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  1. Good morning Darwin,

    We received some excellent feedback this morning which I wanted to share with you. Congrats to you and your team for doing an amazing job on this tour - the guests (and ourselves) are very appreciative.

    Darwin and his company made sure that everything was taken care of. From the time he first met us at the airport and throughout the trip, he followed through with every tiny detail. He pursued our lost piece of luggage like a bloodhound and when it arrived, he spent at least 2 hours at the airport retrieving it. Throughout our journey Darwin went to great lengths to always have meals for us, even if we were on back roads in remote areas. He checked our luggage in and obtained boarding passes in advance to make the flights as easy as possible for our group.

    The two of us have worked in many parts of the world in the tourist industry and understand the value of a dependable local agent. Darwin was exceptional in this capacity, and you are very fortunate to have him working with you. The assistants were also excellent, from the highly skilled drivers to Anya and Albert and others who helped with food and other needs. We always felt well-cared for. We were impressed with the high caliber of the local guides. Bahar is fabulous. He is skilled at spotting birds, knows of special places to look for them, and has such a winning smile that one can\'t help but be happy to see him.

    Kind regards

    Clayton Burne
    Operations Manager
    0027 72 704 4177 (RSA) · 1 888 990 5552 (USA & CAN) · Skype: clayton.burne · Email: clayton@rockjumper.com
    eBird Reviewer for KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Lesotho.


  2. Dear Darwin and Colleagues,

    Thank you very much for all you work and big thanks also to all your colleagues!

    Regarding the trip on West Java, Sulawesi and Halmahera 14 to 25 February 2018, breafly feedback from passangers, me and Hannu – all together:

    • You handled everything with very high profession, at the beginning offer request till the end with the passangers
    • Everything went very smoothly, all details and plans were good as high standart tour operator should have, thank you!
    • You and your colleagues were very friendly, helpful and heard the wishes of customers
    • Bird guides were very good as well, especially at Sulawesi and Halmahera. At Jaava the rain ruined a pit the excursion but it’s not guides fault
    • meals, drives, baggages etc. were always on scheduled
    • No one missed anything or got sick
    • quite many fligths, next time we could plan that part a pit easier. More time for birding, less for travelling.
    • strong testimonial and suggestion for all of your services.

    I’m very pleased and let’s do co-working soon again!

    My very best wishes and regards,

    Susa Kukkonen

    Sales Manager

    Oy Kon-Tiki Tours Ltd

    Fredrikinkatu 25 A 10 (2.krs), 00120 Helsinki

    tel +358 (0)45 124 2000


    http://www.kontiki.fi | http://www.kontiki.fi/english/

    http://www.facebook.com/www.kontiki.fi | https://twitter.com/KonTikimatkat


  3. Dear Darwin (VIT Tours)

    We've arrived home safely from one of the most enjoyable and adventurous trips we've ever taken. May I express on behalf of my party our appreciation for excellent organization, services, and attention accorded to us by yourself and your "expedition team" led by Allin (Stallin Muldaur) with the assistance of Albert, Anne, Idris, Punky, and the other drivers.

    Allin is one of the best wildlife guides I've ever encountered. He has the most keen eyes in spotting wildlife and is very knowledgeable. From Palu we drove along the Transsulawesi Highway trying to find wildlife. Owing to Aillin's keen observing eyes we were able to see and photograph a Sulawesi Bear Cuscus, two Red-knobbed Hornbills in trees, and troops of Tonkean Macaque near the road. Attached please find photos of those mentioned wildlife.

    Thank you for the Papua 2018 itinerary which looks very interesting and inviting. It'll be one of my filming trips in 2018 or in the near future.

    You can follow my activities and TV documentary program, "Toward Extinction?" in my Facebook Page - Nature Venture TV.

    Best regards,

    Pongpol Adireksarn

  4. Dear Darwin!

    We arrived saftely withour any problems in Vienna. Currently it is snowing and very cold.

