Kalimantan: Back to the roots- visiting Tanjung Puting National Park

Okay, so far so good. Everything went more or less as expected, we saw awesome beaches, got to know many peope, had too many beers, and saw vibrant places. Nothing too special for a travel blog, right? What follows now came completely unexpected for me and makes the first outstanding highlight on our trip!

Of course I heard about the reserve of Orang utans in Borneo when I did my preparation for the trip but it always seamed too complicated and expensive to really do it so I didn’t think about it anymore.

Then, spending the days at the Gilis, another traveler told me about it again and I got so excited that I couldn´t stand the chance to just try to organize a trip to Pankgalan Bun at Kalimantan. I spent hours in bars with (hoorrible) wifi connections, in local travel agencies (that can help you so much booking flights) and finally with the help of my mum (mua) we got the tickets for the next day! I love these situations where unexpected things just happen with cool and open people so I got very very excited- this is what traveling really means to me, just admit yourself to a unique situation and make the moment something special:o)

The next day, I went with a boat back to Lombok and flew to Surabaya. This is the third-largest city at Java and has a metropolitan flow with huge skyscrapers and a busy atmosphere. Asking the taxi driver to bring us to the city center, we ended up in a mall, still with flipflops on and our backpack, a wrong place to stay for us! We searched for some bar to have a beer what turned out to be very difficult as alcohol is forbidden in public places here but ended up getting some with the support of a surabayan. Again, we were welcomed very friedly and had nice conversations sitting on the ground. Sleeping at the airport surrounded by many other peope also sleeping on the floor I still felt save and could´t wait for the next flight to Borneo, our final destination.

Arriving in Pankgalan Bun in central Kalmantan, our tour directly began. We booked the tour at http://www.orangutantourstanjungputing.com  and got the best guide, Dody, who welcomed us by imitating some of the Orang utan sounds, the so called longcalls. He explained us everything about the “men in the forest” and it came to my mind that this man himself must have already spent lots and lots of time in the forest as he knows so much! He made many comparisons to the human race and it became clear that the differences between an ape and a human are very few (only 3% of DNA!)- my admiration for these animals grew  and I wanted to see them right now! But first, we entered our klotok, a little boat where we spent lots of time together with the captain, an assistent, Dody and a cook. At the frst day, we went to a feeding station for the semiwild Orang utans.Together with approx. 15 other people we watched 8 Orang utans eat and building their nests. It is an indescribable feeling to watch them moving in the trees, see the mothers with their babies and feel the presence of the “king”, the dominant male in a specific territory.


The second day, we woke up early to visit another feeding station and a little museum about the history of this National Park. The first research here took place in the 1970`s when Dr. Biruté Galdikas arrived at the area with nothing but a boat and basic equipment like a tent- very impressive, this woman! When I red this, I wanted to be her for a little second to know what it feels like to really discover a hidden place like this!

Sailing on the lake we were watching the shores of the rain forest and many different animals like crocodiles, rare birds and lizards.

Entering Camp Leaky, we reached the climax of our adventure: while walking through the forests, suddenly 6 orang utans appeared from the trees and met us on the ground. There was a mother with her young child even passing us by and we were so lucky to directly feed her with a banana- she even touched my hand, that was the best, holy moment and I felt very blessed that it was possible without disturbing these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat.

The best moments come unexpected! Therefore, I try to stay openhearted and sometimes linger on the side of my way for a little while to observe the energies passing by and maybe catch  one of the chances that occur. This is what I once more found out at this very moment in the forests and I hope that you are inspired by these words and stay interested in the new and unexpected as well!

Thank you my friends to make this trip come true, I invested some of the Euronen you gave me at our farewell party for this trip. As a reward, I show you my best shots from these haunting  impressions!



Additional notes: As the tour guides I met there were really close to the official park employees, I hope that my feeling is right and that everything we did on this tour is based on a sustainable basis! It is still hard for me to fight my inner conviction about wild animals best being untouched by humans. In the best case, all visitors of this park honor this great experiene as much as I do and go home with the steadfact determination to save this paradise with everything that´s possible! But still, the wildlife struggles a lot from egoistic energies that “play” with endangered species and hold them even as pets :o( This is not what I support and with my entry, I want to emphasize that nature must stay wild and protected from financial interests! It is important to have a critical look at every interaction we have with wild animals to keep the balance between personal interest and disruption… do you agree?