Visiting Tanjung Puting National Park

Nestled in the heart of Borneo, Tanjung Puting National Park is truly one of the world’s natural wonders. A veritable paradise for nature enthusiasts and animal lovers alike, the park offers an unparalleled experience amidst one of the most biodiverse environments on earth.

It’s a place where every sight, sound and smell is a testament to nature’s remarkable resilience and beauty. Getting to Tanjung Puting National Park may seem daunting at first glance, but I assure you it’s an adventure worth undertaking.

You’ll have to navigate a series of flights, cars, and boats – beginning with a flight into Iskandar Airport in Pangkalan Bun from Jakarta or Surabaya. From there, it’s about an hour drive to Kumai Port where you’ll catch a klotok (a traditional Indonesian riverboat) which will shepherd you into this mesmerising wilderness.

The river boat cruise is undoubtedly one of the highlights of any visit here. As your klotok glides serenely through the murky waters surrounded by dense jungle foliage, expect to be swept up in an air of tranquility only found when you’re deep within nature’s grasp.

The journey itself teems with opportunities for wildlife spotting – from crocodiles sunning themselves on riverbanks to hornbills flitting between trees – all set against a symphony of exotic bird calls echoing through the rainforest. Speaking of wildlife, Tanjung Puting is home to some pretty impressive residents including clouded leopards, langurs and proboscis monkeys!

However its crowning glory lies in its status as one of the last strongholds for wild orangutans in Borneo. These beautiful creatures can be spotted swinging effortlessly through trees or foraging for food along riverbanks – indeed an unforgettable sight!

With this wealth of untamed beauty right at your fingertips you might be asking yourself: “Is Tanjung Puting National Park worth it?” The answer is a resounding yes! Its rich biodiversity, the opportunity to observe endangered wildlife in their natural habitat and the allure of an off-the-beaten-path adventure all make it an invaluable experience.

How to Get to Tanjung Puting National Park

Embarking on a journey to Tanjung Puting National Park is an adventure in itself, and the thrill begins right at the start with your travel arrangements. To get to this ecological paradise, you’ll need to catch a flight to Iskandar Airport in Pangkalan Bun, which is the closest city.

Numerous major cities in Indonesia—like Jakarta and Surabaya—offer direct flights to Pangkalan Bun. The flight duration generally varies between 1.5-2 hours depending on your point of departure.

Once you arrive at Iskandar Airport, it’s pretty straightforward getting to Kumai Port—the gateway to Tanjung Puting National Park. You can hire a car or catch a taxi for this short 20-minute ride.

Ensure that you’ve arranged your transportation beforehand if arriving late in the evening as taxis might not be readily available. From Kumai Port, it’s time for the most scenic part of the journey—navigating through Sekonyer River by klotok (a traditional Indonesian river boat).

Your trip up this meandering waterway will be truly memorable, surrounded by lush vegetation and serenaded by melodious bird songs—a perfect preamble to what awaits inside Tanjung Puting. The journey from Kumai Port to the park can take anywhere between one and three hours depending on how far into Tanjung Puting you’re heading.

Most tour operators will have klotoks available (either as part of their package or at an additional cost) and they’ll guide you through this last leg of your trip with ease. So even though reaching Tanjung Puting requires some thoughtful planning and coordination, I assure you that every moment spent navigating towards this natural haven is worth its weight in gold—or in this case—exquisite wildlife sightings!

River Boat Cruise: What to Expect

As you glide through the murky waterways aboard a traditional klotok, you can’t help but be captivated by the untamed beauty that surrounds you. The tranquility of the river is broken only by the occasional chatter of monkeys and birds, providing a melodious backdrop to your journey.

Gasping in awe as Proboscis monkeys frolic in trees overhead and crocodiles silently lurk beneath the water’s surface becomes a routine part of your day. These wooden river boats are remarkably comfortable too, furnished with plush mattresses and mosquito nets for an overnight stay under a blanket of twinkling stars.

As dusk descends, listen to the symphony of the jungle as fireflies illuminate your surroundings – a spectacle that’s nothing short of magical. Mealtimes on board are another delightful experience.

You’ll relish freshly prepared meals featuring local Indonesian delicacies while you cruise down the river – it’s an incredible way to dine alfresco! Rest assured knowing your crew is dedicated to ensuring you have a comfortable journey; their warm hospitality making this unique adventure even more memorable.

On these cruises, there’s an opportunity for both relaxation and adventure. If you wish, climb ashore and explore silent forest paths or take part in heartwarming orangutan feeding sessions at local rehabilitation centers along the route.

You might even be lucky enough to spot elusive species like clouded leopards or sun bears during your journey. Expect this river boat cruise to be an immersive experience into one of Indonesia’s last remaining wildernesses – it truly is nature at its most raw and beautiful.