    We had a wonderful time in Sulawesi and we would like to thank you for organising the trip. Nurlin is a very, very good guide and a kind person, we enjoyed the time beeing with him very much. He found the perfect balance between adventure and holidays, bird watching and relaxing, we never felt uncomfortable and we had a lot of fun. The local guides, Ika and the drivers Pungky have also been very kind, helpful and know a lot about Sulawesi.

    We certainly will recommend your company and may be we will come back and visit Papua with you!

    Please give Nurlin our kindest regards and again thanks to all of you!

    I wish you good business in 2017 🙂

    Best regards!

    Regina & Kyu

  5. Dear Darwin, Just arrived home from a rewarding and very happy tour with Yudy and Nioman with at least 20 new birds for Asia.
    Yudy is a most delightful bird guide and his proficiency is impressive - great eyes and ears!!!! Thank you for a great trip, from both Glorias,
    it was a most interesting five days.

    Kindest regards
    Gloria Shrubsall

  6. We had a trip years ago, 1997, with Darwin Sumang. He was really the best guide ever. He took care of us, we traveled in Bada valey. He arranged basic but good accommodations in the forest, we experienced a lot. He made this trip a succes. After years we visited Sulawesi again (in 2014) and he took care of us, we became friends. We met his family, our kids were excited too, a very special moment. He showed us around Palu, helped us with a guide in Tentena, we had mobile contact, during our trip. When we arrived in Sulawesi he arranged everything for us and we met directly in Makasar.

    It was a pleasure to travel with him and met him years ago and very special to meet again. We are grateful for this kind experiences. We've traveled a lot in Africa, Asia and South America, but we never met such a special guy. Lots of humor, honest, trustful, very concerned about health and wants us to have a great time.

    Thank you again Darwin and we will definitely meet again.

  7. Birding Tour to Bali & Lesser Sundas (Sumba, West Timor, Flores and Komodo): 25th August – 14th September 2015

    This tour was my second birding tour to Indonesia. My first was to Sulawesi & Halmahera in 2011, which was also arranged for me by Darwin Sumang at Vacation Indonesia Tours. This Lesser Sundas tour was, I believe one of the more “specialist” birding tours I’ve done, in that it was aimed at finding island endemics and involved a lot more logistics of travel, flights and accommodation and requiring early mornings and some quite long days. The islands visited were the most varied of the vast Indonesian archipelago, stretching some 5000 kilometres across the Java Sea. Bali, outside the unique region of Wallacaea provided a substantial number of additional S.E. Asian birds and in particular the ultra-rare Bali Myna. The Wallacean islands of Sumba, Timor and Flores, all quite different in their own way produced a special mix of Asian and Australasian species and an amazing number of endemics including some of Indonesia’s rarest and least known species.

    It was a very successful trip – the group of six of us from UK, USA and Canada all enjoyed the experience of seeing such special birds in some very special and out of the way places. We saw a very high proportion of the hoped-for special birds, only missing 3 of the possible endemics – an extremely good result. We all added substantially to our life lists – I saw over 80 new species even though my world list is over 6,000. This excellent result was achieved mainly due to the extraordinary efforts of Darwin Sumang and his team. After having my Sulawesi and Halmahera tour arranged by Darwin I had every confidence that this would be equally well organized – I was not disappointed! The work he put into developing the tour together with me over the past year or so was impressive. The work and skill he put into fine-tuning the tour on a day to day basis as we worked through the itinerary was fantastic. The ability to change plans, adapt to our suddenly changed wishes and fix up different and better accommodation at the very last minute was enormously impressive and well-received. With Darwin going ahead and checking on every aspect of the day’s events, from arranging the great meals, comfortable transport, flights, timings and hotels, and his colleague Ali Munthaha with us at all times looking after everything that cropped up as we went on our daily excursions, it made for a brilliant bit of highly attentive teamwork. Ali was constantly good-humoured and able to turn his hand to anything from early check-ins, to fixing equipment, being a vital go-between and contributing substantially in finding the birds in between all the other tasks he so quietly and effectively carried out. Darwin had arranged excellent local bird guides for each of our destinations – always sharp-eyed, patient and able to get us to the right places and find us the target birds – all were very much appreciated, as were the teams of drivers with their very comfortable vehicles who were attentive and interested in helping with getting us to the sometimes difficult birding spots they knew of from previous trips.

