WELCOME TO THE START OF YOUR
ORANGUTAN JOURNEY

"Men prefer to believe that they are degenerated angels, rather than elevated apes". William Winwood Reade (1874). “The Martyrdom of Man”

You are about to embark on an adventure in a place and among people whose lives are very different from your own. Many aspects of life in Indonesia will seem unusual. Remember that these are often the same aspects that make an area an exotic and attractive destination. While this trip is rated a “Balanced Break”, it still has sections that will be challenging.

In addition to the personal physical challenges you may face, travel conditions can present unexpected obstacles, such as rough and bumpy roads and changeable weather. To prepare for this “pack” a flexible and relaxed attitude. Bring a spirit of adventure and inquiry, a healthy sense of humour, and a willingness to encounter the unexpected, and you will find your trip to Indonesia the adventure of a lifetime!

Much of the following information will be sent to you again as part of your Joining Instructions, but we thought you might like to start planning for your departure. So exciting!

TWO ADVENTURES IN ONE!

Our Great Creatures Adventure will take you to two distinctly different ecosystems in Indonesia.

The Komodo Islands lie east of the Wallace Line which ruins between Bali and Lombok and Sulawesi and Borneo. This line roughly delineates between Asia and the tropics and Australasia which is more arid.

You will see this when you travel there. The Komodo Islands are usually quite dry. Their isolation has led to extremes in flora and fauna. Giant lizards, small elephants and small humanoids (note the Hobbit or more accurately Homo floresiensis).

Borneo on the other hand is a tropical rainforest. It is home to monkeys, gibbons, and apes, none of which are found in Flores (at least not naturally).

Your modes of transport however will be similar. In the Komodos, we will have a large support boat and sea kayaks to traverse the waters in and around the park. Sea kayaking is of course not mandatory and if you wish to not partake in it, you can simply observe nature from the upper deck.

Likewise in Borneo. We will have a river boat or klotok to take us up the Sekonyer River to observe not only Orangutans but also gibbons and proboscis nose monkeys.

Both journeys will have walks on land. In the Komodos, these will be a little more strenuous as the islands are quite hilly. However, in Borneo, the land is mostly flat.

Without further ado let’s set off on each part of the trip. 

Here Be Dragons!

Despite its common association as a reference for uncharted or unknown waters, no actual map has ever noted "Hic sunt dracones" (Here be Dragons)! Only one, globe (from 1504), the Hunt-Lenox Globe contains the reference (and some speculate that it may in fact reference the Komodo Dragons).

Worry not! We’re not really sending you into uncharted waters.

The reality is, our Indonesian-based team actually knows these waters like the back of their hands!

But the Dragons? Well, they are most certainly very real and certainly an incredible sight to behold as we become guests in their domain!

Evidence suggests that the Komodo Dragon may have actually evolved in Australia before global conditions changed significantly isolating it to the Indonesian archipelago (where it once ranged as far as Timor).

The islands of Komodo and Rinca are two of the limited habitats where the Dragons still roam. Rinca, where No Roads always visited the realm of these impressive creatures, has recently closed to visitors to implement some upgrades to the visitors and conservation area. However, that does not mean our adventures with dragons must come to an end. We will visit the infamous Komodo itself to walk with these mighty beasts during this time.

Komodo Dragons have been known to be as long-lived as 30 years, and grow up to 3 meters in length; fearsome indeed! 

Formerly feared for their bacteria-loaded saliva distributed through their bite, this in fact has been disapproved. Rumors of their toxic bite have been out there too. However, recent research shows that while Komodo Dragons secrete venomous proteins in their mouths and their saliva is venomous to some degree, it is not deadly.

Their victims die not because of blood poisoning but because of fast blood loss – enhanced by the venom – and occasional infections due to other reasons. Indeed their most powerful weapon is their serrated, curved, and large teeth, ready to cause some serious injury. Left untreated, infection, and the possibility of death would become very real.

Always follow the directions of our local guides and park rangers to be safe and marvel at these incredible creatures!

If there aren't any males around, the female Komodo Dragon has both genders chromosomes and can reproduce asexually!

Your Journey

Guest Portal

You can update all your personal information directly in our Guest’s Portal. There, you can add your Insurance, Flight Details, and anything else we need for the trip. When you first click on the link you will be asked to reset your password. Please use the same email address you used for your booking.

Man of the Forest

Male Orangutan often weigh over 200 pounds, where females are 1/3 to 1/2 his size.

On our journey we will be taken up the Sekonyer River into the Tanjung Puting National Park, to observe the Orangutan in the wild.

