Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Balancing Life at Tanjung Puting, Borneo

 Under the Morning Twilight at Kumai 

I cruised at Sekonyer River, Borneo, heading to Tanjung Puting by Klotok, a wooden river boat with a shallow draft. The boat leave from a town called Kumai, about 30 minutes from Iskandar Airport, Pangkalan Bun,  Central Kalimantan. Traveling by boat is the only way to access Tanjung Putting, deep into the jungle on the Indonesian part of Borneo to visit some camps that are caring for wild orangutans. 

The further we went up the river the more there was to see.. It is quite a long trip up the river but groups of different species of monkeys and other wildlife make it an amazing trip. The first group of Proboscis monkeys sat in the trees, high above us, gave me goose bumps. The best known animals in Tanjung Putting are the orangutans, even other kinds of animals are easy to find such as gibbons, bekantan, wild pig, deer. The orangutan made famous through the efforts of Orangutan Research and Conservation Program.


The main objects at Tanjung Puting are visit Tanjung Harapan, Camp Leakey, and Pondok Tanguy. Tanjung Harapan is the first station post in the park that was constructed in the late 1970’s and was the original site of the Sekonyer Village which was moved across the Sekonyer river. Camp Leakey is the the location for semi-wild and wild orangutans. This place was set up in 1971 by Louis Leakey to support research activities in Tj. Putting.  Orangutans that have passed the semi-wil phase are moved to Pondok Tangguy. In here human contact is avoided.

This Klotok was my home for two days. Where I met the brilliant crimson sunset which turned into the most remarkable view of the Milky Way, slept under the enclosed deck under mosquito nets with the moonlight shine upon my face, surrounded by the palms tree where the fireflies make it into a Christmas tree…. And the only sound I heard was just sound of the Borneo jungle.


Well, if you want to be rocked by the crocodile as your morning hush and have a morning greetings from the Bekantan's family, you should try this adventure. Plese noted, this is not relaxing holiday!

Sekonyer River, Borneo, April 2014

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