  8. Hello Darwin

    We just received some feedback from Frank Hemmings who was on the private extension to Lore Lindu and I’m very pleased to report that he was very happy with the trip (see below):

    “I just wanted to say that I had a great time on the Lore Lindu trip. It ran very smoothly without any hitches. I met Jean at the airport in Jakarta and we were met by Darwin at Palu who handed us over to Nurlin. Nurlin is a great guide; he is very knowledgeable when it comes to the birds but was also very accommodating to fit in to both of our plans. He is also very easy to get along with as well which is just as important as being a good birder. Nurlin had to leave us before dinner on the last night but Darwin met up with us then and also took us through Palu airport the following morning. Actually Palu airport would have been a cinch compared to Jakarta domestic but given that the flights had been cancelled and rerouted, we were both grateful that Darwin dealt with that. We saw a very high percentage of the target species, including Geomalia (me only) and Hylocitrea. We only missed a few main targets from Lore Lindu and one in the lowlands around Palu.”

    Thank you for doing such a great job looking after them and to Nurlin for being such a good bird guide! Looking forward to liaising with you on many more trips to this destination!

    Kind regards

    Cuan Rush

    Tour Operations Manager & Tour Leader
    Rockjumper Birding Tours CC (Reg 2001/059480/23)
    PO Box 13972, Cascades, 3202, South Africa
    Tel: +27 33 394 0225/ +27 33 394 0251
    Tel (USA & Canada toll-free): 1-888-990-5552

    Fax: +27 88 033 394 0225
    Cell: +27 73 177 2495
    Email: private@rockjumperbirding.com
    Alternative email: rockjumperbirding@yahoo.com

  9. Hi Darwin

    This is Kai from China. Just wanted to say thank you for all your help in Indonesia guiding the chinese guys one month ago. That trip was successful and smoothly, the kids and there parents were very happy.Many thanks to you and Jack. I suggest my friends to contact with Rockjumper birding and Tropical Birding when their kids wants to have a birding vacation to Sulawesi. I had been arranged a tour for RBT two years ago, and at that time there are 12birders+ 1 RBT guide in the group, huge group is not good for forest birding, i do not like that.

    My team have been running bird tours in China since 1997, and we are THE birding team in SE China, know the birding industry well. We just started a new program called BIRD200, bring chinese birders(mainly bird photographers) aboard for bird photo tour and wildlife holidays.

    Obviously Indonesia is a great country for birding&photo tour and wildlife holiday, your team did well during Li's trips. So i think there is a chance we could run co-lead tours in the future. A few questions here.

    1.Repeat sales is the best for both of us, I coud be the tour leader for the first few times, could you arrange chinese-speaking interpreter during the tours when i am come with the clients? I think Bali have some good interpreter.

    2. What is the best season and best birding sites for bird photo tours? (Sorry, i didnot visit Indonesia before).
    We have a lot of bird photographers in China, but bird photo tours are not the same as birding tour...

    3. Can you list some bird tour companies who do co-lead tours with your company.

    Thanks again and all the best.

  10. Greetings Darwin,

    Many thanks for organising a splendid birdwatching tour to Sulawesi. Everything worked out perfectly. The air flights, local accommodation, local transport and guides in the field were excellent. In particular Punki, Lita (at Lore Lindu) and later Anton were all particularly helpful. I will undoubtedly use your company again for another visit to Sulawesi and perhaps Halmahera, and have already recommended you to a couple of other UK birders who are planning trips to Indonesia.

    Best wishes and thank you again.

