Orangutans are one of the greatest ape species most similar to humans, it is evident that 97 percent of orangutan DNA is similar to humans. Orangutans are also the only great apes that are not from Africa, but from Asia, especially Southeast Asia.
In Indonesia, there are two species of Indonesia Orangutan, namely the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii). Many tourists are interested to see orangutan. That is why here we are going to expand the ways to see orangutans in Indonesia.
Visiting the Best Places to See Orangutans
In Indonesia there are some recommended places that you need to visit if you want to see orangutans. There you would be able to see and get more knowledge of orangutan in Indonesia. Here are the lists of the place to see orangutan.
- Tanjung Puting National Park
This national park in Central Kalimantan is one of the best places in Indonesia to see the Borneo Orangutan. Here there is the largest orangutan conservation in the world with an estimated population of 30,000 to 40,000 orangutans scattered. Most visitors of Tanjung Puting National Park are foreign tourists.
In Tanjung Puting National Park (TNTP) you can see orangutans at conservation camps at certain hours according to the schedule set by the park. One camp that is quite famous in TNTP is Camp Leakey. In this camp we can see the orangutans being fed by the officers. This feeding activity is often called feeding time. (Read also: Facts About Orangutans in Indonesia)
- Betung Kerihun National Park
In addition to Tanjung Puting and Kuta National Park, another place in Borneo where you can see the orangutans in their natural habitat is in Betung Kerihun National Park. Betung Kerihun National Park (TNBK) might not be as popular as Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan. However, TNBK still plays an important role as a conservation area that is rich in biodiversity.
The location of this national park is located in the province of West Kalimantan, bordering Sarawak, Malaysia. Visitors who want to see wild orangutans in this national park will usually be guided by the locals.
- Gunung Leuser National Park
Gunung Leuser National Park is a national park located within the province of Aceh and North Sumatra. This national park is the habitat of the Sumatran Orangutan. One of the orangutan conservation spots in this national park area is Bukit Lawang located in Bohorok District, Langkat Regency, North Sumatra.
In Bukit Lawang, visitors can see orangutans by way of jungle trekking. Before starting the trekking, make sure you get the simulation. It would be better if you use the services of a guide that has been widely available in Bukit Lawang. There is one rule that visitors should follow when meeting orangutans during trekking. Visitors are not allowed to feed orangutans. They already have their own meal schedule.
- Kutai National Park
In addition to Tanjung Puting, another place you can visit to see the Borneo Orangutan in its natural habitat is the Kutai National Park. This national park is located in East Kalimantan province. Spot that can be visited by visitors in the area of Kutai National Park is Prevab Forest. Unlike Tanjung Puting, in Kutai National Park this is not (or not) a special area for conservation. The orangutans are allowed to live in the wild without human intervention. (Read also: Animals of Borneo)
- Bukit Tigapuluh National Park
Another area where orangutans are protected is the Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park in Jambi. Citing the official site of Bukit Tiga Puluh Mountain, this conservation area has 59 species of mammals in addition to 6 species of primates, 161 species of birds, 18 species of bats, and various types of butterflies. (Read also: Native Animals in Indonesia)
In the past only a few orangutans live freely here. But slowly this area became the center of Sumatran orangutan conservation, including the origin of North Sumatra and Aceh. You can walk along the river while looking at wildlife life. Seeing the Sumatran tiger from a distance, also witnessed the orangutan hanging on high branches.
- Menteng Nyaru Rehabilitation Center
Located within the arboretum, Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Center was established in 1999 by Lone Dröscher Nielsen and Odom Kisar. Currently, it is a house of more than 600 orangutans that have lost mothers and orangutans under the care of the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation. This rehabilitation center has become the world’s largest orangutan conservation facility with many enclosures, islands, clinics, vehicles, training forests and hundreds of staff. (Read also: Endangered Orangutans in Indonesia)
- BOS Samboja Lodge
Borneo Orangutan Survival / BOS Samboja Lodge in East Kalimantan has been established since 1991. The area used by Borneo Orangutan Survival / BOS Samboja Lodge as a conservation and breeding place for orangutans and other wild animals reaches 1800 hectares. In thise area, there are 6 (six) artificial islands used to breed diseased animals, or animals that no longer be able to survive in the wild. 137 bird species, 9 primate species, various insects, snakes, reptiles, and mammals, such as deer and wild boars live on the island. (Read also: Dangerous Animals in Indonesia)
One place that focuses to restore orangutan life is the Orangutan Rescue and Conservation Center of the Indonesian Initiation Rehabilitation Foundation (YIARI) Foundation in Ketapang District, West Kalimantan. That’s where the orangutans which become the victims of illegal logging, the maintenance of orangutans by the people and the trade will be returned to the wild animal psychology.
The Optional Transportation
Since most of orangutans’ places are in Borneo and Sumatra, you have to continue your trip to the orangutans’ house with these kinds of transportation options.
- Starter plane
Sumatra and Borneo typically has the large land that would take much time to get in your destination. That is why, it is recommended for you to take the starter airplane. This kind of transportation is available in Borneo and Sumatra. The plane will be landing in a small airbase. You need to pay for IDR 300.000-500.000 per person for a flight. It might be more expensive than if you go by land transportation, but it could save your time better.
- Land transportation
If you prefer to go by land transportation, it would need at least 10 hours trip from the national airport you have landed. There are some ways to go the land transportation. You could rent a car or go by bus. The bonus is, you could see so many places in Borneo or Sumatra and stop by.
Don’t complain if you feel so exhausted since you will sit down in the term of many hours to have this trip. In some conservation places of Borneo, it would be possible that you would continue the water transportation to cross the large river. It would be really nice adventure ever!
Know these Rules while seeing Orangutan
While seeing orangutans, there will be the rules that you should obey while you see orangutans. Here are the lists of the rule you should read.
- Orangutan is not domestic animal: You should not exploit and depict orangutans as pets or animals that entertain humans
- Interacting with them are dangerous: You must not call or interact with orangutans
- Using flash camera is not allowed: Not allowed to take orangutan photos with flash because it will interfere with orangutan vision
- Do not make any noise: Noise sound would make some orangutans get stressed and interrupted
- Keep away from orangutan: Always keep a safe distance of at least 10 meters from orangutans
- Food and drink is prohibited: Not allowed to bring food and drink, or luggage that makes orangutans approaching
- No Smoking and spitting: Not allowed to smoke, throw spit or cough to reduce airborne disease contamination
- No littering: It is forbidden to litter, because it is dangerous for orangutans and other animals that pass
- Don’t visit while you are sick: Not allowed to visit while sick. Such as cough, flu, diarrhea, etc.
- For 15+ only: Visitors under the age of 15 are not allowed
- Make sure to be clean: It is recommended to wear clean shoes and clothes, using disinfectants before and after entering the visual area
- Always follow the staff instructions: Obey the staff instructions. Don’t go without their guiding.
Those are some ways of how to see orangutan in Indonesia. Seeing orangutan in Indonesia would give you more self experience since orangutan is one of Endangered Animals in Indonesia. That is why there are many conversations are created to keep orangutan existing in the world.