TANJUNG PUTING ORANGUTAN TOUR AND KLOTOK HOUSEBOAT TOURS
Tanjung Puting National Park is one of the natural wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Orangutans are the main reason to visit this part of Kalimantan, on the Indonesian side of Borneo. Wild orangutans only live in Sumatra and Borneo, and is Kalimantan is one of the last places in the world to see orangutans in the wild. Unfortunately the orangutan habitat is rapidly disappearing due to deforestation from palm oil plantations and mining. There is also plenty of other wildlife, as Tanjung Puting is a mega biodiversity hotspot.
Tanjung Puting National Park and a klotok boat tour to see orangutans is usually the highlight of most visitor’s trip to Kalimantan (Borneo)—but there is even more to Kumai and Pangkalan Bun, Kalimantan, Borneo! Stay a little longer, take another Tanjung Puting eco tour, get to know the local culture, enjoy the hospitality of a village homestay, take a cooking class, explore the turtle sanctuary, and savor unspoiled, pristine beaches. Kumai is home to several ethnic groups, Malay, Dayak, and Madurese (originally from East Java), and is a fascinating place to visit, with lots of cultural diversity. Please see our Other Tours section for other Tanjung Puting eco tours and cultural heritage tours, and homestays.
See the section below for a description of a typical 3 day/2 night Tanjung Puting National Park orangutan/klotok boat tour.
PLEASE NOTE: in order to maintain the best quality tours and excellent service, we will no longer offer August klotok trips to Tanjung Puting National Park. August is the very peak month for klotok tours, and there is extreme competition for the best klotoks and crew, which drives up prices and may affect the tour. Our clients are of the utmost importance to us, and we want you to have the best experience possible.
3 DAY/2 NIGHT
TANJUNG PUTING ORANGUTAN TOUR AND KLOTOK HOUSEBOAT TRIP
Note: in an effort to preserve this rapidly disappearing ecosystem, we strive to use corn and coconut oil, instead of palm oil, when available in our local markets. Curious if palm oil is in prepared foods you are buying? Try this app and find out more about palm oil.
Airport Pickup/Tanjung Harapan/Proboscis Monkeys by Klotok Houseboat
One of our English-speaking guides will meet you at the airport in Pangkalan Bun (PKN) and accompany you to the klotok houseboat in Kumai (about 30 minutes by taxi). There you will meet the crew (captain, assistant captain, and cook), who will accompany you on the tour of Tanjung Puting National Park. From Kumai, we will journey across the harbor to the estuary at the beginning of the national park (about 25 minutes, depending on the speed of the klotok).
As we travel up the Sekonyer River, your guide will explain about Tanjung Puting National Park. If we are lucky, we will spot some wildlife, possibly crocodiles and several species of monkeys. Your cook will prepare a delicious lunch as we journey upriver.
It takes approximately an hour and a half to travel from the national park estuary to the first camp, Tanjung Harapan, just in time for the 15:00 pm feeding. When we arrive at Tajung Harapan, we will walk through the screw pine and bog forest, and your guide will explain about Tanjung Harapan. We will enjoy the orangutan feeding station until 16:20 pm, then return to the klotok, where the cook will serve an afternoon snack and soft drinks.
As we travel upriver, we will watch for proboscis monkeys (endemic to Borneo), macaques, gibbons, and other wildlife. We will stay overnight on the klotok, where the crew will serve dinner and prepare your bed with mosquito netting. If there is not a full moon or rain, we should be able to spot fireflies about.
Pondok Tanggui and Camp Leakey by Klotok Houseboat
We will wake to the morning jungle melody, and the sounds of birds and gibbons will accompany your morning breakfast (scrambled eggs, toast, coffee, tea, juice, and other creative additions prepared by the cook). We will travel to the next camp, Pondok Tanggui, home to pre-wild and adolescent orangutans, as well as deer, boar, rangkong bird (rhinoceros), raja udang bird, and the sesep madu bird. The area between Tanjung Harapan to Pondok Tanggui passes through the habitat of the proboscis monkey and the estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).
We will arrive at Pondok Tanggui, the second feeding station, in time for the 09:00 morning feeding. The Tanjung Puting National Park ranger will bring the orangutan’s food to the feeding station, and we will enjoy the scene until 11:00. Here it is common for the mother orangutans to bring the baby orangutans and children to the platform, where they will swing and climb from tree to tree, as the rangers call to them.