  11. I`am birwatcher from Poland focused on finding rare birds. Indonesia is a great place for birdwatching because there are many endemics species. Darwin knows very well how to organize a good trip. We spent a few days in Lore Lindu National Park in Sulawesi. It is a unique place on the Earth. Excellent organization and a bit of luck allowed us to see all the most important bird species in the region. Bird of the trip was observation very shy Geomalia.
    I recommend Darwin to organize expeditions in Indonesia because he is very professional. I like this guy.
    See you next time Darwin.

  12. Hi Darwin,
    As one of the participants on a Feb 2012 trip to the Lesser Sundas organized by Greg Roberts, I, personally, thought you did a superb job of organizing all the logistics of flights, hotels, cars, drivers, food and guides and anything else that came up, like birthday cakes! - even when things changed 180 degrees, you remained calm, in control and got things rearranged. I was quite impressed with how you worked lunch the day we left Kisol (supposed to have lunch there) and bagged it all up for a grand feast at the top of Poko Renata! Amazing!! You were also very helpful in so many other ways that went above and beyond what you probably agreed to do. Thanks for everything you did.

  13. We have just finished a birding tour I lead of the Lesser Sundas which was organised by Darwin and his team. I have worked with Darwin before, in Sulawesi, and was very impressed with his assistance at that time, which is why I approached him for this trip.
    As expected, he did not disappoint. Darwin ensured that local guides knew the sites for the birds that we were after. The accommodation was always adequate and sometimes very nice, as well as being as conveniently close as it is possible to be to the birding sites.
    Darwin also repeatedly went the extra mile, helping with the little and sometimes not-so-little extra things that clients need from time to time. I would not hesitate to recommend his services.

  14. We just returned from a wonderful trip to Indonesia organized by VIT Tours (info@vacationindonesiatours.com ). Visiting Tanjung Puting Park by klotok boat and seeing the orangutans was something special. Ali was an excellent tour leader in Kalimantan. He is very knowledgeable about the orangutans and the challenges they face, and is clearly passionate about saving them and Indonesia’s other threatened wildlife. We applaud his dedication to conservation. Touring the local market in Samarinda with Ali was something we hadn’t expected and an added treat. After Kalimantan we birded in Sulawesi and Bali with Darwin and enjoyed every minute of it. The local birding guides that VIT provided in Lore Lindu and Bali Barat National Parks were excellent. One cannot imagine a better guide for Lore Lindu than Idris. When a huge, fallen tree blocked the road in Lore Lindu it became clear that Darwin knows all the right people in all the right places . In no time he had another vehicle meet us on the other side of the tree so we could continue on our way to Wuasa. We weren’t even late for lunch – a huge lunch, we might add. Darwin and Ali took care of all the details and made the trip easy and fun. We saw many wonderful birds and learned a lot about Indonesia while doing so. We wholeheartedly recommend VIT to anyone considering a vacation in Indonesia.

    Janice and Bob Rogers, USA

  15. My husband, Clive Green, and I were part of a group of 7 who recently returned from a bird tour arranged for us by Darwin Sumang, a director of Vacation Indonesia Tours and all his staff. The trip was so well organized and met all our expectations for great birding sites and wonderful birds.
    At times changes in the itinerary were needed, and they were handled with total professionalism and dispatch. Darwin Sumang and his people were fonts of knowledge, and very good company, as were the local guides and drivers they hired. We highly recommend them!

