Birding in Tangkoko


Tangkoko is a National Park in the north-east of Sulawesi, conveniently located near Manado, that consists of lowland and hill forest boasting with wildlife. The level of biodiversity en endemic species is one of the highest in the world and Tangkoko is simply a must visit if you travel to Indonesia. It’s relatively easy to walk through and you’re practically guaranteed to see Celebes Crested Monkey, Gursky’s Spectral Tarsier, several beautiful endemic Kingfishers and a wealth of other endemic species of birds and other animals and plants.

Key Bird Species

Sulawesi Lilac Kingfisher:  Unique forest Kingfisher, not easy to find, but if done (by our local guides) quite good to approach and often rewarding the clients with perfect views and photos. Male and female often sitting near each other, making it possible to see the subtle differences.

Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher:  Tiny but splashy colored forest kingfisher. It has the size of a Tit, but once in sight the bright orange, purple and blue colors make it a favorite for many bird watchers. 

Green-backed Kingfisher: Endemic large and spectacular forest Kingfisher. Pairs often together resting on horizontal branches in the forest and with a bit of luck giving you perfect views and wonderful pictues.

White-necked Myna: Peculiar endemic Myna with a very long tail and a big white breast-band. In the canopy of the forest and nearly impossible to see if you’re inside the forest. That’s why we go to a special place near the road with views of the forest edge, to scope these birds while they are gathering in dead branches in the early morning or late afternoon.

Knobbed Hornbill: Absolutely spectacular huge Hornbill with black wings, a huge red-and-yellow casqued bill and bright blue throat colors. It’s endemic to the whole of Sulawesi, but Tangkoko is for sure one of the best places to see it. 


Other special bird species are: Philippine Megapode, White-faced Cuckoo-Dove, Black-naped Fruit-Dove, Silver-tipped Imperial-Pigeon, Bay Coucal, Sulawesi Nightjar, Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle, Spot-tailed Goshawk, Sulawesi Scops-Owl, Ochre-bellied Boobook, Sulawesi Hornbill, Great-billed Kingfisher, Ruddy Kingfisher, Purple-winged Roller, Ashy Woodpecker, Ornate Lorikeet, Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot, Pale-Blue Monarch, Sulawesi Babbler and Finch-billed Myna.

More nature

Biodiversity is very high in Tangkoko and birds are only a small part of what you can see. Of course it’s nearly impossible to miss Celebes Crested Macaque or Gursky’s Spectral Tarsier, but you’ve also got a good chance to see the marsupial Sulawesi Bear Cuscus. One of the most beautiful creatures is Blanchard’s Ghost, an enormous butterfly that flies through the forest like a ghost indeed. And if you don’t rush you will find more and more beautiful creatures hidden in the shadows of the deep forest.


Minimum amount of days: 3 (2 nights).

Advised amount of days: 5 (4 nights).

Maximum amount of days: 6 (there is only one real entrance to the forest, so you walk in the same part every day).

Price Tangkoko 5 days 4 nights: US$  per person

Needed level of fitness: Average, there is some hiking involved to see the Kingfishers, accommodation is comfortable.


Nearest airport: Manado, connections to all Indonesian cities and Singapore.

Transport: From Manado to Tangkoko 1.5 hours with a private car and during the stay we walk, drive short distances with a private car and use a boat for a mangrove trip.


Tangkoko Hill Cottages:

Cozy lodge with comfortable rooms, located on the edge of the park with a nice jungle garden and nice bird species.

Combinations and extensions:

Good destinations to combine with Tangkoko: Manado, Tomohon, Dumago Bone, Lore Lindu and Waigeo.

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