In this Orangutan and Dayak tribe tour, discover the tropical rain forest island, home to our red-haired cousins, the orangutans which these days are endangered due to expansion of palm oil plantation that swept out their homes.
You will cruise up the Kumai river and visit the three feeding camps of the orangutans, the places where you can get close to the great apes. And while you are in Borneo, you can learn the richness of the culture of Dayak tribe, native to the island who in the past were feared for their ancient tradition of headhunting practices. But don’t worry, you’re totally safe with us! Our eco safari trip is specially designed for adventure seekers.
Arrive at Pangkalan Bun on the island of Borneo, better known by the Indonesians as Kalimantan. Upon arrival at the airport your guide will be waiting for you to transfer to the port of Kumai in about 15-20 minutes by car, where we will embark on a great adventure! We will arrive at our traditional, wooden boat, called a ‘klotok’.The time of boarding the Boat will be at 11 AM but can be earlier if the boat preparation is complete.
Our guide will reconfirm to our crew that everything is ready to go, and the cruise upstream starts on the famous Sekonyer river abroad a klotok.If your flight arrives early (before 12.00 PM), we can arrive on time at the Tanjung Harapan rehabilitation center where at 3 PM in the afternoon, the orangutans are fed by the Rangers of the National Park and you can have the first close encounters with them. Your Orangutan and Dayak tribe tour has just started.
The meaning of ‘Tanjung Harapan’ is ‘Cape of Hope’. This first camp has more wetlands and therefore has more mosquitos in the afternoon, so make sure you put on enough mosquito repellent. After visiting this rangers camp, you will continue your journey upriver- resting on the boat while we look for animals in the nearness of the Sekonyer River.
In the afternoon it is very common to see groups of proboscis monkeys and macaques in the treetops, jumping from one tree branch to another, or to even see crocodiles or lizards in the shallow waters on the sides of the river. Prepare for the sunset and enjoy the exquisite food prepared by our jungle crew. The boat is moored on the side of the river to spend the night.
Tonight, we can take a walk through the jungle to look for nocturnal animals such as snakes, tarantulas or even if we are lucky, we can find luminescent mushrooms or tarsier monkeys.
Meals: Lunch – Dinner
Accommodation: Klotok boat
Today you will wake up with the sounds and the colours of the jungle. Without a doubt, you will never forget how you woke up on the river, surrounded by the overflowing nature. After an extraordinary breakfast on board, we will arrive on time to visit the Tanggui Camp at the feeding time for animals (9 AM). Little by little, you will see how the treetops begin to move and then you will see the silhouettes of the orangutans gradually reaching the feeding platform.
Tanggui was a release camp for young orangutans that we rehabilitated- preventing the orangutans from moving away due to a lack of food and ending up outside the National Park, with the following risks of falling into traps of settlers or palm oil plantation fields. After the orangutans begin to leave, you will return to the klotok to continue further upstream.
You will witness how the colour of the river changes and you will have the opportunity to see crocodiles and large monitor lizards, along with Gibbons and proboscis monkeys. Of course, you will enjoy your lunch in this lovely setting.
You will arrive at Camp Leakey, the old orangutan rehabilitation centre. It was founded in 1971, when a student at UCLA University in Los Angeles, called Birutte Galdikas, began studying the orangutans there. The name Camp Leakey comes from Birutte’s own professor, paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey.
At least 200 orangutans have already been cured and returned to the jungle thanks to this centre. However, since 1995 the Indonesian government has banned the introduction of more orangutans in this camp, so the orangutans are increasingly adapting to freedom. Today, this camp is used for behavioural and feeding research for orangutans.
You can also visit the small museum founded by the scientist Dr. Birutte Galdikas. After finishing the observing of orangutans in this camp, we will do a gentle trekking through the jungle back to the boat to search for free orangutans and other animals, if the weather conditions permit.
We will have the opportunity to learn a lot about the jungle from our local guides, of whom some of them were born in the jungle. They’ll explain how to look for animals or plants, and you can listen to their experience of life in the jungle. The jungles of Borneo, that have given life and shelter to its inhabitants for millions of years, are jungles that under the watch of their ancestors, are still capable of fulfilling every single individual’s needs.
