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Mahakam River Tour: Orangutan & Mystical Dayak Tribe (5D/4N)

Tour Code: BTG-BORNEO15

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Mahakam River Tour: Orangutan & Mystical Dayak Tribe (5D/4N)
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Learn the fascinating culture of the Dayak tribes in the Mahakam River with its freshwater dolphins on the eastern coast of Borneo. This fabulous journey is an exclusive mix of tribal life, endemic fauna and adventure. You will spend two nights in a floating house through the rain forest and two nights in an eco-lodge in the Samboja Lestari Reserve. Separate yourself from the world and let the adventure begin!

  • 4 Nights
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Pickup: Balikpapan, Borneo (BPN)
Itinerary: Mahakam River Tour


Welcome to Balikpapan! It is now a port city but once a fishing village built by Bugis people. You can find jewelry and gemstones sold at many markets, as well as nice white sandy beaches on the coast area.

Your Mahakam River Tour begins upon arrival at airport. Meet our guide who will take you to the town of Loa Janan that is about 2 and half hours driving car. It is where you will board the houseboat prepared for you to explore the Mahakam River. Meals and accommodation are provided on board.

Meals: Lunch – Dinner

Accommodation: Standard Houseboat with AC


After breakfast on boat, we stop at Muara Muntai which is a traditional fishing village along the river. Here, you will observe the ways of life of the locals.

Then, continue the trip by motorized canoe over the Lake Jempang. It is one of the 3 major wetlands in the region and happens to be also a birdwatcher’s paradise. After that, you will cruise through the Ohong river where you can see wildlife alongside. The destination will be Mancong which is one of the scenic village where you will meet a Dayak tribe.

On arrival, welcome ceremony will be performed by Dayak Benuaq tribe in front of their long house. Enjoy some time with them then we will return to the house boat to continue the cruise to Tenggarong which is known as the King’s City. It is the home to the old Kutai Sultanate.

Lunch box, dinner and overnight on boat.

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Accommodation: Standard Houseboat with AC


Breakfast on the boat, then we will visit the local market, royal cemetery and a museum which also remains as Sultan Palace. Afterwards, return to the boat and cruise down river to get back to Loa Janan.

After lunch, we will proceed to Samboja Lestari Reserve where you will be introduced to an orangutan reintroduction program. It was the first program established by the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation in 1991. It specifically provides care and rehabilitation for orangutans rescued from areas of habitat loss. Formally known as Wanariset, the project was relocated in 2006 due to insufficient space and was renamed Samboja Lestari. 

In the afternoon, we will walk around to observe the orangutans, sun bears and other animals in the area. At the end of the day, check in at Lodge. Meals and overnight at the Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner 

Accommodation: Samboja Lodge


Breakfast at Lodge, then the day begins by observing the orangutans, sun bears around the lodge until lunch time. After that, proceed to Bangkirai Hills where you will find a canopy bridge, lush forest with fresh air and beautiful sounds of the animals. Observe the primary rain forest and do some jungle trekking.

Afterward, we return to the Black River to observe the wild animals alongside the river by canoe. In the late afternoon, we head back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner 

Accommodation: Samboja Lodge

DAY 5:END OF TRIP       ▼

Enjoy your breakfast at the lodge. After that, you will have free time to enjoy the last moments in this land. At appointed time, we will transfer you to the airport where you will catch the flight to your next destination.

Thank you for marching your footprints in this Mahakam River Tour with Come2Indonesia. We hope to see you again on your next journey. Sampai jumpa!

Meals: Breakfast  

Accommodation: –

Photos: Mahakam River Tour

Price Includes

  • Accommodations and meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All Twin Shared
  • English speaking guide during the excursions
  • Transportation and visit as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Donations and Entrance fees, permits
  • A unique experience!

Price Excludes

  • Domestic/international flights
  • Travel Insurance (Highly Recommended)
  • Visa
  • Airport tax
  • Alcohol, soft drinks, personal expenses
  • Extra expenses occurred due to causes beyond our control (force majeure) such as cancellations of flights, natural disasters, diseases, etc.
  • Everything that is not mentioned in “INCLUDES”
Map: Mahakam River Tour


When is the best time of the year to do this tour?

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. If you wish to travel from October to April, the Eastern part Indonesia like Banda and Raja Ampat would be the best option.

For a more 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.

What should I bring?

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:

  • Comfortable and light shirt and at least a pair of long sleeves
  • Comfortable walking shoes or trekking shoes if your trip include some trekking
  • Shorts and long pants
  • Couple of pairs of socks
  • Waterproof Jacket/Raincoat

Depends on the type of travel, you may also need these in your What to Bring list:

Underwater Trip:
  • Dive Insurance
  • Dive certificate
  • Certificate of Nitrox (for those who are using Nitrox)
  • Dive equipment except Tanks and Weights. Please consult your travel expert to find out if the equipment is inclusive or not in your booking
  • Swimsuit/Dive suit
  • Adaptor DIN or INT
  • Flashlight
  • Sunscreen SPF +40
  • Waterproof bags
Land Tour and Trekking:
  • Small backpack for daily important item
  • Travel Insurance, which covers trekking and sport risk
  • Trekking shoes (check with your travel expert if you need a Goretex or simply a walking shoes)
  • Pullover (as in some area like Mt Bromo and some other places at high altitude, the temperature can get as low as 0 degree)
  • Hats
  • Small flashlight or head flashlight
  • Towel (preferably quick dry microfiber towel)
  • Flight tickets (keep the soft copy in your mobile)
  • Valid passport with Valid Visa (or check if you are eligible for Visa Free Entry)
  • Travel/Dive Insurance
  • Personal medication (include contact lenses)
  • Waterproof bag to put all important documents
  • All documents for your trip: vouchers, tickets, contact numbers
  • Credit card (in some major cities, credit card are widely accepted in restaurants and shops. Small charge might be applied)
  • Cash in Euro or USD (you may change into local currency Rupiah when you arrive here)
  • Camera, Battery and Charger
  • Adaptor (220V is used in Indonesia)
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen and Sunglasses
  • International driving license (if you plan to drive on your own)
  • Mosquito Repellent with DEET
  • Hygienic travel kits (mask, disinfectant or anti-virus spray, etc, etc)

How do I get to Balikpapan?

Balikpapan is easily reached from all major cities in Indonesia. Most airlines have flights to Balikpapan, including from Jakarta, Surabaya, and Makassar. Besides Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air, other domestic low-cost carriers to Balikpapan are Sriwijaya Air, Citilink, Indonesia Air Asia. Internationally, SilkAir flies direct to Balikpapan from Singapore. 

How hard is our tour?

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.


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