This area was once a rehabilitation centre for once captive Orangutans to be re-introduced back into the wild. Some of the orangutans you will encounter, are ex-captive orangutans. But many are wild Orangutan.

From your klotok, you will also observe gibbons, proboscis nose monkeys, grey macaque, hornbills, false gavial crocodiles, and more.

Each day we will visit feeding stations that still assist some of the ex-captive orangutans with food. These are great opportunities to get close to one of our nearest genetic neighbors.

Getting There and Away

Orangutan females only give birth about once every 8 years - the longest time between births of any mammal on earth. (This results in only 4 to 5 babies in her lifetime.) This is why Orangutan populations are very slow to recover from any disturbances.

International Arrivals

You will arrive at one of the two major international airports in either Bali or Jakarta. 

Domestic Flights to Borneo

Flights to Pangkalan Bun operate daily from Jakarta and Bali.

Flights to most destinations are conducted on jet aircraft. 

Luggage Allowance

Garuda Airlines: 20kg
Wings Air: 15kg
Lion Air: 15kg
Sriwijaya Air/NAM Air:15kg

Trans Nusa Airlines: 15kg
Kal Star Aviation: 10kg
Trigana Air: 10kg

You have the option to pay for excess luggage which is around AUD $5 per kilo. We are very sorry that we cannot be more accurate.

Weather

The Orangutan in Tanjung Puting can be seen all year round. The weather is fairly constant though it is slightly milder between may and August.

Travel Documents

Did you know? In 2020 to discourage people from leaving their homes at night, the island of Java began employing people dressed as 'Pocong' (ghostly figures said to represent the trapped souls of the dead in local folklore) during the Covid-19 pandemic!

Indonesian Tourist Visa

Visa entry requirements to Indonesia have recently changed due to COVID 19.

Visa on Arrival (VOA) is available for passport holders of  64 countries including, Australian, UK, US, and German nationals arriving at the international airports of Bali or Jakarta. For our Australian guests who require more information about the Indonesian Visa entry regulations please check on Smartraveller or please click here for further information

Applicants must have the following to obtain the visa:

· Passport valid for more than 6 months

· Return or onward ticket

The cost for the visa on arrival (VOA) is 500,000 Indonesian Rupiah (AUD 50,00) and is valid for a 30-day stay. To apply for the visa, you must show evidence of a return or onward flight booking to another country. 

Insurance

Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance is a requirement for all guests travelling on our expeditions. Once you have booked on an expedition we suggest booking your travel insurance as soon as possible to protect your investment. Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you for any non-recoverable air or land expenses should you have to cancel your trip due to personal or family illness or leave the expedition early due to other reasons. For our Australian guests, our preferred Insurer is NIB, and you can contact our office direct, via phone or email, to obtain an insurance quote from us.

For guests travelling with us from outside Australia, please check Travel Insurance options within your Country.

If you should receive an injury 12 months prior to your travel date, you must contact the Insurance Company with details to ensure you are covered for this injury whilst travelling. Should you not do this and require medical assistance for this injury whilst travelling you may not be covered by the insurance company.

In the event that an aircraft evacuation is required, No Roads Expeditions will undertake to arrange the evacuation on the condition that the expenses are reimbursed by the passenger before departing the Country.

Note: Accidents caused by the inappropriate consumption of alcohol or drugs may void your travel insurance.

Get a Quote

While we don’t anticipate any uninvited medical disruptions during your trek, No Roads wants to keep your mind at ease and help you get adequate assistance and cover for your well-earned time away. It is extremely important that we ensure you’re covered during your great alpine experience.

We are able to provide you with Travel Insurance for your trip, allowing you to tick this off your ‘To-Do List” as soon as possible. (We strongly recommend that you take out baggage loss and accident insurance)!

Already have a trusted insurance provider?

That’s no problem at all, our primary concern is that you have adequate coverage.

Got a Pre-Existing Condition?

Simply call our Insurance Team and quote the reference number we provide you with and they’ll complete an assessment on your behalf. In many cases, there is no additional premium that needs to be paid! Many common conditions are also automatically covered. 

For all other nationalities please explore insurance providers in your country.

Again, if you’ve any questions, don’t hesitate to ask info@noroads.com.au.

Immunization

We suggest you consult your doctor to confirm if any current vaccinations or treatments are required for the area you are travelling to. You should consider cholera, typhoid, and hepatitis vaccinations and make sure your tetanus cover is up to date, however, this should all be discussed with your medical physician.

Plan ahead for getting your vaccinations (seriously, vaccinations are one thing that should NEVER be left until the last minute when TIME can truly be your enemy). Some of them require an initial shot followed by a booster, while some vaccinations should not be given together. This also applies to some malaria prophylactics, which have to be begun at least a week before you leave home.

