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