Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang – Indonesia

I went to Bukit Lawang to visit the Orangutan in Leuser National Park. I booked a trip for 2 days and 1 night in the jungle. Chance of seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest was 90% 🙂 So my days would be so worth it!!


On a Saturday my trip started but not before waiting for the rain to stop. We were sitting in Ida guesthouse where I stayed with a young German couple, Benjamin and Julia and a older Dutch couple, Joost and Sofie. After the rain almost stopped we started to walk but when we were about to enter the rainforest it started again.

There was a coffeeplace so we got in there and sat there for a while. We were allready pretty comfortable in the group with eachother, I could allready tell that it would be a nice two days!! After a while we saw other groups entering the forest so we started also, I had bought a poncho at Ida Guesthouse and the rest also had raincoats.

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest

Bukit Lawang – Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia
Benjamin, Julia and me

We had 3 guides, Mudhi was there, I booked the trip with him. Also Putra was there, I did the trip to the batcave with him the day before and the brother of Mudhi came with. So we were in a group of 8, very nice!

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

After we started to walk we passed the other groups within a half an hour and were on top 🙂 It didn’t took long and we saw the first Orangutan. How impressive!! Because these Orangutans are used to humans they come very close. Also ofcourse because they hope to get something to eat.
We all got some nice pictures and when the other groups arrived we went along.

Seeing the Orang Oetan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Just to see another one, it was just sitting a couple of metres down the road. A again we did a photosession 🙂 You never know how much you got to see. It was still raining and my pictures weren’t that great..

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

So we went walking again. The path was good but at some points a bit steep. We heard noices but didn’t saw anything yet. At some point a guide had spotted a gibbon. We saw them too but they are very high in the trees, they don’t like humans that much. They don’t show themself. I couldn’t get a picture with one on it unfortunately.

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest

Seeing the Orang Oetan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

We walked on and did a real hike, some real climbing and descending to get at the river. There we had lunch. The had nasi goreng with them and a fried egg and tomato and cucumber. They served it on a bananaleaf, how great!! After we got some pineaplle and watermelon. It was just a feast to eat like that sitting on a rock besides a river. Loved it!!

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest

Bukit Lawang – Indonesia

We started walking again. It was a real climb and a steep descend. The older couple, I heard were both 70 years old, were walking just as good as us. I said to them to walk upfront so that they deside how fast we went because when you walk as last you always had to walk a bit harder then the first. Afterworth I heard they enjoyed that very much. You always feel a bit in a hurrie being the last….

We saw again a Orangutan, this time she had a baby with her. At some point she was really close and we got to see the little one, such a great sighting. The mother started to tear of some branches and leafs. You could hear the little one enjoying it.

The mother was entertaining her baby, so great!

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

The Orangutan lives alone, it has no lifepartner but when its ready looks for a male and mates. After she mates she is alone again and will care for her baby. Every night they make a bed, they make it from leafs and high in the trees. At several places I saw old nests from the Orangutan in the forest like a little plateau high in the tree.

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

At some point Sofie had a leach in her armpit, Joost pulled it out immediatly and threw it away. I hadn’t even thought of the possibility. After a while also Joost had one in his groin.  Because of the rain there are more leaches, when it is dry they aren’t there that much.
After the steepest descend we got at a river and we would got at our nightcamp after walking along the river. It was a real climb again. We had to walk near the egde of the river on the rocks and the roots of the trees. We were all a bit tired of walking the whole day which makes it even harder. But we made it!!

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest

Bukit Lawang – Indonesia


At the campside there were allready two men, they had made a really nice basket with cups of tea and biscuits for us. They pimped the basket with green and flowers from the rainforest, it looked great!!

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

After drinking the tea we could go swimming. I didn’t, it started to rain again and I just wanted to sit or lay down and rest for a while. I did refresh myself in the river, felt my armpits for leaches 🙂 After we saw a varana swimming that river, it was at least a metre long. So great!! I got a pretty good picture of it 🙂  And again Joost had a leach, this time on his hand. The leach will be in trees and when you walk underneath the trees you’ve got the chance that it will drop itself on to you. Both Sofie and Joost didn’t felt a bite or pain at the moment it taps into you to get your blood. How strange is that. It is not dangerous or harmfull!

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

When it got dark we all sat in the tent where we would sleep also, we got diner. It was rice with chicken curry, vegetables with curry and some soya in sambal. It was really good!! After diner we sat there for the evening while the brother of Mudhi showed us tricks and gave us puzzles to solve, it was a really nice evening. We really had a fun time!!

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

We slept on thin matrasses and underneath a mosquitonet, the Dutch couple and me had one net and the German couple also one. Great! I did sleep well but everytime I changed how I lay down I woke up because it was really hard 🙂


I woke up at 6 oclock and used the rainforest toilet 🙂

I was glad that I was the only one to be awake 🙂

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest

Around 8 oclock we all were awake and got a great breakfast. They had cut all kinds of fruit and maked the basket again with flowers and green leafs. We all got sandwiches with scrambled eggs, tomato and cucumber. It was a four story high sandwich, how great!!

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

After we got our stuff together and started walking again. The older Dutch couple choosed to do the short cut today. After a night on the floor and a day of hard working it was time for a nice and slower walk, very understandable.
So the German couple and I went up with the brother of Mudhi and Putra. It was the same hill we yesterday came down. So really steep but after a night sleep it went really well!!

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Putra and I even had some time making some funny pictures 🙂

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

When we were up there again it didn’t took long before we saw the first Orangutan again. This time it was mother with her one year old kid. How great!! I got some real great pictures again!

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

We walked further for a while and got at the river. This day it didn’t rain so it was really hot. Putra already told me that we were going to swim and jump off a rock so we immediatly went into the water. It was really refreshing. Putra took me to the other side and we climbed up the rock. It was really high but Putra reassured me that it was deep enough to jump off. He went first and ofcourse I followed!! Great!!

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

Seeing the Orangutan in the rainforest. Bukit Lawang - Indonesia

We sat down to eat noodles and after we went rafting down the river to the starting point. It was great!! While rafting sometimes all of a sudden front was back and the other way around. We got wet all the way by the rapids we went through.

As a group we had the best two days we could spend in the forest together!!

Seeing the Orangutan in the wild
Joost, Sophie, Putra, Julia, Benjamn and me.
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