Typhoid: Recommended for Indonesia. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.

Hepatitis A: Recommended for Indonesia. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.

Cholera: Recommended for Indonesia. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.

Tuberculosis: Recommended for Indonesia. Ideally 3 months before travel.

Hepatitis B: Recommended for Indonesia. Ideally 2 months before travel.

Yellow Fever: Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for Indonesia. Ideally 10 days before travel.

Japanese Encephalitis: Recommended for Indonesia. Ideally 1 month before travel.

Polio: Recommend a Polio booster. Ideally 4-6 weeks before travel.

Malaria: Consider this seriously

Please be advised that the Labuan Bajo and Komodo areas have strong Malaria populations and as such all precautions need to be made while on land

Accommodation

Unable to find a boat quite up to No Roads Expeditions standard, our support vessel was actually custom built back in 2018!

Here at No Roads, we believe a good night’s sleep can make your day!

While the choice of accommodation might be limited in some of the places we travel to, all of our hotels are picked to provide a comfortable and welcoming home away from home.

In Jakarta we use the FM7. This is a very comfortable hotel close to the airport so you don’t have to put up with Jakarta’s notorious traffic.

In Pangkalan Bun we use the Grand Kecubung Hotel which is a modern and well-appointed hotel.

Aboard the klotok

The klotok we use will depend on the group size. For small groups of 2, we will have a smaller boat two-bedroom klotok with separate bathrooms and an observation and meals deck. For larger groups, we will have a larger klotok with more rooms to accommodate. Mattresses and sheets are made available in all rooms.

Packing for Adventure

Orangutans are highly intelligent with ability to reason and think. This large, gentle red ape is one of our closest relatives, sharing 97% of our DNA.

On top of the list below, we recommend you bring a fresh set of clothes to leave in your hotel (if your itinerary has you returning to the same hotel at the end of your expedition). This way you will have a very fresh set of clothes to change into when you return from your expedition.

Please ensure that if you are leaving a bag at the hotel your bag is locked and that no valuables are left in your luggage.

There really isn’t much to bring on our Orangutan trip.

PERSONAL GEAR

  • Passport
  • Airline tickets (international & domestic)
  • Insurance policy – 2 copies (1 for you and 1 for our Guide)
  • Personal toiletries – Toothbrush and paste, sports deodorant, lip balm, etc.
  • T-shirts & Shorts or Summer dresses
  • Sleepwear
  • Underwear
  • Runners or light hiking boots & socks
  • Pair of thongs to wear around the klotok
  • Hat with wide rim (to keep the sun off your face)
  • Waterproof torch or headlamp with spare batteries
  • Rain poncho (something lightweight)
  • Quick-dry sports towel/chamois
  • One roll of your favourite toilet paper for backup
  • Sunscreen
  • Wet wipes or antiseptic hand gel
  • Tropical strength insect repellent
  • Polarised sunglasses (with retaining cord) and a spare set just in case
  • A book or kindle for reading (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Additional snacks – barley sugar, mentos, chocolate, muesli bars, etc (optional)

*If you have something you are particularly prone to, ear infections or sinus problems, please ensure you bring any necessary medications with you.

PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT

Your personal First Aid kit will contain band-aids, blister dressings, topical cream for bites and grazes, antibiotic cream for cuts and scratches, paracetamol, Deep Heat or another muscle liniment, and the all-important insect repellent. We recommend if you are travelling in a group that you share a First Aid Kit. Please note that a first aid kit will be carried by your Guide. 

SLEEPING GEAR

For the nights that you sleep onboard a boat, linen will be provided for you.

LAND WEAR

We will be doing a little bit of trekking so just a lightweight runner will be sufficient.

Note: If you have any questions regarding the above list or any other items that you want to ask about please do not hesitate to contact us. We can provide you with additional information at any time

Supplied Equipment

  • Drinking Water
  • Softdrinks and Juices
  • Tea/ Coffee
  • All meals on boat including some snacks
  • Inflatable mattresses and stretcher beds
  • All eating and drinking equipment
  • Klotok in Borneo

Our Team

Without our locally based teams, our efforts to deliver you the most immersive, enjoyable, challenging and rewarding experience quite simply, would not be possible.

Our dedicated crews will be on hand to keep you safe, prepare campsites and meals during stops, aboard the boat as well as on sandy beaches, and do anything else possible to assist should the need arise.

Tipping

In case you would like to show your appreciation to a particular Guide for a job well done, do so at your own discretion.  Also, remember to mention the good service provided to a member of the tour Operations Management to be used as an example to encourage better staff performance and excellence. 

