ORANGUTANS IN BORNEO
Orangutans in Borneo
7 Days $2595 ex Jakarta
3 Nights Hotel
3 Night Klotok
Mostly by boat.
Some walking & vehicle transfers
The Orangutan Project
The slim body of the wooden canoe glided across the glossy waters of Tanjung Puting National Park, the boat’s reflection glimmering in the sun. With just the shallow body of the boat separating me from the black, mysterious waters of the river, I dared not think of the creatures that swam below.
The captain of the boat navigated the mysterious waterways of the Sekonyer River, winding through tangles of trees and mangrove forests. We were completely enveloped by the rhythm of the Borneo jungle, where bird song and the call of primates echoed in the dense trees. My focus was single pointed as I intently watched for flashes of orange fur among the vibrant foliage, awaiting my first orangutan sighting.
Suddenly, a distinct rustling of branches caught my attention. High up in the green tangles of trees and leaves, I spotted a young orangutan, it’s fiery fur a stark contrast against the otherwise emerald hues of the rainforest. The primate sat among the trees, observing its surroundings, and attentively munching on bananas before shimmying down the tree trunk and disappearing into the thicket of the rainforest. As our boat continued to glide across the water, I spotted more and more orangutans. They playfully swung from twisted branches and scratched their bodies peering back at their curious observers.
Over the next four days, I was immersed into the heart of Tanjung Puting and explored the immense and magnificent habitats of one of the most ecologically diverse places in Borneo by boat and on foot. I fell into sync with the rhythm of the rainforest while learning about orangutan conservation and the preservation of their rapidly shrinking habitats. I met adopted orangutans at Camp Leakey—the oldest center for orphaned orangutans— and searched for the orange-furred primates among the trees and at feeding stations, an addition to help protect the endangered creatures.
“As I sit, my back leaning against a damp, moss-covered tree trunk, my eyes sweeping the canopy above, my ears straining to catch the crack of a distant branch that betrays an orangutan moving in the treetops, I think about how we humans search for God. The tropical rainforest is the most complex thing an ordinary human can experience on this planet. A walk in the rain forest is a walk into the mind of God.”
Birute Galdikas Great Ape Researcher and Conservationist
Called “Orang Hutan” by the indigenous peoples of Malaysia and Indonesia, the name of these remarkable primates literally translates to “People of the Forest.” One of the closest relatives to humans, orangutans share 97% of our DNA and are the largest arboreal primates yet face extinction. I experienced the daily routine of the Camp Leakey Foundation and their rehabilitation programs that improves the livelihood and future of one of the great apes, working with rescued orangutans and reintroducing captive orangutans back into the wild.
Each day, our long klotok—a traditional Indonesian riverboat and my home for the duration of my visit in Borneo— navigated us up and down the river, exploring the expanse of the park. My eyes were constantly on the watch for orangutans, a sighting that I never grew tired of.
Aboard the klotok, we explored the secrets of the rainforest, penetrating the worlds tucked deep into the trees. I learned about the flora and fauna that thrive in the forest, as well as the various obstacles that threaten their survival. Proboscis and macaque monkeys played on the trails and riverbank, while the armored bodies of false gavial crocodiles lurked in the water and on the river’s edge. I danced with the local Dayak tribe who thrive along the riverbanks and live in harmony with the forest, drawing upon the bounty of the jungle and using the medicinal powers of forest plants.
By night, I dug into dishes of freshly caught fish and counted stars in the pitch-black night sky. Aboard the klotok, I was lulled into a deep sleep by the gentle rocking of the boat, enveloped by the soothing sounds of nature and awaiting what the next day would bring.
A fully developed male orangutan can weigh up to 300 pounds while females are less than half that weight. Orangutan can live over 30 years and share 97% of their DNA with humans.
Upon your arrival in Jakarta you will be met at the airport and transferred to your overnight accommodation. Overnight at Hotel.