Food, water, medicines, etc… But never throw anything in your mouth without your guide’s recommendation. In the afternoon, if it does not rain, the boat will be docked near a congregation of fireflies and you can enjoy the show of its luminescence. Also if you want you can do some hiking at night, to see the nocturnal fauna with your guide.
Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Accommodation: Klotok boat
In the early morning, we will enjoy the last moments in the jungle before heading to the Dayak Tribe village. We will arrive at the Port of Kumai from where we will leave by car to the town on a journey of about 4 hours. Upon arrival, we will be greeted by locals with their traditional dance. After this ceremony they will prepare the food that we will share at home and you will have the opportunity to taste their traditional sugar cane coffee in the Dayak tribe culture.
After lunch we can explore the town where you will see the authentic Dayak tribe long houses where they live (Long House / Rumah Betang / Rumah Panjang) and the tombs of the tribe and their masks (Topeng: Some people dance wearing this mask in respect to their ancestors). Then we will enjoy the beautiful sunset on the Kilat hill and if you want, you can bathe in the river.
We will finish the day at the local house with dinner and attending the Bono and Bonaki rituals, one of the tribe’s favorites when it comes to celebrating visits. You can join their dance and try their local drink called tuak (rice wine). This will be a day that you will certainly never forget.
Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Accommodation: Local House
We will wake up in this Dayak Tribe village and join the activities of his daily life after breakfast. Among the activities are agriculture and livestock and hunting where they use Dayak equipment called “menyumpit” with bamboo weaving.
Later we can also visit the house where they produce cane sugar coffee. And we will attend a traditional cooking course after having collected the vegetables first. After lunch, we return to Pangkalan Bun where you will have dinner and spend the night.
Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Accommodation: Arsela Hotel or simillar
After breakfast at the hotel, and depending on the time of your flight, we will take you to the airport to continue your trip in Indonesia. Thank you very much for exploring the beauty of Borneo with Come2indonesia.
Our favourite time for travel in Indonesia is between April to October, although Indonesia is a great year-round destination, offering memorable experiences for all kinds of adventures. July to August are the peak summer months. In West to Central part of the weather is delightfully warm and it’s a popular time for travellers to visit for holidays, whilst if you wish to travel from October to April, the Eastern part Indonesia, like Banda and Raja Ampat, would be the best option.
If you wish to have a relaxing journey in Indonesia with less crowds, the shoulder months of April to June and September to October are ideal and slightly more economic. If you must travel in ‘high season’ but want to avoid the crowd, worry not, there are numbered of unbeaten track in Indonesia ready to be explored.
The tropics is a warm and often sweaty place, especially if you have Borneo or Sulawesi included in your travel. Check out our suggestion on What to Wear:
Depends on the type of travel, you may also need these in your What to Bring list:
Landtour and Trekking:
To go to Pangkalan Bun there are 3 main options:
From Semarang airport (about 3.5 hours from Jogjakarta by car, we arrange this transfer by private car with AC from Jogjakarta to Semarang as well as vice versa)
From Jakarta in direct flight. If you come from Jakarta, we offer you for the previous night, the transit hotel FM7 Resort, which includes transfers airport – hotel – airport and breakfast.
From Surabaya in direct flight. If you come from Surabaya, here we offer Ibis Budget Surabaya Airport for the previous night, located within airport area and Standard Room (double/twin)
We have classified our tours in 3 different classes. Always check which one suitable for your condition. If you have any doubt, you may consult to our travel expert.
Easy: Suitable for most people in good health. These trips can include short walk for days with around 2–3 hours in good paths and at low altitudes.
Medium: A reasonable level of fitness or technique is required, as these trips can require sustained endurance levels as the trip may include longer days of approximately 5-6 hours of activity or/and in higher altitudes, or snorkelling in strong current.
Hard: These trips are physically demanding and best suited for people with a high endurance level, good level of fitness and exercise regularly. Days can be long around 7-8 hours of activity, often at high altitudes, in remote regions and sometimes without a support vehicle nearby. Travellers may be required to carry their backpack, trip with trekking overnights without access to normal toilets or accommodations.
Yes, the boat is equipped with a wooden bathroom that has a western toilet and a shower. The water drains directly into the river, so we will give you an organic soap to avoid contaminating it. We would appreciate it if you use it.
A private speedboat adventure
Rivers less visited by tourists