SEEING ORANGUTANS IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA
Replies: 265 - Last Post: May 24, 2013 10:48 PM Last Post By: lucapal
Apr 30, 2010 10:30 PM
135It feels a bit sad to read about the recent post on Nasalis in Gunung Palung, since I've been helping the guys at the Park since they started opening the park to ecotourism, which is really just about providing the communities surrounding the park with an alternative, sustainable source of income (and am not a Park staff nor a community member, don't even get paid). I can assure everybody that no ranger gets any of the money from the tickets sold. The money you pay, goes into permits, food, transportation and, of course, guides and porters. A portion of it stays in the office and is later used for building and maintaining the infrastructures, buying equipment (mats, pillows, oil lamps etc.), printing posters, brochures and other promotional materials, training the guides and so on. Without it, no ecotourism activity could be developed, Gunung Palung would be only open to researchers. Of course, you can choose to just pay for entry fees at the Park's office, in which case the rangers will just contact the guides in the village nearest to the chosen site, to let them know of your arrival...if you manage to get there. From my experience, most people choosing to enter the park independently usually end up wasting a great more deal of time and money. No one speaks English, public transport fares and timetables are not available, people don't know where to shop, what food to buy and how much of it (you must provide food for your guide and don't expect he will be able to survive on bread and cheese!). The package system was created to ease the visitor's trip to the park, providing an experience as enjoyable as possible.
Having said that, I would like to thank you for the post. Complaints are always welcome and can really help to improve our service. We are working now on a proper receipt which visitors will receive upon payment, listing in detail and transparently what is included in the package, as well as a little questionnaire, which will help us to identify strongholds and weak points of the service we provide.
Just trying to make one of the last remaining big jungles accessible and enjoyable to everybody (or nearly hehe)
May 2, 2010 9:34 PM
136Tita, are you sure that "no-package" independent travel is allowed?
Even when I visited the park several years ago, with Nasalis not even existing yet, park office staff absolutely insisted I would take a (totally useless) guide all the way from Ketapang - and I speak fluent Indonesian so could easily have found my way to the gateway village and hire a local guide there on my own!
May 3, 2010 10:16 PM
137As I said, it is. Independent travelers are still required to pay for Park entry fees, local guides (plus their food) and camping fees...all fixed fares. Package trips also include all local transport and food, which is what people usually find most difficult to organize on their own. Usually no guide joins the trip from Ketapang, unless specifically required by the visitor (i.e. English speaking guide). In the past, a park ranger used to join the trip, since the local guides were not yet organized or experienced enough. That is not the case anymore.
You should drop by and check it out, if you happen to be around. Am sure you could give precious insight and advice...
May 4, 2010 3:32 AM
138Maybe, but I am not sure they'd want it... ;-)
Will try and revisit the park eventually, though with Cabang Panti now off-limits,I am afraid of being disappointed, to be honest!
Incidentally, the only prices I could find on the park's website are for Nasalis' packages (quite high compared to independent travel costs in Indonesia, though of course less high compared to ecotourism packages elsewhere).
So feel free to post either the costs for independent travellers preferring to do it without a package - or a link to where they are.
May 23, 2010 6:50 AM
139Well, you should then check out the Riam Berasap forest, which is even more pristine than the one in Cabang Panti! Also, the rangers are talking about reopening the Cabang Panti area for tourism, targeting expeditioners who want to climb the mountain to the top. The research station will still be offl-imits though, since it is already overcrowded with researchers hehe.
A brake-up of costs for independent travelers is provided at this link: http://gunungpalungnationalpark.wordpress.com/prices/
some prices are a bit out of date tho (especially for transport), so I resume costs below:
- Standard fees, which are the same for every national park in Indonesia and are paid directly at the Park's office, include Park Entry Ticket (Rp10.000/prsn), Camera Fee (Rp25.000/item) and/or Handycam Fee (Rp100.000/item), plus a Camping Fee (Rp15.000/prsn/day)
- Guide (100.000/day) and/or Porter, if needed (75.000/day); English Speaking Guide (optional, 150.000/day)
- The Campsite Fee for Lubuk Baji and Batu Barat, where a camp has been built, is Rp60.000/prsn/day (already including the Camping Fee, above). In Riam Berasap, where no camp is provided, people need to rent camping and cooking equipment from the villagers, Rp25.000/day (exclusive of Camping Fee)
- For food shopping, we usually estimate about 75.000/prsn/day, which would also include food for the Guide and/or Porter (the more people joining the trip, the cheaper for each person)
- Transport. Bus fares from Ketapang to Sukadana are 30.000/prsn, 35,000 to Melano (one way). An Ojek (motorbike taxi) from Sukadan to the last village from which you'd start hiking is about 50.000/trip (the drivers usually ask for more..), while a speed boar from Melano to Batu Barat Village costs 300.000 one way (for up to 5 people)
All clear then. Enjoy your trip!
