Three Day Orangutan Trek

Highlights

See the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan in its natural habitat, you will earn memories to last a lifetime - walking, sleeping, living in the vast tropical rainforest jungle.

Spend two nights at two different jungle camps, enjoying meals expertly prepared by our guides.

Get hot and sweaty walking up narrow jungle trails - and then wash it all off in the unimaginably delicious cool water of a pure, fresh mountain stream as you swim at the end of each day.

Enjoy the thrills of our jungle raft down the river on your return to your guesthouse.

The three-day trek allows you to go deeper into the jungle, or to explore more points within it.

At Bukit Lawang there are two main rivers - the Bohorok, which runs through the village, and the Landak which runs a few kilometres south (the Landak is a tributary of the Bohorok, feeding into it around 5km downstream, on the road towards Medan; the Bohorok in turn merges into the Wampu river, just passed the town of Bohorok a further 5 or 6km towards Medan).

Most of the treks run in the jungle south of the Bohorok, and then return to the village by tubing down the river.

For the three day trek we would normally camp on the first night near the Landak, at Batu Gajah, which is less-visited by tourists, and then on day two at Aras Pinang, on the Bohorok, before tubing down on day three.

We also have the option of camping the first night on the Jamur Batu river, which is a small river between the Landak and Bohorok rivers, and the second night on the Bohorok. This is a shorter trip than the two rivers alternative, as our porters need to bring the tubes upriver, and physically they cannot carry them too far. So in this case it's a slightly shorter trek, if your preference is to spend more time soaking up the jungle at a standstill, rather than marching through it.

Our expert guides will guide you in a group of no more than six people (unless your own group is larger than this size, in which case we can go larger) to maximise the quality of your wildlife encounter. They will point out some of the many species of animal, bird and medicinal plants that you will see in the forest. They will cook your meals while you are in the jungle, and hold your hand if you are finding it tough going on the slippery hill trails that make up the lowland rainforest (reaching up to 1000 metres above sea level) at Bukit Lawang. Their motto is to 'keep smiling, because orangutans don't like sad faces'. Maybe this is true, or maybe not, but either way they will ensure your trip is a memorable experience of a lifetime.

On our third day we will be back Bukit Lawang by later afternoon, having returned either by 'jungle raft' or walk, at your choice.

Some major species commonly seen:

* Sumatran orangutan
* Thomas's langur (Thomas leaf monkey) - unique to northern Sumatra
* Wreathed hornbill
* Crab-eating macaque (long-tailed macaque)
* Southern pig-tailed macaque
* Water monitor
* Reticulated python
* Wagler's pit viper
* Asiatic softshell turtle
* Malayan giant squirrel

Less common:
* Great argus (Sumatran peacock)
* Dhole (wild dog)
* Silvery lutung (silver leaf monkey)
* Sumatran lar gibbon (white-handed gibbon)
* Siamang (black gibbon)
* Wild boar (banded pig)
* Lesser mouse-deer
* Red giant flying squirrel
* Deer

Other species present, but rare to see:

* Sunda slow loris
* Sumatran tiger
* Sumatran rhinoceros
* Sumatran elephant
* Malayan sun bear
* Clouded leopard
Note: itinerary is indicative only, variations are possible due to weather conditions (in the rainy season we will try to reach camp earlier, as it normally rains in later afternoon) and the characteristics of the group (e.g., we can make the trek longer or shorter according to your physical condition).

Day 1:
9am: Your guide will meet you at your guesthouse, and you will join with the other guests joining the trek (if applicable, and there won't be more than six people in your group).

9:15am (approximate): Walk to the entrance to the national park, near the Ecolodge guesthouse.

9:30am (approximate): Enter into the national park, trek through the jungle, keeping an eye out for wildlife including of course orangutans.

Noon: break for lunch. Typically fried rice, which we bring from the village, plus a variety of tropical fruit (depending on the season), such as pineapple, passion fruit, bananas, rambutan and tangerines.

1pm: trek to our overnight camp, keeping an eye out for wildlife along the way.

