Tangkahan Elephant Adventure


  • Take the less-travelled path and travel down little-used unsurfaced roads. We pass through less developed areas of the region, and from our car we will catch glimpses of everyday life in rural villages.
  • Get up close and personal with Sumatra's largest animal, the Sumatran elephant. One of four Asian elephant subspecies, only around 2000 Sumatran elephant survive and they are high risk of extinction.
  • Experience the beautiful scenery of the riverscape on the edge of the jungle.
Cost: £65.00
Duration: Full day trip
Start Time: 08:00
End Time: 20:00
Suitable for children: Yes
Suitable with mobility issues: No

The Tangkahan elephant day trip starts from Bukit Lawang in the morning, you will travel around 2.5 hours on unsurfaced roads. The other traffic is the occasional motorbike. We will pass through undeveloped villages and past large palm oil plantations, a distance of around 40km in total to reach Tangkahan. Our back route saves you a seven hour journey backtracking via Medan.

Upon arrival we will visit the elephants and you have some time to explore the beautiful surroundings of Tangkahan, where two rivers meet. There is a small hot spring in the middle of the village, and you can maybe visit the Butterfly Beach.

Lunch is included in your trip price and will be taken in a riverside guesthouse.

After lunch you can continue to relax, explore, or swim in the rivers.

At 3:30pm you will go to the elephant stations to bathe the elephants in the river. This is a tactile experience where you can wash and touch the elephants as they share the cool flowing river water with you.

After the elephant bathing, we will drive back to Bukit Lawang, arriving back at dinner time (dinner not included!).
(Times subject to alteration)

8am - depart Bukit Lawang

10:30am - arrive Tangkahan, meet the elephants in their enclosure.

11:00am - a little time for orientation around Tangkahan, you could visit the small hot spring, or walk up stream

12:30pm - lunch

1:30pm - free time in which you can enjoy Tangkahan, swimming, going to the hot spring, or just sitting in one of the guesthouse restaurants.

3:30pm - bathing with the elephants in the river

5pm - drive back to Bukit Lawang

7:30pm - arrive in Bukit Lawang

What to bring

Elephant bathing 15:30-16:30

No elephants on Fridays - they are on jungle patrol.

You don't need to bring anything special for your day - just your camera, a swimsuit or change of clothes for the river. You might want to bring snacks or water for the car journey, there won't be too many opportunities to stop along the way.


Basic fitness/mobility required. Children permitted.


We can arrange onward travel from Tangkahan to Medan or Berastagi (you can select either option when you book). Pickup from a Medan hotel/guesthouse is also an option (proceeding the same day to Bukit Lawang), but will require an earlier start.


Inclusive of: lunch, water, return off-road transport, elephant bathing


Accommodation, breakfast, dinner