This unforgettable extension trip takes you on a short flight into Central Kalimantan and into the dense, unspoilt rainforest of Tanjung Puting National Park. Touted not just as a main highlight of Borneo, but of the entire archipelago of Indonesia, this Tanjung Putting is most well-known because of its remote orang-utan research and rehabilitation camps.
The orang-utans of Borneo and Sumatra are the only wild great apes outside Africa. Camp Leakey, set up in 1971 by Dr Birute Galdikas for study and rescue purposes, is the most well-known of the camps we will visit. Birute Galdikas was chosen to study primates by famous paleontologist Louis Leakey and joined Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey (of ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ fame) to form a trio of remarkable women.
The rescued apes are released into the wild but often retain the habits they have learned at the centres and regularly come back to the feeding stations. This presents wonderful opportunities to see them close up; they truly are one of the most intelligent and human-like of the great apes (orang-utan means ‘man of the forest’) and their facial expressions and actions will entertain, fascinate and awe you.
This is your chance to see these beautiful, highly endangered animals in their natural habitat. We will spend several days travelling the waterways of the National park by klotok, a traditional motorised river boat which we live aboard during our extension. The flat roof provides a perfect viewing platform as we glide past the lush forested banks and islands. Seeing the rainforest by boat is a completely different experience to trekking through it, and the wildlife-spotting opportunities are incredible. You are likely to see macaques, gibbons, proboscis monkeys, crocodiles and a wealth of butterflies and birdlife, and even the rare leopard or sun bear if you are very lucky – and keep your eyes open for wild orang-utans!
Minimum number of people required for the extension to run: 2
Day 1: (same day as main group departs for Jakarta)
We head to the airport (usually late morning) for our short flight from Banjarmasin to Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan. On arrival we have a short transfer to the small port of Kumai, where our traditional klotok boat awaits. This wooden boat will be our home for the next couple of days and is the perfect way to navigate the rivers of this region of Kalimantan. We enjoy a peaceful afternoon relaxing and enjoying the views of this dense, pristine rainforest from the roof of our boat. In the evening we will be entranced by the wonderful spectacle of fire-flies along the water’s edge. Overnight on boat; breakfast, lunch and dinner provided
Day 2: (main group arrives UK)
Today we head for Camp Leakey, the most well-known of the orang-utan rehabilitation camps in this area and the original research centre. We have a short trek into the rainforest, where we may be able to spot wild orang-utans as well as other wildlife. However, the highlight will undoubtedly be witnessing feeding-time for the many orang-utans that are being cared for in this sanctuary, as well as many that have been released but are still in the habit of dropping in for easy food! Overnight on boat; breakfast, lunch and dinner provided
We enjoy our last day surrounded by the distinctive reddish waters and forest canopy of the National Park as we slowly return to the port of Kumai. We leave our klotok behind and head to our hotel in Pangkalan Bun for a welcome night in more spacious surroundings! Depending on our arrival time, you may wish to explore Pangkalan Bun; there are no real tourist attractions but it’s a pleasant place to wander and watch the world go by. Overnight hotel; breakfast and lunch provided; provide own dinner
Fly back to Jakarta and transfer to our international flight to the UK. Breakfast provided; overnight flight
Arrive UK (arrival dependent on flight schedules)
The klotok is clean and comfortable but fairly basic; you will most likely sleep on mattresses on the deck under mosquito nets, which is perfect for the warm nights! Meals are taken on board and include an impressive range of freshly cooked food (Indonesian style).Our itinerary prioritises Camp Leakey, but we will be able to visit other camps when our progress on the river matches feeding times. Please bear in mind that this is a very remote region and our itinerary needs to be flexible to suit river conditions.
Cost per person: £650.00 (price valid for 2014 and 2015)
• Accommodation on board klotok (2 nights) / in hotel (1 night)
• All meals on klotok as indicated in itinerary
• National Park permits and fees
• All transportation
• Local English-speaking guide
• Meals as noted in itinerary
• Any entrance fees to optional sites or activities
• Any personal spending, extra drinks, snacks or souvenirs
Expect it to be hot and humid most of the time, though it is more comfortable on the river than when trekking in the jungle. Storage space on the klotok is limited and you will not need much; you will be able to leave your main luggage in Pangkalan Bun.
Travel health advice is the same as for your trek: we highly recommend vaccinations against Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Polio, as well as malarial prophylactics. You also need Yellow Fever if coming from an infected area. Always check first with your GP or travel clinic for the latest information on health conditions in the regions you are visiting.
Call us on 01722 718444 if you wish to book
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