Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia is home to an amazing array of wildlife including orangutans, proboscis monkeys and gibbons.
Imagine you are an explorer heading out to the jungle to see wild orangutans and other exotic tropical animals and you will begin to get a sense of what a visit to the Tanjung Puting National Park is like.
Declared as a national park in 1982, Tanjung Puting encloses different types of ecosystem including the lowland tropical rainforest, dryland forest, peat swamp forest, mangrove forest, coastal forest and secondary forest.
Tanjung Puting supports the natural habitat of various endemic wildlife on the brink of extinction such as the Proboscis Monkey, Agile Gibbon and Sun Bear. Rivers that meander across the sanctuary are populated by the Dragon Fish, False Gharial, Saltwater Crocodile and Soft-shelled Turtle.
A variety of large mammals also inhabit the wilderness of Tanjung Puting, such as the common Muntjac, Bearded pig and Javan mouse-deer.
The incredible jungle surrounds make this an amazing place to visit if you’re after a truly outdoor adventure. It is an oasis of pure clean air, a clear night sky as well as a home to the gentle people of the jungle – the oranutans.
The national park is recognized for its orangutan rehabilitation centre, the first of its kind in Indonesia. The rehabilitation centre is spread across three main locations: Tanjung Harapan, Pondok Tanggui and Camp Leakey.
The orangutans are the best known inhabitants of the park, made famous through the work of the Orangutan Research and Conservation Program based at the Camp Leakey research station.
Camp Leakey is an orangutan preserve and the site of the longest continuous study of any wild animal in the history of science. With around three quarters of the world’s orangutan’s population living on Borneo, this park is the ideal place to see these incredible creatures in the wild.
Proclaimed by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve, the wetlands of Tanjung Puting National Park function as a source of food and help control the erosion. The wetlands are also a natural biological filtration system that supports the breeding of seasonal fish and healthy source of animal protein for nearby communities.
The Sekonyer River is famous for its natural beauty and wildlife. As you cruise down through the jungle, you can spot proboscis monkeys, wild orangutans, crocodiles and birds – the park is a haven for over 220 species of birds.
Since the Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan is situated quite deep inland on the island of Borneo, the only means to reach the Park is by river boat, which is called : Klotok.
Klotoks are two-storeyed wooden river boats equipped with inboard or outboard motor, and are specially built to navigate through shallow waters and narrow sections of the river. They have a shallow draft and generally measure 12 meters in length by 2.5 meters width.
The upper deck is covered with a roof and is meant for passengers. With seats, the open deck is perfect for viewing wildlife in the forests that will often show themselves along the embankments of the river. Here one can see among the dense trees, macaques, proboscis monkeys, gibbons, deer, and a number of birds
When cleared of chairs, the upper deck of the Klotok serves as area for passengers to take their meals, while at night it becomes the passengers’ sleeping quarters. Mattresses are taken out and covered with mosquito nets, ensuring a restful sleep after an exciting trek into the jungle to get up close to the orangutans.
On the lower level of the Klotok are the bathroom, kitchen, and crew quarters. Some higher priced boats are equipped with hot shower and air conditioning.
While in the small space called “kitchen”, experienced cooks can in no time whisk up delicious meals of fresh crabs, fish, fried tofu, Indonesian salad called gado-gado, and fried bananas for afternoon snack, thus making sure that visitors to Tanjung Puting not only take home memories of an unforgettable trek to see orangutans in the wild, but also unique photographs of an enjoyable journey on a Klotok riverboat through remote tropical forests.
Perched over the Sekonyer River on the edge of the Tanjung Puting National Park, in Kalimantan, Rimba Orangutan Ecolodge provides a unique base to explore the lush surrounding rainforest and encounter orangutans and eight other primate species and rich bird life.
Rimba can only be reached by boat from the port of Kumai. Arriving at the Lodge jetty in the middle of the forest is an unforgettable experience. The jetty connects to all rooms, the reception area, office and restaurant by a series of covered boardwalks.
The Lodge provides a base from which you can explore the surrounding rainforest and Tanjung Puting National Park. Take a walk from your room along the bird walk, hear the plaintive cry of Gibbons, early birdsong and the resident Macaque monkey troop from your comfortable room, set right on the edge of the gently flowing Sekonyer river.