Asia Wildlife & Cultural Adventures

Get involved in Orangutan Conservation in Borneo

Go behind the scenes of Orangutan conservation in Borneo with the Orangutan Foundation.

  • Come face-to-face with orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park
  • Join experts from the Orangutan Foundation and gain an insight into conservation projects
  • Take river journeys through dense jungle, spotting proboscis monkeys and monitor lizards
  • Visit the renowned Camp Leakey and gain exclusive access to orangutan release sites

Come face-to-face with the orangutans in their fragile natural environment and spend time at the three feeding sites, including famous Camp Leakey established in 1971 by Dr Biruté Galdikas. The feeding sites are frequented by ex-captive orangutans living in the wild, allowing for some close encounters.

Whilst deep in the rainforest of Tanjung Puting, journey along the rivers and spot the fascinating wildlife that lives here. Hope to catch a glimpse of proboscis monkeys, monitor lizards and kingfishers. Through the expertise of the Orangutan Foundation, understand the importance of the forest and the role of local communities in securing the orangutans' future.

Visit areas in the region which are only accessible through our unique partnership with the Orangutan Foundation and in so doing escape the crowds and have the privilege of seeing orangutans to yourself.

Itinerary at a glance

DAY 1 JAKARTA

The starting point for the group is the FM7 Resort hotel in Jakarta. You will meet with the rest of the group for a short briefing at the arrival hotel - meeting time to be confirmed in your final documentation.

Sit down for a welcome dinner and get to know the rest of the group. (Included in the cost of the trip.)

Jakarta is a growing and dynamic city and the capital of Indonesia. 

DAY 2 JAKARTA - PANGKALAN BUN - TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK

Fly Jakarta to Pangkalan

Bun Boat Journey Pangkalan Bun to Tanjung Puting National Park
You will be met on arrival at Pangkalan Bun and driven the short way to the small port of Kumai. Board your klotok (local boat) and set off along the Sekonyer River. Tanjung Puting National Park is around two and a half hours away. Pass through lush tropical rainforest, looking for wild orangutans and proboscis monkeys en route.

Located on the southern edge of Indonesian Borneo, Tanjung Puting National Park is a vast area of jungle that incorporates dry forests, swamps and coastal mangroves. Famous for its orangutan population and associated conservation efforts, the park rose to prominence thanks to the work of Dr Birute Galdikas, one of Louis Leakey's remarkable 'Trimates'.

Tanjung Puting is a 3,000-square kilometer mosaic of diverse lowland habitats, including low-lying swampy terrain punctuated by blackwater rivers, tropical rain forest, seasonally inundated peat swamp forest and open areas once logged with secondary growth of elephant grass, ferns and young trees.

Whilst Tanjung Puting is famed for its orangutans, it also boasts a number of other animals including the bizarre looking proboscis monkey, clouded leopards, civets and sun bears. Tanjung Puting National Park hosts over 230 species of birds, including hornbills, deep forest birds, and many wetland species. The park has two species of crocodiles, dozens of snakes and frogs, numerous threatened species, including the fortune-bringing and highly endangered "dragon" fish also known as the Arwana (bony-tongue). Among the most flamboyant of these animals are the many species of colorful birds, butterflies, and moths found in the Park.

Despite the park's protected status and the work of numerous NGOs such as the Orangutan Foundation, this fragile ecosystem remains under threat.

DAY 3 TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK

Kolotok

Much of your day will be spent on board a klotok as you move up and down the Sekonyer River accessing the various feeding sites. The klotok can cater for up to ten people, has a large covered deck under which you can sit and eat various meals provided. Aft and stern there are areas to sit and scan the forest in the hope of spotting wild orangutan, proboscis monkeys, long-tailed macaques, kingfishers and hornbills.

Snacks, coffee, tea, cold drinks and water provided throughout the day on your request. Breakfast, lunch and dinner also served on the boat dependent on your schedule and timings.There is a loo on board plus a basin with running water in which to wash your hands.

In case of rain, they can lower canvas tarpaulin to keep the rain out.

Morning stroll followed by visit to the orangutan feeding site Take a relaxed walk to the nearby Tanjung Harapan feeding site, which will help with acclimatisation to the heat and humidity. Enjoy a forest walk, accompanied by a guide, allowing time to get a feel for the new surroundings.

After lunch, return to Tanjung Harapan for the chance to view the orangutans feeding.

Orangutan Feeding Sites

There are three feeding sites that you can visit:

Camp Leakey: Feeding time 14:00 - 16:00. 40 kilometres from Kumai River. Twenty kilometres upstream and approximately two hours from Rimba Lodge. The feeding site is a two-kilometre walk from Camp Leakey. At the Camp, there is a small but informative Education centre that details the research work in the region and the threats facing orangutans.

Pondok Tangui: Feeding time 09:00. 30 kilometres from Kumai River. Ten kilometres upstream and approximately one hour from Rimba Lodge. One kilometre walk from the dock to the feeding site.

Tanjung Harapan: Feeding time 14:00. Ten kilometres from Kumai River. Ten kilometres downstream and approximately one hour from Rimba Lodge. One kilometre walk from the dock to the feeding site.

Notes The feeding sites are accessed by wooden boardwalks of up to a kilometre in length. They are often slippery so care needs to be taken when walking along these.

DAY 4 TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK

Morning visit to Pondok Tanggui feeding site

Visit Pondok Tanggui, one of the park's other feeding sites, before setting out on foot to explore the surrounding forests.