Today starts with an early morning flight from Jakarta to Pangkalan Bun in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. On arrival in Pangkalan Bun you will be met by your Guide and taken to your hotel. This afternoon you will take a scenic river cruise to see the incredible sights and sounds of the local town and its people. Overnight at the Swiss Belinn Hotel. (B)
This morning you will board our klotok and travel up the Sekonyer river to Camp Leakey; the oldest camp set up for the orphaned orangutans. Upon arrival at Camp Leakey you will take a short trek in the surrounding rainforest and meet some of the resident orangutans and their caretakers, followed by a visit to the museum. You will then head back to the klotok for lunch, where you may see more orangutans. After lunch, you will head back to the camp for the afternoon orangutan feeding time. At the end of the day you will be given a tour of the surrounding forest area, then cruise down Camp Leakey River to your overnight location at Crocodile Lake. Whilst here, you will likely see other wildlife of Borneo such as macaques and proboscis monkeys. Overnight on the klotok. You will be provided with a mattress, pillow and mosquito net. (B,L,D)
This morning you will head back downriver to Pondok Tanggui for the morning orangutan feeding. In the afternoon you will visit Tanjung Harapan station for the afternoon orangutan feeding. Overnight on the klotok. (B,L,D)
Today you will travel upriver to Pesalat Plantation where you will plant some trees to help regenerate the forest. After lunch, you will take a tour of the local village, and in the afternoon you will slowly travel downriver, stopping along the way to watch the proboscis monkeys on the riverbanks. As dusk falls we will travel back to Kumai harbour and enjoy a dinner along the river as we go. Overnight in Pangkalan Bun at Swiss Belinn hotel. (B,L,D)
Today you will travel back to Jakarta and upon arrival, you will be met at the airport by your driver and transferred back to your Hotel for your final night’s stay of your expedition. If your travel plans require you to return home or to continue directly on to your next destination, you can make arrangements to end your expedition upon your arrival back in Jakarta. Overnight at Hotel. (B)
Your amazing adventure comes to an end and you are free to continue your travel plans or return home. (B)
* Trip variation can be added to start and return to Bali for an additional AUD $250.00 surcharge.
March to November
- 4 nights of hotel accommodation across Pangkalan Bun and Jakarta
- Domestic flights as noted in the itinerary
- 2 nights aboard a Klotok (boat)
- All Ranger, local guide & boat mooring fees
- National Park Fees
- All meals as indicated in itinerary (Breakfast – B, Lunch – L and Dinner – D)
- International Flights
- Airport taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Alcoholic beverages
- Any meals not listed as included
Your Guides and Safety
Our local team comes from the area in which we are travelling, Kumai and Pangkalan Bun. They know the area better than anyone and have a deep knowledge of the entire ec0-system of the Tanjung Puting National Park. They are also trained in first aid and understand the needs of our guests throughout the journey. They are great companions and we know they will ensure your stay in Kalimantan is a memorable one.
This trip will have 4 nights in very comfortable hotels and 2 nights aboard our very comfortable klotok (river boat).
In Jakarta we use a hotel near the airport so you are not wasting time negotiating Jakarta’s infamous traffic for too long. In Pankkalan Bun we use the Swiss Belinn Hotel, a very comfortable hotel will all the usual amenities you would find in a 3-star hotel.
For the nights in Tanjung Puting National Park, we will be staying aboard our klotok. The klotok has 1 cabin with an ensuite. There is a shower and toilet at the rear of the boat and the center deck becomes the bedroom of an evening. We make the boat as comfortable as we can, including foam mattresses and mosquito netting. The klotok has life vests, a lifeboat, fire extinguishers, and a first aid kit.
Orangutans are the largest arboreal (tree-dwelling) creatures on the planet. Each night, an orangutan will make a new bed for itself, by fulling branches and leaves together to form a platform on which to lay. Orangutans have been observed building shelters above their beds to keep the rain out.
Food on the klotok
Onboard your klotok we will have a local cook, putting together some incredible Indonesian dishes, all freshly made there and then.
Dishes such as Nasi Goreng, Nasi Campur, Satays, Mie Goreng, Gado Gado and more. It really is delicious food.
If you have any particular dietary requirements please let us know and we can accommodate.