May 27, 2010 10:51 AM
140I want to see as much wildlife as possible. I want to make sure though i do see hornbills, Monkeys, organgutans, rhinos, elephants, etc.....what are the best parks in Sabah for me to visit!!!!
I know it's been asked over and over again and i'm sorry for that. But please inform me, enlighten meee
May 27, 2010 8:40 PM
May 28, 2010 5:34 AM
May 28, 2010 5:39 AM
May 28, 2010 4:27 PM
144The most ("densest") wildlife in Sabah would be seen along the Kinabatangan River...which is not, technically, a National Park...since it is only a strip of secondary forest along the river surrounded by palm oil plantations. It's been placed under some moderate protection, though...it's a "conservation area". You could see up to ten different species of Primates there (including orangutans) if you are extremely fortunate. But you are unlikely to see loris and tarsier unless you do many night walks in the right areas. But Proboscis monkeys, long-tailed macaques, and silvered leaf monkeys are common. Gibbons and pig-tailed macaques a bit more rare.
The Bornean Pygmy Elephant is migratory along the river. If you definitely want to see them and are willing to pay several hundred dollars for a private boat search you'll likely find them. Other wise it's hit-or-miss.
Rhinos are so rare that even the experts who have been studying them for years use "camera traps" and know about them mainly by their wallows, footprints and poo. If you see a real live wild rhino make sure you take pictures.
May 28, 2010 9:41 PM
145I believe Tabin and Danum are the only 2 reserves in Borneo where rhinos are confirmed as present. In Danum, there was a single entry in the log-book containing notes spanning several years by a visitors who has seen (or at least claims to have seen) one.
Rhinos are also supposed to be present in various parks in Sumatra, including Leuser, but I have never met or heard of a tourist who has seen one. They are heavily persecuted by poachers there.
Ironically, the numerically even more rare Javan rhino, confined to a single Indonesian park in this region (and another in Vietnam), is a bit more likely to be seen - I saw one, too.
Dec 13, 2010 2:24 AM
Dec 26, 2010 7:20 AM
147Just to say I had a wonderful time seeing wild orangutans in Kuta National Park, Kalimantan, in April 2010. I would not have gone except for this thread and especially Laszlo. I did it independently from Balikpapan. It was quite hard work and had to speak Bahasa a lot (thankfully I had picked some up previously). At Kutai nobody knew about Kutai National Park but did know Taman Nasional Kutai. The people at Kutai were wonderfully friendly. Especially the guy at the travel agent next to the Bus station: strongly recommend his business. You have to visit the National park at the other end of town (north end) from the Bus Station and get the permission. There were only 2 rooms so you should check availability before you arrive. You need to have your own food. It is easy to buy noodles and eggs and fruit. It is harder to buy beer or wine but it is there somewhere. The park was fantastic. A garden of eden experience. We saw orangutans on the third outing with the guides. The book suggested that most travellers did see the wild orangs,,but one German lady who stay just one night did not see any. There was lots of wild life around. We swan in the river with the young men from the Kyoto research centre. Only later they told us about the crocodiles in ther river. The guides were very good and opened up to us on the second night, showing us the research spreadsheets they prepared for Kyoto uni. They also shared their wine. I absolutely recommnend this if you want a very good chance of seeing wild orangs.
Jan 6, 2011 12:38 AM
Jan 11, 2011 5:07 AM
149mini kutai report:
Flew to Balikpapan and took a shared Kijang (150,000 rp) to Sangatta. The journey took over 7 hours even though our driver drove like a complete maniac. It wasn't a fun time, that's for sure. Spent a night there and took a boat up river to Kutai NP the next morning. We stayed at Prevab overnight. The boat cost 300,000 return, accommodations cost 100,000 and the guide cost 300,000 for 3 walks (morning, afternoon and night). We brought all of our own food.
We ended up seeing a few orangutans quite close up. At one point, a mother and new born baby climbed down a tree RIGHT in front of us, went on the ground, looked at us for a few seconds and then slowly walked away and climbed to another tree. We followed it and watched her and her baby for a good half and hour. We were literally about 7 feet away from them and they were not bothered by us at all.
At night we went to see tarantulas in the jungle.
Kota KinabaluBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$8.16 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$25.83 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$100.20 per night