See Orangutans in Indonesia!
With only around 6,600 alive, orangutans are so critically endangered that they could become the first great ape species to become extinct. If you’re wanting to see one in the wild, you’ll need to travel to Sumatra or Borneo in Indonesia! The Gunung Leuser National Park, a tropical rainforest in Sumatra, is one of the last places where you can see orangutans in Indonesia. Sumatra Eco Travel offers several different tours to see these endangered apes. Orangutans are usually spotted near their feeding platform* during morning and afternoon feeding sessions, and you can also spot them during guided a guided jungle trek!
Where: Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia
Ages: Tours are organized for families with children ages 5+.
Info: Sumatra Eco Travel has many tours available to see orangutans in Indonesia. Several of their tours will take you through the jungle to the orangutan feeding platform, where you’ll watch orangutans come to get milk and bananas from park rangers. Feeding time lasts roughly an hour and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to take pictures! As you hike through the jungle, your guide will point out various creatures and plant species while teaching you all about the rainforest and biodiversity. Below are the two tours they recommend most for families with children. Both include many breaks so you can enjoy the rainforest in a more relaxed way!
- Jungle View Hike: This 4-hour tour is offered twice per day, at 8:30 AM and 11:30 AM. Your guide will pick you up at your guesthouse. You’ll cross the Bohorok River by canoe and head straight to the orangutan feeding platform. After feeding time, you’ll enjoy a 3-hour trek through the jungle. At the end of tour, you’ll pass by rubber and cacao plantations as you arrive at the foot of Bukit Lawang. This tour costs €25 and includes fruit to eat during your breaks.
- Relax in the Rainforest: This tour starts at 8:30 AM, and lasts about 7 hours. You’ll cross the Bohorok River by canoe and head straight to the orangutan feeding platform. From there, you’ll trek through the jungle until lunchtime, when you’ll stop at a waterfall to eat and take a quick swim. After lunch, you’ll trek through the jungle for another 2 hours, and at the end of your adventure you’ll have the option to go tube-rafting back down the Bohorok River back to the guesthouses. This tour is €35-50, depending on whether you choose to go rafting, and includes lunch and fruit to eat during your breaks.
While Sumatra Eco Travel can’t guarantee that you’ll see an orangutan during your visit, you’re sure to experience wildlife of some kind during your tour. The Gunung Leuser National Park is one of the most biodiverse rainforests of the world, hosting lakes, rivers, volcanoes, and over 700 species of animals. The jungle is full of gibbons, monkeys, flying squirrels, exotic birds, reptiles, and interesting insects. If you’re really lucky, you may encounter the rare Sumatran Tiger or Sumatran Rhinoceros!
Guides are English-speaking. There is a 3 person minimum for tours to take place, and the tour price does not include entrance permits into Gunung Leuser National Park. It’s very important that no direct contact with the orangutans take place. Because orangutans are so genetically similar to humans, they could easily catch an infection. A simple flu virus could kill an orangutan! It’s also forbidden to enter the rainforest without a registered guide.
Contact: email@example.com, +62-822-76092633
Bonus: To expand your jungle adventure, check out their Ecotravel Cottages. With beautiful rooms starting at €20 per night.
*The feeding platform was formerly operated by the Bohorok Centre for ex-captive Sumatran orangutans. This center no longer operates as a rehabilitation facility, but park rangers continue to feed the orangutans twice per day, giving them the chance to observe the orangutans and make sure they are surviving well in the wild.