  16. I've just returned home from my small group birding tour to Sulawesi & Halmahera organised by VIT Tours, Email: info@vacationindonesiatours.com. We had a phenomenal time seeing many of our target birds and we all saw many lifers and endemics. apart fro mthe great birding in a very pleasant, extraordinarily friendly part of the world I would like ot thank Nurlin and Darwin for making the tour so very good in so many ways.
    Especially impressive was the way that Darwin handled logistics. I can't recall a tour in all my years of tour-leading where so much adaptability and flexibility was required and always on hand. As airlines changed schedules Darwin made a few calls, phoned ahead, changed a hotel here and there and “Hey Presto”: problem solved and we continued on an equally good (sometimes better) “plan B” or “C”. As the tour went on and he and Nurlin got to know us and our wishes and abilities, they adapted the tour to suit. The change of hotels and choice of site to visit for Wallace's Standardwing was excellent. Nurlin was a gem in the field and as a traveling companion. His quiet ways in the field steadily got us as many of our target birds as he could muster. The endless early starts and some late finishes were well and truly above and beyond the call of duty: he worked so hard for us at all times. His bird knowledge and local knowledge of where to find species, and the way he and Darwin laid on additional expertise in the form of local guides to make doubly sure we were best provided for in finding the special birds, was greatly appreciated and an essential ingredient to a successful tour. Both Darwin and Nurlin were good fun to travel with – good humoured and full of information about their country. They deserve every success in their endeavours and I look forward to a return to cover the Lesser Sundas - there is plenty of Indonesia left to see!

    Peter Roberts, Scotland UK

  17. My sister, Pam, and I have just returned home from a wonderful month in Sulawesi and Halmehera and we can't wait to tell the world about Vacation Indonesia Tours.
    Darwin and Nurlin, combined with their large network of drivers and local guides, worked together to give us a holiday that we'll remember for many years to come.Darwin and Nurlin are the perfect team; Darwin's excellent organizational skills and attention to detail ensures that everything runs efficiently and seamlessly whilst Nurlin's birding skills are exceptional, absolutely the best. He worked diligently to ensure we saw as many species as possible and, even though we missed out on a couple of target species, we appreciate that without his patient, expert guidance we would have been much less successful and much more bewildered!He also educated us with his knowledge and conviction and the entire experience helped us to understand more about the birds we were seeing and the place we were visiting.
    Pam and I have no hesitation in recommending VIT Tours Email: info@vacationindonesiatours.com to anyone planning a trip to Indonesia and we wish Darwin and Nurlin the successful future they so deserve.

    Warmest good wishes
    Marion Jackson

  18. My wife Lorie and I took a nearly 3-weeks bird/nature watching trip through Indonesia that was arranged by Darwin Sumang’s group (Aug 5-25, 2011- Jakarta to Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Halmahera). I would highly recommend Darwin and his cohort of guides. Truly, everything about the trip went well, the planning and arrangements were flawless. We saw an excellent variety of birds, including many endemics and rarities, as well as many primates, and other species as well as some great forests and other habitats. We will post a list of species elsewhere. The guides were terrific not only with excellent eyes, ears and knowledge of the birds, but they matched our birding styles well. I am a longtime birder and ornithologist but not a hardcore lister and Lorie also likes photography so for us, in our mid 50s, the pace of the trip was perfect…up everyday before dawn and often out until late at night with a midday lunch and nap. In the end, we felt like we made many good friends on this trip. The trip also had adventures that we hadn’t actually anticipated from the initial itinerary, so many pleasant surprises. The accommodations and food were good to excellent, the food always plentiful and interesting. The Indonesia people were exceptionally friendly everywhere we went, and we were there during Ramadan, which made for a remarkable cultural experience as well. We would do it again, absolutely.

  19. It would be impossible for me to recommend VIT more highly for a birdwatching tour in Indonesia. I have now traveled with twice - once to Bali and eastern Java and once to northern Sulewesi and Halmahera. Their skills in identifying birds, in knowing the best birding sites, and in coordinating sometimes complicated logistics are simply outstanding. They are well acquainted with the local people at or near birding sites and this really facilitates a first rate birding experience. In addition to excellent guides, the support staff is also superb. The drivers and other staff made stays at even basic places
    comfortable and enjoyable, even serving us super breakfasts of fresh fruit, tasty crepes, and terrific coffee at early morning field sites! Special
    needs are met with alacrity and grace. All are wonderful friendly people interacting like a happy family AND they introduced us to wonderful friendly people, making our tour much more than just finding good birds (although there was plenty of that). One ends a tour with VIT with great birds seen and a fond memory of a lovely trip with a group who are now good friends!