4-5pm: arrive at the camp. Our guides will prepare a fire, and cook your dinner of curry, rice, and other local foods, with tea, coffee, and fresh water. After dinner you can relax, chat, join a camp fire singalong, or play games such as cards or dominoes.

Bedtime: sleep under our 'jungle tent', a large wooden frame covered with a plastic sheet.

Day 2:
9am: We eat breakfast together

10am: trek from the day 1 campsite towards our second camp

Noon: lunch - fruit, noodles

1pm: continue walking

4pm: reach our second camp. This will be beside a river so you have the opportunity to swim and relax while our guides prepare your meal.

Day 3:
9am: We eat breakfast together

10am: trek from the campsite towards the Bohorok river (assuming returning by tubing).

Noon: lunch - fruit, noodles

2pm: Board the jungle raft down the Bohorok river back to the village - around 1 hour (option: walk back instead). We exit the river next to Wisma Sibayak guesthouse.

3pm: end of trek

What to bring

You need to bring a small backpack containing changes of clothes, swimsuit, mosquito repellent, sun block, and camera. We recommend that you keep your packing 'to the point' - many travellers have been defeated by their own pack. You do not need to bring more than your own personal items, but on the other hand lightweight items such as light t-shirts do not weigh too much and a change of clothes each day will make your trip much more pleasant.

You also need to bring at least one large (1.5l) bottle of water, for each person, this you can buy locally for around $0.50.

Jungle clothing choices are flexible. You can wear either long or short clothing, longer clothing will keep the sun and mosquitoes away, but it needs to be lightweight as the weather is hot (around 30C) and humidity is near 100%. At night the temperatures will go down to around 22C, so it's neither hot nor cold for sleeping.

Footwear is quite important - never wear new shoes on a trip, please 'break them in', by wearing them first for a week or two, so that they don't cause blisters. You can be sure that your shoes will get wet in the jungle. For this reason avoid 'Gore-Tex' waterproof shoes, as these are designed to keep water out, which means that once they get wet (which they will), they will never dry get dry. Lightweight walking shoes or walking sandals (not flip-flops) are a good choice. Boots might be too hot for our conditions. If you are wearing sandals, please ensure that they are not slippery between your feet and the shoe when wet, as you can expect to walk through streams, etc., in them and they will get wet, and if they are slippery it makes it impossible to walk up any hill.

Orangutans and other wildlife are susceptible to human illnesses. Please do not feed them, or touch them.

Restrictions

The trip requires an average to above average level of fitness. Paths can be steep and/or slippery. Our assistants will try to help you if you need a hand, but you are responsible for your own personal safety. Compared to our shorter two-day trek you will be away from civilization an extra day, and in addition you will spend that much more time on physically draining jungle trails. We do have the option to 'take it easy' on the second/third day, if you prefer to feel the jungle atmosphere. rather than keeping moving, but there is still more walking on fairly challenging terrain than on a two-day trek.

We normally recommend that young children stick to a shorter (one or two-day trek). But you can make the decision on that according to your own children's needs. The worst case is that you return home early - in this case there are no refunds! For older children, happy to spend several days in the jungle and with the fitness to walk for three days, it's more suitable.

Extras

You have a choice for your return down the river to go by our jungle raft, or by walking.

Included

Day 1: Packed lunch, fresh-cooked dinner inclusive of purified water (please specify if you have special dietary requirements), everything you need to sleep in the jungle - mat, sleeping bag and tent

Day 2: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3: Breakfast, lunch. Jungle inner tube raft with river captain, and your life jackets, plastic dry bag to keep your equipment dry.

Throughout: Expert guide and assistants

Excluded

National Park entrance fee (150,000 IDR/person for non-Indonesians only).

Day 1: Breakfast, your initial drinking water supply (you can refill at dinner time, around 4pm)

Day 3: Dinner
Cost: £105.00
Duration: Three days (2 nights)
Start Time: 09:00
End Time: 16:00
Suitable for children: Yes
Suitable with mobility issues: No