Let's shape together a better future for the rainforest, its WILdlife and the local communitY!
Discover all the wilderness of the Sumatran jungle IN AN ETHICAL WAY
At Sumatra Orangutan Explore we organize unique and unforgettable ethical jungle trekking striving to respect and preserve the unique ecosystem & biodiversity of the Gunung Leuser National Park. We are devoted since our beginnings to protect the endangered Sumatran Orangutans and other wildlife and raise awareness among the local community. Our eco-friendly day tours and activities aim to support local people & traditional handicrafts. Our off-the-beaten-track expeditions aim to support local communities in more rural and remote areas by discovering untouched spots.
Our commitment is to preserve the rainforest and protect its amazing wildlife while benefiting positively to local communities. We are devoted to have a low impact on the rainforest but a great impact on the local community of Bukit Lawang and other remote areas (through education and awareness, support of local associations and initiatives, women empowerment, fair working conditions and higher remuneration level). Learn more about our commitments and actions.
Our team of experienced English-speaking guides, certified by the Indonesia Tourist Guides Association (ITGA-HPI Himpunan Pramuwisata Indonesia) will be glad to share their knowledge with you. They strictly follow the Gunung Leuser National Park guidelines, our own ethical jungle rules and do their best to keep the jungle clean and the wildlife safe!
Choosing a trek or a tour with us is your way to PROTECT & PRESERVE our amazing but endangered rainforest, its AMAZING WILDLIFE and its inhabitants!
The small riverside village of Bukit Lawang is located at the entrance of the Gunung Leuser National Park, one of the richest
tropical rainforests in South East Asia ! Its unique location makes it the perfect place to stay
to discover the amazing rainforest of North Sumatra and its unique wildlife.
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and placed on a list of world heritage sites in danger in 2011,
the Gunung Leuser National Park covers 1,095,000 ha in northern Sumatra and has amongst one of the most diverse
biodiversity in the world by housing thousands species of indigenous animals, insects and plants.
This amazing rainforest provides also a home for endangered and protected species like the Sumatran Tiger, Rhinoceros, Slow Loris,
Elephant and of course the wonderful people of the forest, the Sumatran Orangutans ("orang" means people and "utan" forest)
The Gunung Leuser National Park is one of the 2 only places in the world where you can observe Orangutans in the wild.
Trekking through the Sumatran rainforest will take you into a breathtaking and unforgettable experience!
So join us & let's begin your AMAZING & RESPECTFUL jungle adventure!
Shaping a better future for our rainforest, its amazing wildlife and the local community of Bukit Lawang
1 CHARITY SUPPORTED
10% OF OUR BENEFITS donated (on treks & tours)
An unforgettable experience awaits!
Our ETHICAL Jungle Treks
3 Hours Ethical Trek
This short half day trek is the perfect option for families with young children, people who don't feel like they're fit enough for a long trek or those who are on a tight schedule. This trek will take you at the entrance of the rainforest and gives you chances to spot semi-wild Orangutans and other wildlife if you're lucky. Watch them and their babies swinging in the trees. After some fresh tropical fruits, enjoy the way back by tubing down the river!
1 Day Ethical Trek
If you don't have enough time ahead but feel like you wanna explore all the wilderness of the Sumatran jungle, this trek is made for you! Enjoy a 6 to 7 hours trek through the Gunung Leuser National Park and discover its amazing fauna and flora. Meet the amazing Orangutans but also all the other species that live amongst them. After a jungle lunch and a few more walking hours, enjoy a raft ride to go back to Bukit Lawang
2 Days Ethical Trek
Experience a night in the rainforest and feel the jungle vibes with this 2 days trek! After an amazing first trekking day full of discoveries, relax on our campsite near the river or the waterfall. Refresh yourself and take a swim before having a homemade dinner. Then enjoy a entertaining evening chatting and playing games with your guides around a bonfire. Fall aseep with jungle sounds. The next morning, enjoy a yummy breakfast and go deeper in the jungle to see more wildlife before going back to Bukit Lawang by tubing!
