Day 13 (October 31, 2018) Tajung Puting


   This day starts our two days one night private tour through Tajung Puting National Park with Varada Borneo tours.

   Based in the itinerary they've posted in their website, this first day we will be picked up from our hotel in Pangkalan Bun to be driven to Kumai, where the quay is. There we'll board in the speedboat to visit camps Pondok Tanggui and Camp Leakey, where they set feeding platform for the orangutans, whch come for bananas..

   We'll spend the night at Rumba Eco Lodge.

Mapa of Tanjung Puting

   The spots marked at map are:

 0- Pangkalan Bun
 1- Kumai (quay)
 2- Rumba Eco Lodge
 3- Tanjung Harapan
 4- Pondok Tanggui
 5- Camp Leakey


   We agreed yesterday we would be picked up by 7:30 AM, so we take an early breakfast and are ready after checking out and leaving the most of our baggage in the hotel, where we’ll come back tomorrow.

   Besides the driver, Wati, who we met yesterday, introduce us to our guide. We go directly to Kumai with only one stop in the way where Wait takes our lunch boxes. Once in the quay, speedboat is ready. It’s smaller than I thought, but there is room for us and our things.

KumaiKumaiOur speedboat for the tour
   We soon reach Tajung Putting National Park entrance and get in through a huge palm grove, following the river. Our destination now is Pondok Tanggui camp, where the feeding time for orangutans is 9 AM. We’re told we’re a bit over time.

Palm trees at the entrance of Tajung Puting National ParkPalm trees at the entrance of Tajung Puting National ParkPalm trees at the entrance of Tajung Puting National Park
   We stop in the quay of the camp and walk on the long timber platform through the jungle and takes us to the camp, which is just a couple of buildings. We go on following the path to the feeding platform. After a 20 minutes’ walk from the quay we reach the place, where a group of people is quiet making pictures to a male orangutan stopped in front of them that we just see for a few seconds before he leaves.
Walking to Pondok TangguiOrangutan in Pondok Tanggui
   We’re chocked by this welcome, but the experience is just starting as a female come down from the top of a tree to take some bananas just before a male appears and, after taking some minutes exploring the place, makes his female with a baby to come.

Male orangutan in Pondok TangguiOrangutans in Pondok TangguiOrangutan family in Pondok TangguiBaby orangutan in Pondok Tanggui
   It is wonderful watching this orangutan family that is ignoring us. A young male appears too and is always looking what the other big male is doing looking for the moment of going down and take some bananas quickly back to the top of the trees.

Orangutans in Pondok Tanggui

   We’re about one hour and a half watching and making pictures to orangutans before taking the decision of coming back by the same way. As we’re not in a hurry this time, we can stop to look at the special vegetation in this jungle, with different types of carnivore plants.
Carnivore plants in Tajung PutingCarnivore plants in Tajung Puting
   Once back in the speedboat, the next thing to do is going to legendary Camp Leaky in time for the feeding at 2 PM. This is the furthest camp, but we have more than three hours for it, so we’ll stop for lunching in our way.
Pondok Tanggui landscapePondok Tanggui's quay
   So we keep sailing through the jungle with beautiful landscapes which get even better as the river is getting narrower. We’re overtaking multiple klotoks in our way sailing slowly to the same destination than ours.

River viewOvertaking a klotokKlotok
   We stop in one small quay after sailing for one hour. There is a building which is a dining room but, as it’s being painted, we eat our lunch outside, by the river. Lunch box brings a delicious fish with rice and some vegetables. We’re constantly being provided of water bottles by our guide, which is useful with this heat.
Quay where we lunchProboscis monkey
   We take a walk around after lunching with hundreds of blue butterflies. We can see for an instant a monitor lizard, but what we stop to watch for a while is a group of proboscis monkeys that has come to the trees at the shore of the river.
Group of blue butterflies
   In 15 minutes we’re at Camp Leakey’s quay. Timber path here is even longer than the one in the other camp and heads directly to the camp, with some big buildings. Camp Leaky is a legendary place. If you ever have heard any real story about orangutans it would likely happened here.
Camp LeakeyCamp Leakey
   We walk for 15 minutes through this beautiful jungle until the feeding platform. There are benches, so people can seat to watch the show, as in theaters.
Camp LeakeyTourists watching orangutans in Camp Leakey
   Feeding time is 2 PM, but food is not here by that time, just a wild boar, which must know well feeding times, is wandering under the platform. Two men appear later with big baskets full of bananas, which are spread along the platform. The movement in some trees in the background points to some orangutans were waiting for this.
Wild boar in Camp LeakeyOrangutan in Camp Leakey
   A mother with its young child appear and enjoy the meal as the platform is all for them. Underneath, there are two wild boars now waiting to something to fall.
Orangutans in Camp LeakeyFemale orangutan in Camp Leakey
   No more orangutans appear here, and we think about leaving, knowing now what we experienced in the first camp is not the usual. These two orangutans were always trying to be back to us, as if they wouldn’t like to be observed. This feeling grows when we get a closer look of one female and a young orangutan in a tree in our way to the camp. This young one is making us clear they don’t want us to stop and stare at them by threatening us with a big branch. And yes, it finally throws the branch and take another one, so we get the message and leave.
Walking back to Camp LeakeyOrangutan throwing a branch to us
   It’s time to go to the lodge where we’ll spend the night. We arrive by 4 PM and we rested in our beautiful room. Low season makes the place looks empty, but this lodge is ready to allocate lots of people.

Rimba Eco LodgeRimba Eco LodgeOur room at Rimba Eco Lodge
   As Indonesia is on the Equator line, it gets dark around 6 PM the entire year. Before that time, we go to the quay as the guide gave us the advice proboscis monkeys go to the river to spend the night. And they are indeed. Trees in front are getting crowded by these monkeys that are even fighting for a place.

Proboscis monkey

   It’s been a great day today. They’re serving plate after plate in the restaurant for our dinner, where there is only one more man and his guide in another table. Before going to sleep they get a documentary movie ready for us. It’s about a young orangutan rescued from the black market and taken to Camp Leaky to be treated, but he run away to turn into the king of the area.