    I hope this helps to bring you good business...


  20. I have been leading birding tours for 25 years, to all areas of the world. Darwin, Nurlin and Eddie of Vacation Indonesia Tours were absolutely first class on a recent tour I lead with them in Sulawesi and Halmahera. I would have no hesitation in recommending them; they knew the area well, knew the birds very well and most importantly, they knew exactly where to find them. They were also very good company, easy to work with and 100% honest. I will definitely work with them again in the near future.

    Chris Doughty,
    Director Peregrine Bird Tours P/L (Australia)

  21. Hi Darwin (Director Of VIT Tours)

    Lesser Sundas 2010 and Sulawesi & Halmahera 2011

    Let me reiterate what a difference you made during our recent tour through the Lesser Sundas. Your organizational skills made all the difference in a region where complex logistics and contingency plans are the standard expectation. Thanks to your attention to details we enjoyed a hassle-free trip without any unnecessary delays allowing us to concentrate totally on the region’s specialty birds. As a result of this time in the field combined with enthusiastic participants we were able to connect with every endemic and near-endemic possible along our route during our travels throughout the islands! It is my pleasure working with you and I look forward to future travels together; thank you again for helping make this tour such a success!

    Very best,
    David Shackelford
    Website: http://www.rockjumper.co.za

  22. Hi Nurlin:
    Sharing some pictures from Ed.
    Thanks for taking good care of us during the trip. We are pleased that the trip went well and the organisation was good. We are disappointed with the Geomalia and Bee-eater but there are many other birds that made up for the two. Overall we enjoyed ourselves very much and both of us think that you did a great job! We hope to return in the not too distant future to Wartabone, Halmahera and Papua!
    I'll see you some of my pictures when I have the time to process them,
    Take care and see you again!

    Kim Chuah,

  23. Dear Nurlin and Darwin,

    Just a note of thanks for our wonderful birding/cultural tour of Bali and East Java. You were a terrific guide and so was Yudi, and Putu was an excellent driver. The boat trip to see the Bali Mynahs in Bali Barat was great fun and of course the birds are a real treat to see (not to mention the wild green junglefowl and the black-winged starlings). The night drive at Baluran National Park with Ahmed was probably the best night drive we have ever done for both night birds and mammals. These are just the highlights - the whole trip was a delight and was well organized with nice accomodations and with many opportunities to be flexible. We really enjoyed ourselves and of course saw some terrific birds and mammals!

    We are already looking forward to doing North Sulawesi and Halmahera with you next year. I'll be contacting our friends about dates and arrangements
    and will be getting back to you when we settle on the possibilities.

    In the meantime we hope the next tour goes well and our very best wishes,

    Jeri and Hugh

  24. DOF Travel, Birdlife Denmark http://www.doftravel.dk would like to thank Vacation Indonesia Tours (VIT), Darwin Sumang and his crew for three wonderful weeks of birdwatching and adventures. Everything went perfect. Logistic was fine, and when problems Darwin and his crew solved them immediately! We were a group of 13 persons visiting Flores, Komodo, Sumba, Timor and Bali for birdwatching – and it was great! We ended up with a quite good list of birds. I can highly recommend VIT as tour operators. I am definitely going to make new trips to Indonesia together with this company.

    Thanks for making a difference! We enjoyed travelling with your kind and helpful crew and their high standard of service.

    Thomas W. Johansen

  25. Had a wonderful 8 day trip in Sulawesi with Darwin his team in the Vacation Indonesia Tours. We took some time to prepare everything via the internet. Darwin proved to be patient and we got the trip we wanted.
    Lore Lindu NP and Bogani Nani NP are highly recommended, certainly if you have Darwin and his team take care of the arrangements. Everything was well planned: knowledgeable guides, efficient transport, good stays, good food and snacks and last but not least a lot of fun.
    Thanks you guys and we hopefully meet again.

    Sigmar & Anja

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