EXPLORE THE SUMATRAN RAINFOREST IN AN ETHICAL WAY, SPOT ORANGUTANS & AMAZING WILDLIFE, DISCOVER ALL THE SECRETS OF THE JUNGLE, ITS FAUNA & ITS FLORA WITH RESPECT!
3 Days Ethical Trek
If you feel like you want to explore more the jungle and look for unique wildlife, the 3 days 2 nights suits you well!
Go deeper in the Gunung Leuser National Park and get more chance to discover the 8 species of primates living in here. Experience 2 nights in the jungle and enjoy two different campsites at the riverside and near a waterfall. On the last day, a three hours walk will take you to the river bank to enjoy a last jungle lunch before a raft ride down Bohorok River will bring you back to Bukit Lawang.
4 Days Ethical Trek
Go into the wild with this 4 days 3 nights trek. Explore all the richness of the jungle, secrets about medicinal plants and get the chance to meet rare wildlife such as wild Peacocks, Hornbills, Giant Squirrels and traces of Sun Bears. Every night experience a new campsite or even a 2 or 3 hours night trek to observe nocturnal species. Every day you will enjoy a fresh and homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner made by your guides ! The last day relax on the way back to Bukit Lawang thanks to an amazing tubing ride!
5 Days Ethical Trek
Feel like a real jungle adventurer ? Opt for a stunning 5 days trek and discover all the secret places of the Gunung Leuser National Park: walk through rivers, explore caves, swim in waterfalls... You will even have the possibility to do night trekking to spot nocturnal species. Get the chance to spot wild Elephants & see foot prints of the Sumatran Tiger. You will also get all the jungle survival tips. End the trek with a relaxing raft ride down Bohorok River that will bring you back to Bukit Lawang. You will remember this unique experience your whole life!
Bat Caves Tour & BBQ at Landak River
Explore the unique bat caves of Bukit Lawang. These huge caves hide many stalagtites and stalagmites but also amazing species of insects, snakes, bats and swallows. Then walk through the palm oil plantations to go to the amazing Landak River. Relax, chill out and take a swim in this beautiful river while your guide will prepare a chicken & fish barbecue. Veggie or vegan ? Just tell us and we will cook something yummy for you!
If you are lucky you can even see Orangutans and other wildlife on the way!
Our ECO-friendly Activities & day tours
IN ORDER TO FULFILL OUR MISSION ALL OUR DAILY TOURS FOCUS ON COMMUNITY-BASED TOURISM! EXPLORE THE SURROUNDINGS OF BUKIT LAWANG & THE AMAZING SPOTS THEY HAVE TO OFFER, DISCOVER THE EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE VILLAGE, MEET LOCAL PEOPLE & SUPPORT LOCAL ACTIVITIES.
ALL OUR ACTIVITIES CAN BE COMBINED IF YOU WISH TO DO 2 OF THEM IN ONE DAY!
Bukit Lawang Eco Village Tour
This half day tour takes you into a cultural trip to discover traditional activities and to meet local people. Take a traditional becak and go through the wonderful rice fields. Have a look at the everyday village life and stop by to observe homemade production of tofu and brown sugar. Learn more about traditional crafting such as attap roof thatching made with palm leaves and bamboo walls (tepas). On Friday & Sunday you can also visit traditional markets! At the end of the tour enjoy a fresh drink or a freshly harvested coconut water !
Tour & BBQ
This refreshing activity is perfect for families or group of friends during sunny days! Float down the Bohorok River for 15 km while sitting in big rubber tubes. The river is perfect for a 3 hours tubing as there are a few fun white water parts where you bump over rocks and more nice and quieter parts where you can enjoy the amazing green surrounding scenery. During your trip stop on the river bank to relax, take a refreshing swim and enjoy a yummy barbecue! You will stop tubing in Bohorok where a local bus will pick you up! Enjoy the beautiful landscape on the way back to Bukit Lawang.
