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In this Great Borneo Orangutan Tour you will navigate the Sekoyer river looking for the life that approaches the waters, enjoy the passage of the proboscis monkeys in front of the Klotok, see Orangutans and macaques, even with luck, you will see how some crocodile approaches the surface to take a breath before to dive in or out of the dark waters. Get ready to spend a magical night in the camping jungle. Take the opportunity to hike around the Leakey camp, Pondok Tangguy and Pesalat, visit the feeding platforms of different centers, and walk at night in the forests of Borneo.
NOTE FOR THIS TRIP: Due to the possible rains during the wet season in Indonesia and avoiding that the jungle floor can have many wetlands for camping, we can do this trip between the months of April to October.
Your Great Borneo Orangutan Tour begins upon arrival 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’.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 12.00AM), we can arrive on time at the first feeding time scheduled at 3 in the afternoon. Then, you can have the first close encounters with the orangutans.
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 while 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.
OPTIONAL: 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: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Accommodation: Klotok boat
After an extraordinary breakfast, we will go in time to see the Tanggui camp at the time of feeding animals (9am). Little by little you will see how the branches of the treetops begin to move and then you will see the silhouettes of the Orangutans arriving to the feeding platform. Tanggui was a loose camp for Young Orangutans who were rehabilitated, and continue to add food every day, to prevent the Orangutans from walking away due to lack of food, and ending up outside the National Park, with the following risk of falling into traps of settlers or Palm Oil Plantation fields.
After the Orangutans start to leave, you will return to Klotok again to prepare your new adventure in the jungle away from tourists. Along with your guide and part of the crew, you will have to take everything you need to enter the jungle on a 4-5-hour trekking until you find the appropriate place to spend the night.
It is an opportunity to enjoy more intensely the endemism of the area, orangutans, the sounds of the night, the vegetation, etc. Once the tents are set up, we will have dinner and also, if you want, you can do a little hiking at night, to see the night fauna with your guide.
Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Accommodation: Camping in the jungle
The morning in Pesalat is the best time for bird watching or simply strolling around the forest while enjoying breakfast.
One of the main objectives of coming to this area of the jungle will be to be part of the conservation of the National Park, visiting the reforestation center of the Friends of the National Park Foundation (FNPF) where you can volunteer and plant a tree and thus carry the pride that you have contributed to conservation with your visit there.
We return to the klotok where you will have time to take a shower or always rest with your eye on the jungle in search of animals. During the navigation you will see how the color of the river changes and you will have more opportunity to see crocodiles and large lizards, together with Gibbons and Proboscis Monkeys.
Arrival at Camp Leakey, the Old Orangutan Research and Rehabilitation Center since 1971, when a student at UCLA University in Los Angeles named Birutte Galdikas began studying Orangutans there, the name Camp Leaky comes from Birutte’s own professor, Paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey. At least 200 orangutans have already been cured and returned to the forests thanks to this center, however since 1995, the Government of Indonesia has prohibited the introduction of more Orangutans in this camp, so the Orangutans are adapting more and more to freedom.
Today, this camp is used for behavioral and feeding research of Orangutans. At 14:00 you can see the feeding time of the Orangutans. You can also visit the small museum made by the scientist Dr. Birute Galdikas.
When we finish observing the orangutans in this camp and if time and conditions allow, we will hike gently through the jungle back to the ship to look for free orangutans and other animals, on the way we will have the opportunity to meet with the help of our local guides, some of them born in the jungle, how to look for carnivorous animals or plants or simply listen to their experience of life in the jungle.
The forests of Borneo have given life to the inhabitants and houses for millions of years, they are forests that, under the eyes of the grandparents, are capable of giving everything one needs. Food, water, medicine, etc. But never put anything in your mouth without the recommendation of your guide. In the afternoon, if it does not rain, the boat will dock near a congregation of fireflies and you can enjoy the spectacle of its luminescence.
Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Accommodation: Klotok boat
Today we end our stay in the jungles of Borneo. In the early morning we will have breakfast on the boat, to then go to the port and in turn, be transferred to the airport. The boat departure will be at the latest at 10am, but we adapt to your flights if your flight leaves earlier in the morning. If you decide to take an afternoon flight, we can take you directly to the airport at 10 or if you want a city tour in the Arut village to drop you off at the airport later, it could be arranged at extra cost.
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.
The tour ends after breakfast usually around 10 am. If your flight leaves earlier, the crew will adapt to the schedule to drive you to the airport on time.
In this case, we can drop you off in the city so you can explore it on your own. But if you prefer, we can accompany you with a private car to take a walk around the Arut River (especially if you like photography) and then drop you off at the airport afterwards. This service has an extra cost.