Half Day Trip to Camp Leakey Head upstream on the beautiful Sekonyer River to the legendary Camp Leakey, the research site established by Dr Birute Galdikas. On arrival, expect to be greeted by a number of ex-captive and rehabilitated orangutans.

Although facilities at Camp Leakey are basic, this is one of the best places to see Asia's only great ape. Named after the famous primatologist Dr Louis Leakey, this ground-breaking research site has grown from a couple of huts into a group of permanent structures. 

DAY 5 TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK

Tanjung Puting - Pangkalan Bun - Yayorin Travel from Tanjung Puting National Park to Pangkalan Bun Leave Tanjung Puting and travel by boat to the small port of Kumai, which is approximately two hours away. Drive on to Pangkalan Bun, a short distance away. Half Day Trip to Visit Yayorin Meet the Orangutan Foundation's local partners, Yayorin. A grass roots conservation NGO, Yayorin works alongside local communities in order to protect orangutans. Located in an environmental education centre called Kampung Konservasi (meaning conservation village), the charity aims to promote conservation as beneficial to communities. You will be staying at Grand Kecubung Hotel, Full board

DAY 6 PANGKALAN BUN - TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK

Pangkalan Bun - Tanjung Puting - Lamandau and Camp Gemini

Travel from Pangkalan Bun to Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, a journey of about two hours.

Visit Lamandau and Camp Gemini

This morning travel along the Arut River to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, stopping off en route in Tanjung Putri village to see a sustainable livelihood programme. Continue into the reserve to Camp Gemini - a release site for reintroduced orangutans. This site is not open to the public and so Steppes has negotiated exclusive access to the region through the Orangutan Foundation. In doing so it means that the orangutans and their environment can be observed in privacy - a unique opportunity to appreciate these wonderful creatures and the beauty of the forest. Return by boat to Rimba Lodge for the night.

DAY 7 TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK

Half Day Visit to Tanjung Harapan Feeding Site

Spend some time visiting the Tanjung Harapan feeding site again. 

DAY 8 TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK

Half Day Trip to the Tropical Research Station

Briefly return to the feeding site for a chance to see the orangutans, before heading to the Pondok Ambung Tropical Forest Research Station. Run by the Orangutan Foundation in co-operation with the national park, this scientific research outpost was originally set up in order to study the park's native proboscis monkeys. Nowadays, its excellent facilities are utilised by various visiting researchers, studying a variety of flora and fauna.

Farewell Meal and Night Walk

After a farewell meal on the jetty, set out for a night walk through the forest.

DAY 9 TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK - PANGKALAN BUN - JAKARTA

Travel from Tanjung Puting National Park to Pangkalan Bun

Leave Tanjung Puting and travel by boat to the small port of Kumai, which is approximately two and a half hours away. Drive on to Pangkalan Bun, a short distance away. Fly Pangkalan Bun to Jakarta. 

DAY 10 JAKARTA

Depart.

WHY SHOULD I JOIN THIS ORANGUTAN TOUR?

This orangutan tour offers more time in Tanjung Puting National Park and gives you access to an area that remains completely off-limits to normal visitors. This exclusive access is largely thanks to the influence of Ashley Leiman and the Orangutan Foundation. The group tour will be joined by either Ashley or a member of the Orangutan Foundation, who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience and provide behind-the-scenes insight into orangutan conservation.

WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE IN INDONESIAN BORNEO?

The FM7 hotel is simply an airport hotel – modern and convenient. The majority of the trip is spent staying at Rimba Lodge, in Tanjung Puting National Park. Clean and comfortable, this remote property features private bathrooms and air conditioning. However, accommodation choices are limited within the park and, although this is the best available option, it is a little rough around the edges. Whilst employing local staff to run the lodge is a positive approach, it means that service is friendly and genuine, rather than polished.

DO I NEED TO BE FIT TO ENJOY THIS TOUR?

Not particularly. Walking is generally over flat terrain, occasionally made more difficult by stray tree roots or loose leaf litter. Walks will last between 20 minutes and an hour, but the humidity can make this more challenging than usual. Due to this, being able to cope with the heat and humidity is more important than being fit. However, you need to be reasonably agile to be able to embark and disembark from the klotoks, local boats.

WHAT KIND OF CONSERVATION PROJECTS DOES THE ORANGUTAN FOUNDATION RUN?

This orangutan tour helps support the Orangutan Foundation, who have been instrumental in fighting for habitat preservation, raising awareness and rehabilitating ex-captive orphans. The tour helps fund vital habitat protection which includes running guard posts and forest patrols in Tanjung Puting National Park and the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Outside of protected areas money goes to supporting the Orangutan Foundation’s Rescue and Release Programme.

HOW CLOSE CAN I GET TO ORANGUTANS?

For us the importance of this orangutan tour is to gain an understanding and appreciation of the orangutan, their habitat and the threats they face. Whilst you may get close to orangutans – possibly within a few metres – it is not our aim to get you as close to an orangutan as possible.At the feeding areas, the orangutans come fairly close to you as they are habituated and relatively unafraid of people. They are far more afraid of the resident alpha male….

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

  • A copy of 'The Orangutan's World: A Photographic Celebration of Bornean Wildlife'
  • Accommodation based on twin-share basis
  • All activities as detailed in the itinerary
  • Contribution to Orangutan Foundation
  • Domestic economy flights
  • Gratuities for local guide, driver and porters
  • Meals as indicated
  • Park fees
  • Services of guides and rangers
  • Transportation throughout 

Start your journey

Dates: 14th – 23rd October 2018

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