Organic Soap Workshop in the rice fields
Looking for a fun & educational activity for the whole family? Immerse yourself in the Sumatran botanicals & delightful scents with this tour combining walk and workshop. Walk through the village for about 40 minutes with the lovely Aini (woman entrepreneur producing soaps) until reaching beautiful house in the rice fields. Stroll among her lush organic garden to pick the needed ingredients and learn more about plants, herbal properties & uses. Enjoy a fresh herbal drink from the garden before learning how to make natural soaps using natural oils and selected plants from her garden. For children a fun little toy will be included in the soap! At the end of the workshop enjoy a traditional meal all together in the rice fields!
If you are a food lover then this activity is made for you! Taste the authentic and yummy Sumatran food by enrolling in a cooking class with locals! Go to the market in the morning and buy all the things you need to cook. Local women will then welcome you into their kitchen, share their cooking experience and teach you how to cook traditional Indonesian dishes. You will cook 2 starters and 2 main meals to choose between a large selection of local food (curry, rendang, sambal, sate, tempeh goreng...). Enjoy the meals you cooked all together!
Botanical Dye & Ecoprint Workshop
Unlock the superpowers of the Sumatran botanical & discover all their secrets thanks to this unique workshop in the rice fields! Prepare your own piece of art, from nature to fabric. Learn all the techniques of natural dyeing and eco printing. Design your bandana and create your own pattern using leaves and flowers freshly picked in a beautiful organic garden. Thanks to the magic of nature each creation is unique! Enjoy a fresh herbal drink and some local snacks while preparing your eco print. This workshop supports our women empowerment policy as it is in close collaboration with APES Eco Print which is locally owned and operated by women from the village.
Art lover ? You reached the right tour agency! We are committed to support local community, hence we decided to promote a brand new jewelry and carving gallery. Moose Keliat Designs is located in Bukit Lawang but the carvings are made in the village by their family. You will find wonderful hand crafted jewelry and wood carved sculptures. If you are interested to see how these amazing wooden sculptures are made, we can bring you into the village where you will enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while watching a wood carving demonstration. It is only 100,000 IDR per person and it's a great occasion to share with local people.
Aerobics, Yoga or Running at Bukit Lawang Trust
Want to get jungle fit? Go to Bukit Lawang Trust in Gotong Royong and join one of their fitness classes on the rooftop offering a beautiful view on the Gunung Leuser mountains! Bukit Lawang Trust is a Charitable Trust working to enhance the education and employability of the local community here in Bukit Lawang, and it's one of the charity we are directly donating to! They are offering free fitness activities every week in exchange of a donation for the School and you can even get a visit of the School! Aerobics takes place on Monday and Wednesday, Yoga & Flexibility on Thursday and Running sessions are organized on Friday! Get in touch for the exact hours.
Coconut Cutlery Carving Workshop
Want to travel in a sustainable way?Join our carving workshop to carve your own coconut cutlery! Our friend Bodong, owner of a local art gallery, will help you to design your own on-the-go cutlery! Why we have chosen cutlery instead of the traditional jewelry carving workshop? As a sustainable tour-operator we'd like our guests to get a useful and eco-conscious asset that you could take anywhere with you (while traveling or working)! Made with coconuts harvested in the village, it is the perfect eco-friendly duo to replace the plastic cutleries you might be given in take away restaurants! One more way to fight the overwhelming plastic pollution!
