moutain gorilla holidays PHOTOGRAPHY & WRITING BY IAN WOOD
"A very special experience ... a unique blend of sighting wild orangutans from the riverside, mixed with exciting up close meetings at the feeding sites, and complimented with expert advice in catching these memorable moments in photos."Deborah Rouse
NEW - A 3 minute video clip of a typical day on these holidays is here.
I will meet your flight on arrival at Jakarta airport and we will then transfer to a nearby hotel. The hotel has a swimming pool, steam room, jaccuzi and sauna and makes for an ideal place to relax after your flight. That evening we will have dinner together at the hotel.
To see photos from recent trips please click here
We've just finished the 2016 trips and there's two trip reports here: 2016 trip report 1 and 2016 trip report 2
After breakfast we will transfer to the domestic terminal to catch our flight to Borneo. The flight departs Jakarta at 10.35 and arrives in to Pangkalanbun at 11.55. On arrival we will be met by our guide who will arrange our police permits to visit the Tanjung Puting national park and then drive us to the small port of Kumai (approx 45 minutes away).
At Kumai we board our boat and after crossing the harbour for about half an hour we turn on to the first river which marks the southern boundary of the national park. This part of the journey is always very special. Any remaining sounds of civilisation dissolve away behind us as we gently chug upstream and we usually start to see wildlife quite soon. It is even possible to catch your first glimpse of the odd orangutan on this section of the journey.
The first part of this river is mainly mangrove swamps but after a short while it gives way to forest and we start to hear the sounds of the humming jungle.
About 90 minutes later we will arrive at Rimba Lodge for a cold welcome drink and a chance to settle in to your room and freshen up. Just before dusk we will venture out on our boat to search for Proboscis monkeys. At this time of evening they gather in large groups in the trees by the side of the river and give us our first chance to photograph them. For more information and photos of proboscis monkeys please click here.
We will then return to Rimba Lodge for a yummy freshly cooked meal together in their restaurant.
After breakfast at Rimba Lodge we head back on to the river for 20 minutes or so and we'll have our first opportunity to walk in the forest. From time to time we have seen the odd wild orangutan in this park of the park and often hear the sounds of agile gibbons in the distance.
We will return to our boat where our crew have prepared lunch on board and we'll have time to relax and watch kingfishers dart across the river. In the afternoon we will walk back into the forest to an afternoon orangutan feeding platform. These are provided at several points throughout the national park to provide supplementary food for orangutans and usually offer us our first chance to see these majestic apes at incredibly close quarters.
Head back up stream to Rimba Lodge for a chance to relax before supper together.
Orangutans ... orangutans ... orangutans.
After breakfast we journey upstream to a morning feeding site keeping our eye out for wildlife on our way. The trees at the sides of the river often give us a chance to see orangutans along with an array of other wildlife including Macaques and numerous feathered friends. We will spend some time at the morning feeding site watching and photographing the orangutans.
Lunch will be provided on board our boat as we make the journey upstream for our first visit to the famous Camp Leakey research centre. Later we will walk through the forest for 20 minutes to the afternoon feeding platform near to Camp Leakey.
We will then cruise down the river for the 2 hour journey back to Rimba Lodge watching the sun set over the forest canopy in the distance.
Yesterday was quite a long day so today will be gentle. We will visit a morning orangutan feeding site and return back to Rimba Lodge for a relaxing lunch in their restaurant. You will then have some free time to explore the nearby surroundings or just chill out. There are always plenty of Macaques in the vicinity of Rimba Lodge and also the odd otter in the nearby streams if you want to photograph them here. Later in the afternoon we will visit a nearby village before returning to Rimba Lodge for supper together. There is also a bird watching tower near Rimba Lodge that has been built in the trees which offers a good view point for lovers of our feathered friends.
After dinner we will cruise the river at night time to search for fire flies. These congregate in certain trees on mass and look magical ... twinkling like Christmas tree lights.
For those that are interested we will head out by boat just after dawn which offers us the best chance to photograph Proboscis monkeys. As the sun rises over the forest canopy they start to move from their sleeping positions and the early light offers decent views of them. This time of day is also excellent for bird life. After returning to Rimba Lodge for breakfast we will make our second visit upstream to Camp Leakey. We will have plenty of time to enjoy the orangutans and agile gibbons that live here before returning to the afternoon orangutan feeding site in the forest.
The final 3 days in the park are flexible and to some extent depend on what the group wants to do. We will have a chance to re-visit all of the orangutan feeding platforms and make at least one more journey to the Camp Leakey research centre. Returning to some of the places we have already visited in the park allows us a great opportunity to improve on our photographs as the week progresses.
Thank you so much. The trip was a fantastic way of combining an interest in photography with experiencing close up encounters with orangutans in their natural environment."Lucy Buckley
After breakfast at Rimba Lodge it is time to return by boat to Kumai. There may be the opportunity to visit an inspiring conservation project before heading back to the airport in Pangkalanbun for our flight to Jakarta. Our flight departs at 15.35 pm arriving back at Jakarta at 16.55 pm. Depending on your individual onward travel plans you can then proceed to catch any connecting flights or stay another night at the hotel in Jakarta before travelling onwards the following day.