We will return to the klotok and enjoy lunch around noon, as the klotok travels the two hours to Camp Leakey, as we pass through more proboscis monkey and the estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) habitat.
As we travel, notice that the Sekonyer River is brown, as there is gold mining upstream, which helps support local people, even though it is bad for the environment. There is a junction in the river where we turn right to go to Camp Leakey, and here you can see the natural, black color of the uncontaminated river.
It will take approximately two hours to travel from Pondok Tanggui to Camp Leakey. Along the way, we can enjoy the riverbank wildlife, forest, and plants, as the river narrows.
Camp Leakey was established in 1971 by Professor Birute Galdikas, a student of Professor Louis Leakey. Professor Leakey was also known as a mentor to Jane Goodall and Diane Fossey in their study of chimpanzees and mountain gorillas. This area is devoted to the research and rehabilitation of adult orangutans; here you can witness pre-wild or wild orangutan rehabilitation. Owa-owa, bald eagle, sesep madu bird, and hornbill (enggang) or rangkong may also be spotted.
A sign warns visitors that it is forbidden to feed the orangutans or touch the orangutans. The sign also warns visitors not to swim in the river, as there are many crocodiles.
The feeding time is 14:00 and most of the mother orangutans and babies will be waiting for the ranger to feed them. We will wait as the orangutans come up and down the platform, and if we are lucky, we will meet the king of Camp Leakey, the orangutan male named Big Tom. We will enjoy the scene until 16:00, then return to the klotok to enjoy an afternoon snack and soft drinks. We will watch for wildlife along the riverbank as we journey to a quiet spot on the river to stay overnight and enjoy dinner.
Friends of the National Park Camp Pesalat Reforestation/Sekonyer Village by Klotok Houseboat and Airport
We will wake to the morning jungle melody, as the cook serves a delicious breakfast and we travel toward Camp Pesalat. This planting and reforestation area is operated by the Friends of the National Park Foundation (FNPF), which has an important role in preserving and restoring the orangutan habitat. This has always been an important part of preserving Tanjung Putting National Park’s ecosystem, but is even more important after the 2015 Indonesian forest fires.
When we arrive at Camp Pesalat, we will take a short trek to the camp, where the ranger will welcome us and explain about the area. We will have the opportunity to participate in the re-planting and make a donation to the trees here. The ranger will explain which seedlings are best for replanting and reforestation, and what plants are most useful for the orangutans and other wildlife. You will select your seeds and and plant them, using hoes and spades, after the ranger takes you to the planting site.
We will return to the klotok and enjoy lunch, as we travel to Sekonyer Village, a small village of about 500 people. Here we will walk around and learn about the Malay ethnic activities, about local culture and about their daily lives. We will have the opportunity to purchase creative, handmade items, if you would like to take a gift for your family or friends.
We will then return to the klotok and travel downstream to Kumai. The tour will finish at 12:00 or 14:00 depending on the time of your flight. If you have an onward flight, we will take you to the Pangkalan Bun (PKN) airport.
We also suggest allowing a little extra time, as there can be delays due to weather, etc. when traveling to and from Kalimantan.
The rate includes: taxi to/from the airport to Kumai; boat (klotok); English-speaking guide; boat captain; cook; meals; snacks; drinks (bottled water; soft drinks; tea; coffee); and national park permits (including camera fee and boat docking fee). Prices for the Tanjung Puting orangutan tour do not include gratuities for the crew (tour guide, boat captain, assistance captain, and cook). Central Kalimantan is a predominantly Muslim area, so alcohol is not sold or served.
The klotok rate includes lodging and meals. You sleep on the covered top deck of the klotok; the crew provides single or double bed mosquito nets. There is a simple shower onboard, but if you want more creature comforts, you might want to stay at a Sekonyer village homestay or Rimba Ecolodge (see Local Lodging section for more details).
You can arrange three full days on the river if you stay an extra night or two in the delightfully small port town of Kumai, Rimba EcoLodge (on the edge of Tanjung Puting), or Yayorin’s ecolodge. Three full days provide additional orangutan viewing opportunities and serenity, as you have more time on your klotok and solo time on the river. We can, of course, arrange custom-designed tours and more time in the jungle or on the river, if you wish.
Please note, peak season is May-September, and prices will be higher.
Please bring two copies of your passport for the police and national park permit. There is a photocopy shop in Kumai, but it is sometimes closed.