First stop South America (then NZ, Oz & South East Asia) travel blog














I flew to the island of Sumatera and headed straight to the small jungle town of Bukit Lawang as it is the place to arrange treks into the jungle (Gunung Leuser National Park) where there is a possibility of seeing orangutans in the wild. We had been trekking for an hour or so when we saw our first orangutan. It was a mother and her baby. I guess they must be used to humans coming and gawping at them as they were not phased by us at all. We stood for quite some time, just metres from this wild orangutan. It was absolutely awesome to see. The baby was climbing in the trees whilst the mother just chilled out and watched us watch her. After another hour of trekking we saw another mother and baby. The guide told us that this one had spent some time in the nearby rehabilitation centre before being released into the wild so it was not in the slightest bit phased by us. It is used to being fed and went straight for the guides back pack for food. He gave her some fruit and she sat slowly munching this whilst we all stood no more than two metres from her taking photographs. Seeing these orangutans is one of the real highlights of my trip. The jungle was teeming with other wildlife and we saw different kinds of monkeys, some huge lizards and the biggest ants I have ever seen. We camped the night in the jungle and it was far from comfortable with bugs everywhere, but it was totally worth it with what i'd seen during the day. We didn't see any more orangutans after another day of trekking which was disappointing. We finished the trip rafting Indonesian style (with some rubber rings fastened together) back to the village. I stayed another day here which meant having to again brave the rickety old bridge that connected my hotel with the main part of the town. I walked to the rehabilitation centre to get another orangutan fix before leaving. Here they put food out at set times each day to ensure that none of the orangutans out in the wild go hungry. I saw another mother and baby before I left so I was happy.

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