Deep into the jungles of Borneo, Indonesia, you will find at Tanjung Puting national park, which is home to many wild Orangutans.
Borneo is a huge island divided into two parts, Malaysia in the north and Indonesia in the south (As well as tiny Brunei nestled in the top north), both sides of which you can indeed spot wild Orangutans.
This is what brought me to the Southern region of Borneo, in hope to spot wild Orangutans swinging around freely.
For 2 nights and 3 days I travelled by river boat through the jungles of Borneo with Orangutan Days, A local tour operator in the region that specialises in such Orangutan trips through Tanjung Puting national park.
This blog post can act as a sort of example guide to what you can easily arrange for yourself, if you also wish to spot these beautiful animals in the wild.
How to get to Tanjung Puting national park and a run down on costs.
First things first, some helpful information to get you started.
To reach the start of the Tanjung Puting national park, best to get to Jakarta where you can easily grab a connection to Pangkalanbuun Airport, which has easy access to the start of the river.
From here you can select a wide range of excursions and packages, I would recommend going for the popular 2 nights 3 day trip, which will cover a lot of ground and get yourself a lot of Borneo jungle time.
Tours start from $200 and range varies depending on the amount of days you wish to go for.
This fee includes: Airport transfer, 3 daily meals, conservation fees, entrance fees, a local tour guide and boat accommodation/transportation throughout the duration of your trip. Everything is included in the package apart from the flights.
Into the Borneo jungle of Tanjung Puting national park
I can’t explain the first feeling of excitement when you first jump onto your local river boat and meet your guide for the first time.
A sense of adventure kicks in and your boat starts to draw into the entrance of the national park, your first greeted by an Orangutans statue that welcomes you into the jungle.
This is the start of the next 3 days ahead!
You simply have to take it slow, sleep and travel on the boat
I have to say, at first I found the boat, surprising but once you hit the river, you feel at home and it all starts to make sense.
Taking in the jungle at a slow pace allows you to discover the Borneo jungle at a more enjoyable pace.
I did notice a few visitors taking speed boats to the camp and it looked cramped, rushed and unenjoyable, where is the adventure in that? Take your time and sleep overnight on the boats.
All the boats come with mosquito nets, pull out mattress and sheets as well as a fully functional toilet and shower room, very basic, but luxury when you consider that we were travelling through the jungle.
The most magical part about sleeping on the boats along the jungle river was sleeping under the stars and enjoying the sounds of the jungle to rock you to sleep.
The crew prepared your meals throughout the day and I have to say it was lovely eating local food along the river.
Every meal comes along with fresh fruits and all the meals were filling, never went hungry and nothing went to waste, we couldn’t get enough of the tasty Indonesian food.
Also was nice to try the local Indonesian way of brewing coffee every morning, great way to wake up along the river.
It’s just you and the Borneo jungle river
What I liked most about taking it slow was seeing what you can spot in the surrounding jungles.
Many times we spotted swinging monkeys, crocodiles, tropical birds and all sorts, time passed by easily on the way to the first base camp.
Of course you can always read a book if you want to instead.
Start with a nice hike following the Jalur track
It’s nice to start of the tour with a wonderful trek through the Borneo jungle. The trek goes on for a cool 22km but instead it’s only an hour away to the first feeding station and you can make it back in time for tea.
It’s nice to do a bit of exercise before spotting your first orangutan, gives you the sense that you’re truly are walking into their home and watching from a distance.
Spotting your first orangutan in the jungle is a wonderful experience and along with the trek makes for a nice outing.
Back to life on the river with a big day ahead
Whilst you’re out on the trek, your crew back at base prepare your evening meals and set up your bed for the night under the stars.
I like that you can spend more time exploring the jungle whilst your crew take great care of you throughout the duration of the trip.
Stopping off at Pondok Tanggui
You will find many feeding stations along the Borneo river, Stopping off at Pondok Tanggui is one of the stops we went to first thing in the morning.
Like clockwork the orangutans know when it’s feeding time and know when the keepers come along armed with bananas.
The hike itself is great first thing in the morning after a rocking sleep in the boat and an Indonesian coffee.
Cruising through the river after sunrise
Welcome to camp Leaky, Tanjung Puting national park
Camp leaky was the most active stop along the route as its home to the main research centre in the Tanjung Puting national park in which they have successfully worked towards reintroducing rehabilitated orangutans back into the wild.
Because of this many newly introduced orangutans still depend on daily feeding times to help with adapting to their new life in the wild.
As long as you remain quiet and respect the feeding times you too can join along for Lunch and watch many orangutans swing in for their daily feed.
It was nice to visit Camp Leaky last on the itinerary as it simply added a nice final magical touch to the whole experience.
You can really enjoy a special moment silently watching and joining the orangutans for lunch. Perfect end to an incredible trip.
Thank you for reading my blog post about Wonderful Indonesia.
Thank you for reading my blog post all about Wonderful Indonesia, I hope you found it useful and took a lot away from this post.
If you do have any further questions about this trip or Indonesia in general, I’m very happy to help answer your questions. You can leave a comment below in the comment section of this blog post or you can send me a tweet: @traveldaveuk and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for reading and following along on my adventure around Indonesia.