Canyoning, Natural Pools & Panoramic Camping
This 2 days tour takes you into an refreshing adventure to discover secret places on the way to Berastagi. A 2 hours drive will lead you to 5 secret waterfall spots. Take a refreshing plunge in these natural swimming pools! Then you will head to Rumah Pohon Habitat. This amazing wooden structure in the trees will offer you a wonderful viewpoint while enjoying your drink. Then you will head to your panoramic camping site for the night. Perfect spot for sunset and sunsrise! The place also offers many selfie spots with stunning view on the Gunung Leuser and North Sumatra (until Medan!). The next morning wake up and enjoy your breakfast with the sounds of Siamangs. On the way back, take a break and relax at a swimming pool in the middle of the jungle. Enjoy the invigorating fresh water coming from the mountains!
Rafflesia & Titan
This daily tour takes you to Batu Katak, a small village along the Berkail River and about 40min from Bukit Lawang. This authentic and peaceful area, still preserved from tourism, is an undiscovered jewel waiting to be explored! The hidden and restful area is a unique place in the world! Indeed the jungle of Batu Katak hides the biggest and the highest flowers of the world, the Rafflesia Flower and the Amorphophallus Titanum! Your local guide will explore the jungle with you and lead you to these amazing flowers which are very rare to see as they only bloom for 4-5 days after a gestation period of 9 months. Besides the flowers, you will have great chance to observe gibbons and siamangs while trekking. Enjoy a yummy lunch listening to the stunning gibbon songs and take a refreshing swim in the river!
DISCOVER UNSPOILT AREAS FAR FROM TOURISM & ENJOY A NEW WAY TO EXPLORE THE BEAUTY OF SUMATRA. OUR MISSION IS TO ENABLE SECLUDED AREAS & LOCAL PEOPLE TO BENEFIT FROM THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF ECO-CONSCIOUS TOURISM. JOINING ONE OF THESE TOURS IS YOUR WAY TO SUPPORT LOCAL COMMUNITIES.
Our OFF THE BEATEN PATH TOURS
Caves, Hot Springs & Waterfalls at Simolap
If you are looking for unspoilt nature and downtime in the wild to revitalize, this tour is made for you! We offer several adventurous all inclusive tours to Simolap from 1 to 3 days, with different activities, according to your wishes! Simolap is part of the Gunung Leuser National Park and is located around 2 hours from Bukit Lawang. The unspoilt area is full of secret places which are yours to explore! It is especially famous for it's incredible hot springs facilities and its caves. Opt for a trek through the jungle to see wildlife, explore several caves, secret waterfall spots and take a plunge in these natural swimming pools! End the tour with a relaxing and revitalizing swim in the hot springs! If you stay a few days you can experience a 2D/1N trek with camping in a cave. You can also spend another night at the guesthouse of our lovely friends.
Tangkahan Discovery, Jungle & Waterfall
Discover the hidden paradise of Tangkahan! At only 2,5 hours from Bukit Lawang, Tangkahan is an eco-tourism destination famous for the CRU association which is fighting against illegal logging. But this area is also offering the possibility to explore its wonderful lush green surroundings. Start your day by exploring the jungle and chase wonderful waterfalls. Tube down the river in big tires before lunch. After a freshly cooked lunch at a local restaurant at the riverside take a refreshing swim in the Buluh river, enjoy the hot springs and relax at the riverbank! It's possible to spend a night in this wonderful place if you'd like us to ! Contact us to organize your tailor-made adventure and know the fare!
Berastagi Discovery, Volcano, nature & culture
Explore another must-see of North Sumatra! Located at around 3 hours from Bukit Lawang, Berastagi which means "rice store", is a town located in the Barisan mountains. It's cooler weather makes it the perfect place to harvest many things hence it's lush green surroundings!
During this overnight tour you'll explore Berastagi and it's highlights! You'll climb the volcano by sunrise and enjoy lunch with the panoramic view of Gundaling Hill! During the afternoon you'll discover Lumbini garden the famous boudhist temple, enjoy the hot springs and chase waterfall! Back in Berastagi you'll explore the famous fruits market and assist to an amazing Karonese dance demonstration!
This tour will take you into a culture trip to discover more about North Sumatra.