Wildlife at Tanjung Puting National Park

As you journey deeper into the heart of Tanjung Puting National Park, you’re instantly immersed in a veritable Eden of biodiversity. The park is a cherished sanctuary for an array of wildlife and plant species, other than its famous orangutans.

In the dense tapestry of the rainforest and along the snaking tendrils of the Sekonyer River, you’ll encounter creatures that will leave you awestruck. Enigmatic proboscis monkeys with their distinctive large noses hold court on treetops as they lazily sunbathe or munch on leaves.

These are one of Borneo’s endemic species and can be easily spotted due to their unusual features. Their hooting calls at dusk punctuate the symphony of sounds in the forest, their peculiar vocalizations echoing through the trees.

Next come troops of agile gibbons, renowned acrobats that manifest an energetic performance as they swing from tree to tree with deftness and speed. Their characteristic whooping calls can be heard resonating through the forest canopy early in mornings; an ethereal wild chorus to start your day.

Hidden beneath foliage or camouflaged against tree trunks are monitor lizards basking lethargically under warm rays filtering through leaf crowns. And there’s no missing out on sightseeing crocodiles lounging by riverbanks, staring with unblinking eyes at passing boats or silently sinking into peat water depths with just eyes visible above surface level.

The riverside vegetations house myriad bird species; kingfishers darting like sapphire-hued lightning across water surfaces, hornbills tracing grand arcs in air while emitting raucous cries, herons standing sentinel-like near water bodies waiting for fishy treats to swim close by – it’s a paradise for avian lovers! Nighttime boat expeditions reveal a different aspect as glowing pairs of nocturnal eyes stare back at your torchlight from dark riverbanks.

These belong to the park’s elusive cat species, including clouded leopards and marbled cats. Their stealthy prowls are a thrilling spectacle to observe.

Insects, in particular, display impressive diversity here. Daytime species like butterflies add vibrant splashes of color in the green landscape while nocturnal ones like fireflies create a magical spectacle as they twinkle against dark backgrounds leaving streaks of phosphorescent glow.

As an environmental aficionado or even just a casual tourist, there’s something for everyone in Tanjung Puting National Park’s stunning showcase of wildlife. The blend of rare and captivating creatures brings out the essence of a true tropical wilderness untouched by time, waiting to be explored and savored.

Orangutans at Tanjung Puting National Park

A visit to Tanjung Puting National Park would be considered incomplete without encountering its most famous residents, the orangutans. This majestic park is home to one of the most significant populations of orangutans in the world. As you meander through the dense rainforest under a verdant canopy of trees, you might be lucky enough to spot an orangutan swinging gracefully from branch to branch, or perhaps a mother carefully cradling her young.

The park takes active measures in preserving and protecting these incredible creatures. They’ve established rehabilitation centers within its confines for orphaned and rescued orangutans.

These centers are where these intelligent apes are cared for until they’re ready to return back into their natural habitat. As you venture deeper into your exploration, you’ll find Camp Leakey, which is not just a research center but also a rehabilitation center for orangutans and other wildlife.

Named after legendary anthropologist Louis Leakey, this place offers an unparalleled opportunity to learn about orangutan behavior and conservation efforts firsthand from dedicated scientists and researchers. If it’s interactions you’re after, then be sure not to miss out on feeding sessions which often occur twice daily at various locations throughout the park.

Here’s something that will carve an unforgettable memory – watching semi-wild orangutans swing down from trees to grab their lunch of fresh fruit prepared by park rangers! It’s truly an extraordinary experience seeing them up close in their natural environment while they munch away contentedly.

If observing wildlife in its natural habitat fascinates you or if you have a soft corner for conservation efforts, Tanjung Puting National Park with its distinctive population of endangered orangutans is indeed worth experiencing. Not only will it give you an insight into these magnificent animals’ lives but it will also allow you to contribute towards sustaining their existence on this planet.

Is Tanjung Puting Worth It?

Delving into the heart of the question, is a visit to Tanjung Puting worth it? The answer is unequivocally yes. It’s worth every minute of your time and every penny spent.

It’s an enchanting oasis that gives you an opportunity not only to appreciate wildlife but also to understand their role in maintaining the balance of our ecosystem. The journey immerses you in a profound exploration where flora and fauna unfurl themselves with unpretentious splendour, offering an unforgettable spectacle of nature at its best.

Here, every rustle whispers a tale; each exotic bird song carries a note from the vibrant symphony of biodiversity. In addition, making this journey makes you part of a larger cause – orangutan conservation efforts.

Many tourists who have visited the park testify to have been touched deeply by their experiences with these gentle primates. Witnessing them in their natural habitat sparks empathy towards their plight and reinforces our responsibility towards conservation initiatives.

