng, Rusa (Timor Deer), Javanese Ferret Badger, Sunda Stink Badger, Lesser Giant and Red Giant Flying Squirrels, Black Giant Squirrel, Common and Javan Palm Civets, Horsfield’s Tree Shrew and Large Fruit Bat.

    Birds

    Java Endemics
    Chestnut-bellied Partridge, Javan Hawk Eagle, Javan (Sunda) Coucal, Javan Scops Owl, Javan Frogmouth, Volcano Swiftlet, Javan Trogon, Black-banded and Brown-throated Barbets, Rufous-tailed and White-bellied Fantails, Pygmy Tit, Javan (Sunda) Bulbul, Javan Tesia, Javan Cochoa, Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush, White-bibbed and White-breasted Babblers, Javan Fulvetta, Spotted Crocias, and Javan and White-flanked Sunbirds.

    Java-Sumatra Endemics
    Sumatran Green Pigeon, Salvadori’s Nightjar, Sunda Minivet, Sunda Blue Robin and Sunda Forktail.

    Java-Bali Endemics
    Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot, Javan (Barred) Owlet, Javan Kingfisher, Orange-fronted (Blue-crowned) Barbet, Javan Cuckoo Shrike, Javan Bush Warbler, Crescent-chested Babbler, Javan Grey-throated White-eye, Javan Myna, Javan (Streaky-breasted) Spiderhunter and Java Sparrow.

    Java-Bali-Sumatra Endemics
    Pink-headed Fruit Dove, Orange-spotted Bulbul, Bar-winged Prinia, Sunda Warbler, Horsfield’s Thrush and White-capped Munia.

    Other Specialities
    Green Peafowl, Green Junglefowl, White-faced (Grey-breasted) Partridge, Christmas Frigatebird, Great-billed Heron, Spotted Kestrel, Javan Plover, Giant (Waterfall) Swiftlet, (Javan) Banded Pitta, Blue Nuthatch, Olive-backed Tailorbird, Grey-cheeked Tit Babbler, Javan White-eye and Javan Munia. Also a chance of Milky Stork, Dusky Woodcock, Rhinoceros Hornbill and Sunda Thrush.

    Others
    Oriental Pied and Wreathed Hornbills, as well as Sunda Teal, Little Black Cormorant, Oriental Darter, Javan Pond Heron, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Eagle, Great Crested and Lesser Crested Terns, Grey-cheeked, Orange-breasted and Pink-necked Green Pigeons, Dark-backed, Green and Pied Imperial Pigeons, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, Grey-rumped Treeswift, Small Blue Kingfisher, Crimson-winged and Sunda Woodpeckers, Common Flameback, White-breasted Woodswallow, Scarlet and Small Minivets, Long-tailed Shrike, Racket-tailed Treepie, flycatchers including Indigo, Lesser and White-browed Shortwings, White-crowned Forktail, Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler, Chestnut-fronted and White-browed Shrike Babblers, Eye-browed and Pygmy Wren Babblers, Blue-winged Leafbird, flowerpeckers and Little Spiderhunter. Also a chance of Red Junglefowl, Black Bittern, Black-naped Fruit Dove, Orange-breasted Trogon, Banded Kingfisher, Banded Broadbill and Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch.

    Reptiles and Amphibians
    Green Turtle, Water Monitor and Malaysian Horned Frog (Gunung Gede-Pangrango NP).

    Other Natural Wonders

    Anak Krakatau (‘Child of Krakatau’)
    This volcanic island emerged from the sea in the early 1930s but it is its predecessor which is more famous – the volcano which erupted in 1883, producing one of the most powerful explosions in recorded history, heard 3540 km (2200 miles) away in central Australia!

    Best Sites for Wildlife on Java

    Photograph of Javan Gibbon

    Javan Gibbon by Coke & Som Smith.

    Best Times for Wildlife on Java

    The best time to be on Java to look for birds and other wildlife is April to October, which is usually the dry season, especially October when resident breeding birds are beginning to set up territories. The rainy season usually lasts from November to April and it usually rains a lot, especially in January-February.

    Recommended Books etc. for Java

    Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago by J Eaton et al. Lynx Edicions, due March 2016.

    A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali by J MacKinnon. OUP, 1993.

    A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore by A Jeyarajasingam. OUP, 2012. (Second Edition).

    Birds of South-East Asia by C Robson. Helm, 2014. (Second Edition)

    Birds of South-East Asia Concise Edition by C Robson. Helm, 2015.

    A Field Guide to the Mammals of South-East Asia by C M Francis. New Holland Publishers, 2008.

    A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia by I Das. Bloomsbury, 2015.

    Birding Indonesia edited by P Jepson and R Ounsted. Periplus Editions, 1997.

    Where to watch birds in Asia by N Wheatley. Helm, 1996.

    Don’t know which country/countries/regions to visit in Asia? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them in the region, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Trip Reports for Java

    Many trip reports, some for Java, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Java. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Java' below.

    Local Guides and Tours on Java

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.

    Accommodation on Java

    Some Organized Tours to Java

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to Java include the following.