Kalimantan occupies nearly three-quarters of the island of Borneo, and plays host to some of the oldest rainforests in the world, home to an incredible array of wildlife. But it's not just about the rainforest, there are bustling markets to be explored, rivers to be rafted and delicious local food to be sampled. Tanjung Puting - Spot orang-utans and Proboscis monkeys from a traditional wooden houseboat Palangkaraya - Share lunch in a Dayak village and watch daily life on a cruise through the city's waterways. Loksado - Float on a bamboo raft down the Amandit River, walk past farms and villages and swim by a waterfall
Upon arrival in Jakarta you will be transferred to the hotel, approximately 15-20 minutes from the airport. The remainder of the day is free. Please note there will be no Explore leader present for this day, but there will be a local representative in Jakarta to offer any necessary assistance.
We take an early morning flight to Pangkalanbun, the gateway to Kalimantan. Upon arrival we will be welcomed by our Explore Leader and together we will drive to Kumai, the starting point for our river cruise. We will board our klotaks (traditional wooden riverboats) and get settled in, before starting our journey up-river and into Tanjung Puting National Park. As we float along it is common to see monkeys such as the proboscis and long-tail swinging from tree to tree looking after their young, and a host of colourful birds like hornbills and kingfishers. In fact Tanjung Puting National Park has been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is home not only to the biggest wild population of orang-utan in the world, but also to clouded leopards, civets, sun bears, mouse deer, pythons and crocodiles. There are over 230 known species of birds here, with the park's 'bird lakes' creating seasonal rookeries for several endangered water birds. In the evening we will moor up against the side of the river bank, where dinner is served aboard whilst the beds are made up by the boat crew. Accommodation aboard our klotak is simple yet comfortable; boats are approximately 15 metres in length by around 2 metres in width. Mattresses and pillows are placed on the floor with a mosquito net hung over them, and there is a shared toilet aboard. All meals will be provided on the cruise by our onboard cook, and each boat will comfortably take around six to eight people.
We wake this morning to the dawn chorus of the jungle, the sounds of the birds singing in the trees and the call of the gibbons from within the dense green forests. After breakfast we set off on foot for the Pondok Tanggui Camp, the first of the orang-utan rehabilitation centres we visit, where we will have our first close-encounter with these beautiful but gentle giants. We arrive for the 9am feeding, where rangers feed the orphaned or rescued orang-utans under their care to aid their eventual rehabilitation back into the jungle. After a short trek back to the boat, we continue up-river to perhaps the most well-known camp in the area, Camp Leakey. The centre was set up in 1971 by Louis Leakey to support research and conservation in the national park. As well as supporting hugely important ecological and conservational research, it also functions as an orang-utan rehabilitation centre. Here we visit the camp and learn about the important and vital work that is being carried out here, as well having a chance to witness another feeding. The afternoon feedings here can be quite a spectacle, where primates traverse braches overhead and swing down onto the platforms to greedily gobble-up their bananas, sweet potatoes and other favourite fruits of the forest. Returning back to our boat we continue deeper in to the National Park to Pondok Ambung Research Station where we'll moor and spend the night. Accessible only by boat, a small team of scientists based at the research station carry out their studies in to the diverse flora and fauna of the jungle, such as the western tarsier and false gharial crocodile. After dinner, prepared by our on board cooks, we have the option of taking a short night walk of about 1 hour through the jungle. Guided by a ranger, we hope to encounter the forest's wildlife that only comes out after dark such as the tarsier, a small nocturnal creature that feeds primarily on insects. Please note when the level of the water is too low, there is the possibility that the boat cannot reach the research station. In this instance, we will instead will visit Pondok Tanggui Camp where there is the option to do a night walk.
This morning we sail back downstream to Kumai and leave the Tanjung Putting National Park behind. After lunch we'll disembark and say our goodbyes to the boat crew and then continue our journey by road back to the airport for our flight to Palangkaraya. Upon arrival we'll drive to our accommodation for the next 2 nights where the rest of the evening will be free to relax.