With respect to affordability, embarking on such an expedition would usually imply shelling out substantial sums but Tanjung Puting is surprisingly affordable for what it has to offer. The cost for tours can vary but generally includes all your meals, accommodation on board the klotok (the local boat), park fees and guiding fees which comes as quite reasonable considering all these are bundled up into one package.

Let’s talk about those sunsets – they’re beyond words! Sailing along the Sekonyer River while watching streaks of orange paint the sky above emerald green jungles is nothing short of magical.

Those moments alone are worth visiting Tanjung Puting for. In short, if you’re a nature lover seeking an authentic experience amidst wildlife or simply someone wishing to escape from urban chaos into serene wilderness, then Tanjung Puting should definitely be high on your list.

Best Tanjung Puting Boat Tour

Choosing the right boat tour in Tanjung Puting is an integral part of your overall experience. Over the years, numerous operators have sprung up, each promising an authentic adventure.

However, few deliver an experience as memorable and enjoyable as Sekonyer Travel. Known for their stellar service and strong commitment to responsible tourism, they offer several packages that cater to different budgets and time constraints.

One of the most popular packages is their 3-day-2-night tour. This package includes not only a scenic river cruise aboard a traditional wooden klotok but also overnight stays on the boat, meals prepared by an onboard cook, and English-speaking guides who are knowledgeable about the wildlife and ecosystem of Tanjung Puting.

The journey meanders through the heart of Borneo’s rainforest where you can witness orangutans in their natural habitat at feeding stations like Camp Leakey or Pondok Tanggui. For those with more time on their hands, a 4-day-3-night option allows for deeper exploration into less visited parts of the park.

This extended tour offers travelers a chance to spot rare bird species, visit more feeding stations, and immerse themselves further into this unique ecosystem. However what separates Sekonyer Travel from others is not only their various offerings but also how much they care about sustainability issues.

They actively support local employment by hiring crew members from nearby villages while practicing environmentally-friendly tourism by minimizing waste during tours. Regardless of which package you choose with Sekonyer Travel or any other operator for that matter; one thing remains true; there’s no better way to navigate Tanjung Puting than on a klotok riverboat ride–it truly embodies the essence of Borneo’s untamed wilderness.

Can You Visit Tanjung Puting Without a Tour?

Certainly, one might wonder if it’s possible to venture into Tanjung Puting National Park without being part of an organized tour. After all, the idea of exploring at your own pace and immersing yourself in the lush wilderness can be quite appealing. Technically speaking, yes, it is feasible to visit without a tour.

However, bear in mind that Tanjung Puting is an incredibly vast expanse of untouched wilderness that stretches over 4165 square kilometers. Given its sheer size and dense greenery, it’s easy to get lost or miss out on some of the stunning sights tucked away in its depths.

Notably, most visitors often lack knowledge about the area’s best spots for wildlife spotting or birdwatching. Moreover, tours are typically led by experienced guides who not only know their way around but also possess a deep understanding of the park’s diverse flora and fauna.

They can provide fascinating insights about various species you encounter during the journey which enriches your overall experience – be it detailing about orangutan behavior or identifying unique bird calls. Another critical aspect to consider is that Tanjung Puting National Park isn’t just a tourist attraction – it’s home for countless wildlife species.

Many areas within the park are protected habitats where human activity is restricted to minimize disturbance to animals residing there. A local guide will ensure you adhere strictly to these regulations while responsibly enjoying your rainforest adventure.

Thus, while theoretically possible, visiting Tanjung Puting without a tour isn’t generally recommended unless you’re an expert on Indonesian rainforests with relevant navigation skills! The value added by experienced guides in terms of safety, education and ensuring responsible conduct towards wildlife simply cannot be overstated.

Other Tips for Tanjung Puting

Before you embark on this thrilling adventure to Tanjung Puting National Park, it’s important to be well-prepared and informed. Allow me to share a few essential tips that can make your visit smoother and more enjoyable. Firstly, ensure you pack light but smart.

The tropical climate of the park calls for lightweight clothing – think breathable fabrics that will keep you cool during the day and at night too. Don’t forget your swimwear, as there are opportunities for invigorating dips in the river after a long day of exploration.

Insect repellent is an absolute must-have, given the high density of insects in this region. Likewise, sunscreen is crucial as the equatorial sun can be quite unforgiving even through the dense canopy of trees.

Secondly, while interacting with wildlife may be one of your main objectives while visiting Tanjung Puting National Park, it’s vital to remember not to feed any wild animals you encounter. Feeding wildlife disrupts their natural behavior and can lead them to become reliant on human-supplied food.