Orangutan Tipping

Similarly, a typical daily tip is approximately Rp 150,000 or AUD$ 15. This is per guest not per support staff member. Thus on a 3-day journey, a reasonable tip would be Rp 450,000 or AUD $45 per guest

The National Institute of Aeronautics and Space advise that Indonesia is comprised of 18,307 islands! (That's at low tide of course).

We've Been We Know

It’s time for a confession.

It took time to get this good at what we do!

This was never through a lack of trying, but the reality is after 14 years in sending guests across the world, we’ve learned a thing or two…

Here are a few more pointers we thought would be useful before you board your flight (or flights) to Indonesia!

Money

The currency in Indonesia is the Rupiah (Rp). Exchange rates vary depending on the strength of the US dollar and you can access the most updated exchange rates by clicking on the attached link. Cash and travelers cheques are readily accepted and can be exchanged for Rupiah at the airport, hotels, or banks in any major city. Credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and MasterCard are accepted in many hotels, shops, and restaurants in major towns and cities. There are also plenty of ATMs in Bali and a few ATMs in Labuan Bajo and Pangkalan Bun. For spending money while on your expedition it is best to have money in local currency (Rp).

Approximate current exchange rates as of November 2022:

1AUD = 10,017Rp

1USD = 14,300Rp

1GBP = 16,938Rp

For this trip you will need cash for:

Meals not listed in your itinerary. (Total approximately Rp 1,000,000)

Personal items such as laundry, phone calls, snacks, etc.

Extra Alcoholic/bottled beverages and drinks. A water fountain, local soft drinks, tea, and coffee are provided (on the kayaking leg of your trip only).

Tips. All tipping is at your discretion (approx Rp 150,000 per day).

Souvenirs and handicrafts.

Please note, alcohol can be expensive in Indonesia (particularly wine). We recommend buying duty-free spirits etc if you wish to take some on the boat. Please purchase cans, no glass bottles, to consume on the boat, if you want to buy beer and soft drinks locally.

Power (and connectivity) in Indonesia

Indonesia uses 220 Volt for its electricity. (A few years ago, the voltage was 110V. But then was switched to 220 Volt.) The voltage in many places is unstable.

The electrical outlet has two round holes, similar to those in continental Europe, or 2 parallel flat pins with a ground pin.

Indonesia power plugs

The Environment

Many of the places you will visit are pristine. As travellers, we should try to have as little impact on these natural environments as possible. As such we recommend the following:

1. We discourage the use of soaps when washing both body and clothes. Vigorous scrubbing is usually sufficient. Even biodegradable soap is not good for any watercourse and as such is harmful to the ecosystem. 

2. Please do not dispose of plastic bags and wrappers in either pits or in fires. These take years to degrade or let off toxic fumes when burnt. Simply put them in your pack until you return home (they can be discarded in waste bins before going through customs and immigration).

3. Please do not dispose of batteries in country. They are extremely harmful to the environment and usually, local governments do not have any means to dispose of them correctly. Return old batteries to your home country for disposal there.

By abiding by these simple guidelines, you will be protecting the local environment for the people who live there and for your children’s children.

Safety

Welcome Meeting & Safety Briefing

More information and guidelines will be given to you prior to the start of your adventure. You will be met by your Guide at Pangkalan Bun Airport who will furnish you with further information.

  • Lodging, meals, and other conditions while on expedition.
  • Safety procedures.
  • Evacuation Procedures.
  • Cultural and Environmental Considerations.
  • Other relevant information.

Kayaking in the Komodo National Park

The areas we kayak in the park are mostly protected by the surrounding islands, which means we do not have to fight with large swells or waves. However, the park is known for its strong currents due to the water channeling in between the islands. We try to avoid kayaking against the current but if you find facing yourself a strong current, swell, or waves, stay calm and seek attention from your Guide. Follow your Guide at all times and try not to drift away too much. If you have the feeling you are drifting away or falling behind, please seek attention from your Guide.

Leaving a Good Impression

Sustainable Travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather a positive impact from tourism. Broadly speaking, this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please see our online policy for more details on our social and environmental approach and commitment.

The Environment

Many of the places you will visit are pristine. As travelers, we should try to have as little impact on these natural environments as possible. As such we recommend the following:

  • Please do not dispose of plastic bags and wrappers in the water or countryside along the way. These may be put in your kayak or backpack and disposed of at your local hotel or campsite at the end of the day.
  • During treks follow the well-marked walking tracks and avoid walking through grassland and regrowth areas. 
  •  Do not touch or feed any wildlife spotted on the way as you might distress and cause severe harm to the animal. Avoid touching corals with your flippers while snorkeling as this might cause harm to you and the marine flora.