This morning we set off on a gentle walk to Bukit Tangkiling. In Indonesian 'Bukit' translates to 'hill', and whilst exploring the area on foot we will learn about the stories behind the collection of large stones found here. We then continue on, passing through several Dayak villages where we will spot 'Sandungs', an example of one of the many Dayak's interesting traditions. These Sandungs look like miniature houses with ornately carved roofs and are often brightly and intricately decorated. They sit up on stilts and beneath the houses lie the remains of the deceased family members, as it is believed that the house will be brought by the deceased to paradise. We stop for lunch with a Dayak tribe where we sample traditional cuisine. Popular dishes in this area are fresh steamed fish with lemongrass, young rattan in coconut milk or 'Sayur Kelakai' a vegetable dish made with ferns. It's interesting to see how the locals use the forest around them - as well as a variety of food, leaves are used to make a natural mosquito repellent and the rattan is taken to make handicrafts and decorations for the villager's houses. After lunch we continue onto Kahayan River, the biggest waterway in Central Kalimantan and the life source for so many that live here. We take a cruise along the river and witness the daily lives of the people that call these river banks home.
We set off this morning for Banjabaru, with the drive taking approximately seven hours including stops. Just before we reach Banjabaru we will visit the diamond mines of Cempaka, where we will see the first of a three-stage process involved in the diamond industry that this region is known for. First we visit the mines where we see locals mining using traditional tools and we learn about all of the methods involved in extraction, including diamond panning. Next we will visit the cutting office where the diamonds are cut, polished and readied for market. This office was part of a joint initiative between the Bank of Indonesia and the Dutch government to provide cutting machines and training to the locals here, enabling them to successfully self-produce high quality jewellery, and thereby maximising the benefit to the local economy. After the cutting office we continue to the diamond market of Martapura where we have a chance to browse through the beautiful collection of finished products.
Today we drive for around 6-7 hours to Loksado with plenty of stops along the way. On our route we'll visit the town of Negara, known locally for its extensive swamp lands that are popular with vast herds of Water Buffalo. We explore the swamp by simple klotak (wooden canoe) and watch the buffalos grazing on the lush grasses, and there is a good chance we will see them swimming together as a herd. We then continue our journey for another 2-3 hours to reach Loksado, the gateway for the habitat of the Bukit Daya. Thanks to the towering Meratus Mountains and their regular catchment of the rain, the large plains below are kept irrigated and in the surrounding areas we find lush tropical forests and fields of rice and rubber, along with a patchwork of plantations growing exotic fruits and vegetables.
Today we explore our surroundings on foot, leaving our guesthouse behind as we walk through farm lands where we find candle nuts, rubber and cacao growing in the fields. The path takes us past fields and through forests, with most of the walk being under the shade of trees. Good walking shoes are recommended as the trail can become slippery after rain. We also pass a small natural pool where it's possible to take a small dip. The final portion of the trail meanders past small villages and farm settlements, crossing suspension bridges that traverse the river below. As we pass the villages we will see the traditional family houses of the Dayak people, which they call Balai. These stilt houses are usually left empty and kept for ritual ceremonies and gatherings, as the Dayaks here still adhere to the animist beliefs of their ancestors. This afternoon we set off for an exciting ride down the Amandit River aboard a bamboo raft. This kind of raft, known locally as 'lanting', was used as the main mode of transport for moving commodities from Loksado down river to be sold in Banjarmasin, before the town was made accessible by road in 1989. Even with road access, locals still rely upon the river to get about and to transport goods today. Each raft is suitable for three people, and there is a small bench to sit on as we float down river. Life jackets are provided, but there are small sections of faster water so be prepared to get wet! Stops will be made along the way to enjoy fresh coconuts and to swim in the calmer sections of the river. It may also be possible to try your hand at raft jockeying, learning how to steer the raft with the aid of the jockey's bamboo stick. The rafting will be around two to three hours in length, and there will be an opportunity to get dry and change clothes before we continue back to our guesthouse.
