LESS TOURISTIC - KETAMBE, GUNUNG LEUSER NATIONAL PARK WILDLIFE TREKKING
THE HIDDEN PARADISE FOR WILD SUMATRA ORANGUTAN AND OTHER ENDANGERED SPECIES OF SUMATERA
Accommodation : Simple Guest House
If you want to experience spotting the WILD SUMATRA ORANGUTAN, Ketambe inside Gunung Leuser National Partk is the RIGHT place and worth to visit.
There are only very few places in the world where you still can observe REAL WILD living Sumatra orangutans in their natural habitat. One is in the Gunung Leuser National Park, which you can approach from the east or from the west. More and more people prefer to come to Ketambe instead of going to Bukit Lawang, even travel efforts are higher. The chance to see orangutans in the rain forest during a trekking tour from Ketambe is nearly 100 percent.
Ketambe is besides this a small but charming village, worth a visit to both go trekking and to just relax for some days, it’s NOT SO TOURISTIC PLACE but blessing with the rich of rare fauna and flora of Sumatera. The main reason to come to Ketambe is to do a trekking tour exploring the beauty of the dense tropical rain forest of Sumatera inside the Gunung Leuser National Park.
THE ACCESS :
To reach Ketambe, you need to fly either from Medan or Banda Aceh or drive from Medan about more or less 8 hours or from Banda Aceh about 2 Days 1 nights. If you want to go from MEDAN to Ketambe you have to go first to Kutacane. This is possible by air with a small propeller airplane or by roadtransport with an 11-seater public minibus, a 7-seater shared public taxi or a private taxi. From the city Kutacane its a 30 km ride by public transport with a car to Ketambe (more or less 45 – 1 hour) .
Currently there are flights on the routes Medan - Kutacane and Banda Aceh – Kutacane that’s operates 2 times a week every Monday andFriday. The schedules is subject to change with or without prior notice based on the airline company, for the time being is Susi Air.
BEST TIME TO VISIT :
Based on experience, the best time to visit Ketambe is between August – December . It’s the fruits season where the wild Sumatran orangutan, Hornbill, Thomas Leaf monkey and other endemic exotic wildlife of Sumatra foraging for foods. However in other months is also possible to visit this area as sometimes the fruits season is also change due to the global warming.
Duration : 05 DAYS/04 NIGHTS
Grade : Moderate
Start/Finish : Medan Airport/Aceh Airport (For the time being 2 a week flight : Monday and Friday – The schedule is subject to change in the future)
Best time to visit : August – December
Descriptive day to day itinerary :
DAY 01 : KUTACANE ARRIVAL – KETAMBE
Upon your arrival in Kutacane Airport, pick up service by our guide team then transfer to your local accommodation in Ketambe (about 300 M ASL). It’s about 30 km or drive about 1 hour away. Check in and free time at your own leisure. You can walk around the nice village of Ketambe. Ketambe surrounding with the jungle that crossing by Trans Sumatra road. Plesae do not forget to separate your stuffs need during trekking and just leave behind the stuffs you do not need during trekking. It’s better you keep those stuffs no need during trekking in the guest house and locked it . (L, D)
DAY 02 : KETAMBE – LEUSER NATIONAL PARK – CAMP 1
After breakfast at the guest house in Ketambe (300 M ASL) then we start to trek. First about 20 minutes away we will trek on the asphalt road before then crossing entering the jungle and starting and ascending and descending the hills. We starting searching for wild orangutan, gibbon, Thomas Leaf Monkey, Hornbill and other endemic wildlife of Sumatra. The trek is up and down the hill and some part passing small stream. This jungle blessing by hundreds of huge trees. After about 2 hours we will arrive at the Camp 1 (about 545 M ASL). Setting our “temporary plastic tent” then having lunch, we will explore more searching for endemic wildlife as well as exotic flora around this place. Stay overnight at the “temporary plastic tent”. Here you can swimming or just dipping inside the fresh clean water (B, L, D).
DAY 03 : CAMP 1 – CAMP 2
After breakfast, we will packing then starting to trek while searching for orangutan and other endemic wildlife or Sumatra. As you may in the jungle you will have the opportunity something different during your trekking. First we will ascending the hills surrounding with the beautiful trees and always keep our eyes and ear searching for endemic wildlife in this exotic jungle. After about more or less another 2 hours we will arrive at Camp 2 (about 660 M ASL). Setting our camp and having lunch. Our Camp is close to the hot spring while you can dipping in this natural hot spring by crossing the river and walk about 5 - 10 minutes a way from our camp (depend on which place we setting the camp site). After enjoying the hot spring then we can also trekking around the camp site searching for orangutan and other wildlife. We will stay overnight at the Camp 2. (B, L, D)
DAY 04 : CAMP 2 – EXTRA DAY
We better to stay at the Camp 2 as this is the BEST place to camp beside Camp 1. The consideration to Camp 2 again as this is the easiest way for access the water beside Camp 1 plus you have more time to enjoy the natural hot spring. the Anyhow we can explore to other camp. After breakfast we starting to trek around and passing Camp 3 (790 M ASL) searching for orangutan and other endemic wildlife of Sumatra. You will impressed with some more hundred of huge trees beside exotic flora and fauna of Sumatra. Then we trek to the water fall (about 705 M ASL) and having light lunch here. You have time for enjoying the fresh water r fall while is possible also for spotting wildlife. Back to Camp 2 for overnight. On the way another opportunity for spotting wildlife. (B, L, D)
DAY 05 : CAMP 2 – LOCAL GUEST HOUSE
After early breakfast, we repack our stuffs before going back to our guest house more or less 1 – 2 hours by different trail. We cross the river and trekking back to the guest house. Upon arrival in the road after outside in the jungle then walking back or transfer by motor cycle to the guest house. You have time for bathing and refreshing before transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Medan or Banda Aceh. TOURS END – END OF SERVICES.
*The above program is only proposed program and can be flexible to accommodate your kind interest, safety and comfort. All the fauna here is WILD and need some effort to spotting them but so much chance to see them living free at their natural habitat. You will enter the main tropical rain forest of Sumatera that rich with endemic flora and fauna with all their beauties.
*As the trek is mostly up and down the hill, crossing the river, more chance to having rain (as we will enter tropical rain forest of Sumatra) we highly suggest to use trekking pole, rubber boots, poncho (rain jackets) always handy at your day pack. Not so many mosquito as we will be in the highland but sometimes leeches. Remember that this is the BEST place to spot WILD SUMATRAN ORANGUTAN living free at their natural habitat of Gunung Leuser National Park where the famous actor Leonardoi di Caprio spent some of his busiest time to visit this place.
*For the time being that for the time being the flight from/to Ketambe operate only on Monday and Friday either from Medan or Banda Aceh with Pioneer Flight 12 Seat with maximum luggage 10 Kg or drive about more or less 8 hours to Medan or about 2 Days 1 Night to Banda Aceh.