Orang-utan encounter in Bukit Lawang

Sumatra is one of the top places in Indonesia to see orang-utan, and this experience will get you as close as we can take you to these elusive, endangered creatures. These red-haired ‘people of the forest’ may be the main reason to visit Bukit Lawang, but they are far from the only reason - it’s an enchanting area in its own right, with dense forest, clean rushing rivers, and the whole place chattering with forest wildlife.

What to expect at Bukit Lawang...

Famous throughout the world as an orang-utan hotspot, little Bukit Lawang attracts a steady stream of wildlife lovers to its patch of jungle every year. Part of Gunung Leuser National Park, it’s home to one of richest forest ecosystems on the planet.

Bukit Lawang's orang-utans are only semi-wild, and the forest immediately surrounding the town has been largely replaced by palm oil plantations, but the area is an excellent place to learn about Indonesia's wildlife, the industries that threaten it, and best practise alternatives.

Your first encounter with Bukit Lawang's orang-utans will be a soft trek to the feeding platform, which - although not a hundred percent natural - is the best way to ensure an orang-utan sighting. Chances are excellent that you'll encounter some primates en route, since you’ll be hiking straight through their natural habitat. The feeding session is a great way to catch some close-up shots of the orang-utans, so make sure you bring your camera.
During this experience you’ll spend two nights in an atmospheric eco-lodge with modern facilities and comfortable rooms. The property benefits from plenty of outdoor spaces where you can relax and absorb the sights and sounds of the jungle - it’s a great retreat after a day of rambling through the tropical forests of Sumatra. 

You'll also spend time exploring the excellent Orang-utan Information Centre, which gives context to your encounter, which you'll finish by crossing the Bohorok River on a traditional raft, pulled across hand over hand (by someone else, in this case) using a rope that is stretched over the river, before walking back along the riverbank to the village. 

The orang-utans are only part of Bukit Lawang’s charm; in the depths of Gunung Leuser National Park, you may stumble across black & white Thomas's leaf monkeys, which are common in the region, as well as many rare bird species and orchids.

Location: Bukit Lawang and the jungle of Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra

Duration: 2 nights

Accommodation: eco-lodge on the edge of Bukit Lawang Village

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Karl says...

'As dusk falls you’ll swing in your hammock, listening to tropical birdsong and feeling wonderfully immersed in the jungle...'

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