This morning we set off for the drive to Banjarmasin, the 'City of a Thousand Rivers'. The journey will take around 6 hours with breaks along the way. Later on this afternoon, after we've reached our hotel and had some time to relax and freshen up, we take a cruise through the canals of the city, witnessing the Banjar people use the canals as they ply their trades and go about their daily business.
We rise early today to head out to the colourful floating market of Loh Baitan, located on the upper section of the Martapura River, about an hour's cruise from our hotel. Here we see women dressed in traditional brightly coloured Dayak clothing and trading exotic fruits, vegetables and snacks, all grown and produced locally. With the help of the Explore Leader we can try our hand at bartering for some fresh fruit, before returning to our hotel for breakfast. Later this morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to East Kalimantan and to the city of Berau. There is the opportunity this evening to walk down to the city's food stalls, a hive of activity in the early evening where locals meet to eat street food and relax by the river. For those that would like to try some of the local street food, our Explore Leader can help run through some of the dishes available, which are likely be fried fish and seafood, 'Roti Bakar' (Indonesian toast) and various tasty fried snacks.
We leave the mainland behind today as we board our speedboat for Maratua Island. The journey is an interesting one, which takes us down river from our hotel's front door, out of the city and into vast swathes of mangroves, where, if we are lucky we might see Proboscis monkeys. As the river spills out into the ocean we make our way on to the Derawan archipelago, a cluster of four remote islands that sit in the middle of the Celebes Sea. At the heart of this archipelago is Maratua Island, our base for the next 3 nights. This slice of tropical paradise is made up of 384 square kilometres of white sand beaches, lush forests and thick mangroves, all surrounded by warm waters that contain the third-highest level of marine biodiversity in the world (after neighbours Raja Ampat and Solomon Islands). Upon arrival, we will check into our resort, where the remainder of the afternoon is free to relax or explore our immediate surroundings. Our resort here comprises of comfortable rooms with hot showers and air-conditioning. The accommodation is made up of a few different buildings with the centre point being the restaurant, located on a rocky escarpment with wonderful views out onto the ocean. It is possible to swim and snorkel from the beach next to the resort.
Today has been left free to relax on the beach or to participate in any optional excursions. One option is to visit Kakaban Island, an uninhabited island that contains a vast salt lake in the centre. The trail snakes through the forest to reach the lake which is filled with huge numbers of stingless jellyfish, one of only two places in the world stingless jellyfish can be found. The lake is something of an ecological marvel, where the seawater has been trapped inside causing its inhabitants to evolve. With no natural predators the jellyfish have lost the ability to sting. As well as this we find stingless box jellyfish that have shrunk in size, spotted jellyfish with no spots and Cassiopeia that swim upside down, with their tentacles facing up to the surface! For those that are brave enough, we can put on our snorkel and mask and go swimming with these fascinating creatures.
Today is another free day on the island, where there is the option to book a snorkelling trip to nearby Payung Payung. Here we snorkel in the warm shallow waters where we are likely to see a huge array of tropical fish and there is a very good chance we will see and swim with giant turtles.
We have a free morning for further relaxation. This afternoon we leave Maratua and sail on our speedboat back to Berau where the rest of the day will be free.
This morning we part ways with our Explore Leader, before flying back to Jakarta. The rest of the day is then free for further personal exploration of Jakarta.
Trip ends in Jakarta this morning after breakfast.
15 Break Fast(s) 4 Lunch(es) 4 Dinner(s)
Ved skriftlig aksept av vårt tilbud bekrefter du/dere at våre betingelser er både lest og forstått og at evt kansellerings gebyrer kan tilkomme ved en evt. avbestilling av reisen.