By abiding by these simple guidelines, you will be protecting the local environment for the people who live there and for their children’s children.

Tongue Teasers

Recommended Restaurants in Labuan Bajo

The following are a couple of suggestions for Labuan Bajo. However, more visitors bring more options and we might have missed one of the new joints. Any new recommendations are always welcome.

Puri Sari: Simple food prepared fresh each day by the hotel staff. Mains approx $5-$10.

Made In Italy: Simply the Best Italian food outside of Italy! No, really it is amazing and a must. Mains approx $8-$15.

Mediterraneo: Another excellent Italian restaurant with a relaxed feel. Mains approx $8-$15.

Le Pirate: Restaurant and Lounge Bar. International and Indonesian cuisine. Main Road Labuan Bajo. Mains $8-$12.

Paradise Bar: Excellent sunset spot for a chilled Bintang with views over the Komodo Park and islands. They offer simple food too. Hilltop, Labuan Bajo. Mains approx $3-$5

Bajo Bakery: Excellent bread, pastry, and muffins to accompany your cappuccino or fruit shake. Main road Labuan Bajo.

Happy Banana: Sushi restaurant. Excellent fresh sushi and special vegetarian meals in a cosy environment. Check out dates for the live music. Main Road Labuan Bajo. Mains approx $8-$13.

Bajo Bay: Excellent Seafood from the catch of the day. Dine right next to the waterfront overlooking the “Phinisi” anchoring in front of Labuan Bajo or enjoy a drink in the bar above. Main road before fish market. Mains approx $5-10.

Bajo Taco: Mexican food, the real deal! The menu changes regularly and what is on offer is nice and fresh. Start with a frozen Margarita to finish off the day. Main road Labuan Bajo, same building as Bajo Bakery. Mains approx $6-10.

Ayana Rooftop Bar: Great sunset spot to start or finish your time in the Komodo National with one of the all-time favourite cocktails or the bar’s own creations. AYANA Komodo Resort, Waecicu Beach Waecicu Beach, Labuan Bajo. Cocktails are pricy but it is worth the treat!

Know The Lingo

Around 700 living languages are spoken across Indonesia. That equates to Indonesia having roughly 10% of the world’s languages!

Just a few words can get you a long way in Indonesia. Below is a small list of some important phrases though we suggest you bring a small Indonesian Phrasebook to help along the way.

General – English

Yes – Ya 
O.K.
No / not
Thank you 
You’re welcome
Please
Please help me
Excuse me
Sorry
What time is it?
This
That
Where have you just come from? 
What country are you from?
Where are you going?
Be careful / attention
Very delicious

General – Bahasa Indonesia

Tentu.
Beres.
Tidak / bukan.
Terima kasih.
Kembali.
Tolong / Silakan.
Tolonglah saya.
Permisi.
Ma’af.
Jam berapa?
Ini.
Itu.
Dari mana? 
Tuan asal dari mana?
Mau ke mana?
Hati Hati!
Sangat lezat

Greetings and Civilities – English

Good morning
Good afternoon
Good evening
Good night
Goodbye
How are you?
I am fine
What is your name? 
My name is… 
Nice to meet you 
See you later 
Goodbye (said to people leaving) 
Goodbye (said to people staying) 
I do not understand 
I do not speak Indonesian 

Greetings and Civilities – Bahasa Indonesia

Selamat Pagi
Selamat Siang.
Selamat Sore.
Selamat Malam.
Selamat Tinggal.
Apa Kabar?
Kabar Baik.
Siapa nama anda?
Nama saya…
Senang berkenalan dengan anda.
Sampai jumpa lagi.
Selamat jalan.
Selamat tinggal.
Saya tidak mengerti.
Saya tidak mengerti bahasa.

Checklist

Please make sure you have the following items before you travel to the airport for your flight to Indonesia.

  1. Luggage – water-resistant duffel bag with personal clothing/equipment, etc.
  2. Day pack (backpack) as hand luggage.
  3. Valid passport.
  4. Photocopy of the main page of your passport.
  5. Photocopy of your COVID 19 Vaccination Status in addition to any proof on your mobile device.
  6. Return Airfares and other travel documents.
  7. Medical/travel insurance papers/certificates plus 2 copies of your policy.
  8. Credit cards or cash for expenses while in Indonesia.
  9. Personal First Aid Kit

Give Us A Shout

No Roads Expeditions Hub

Office: (03) 95988581
24 hrs Access:
Irene Miller + 61 430 705 222
Peter Miller + 61 425 726 623
Email: info@noroads.com.au  

We sincerely hope that you have the most wonderful trip!