Bukit Lawang Trekking: Amazing Orangutans of Sumatra

If you want to see Orangutans, head to Bukit Lawang in Sumatra.

Initially, I thought my place to find them would be Malaysian Borneo. I had many reasons for visiting Borneo, namely becuase I simply hadn’t been before, but also because I wanted to see some amazing wildlife and spend some time in the jungle.

I wanted to give it another shot. Given Orangutans only live in Borneo and Sumatra, Bukit Lawang seemed like the perfect place to give Orangutan viewing a fighting chance.
A Little Info

The Orangutans seen in the jungles of Bukit Lawang are “semi-wild”

This is why they are easier to spot in the jungles and don’t mind being somewhat near to humans. There are even a couple of Orangutans that are famous for “hugging” or even biting tourists if they get too close.

That said, these photos were all taken with a zoom lens. I appear to be much closer to the animals than I actually was.

It’s worth mentioning that Sumatra, like Borneo, is also prone to deforestation due to spreading palm oil plantations. One of the ways to help keep the Orangutans’ homes preserved is to visit the areas where they live, proving that they can be a lucrative tourist attraction.



Get to Bukit Lawang via Medan’s Amplas bus station. Public busses can be taken for around 20,000 RP (USD $2) while tourist busses are closer to $10. Take a becak from the bus terminal in Bukit Lawang to the main town.
A great budget option for your stay is Bukit Lawang Indah – the price is right at 50,000 RP per night and the food and atmosphere are both great. Cross the large white bridge from the main town and find the guesthouse at the end of it on the other side.

Find the right guide. A huge part of my amazing trekking experience was my guide, Robet’s, sixth sense when it came to searching out wildlife.

A package including transport from Medan and accommodation can be booked. If you are on a budget, make your own way to Bukit Lawang and search out a guide for 25-30 Euro per day.

Source : Kristin –


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