Orangutan, comes from the Malay words for orang, person, and hutan, forest. They are the forest ape and the only great ape found in Asia. There are two species - the Bornean and Sumatran. Today both face an uncertain future as agriculture, logging, mining and fires conttinue to destroy the forests upon which they depend.
Orangutan babies are born after an eight month pregnancy. This baby was 9 days old when we arrived. Mother Akamd will not leave it alone for the first 2 years of it's life, photograph along with older sibling Atlas, at Camp Leakey, Tanjung Puting National park, Kalimantan Indonesian Borneo.
Orangutans are the largest arboreal (tree living) animals in the world. They are entirely dependent upon trees for their existence and are perfectly adapted to life in the forest. Up to 60 per cent of an orangutan's life is spent foraging for food, mostly in the canopy, and 40 per cent sleeping and resting.
To date, palm oil plantations have represented the greatest threat to orangutan's habitat, because many estates have been established at the expense of primary rainforest. From the plantation owners' perspective it makes sense to clear forested land rather than to set up on degraded land because they can sell the timber before planting the palms. However, for orangutans and other species that depend on the forest for their survival, it is bad news.
One of the ways forward, is for responsible organisations to purchase forested land which they will be able to protect for future years, when the current infants that are in care can be released back into the forest.
The Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) have set themselves a goal to purchase a 640 000 acre piece of forest, near the Care Centre, called the Rawa Kuno Legacy forest in Pangkalanbun, Central Kalimantan.
local river boat - Klotok
Day 1 - Sunday 5th May 2018 - Jakarta FM7 Resort Hotel - D On arrival in Jakarta please contact the FM7 Resort Hotel, which is a short distance from the airport, and where we will be spending the night. They will send a bus transfer to collect you. The hotel is modern with AC, indoor swimming pool and restaurant. As tour members may be arriving at different times, we will plan to have dinner together, followed by an informal briefing. We will also be joined by Mara McCaffery from Orangutan Aid, who will be working at the Orangutan Care Centre near Pangkalan Bun. We will gain some insight into the behaviour of the orangutans, so that we can photograph more astutely.
Day 2 - Monday 6th May - Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesian Borneo FM7 - B Klotok - L & D Morning flight to Pangkalan Bun Transfer to Kumai to board our klotok (local river boat) for our journey to the Tanjung Puting National Park. Our first stop on the Sekonyer River is Camp Leakey, set up in the early 1970’s by famous primatologist and orangutan expert, Dr Birtue Galdikas. We will stay overnight on the Klotok, in order to experience the ‘sounds’ of the jungle. (basic accomodation, on deck with mattresses and mosquito nets) .Optional evening walk.
Day 3 - Tuesday 7th May -Tanjung Puting National Park Klotok - B Rimba Lodge - L & D Our days will start early in order to make the most of the morning light, and each day will include short forest walks. After the morning feeding station we will transfer to the Rimba Lodge and make this our base for 3 nights.
Day 4/5 - Wed 8th Thurs 9th May - Tanjung Puting National Park Rimba Lodge/ Klotok - B & L & D With the klotok at our disposal, we will explore the waterways and visit various feeding stations in the Park, giving us the change to view the diverse flora and fauna. We will also visit Pesalat, a forest restoration programme, where we will spend some time planting tree saplings. Jackie will spend time with each tour member, and group critique sessions will be held at the end of each day.
Day 6 - Fri 10th May - Pangkalan Bun Rimba Lodge - B & L Pang. Bun - D We will return to Kumai and transfer to our hotel in Pangkalan Bun. The afternoon will be spent experiencing one of the local markets, and the evening meal will be at a local restaurant.
Day 7 - Sat 11th May - Pangkalan Bun Grand Kecebung - B Care Cente - L Pang. Bun - D Today we hope to visit the Orangutan Care Centre & Quarantine facility (run by OFI) - where Mara will explain the work that is done to rehabilitate and care for the over 330 orphaned orangutans at the Centre. As the centre is not open to the public, this opportunity is only confirmed at the time and not guaranteed. Orangutan Aid actively supports the nursery where there are currently over 60 young Orangutans requiring 24 hour care. We are not allowed to take photos here.
Day 8 - Sun 12th May - Jakarta Grand Kecebung - B This morning is at your leisure. Transfer to the airport at midday for flight to Jakarta. Your guide will leave you at this point. Own arrangements for continuing travel. An early morning flight can be booked if onward connections are required. Please advise at time of booking.
Tanjung Puting National park
We also visit a local market, which has endless opportunites for images, with very willing subjects.
Photography tours and courses in Hong Kong, and with the Orangutans in Borneo, with Jackie Peers