Furthermore, witnessing orangutans in their natural habitat is an incredible experience but remember: They are wild animals. It’s important not to approach them too closely or try to touch them – even if they approach you first!

Always listen carefully to your guide’s instructions in these situations. Additionally, even though English is commonly spoken in tourist areas of Indonesia, learning a few basic phrases in Indonesian can significantly enrich your experience by enabling interactions with locals who don’t speak English fluently.

Always respect local customs and traditions when visiting local villages along the way – they are graciously sharing their home with us after all! Be mindful about dressing modestly when exploring these regions out of respect for their cultural norms.

In essence, preparation is key; pack appropriately with consideration for both comfort and necessity. Respect all inhabitants – both human and animal alike – whilst remembering that we are guests in their environment.

How Long to Stay at Tanjung Puting National Park

The alluring charm of Tanjung Puting National Park is such that it can bewitch any traveler into extending their stay. However, as a rule of thumb, I would recommend allotting at least three to four days for a comprehensive exploration of the park. This duration not only offers ample time to soak in the unspoilt beauty of the rainforest but also allows you to undertake various activities such as river cruises, wildlife spotting, and night safaris without having to rush.

Indeed, the itinerary you choose can significantly impact your visit’s duration. A standard 3-day itinerary usually includes day and night river cruises along the Sekonyer River, which are indeed mesmerizing experiences.

They offer not only an opportunity to embrace nature’s serenity but also a chance to witness wildlife in their natural habitat. Then there is Camp Leakey – an iconic rehabilitation center for orphaned orangutans which has been instrumental in wildlife conservation efforts.

If you’re longing for an intimate encounter with these endearing creatures, then spending an entire day at this camp would be worthwhile. Also noteworthy is Pondok Tanggui – another orangutan feeding location worth taking your time over.

Moreover, if you are passionate about photography or bird-watching, you may desire additional days to capture more enchanting moments or spot avian species hiding amidst the lush foliage. Given that Tanjung Puting boasts over 200 bird species including hornbills and kingfishers – it’s a paradise for bird lovers!

Therefore, while three days would suffice for most tourists visiting Tanjung Puting National Park; if you have a keen interest in wildlife photography or ornithology – consider staying longer! You see, Tanjung Puting isn’t merely a destination; it’s a profound journey into the heart of Borneo’s wilderness where each moment spent adds layers upon layers of unforgettable memories.

When to Visit Tanjung Puting National Park

Determining the optimal time to visit Tanjung Puting National Park is paramount for an extraordinary experience. If you are fascinated by lush landscapes and thriving greenery, consider the monsoon season which runs from November to March. Admittedly, some might find the frequent drizzle a tad inconvenient, but the rain breathes life into the flora and fauna of this verdant park, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for nature enthusiasts.

However, if your primary aim is to witness orangutans in their natural habitat, you may prefer visiting during the dry season from April to October. This period offers a higher probability of spotting these charismatic primates since they venture out in search of food and mates.

It’s also more comfortable as humidity levels drop significantly compared to the monsoon season. Yet another aspect worthy of mention is that wildlife encounters are generally determined by chance and patience rather than any particular season.

So regardless of when you decide to embark on this adventure, rest assured that Tanjung Puting won’t fail to astound you with its stunning biodiversity. Selecting when to visit Tanjung Puting National Park depends largely on personal preferences about weather conditions and what one hopes to see.

Every season offers unique charms that make it worth visiting all year round. But remember, whichever time you choose for your visit, respecting local customs and showing consideration for this incredible ecosystem should be paramount.


Tanjung Puting National Park is a remarkable treasure of Indonesia that offers visitors a unique experience unavailable anywhere else in the world. The opportunity to witness orangutans in their natural habitat, along with other diverse wildlife, is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Beyond the wildlife, the park’s incredible biodiversity and stunning landscapes make every moment in this haven feel like an adventure. Navigating the Sekonyer River by boat provides an unmatched perspective on the lush greenery and vibrant life that pulses through this corner of Borneo.

While it might take some planning and patience to get there, your efforts will undoubtedly be rewarded with an unforgettable journey into one of our planet’s most magical realms. It’s also essential to remember that visiting Tanjung Puting National Park isn’t just about personal enjoyment — it also plays a part in supporting conservation efforts for these magnificent creatures and their habitats.

So as we wander through nature’s bounty and delight in its marvels, let’s pledge to be responsible travelers who respect and contribute towards preserving these priceless wonders for future generations. After all, sustaining the beauty we love today ensures tomorrow’s explorers can encounter the same sense of awe and fascination we did.

Remember – every end is just a new beginning! So here’s hoping your journey through Tanjung Puting National Park marks the start of many more thrilling explorations into our planet’s myriad natural treasures!