Kona, Hawaii
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clock-o12 hours (Approx.)
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English


Discover Hawaii’s remarkable wildlife on a full-day, small-group birdwatching tour into the Big Island’s Mauna Kea Forest Reserve. Travel on foot and by four-wheel drive as you explore dry forest and rainforest habitats that shelter the endangered palila honeycreeper, the Hawaii amakihi and the Hawaii ‘elepaio. Listen for the calls of endemic songbirds as you traverse an otherworldly lava trail, then follow a local, bird-loving guide along forest paths into the distinctive, high-elevation mamane-naio ecosystem.
  • 12-our birdwatching tour in Hawaii
  • Small group adventure in the Mauna Kea Forest Preserve
  • Different forest habitats with unique indigenous bird species
  • Expert local guides and bird enthusiasts

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

See indigenous birds in their native habitat with a knowledgeable bird-watcher guide.
Meet your guide and group at a prearranged spot to embark on your full-day bird watching adventure. 
Travel together in a comfortable vehicle to the start of the Puu Oo Trail. This historic cattle drive route is located at the 6,000 foot (1800 meters) level of Saddle Road on Mauna Loa's northeastern side.
Cross the 3 to 4 miles (5 to 6 km) of trail, surrounded by the misty clouds that are common on the windward side of the island. Listen for the calls of the birds as you enter the Kaohe Game Management Area, then travel up the western side of Mauna Kea to an elevation of nearly nearly 7,000 feet (2,100 meters). 
Keep an eye out for species like elepaio, omao, amakihi, apapane and iiwi. Use the provided binoculars to look for the elusive akiapolaau, easy to identify by its multipurpose beak. At the gate to the Mauna Kea Forest Preserve, climb down from your vehicle and take in some scenic vistas before proceeding on foot. 
Following your expert birder guide's lead, focus on spotting specimens of the critically threatened palila. 
After a full day of searching for Hawaii's indigenous bird life, return to your meeting point for drop-off.


Viator Traveler's Reviews

3 Reviews
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1 Star
, Apr 2017

My son and I enjoyed this tour very much. We saw almost all of the native forest birds and a lot of the non-native ones too - 24 species. It was a slow birding day, but the guide worked really hard to get us sightings. The hiking about five miles and scenery were very nice as well. Breakfast and lunch were provided and really enhanced the day.

, Oct 2015

Knowledgeable trip leader, who was engaging and helpful when group members were slow. The areas were somewhat rugged, but the birds were inspiring and present. Our leader was also patient and helpful when group members had some initial difficulty sighting the birds. This experience is highly recommended.

, Aug 2014

Intended for serious birders but not necessarilly "twitchers". Everything is provided - meals, snacks, drinks, walking sticks, raingear (which we definitely needed in the rainforest !) and even binoculars if you don't have your own. Guide was very knowledgeable and knew where to find specific birds. Fair amount of hiking including quite a trek over a lava trail to the rainforest. Organised locally by Hawaii Forest and Trail.

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(888) 651-9785
Call (888) 651-9785
Product code: 2804RDBA

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