Gunung Leuser National Park and Lake Toba
8 Days 7 Nights Trip
Sumatran Orangutan, Elephant Ride Tour and Lake Toba
Day 1: Medan – Bukit Lawang
Arrival in in Kualanamu airport in Medan, the main city in northern Sumatra. Then, drive on about 4.5 hours to Bukit Lawang, a small tourist village popular with its rehabilitation centre of orang utan. It is located at the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park, one of the largest national park in the world containing over 800,000 ha of virgin rainforest. You will pass by some plantations of oilpalm and rubber. Arrive in Bukit Lawang, check-in to your accomodation and free to relax. Enjoy the scenery from the veranda of your hotel room.
Overnight at ECO LODGE / RINDU ALAM (or similar), simple accommodation but clean and nicely located by the river side on the outskirts of the park. The rooms comes up with traditional Indonesia shower “mandi/bucket shower” with only cold water, no hot water.
Day 2: Orangutan Tour & Jungle Trek, sleep in tent (B,L,D)
First Orangutan tour. You will visit the feeding platform where semi-wild orang utans are fed and trained to live in the wild. It is a marvelous sight to see the orang utans coming out of the forest to the platform by swinging freely from branch to branch. In the fruit season the orang utans may not come out as they may get enough foods from the forest but it happens not often. After the feedings, walk deeper ± 6 hours into the Gunung Leuser National Park to experience the rainforest, of course you will hike up and down the hills while constantly searching for wild animals in their natural habitat. You have a big chance to see gibbons, thomas leaf monkeys, longtail and pigtail macagues, flying squirrels, Sumatra peacocks and hornbills. A wild orang utans might cross your way. Your guide will explain you many things about the rainforest. And he will show you many different kind of plants and flowers. Packed lunch on trails. You will camp for a night by the river side. It is an authentic and basic camp. Tents are bamboo shells covered with tarpaulins stretched over a branch. The front and back of tent are so open, but offering adequate protection against the rain. A real jungle camp!Note:
- Those bringing camera/video in Gunung Leuser National Park will be charged Rp50.000 (USD 6) for camera and Rp150.000 (USD 18) for video
- WHAT TO BRING! Shoes with good profile, long sleeves (trousers & shirts), change of clothes, rain coat & dry bag for wallet, mobile etc when to protect water/rains, torch, insects repellant, lightweight sleeping bag if needed since we provide simple sleeping mat, sport sandal/slipper and bottled water if needed since we provide boiled water.
Day 3: Jungle Trek ends - Safari River (Tubing) – by jeep to Tangkahan (B)
In the morning you might be wake up by the magical sound of the jungle. Today is your final trek of your rainforest adventure which ends by the river side. From here you return to your accomodation by Tubing. You will float down the river ca. 20 minutes on car tubes that have been modified to ensure safety. Fun rafting! Upon arrival, short rest and jeep trip to Tangkahan, a beautifully remote jungle settlement on the other side of Gunung Leuser National Park. Jeep trip takes about 3-hours passing by rural areas and plantation tracks, a bit bumpy drive but great fun. Upon arrival, check-in to your rainforest lodge and relax.
Accomodation at MEGA INN / JUNGLE LODGE (or similar), basic accommodation built with simple materials to keep in harmony with nature. Facilities are minimal but it is still the best in this area. Each room has own bathroom but comes up with traditional Indonesia shower, mandi/bucket shower with cold water only, no hot water. Good to experience! To reach this accomodation, you need to cross river by canoe or hanging bridge and followed by a short walk. Porter can assist you in taking your luggages. Negotiate a price of this service. Usually it costs about Rp 15,000 per luggage.
Day 4: Elephant Tour (B)
It’s the time with the biggest mammal in the world. You will follow one hour elephant riding through the forest path. After the riding, you will join and help mahouts bathe the elephants in the river. It is a nice experience cause you are allowed to wash and scrub them. Once they are finished, then your turn. The elephants will spray you water. Nice shower! The rest of day is free at leisure. Or take a dip in the clear waters of Tangkahan river.
Day 5: Tangkahan – Berastagi (B)
Morning drive approx 7 hours to the cool and picturesque hill town Berastagi (1300m), the setting dominated by two active volcanoes Sinabung (2417m) and Sibayak (2172m). It is the homeland of the Batak Karo, one of the six Batak tribes that inhabit the province of North Sumatra. The first two hours, driving over bumpy plantation tracks. Then an asphalt road till you reach Berastagi. Stop and wander around local fruit market before check-in to hotel. Accomodation at SINABUNG HOTEL / GRAND MUTIARA (or similar)
Day 6: Berastagi – Lake Toba – boat to Samosir island (B)
Scenic drive to lake Toba, one of the deepest and largest crater lake in the world with stop at Dokan, a small Batak Karo village with a number of traditional houses still inhabited by eight families each. Proceed to Sipiso piso waterfall and Rumah Bolon, the long house of king Batak Simalungun. From this site you will continue following the lake and arrive in Parapat somewhere afternoon. Parapat is a small town on shore of lake Toba. From here you will cross the lake ± 45 minutes to Samosir island using public boat. It is enjoyable trip. Upon arrival direct transfer to your hotel and relax.
Accomodation at TOLEDO INN / TABO COTTAGE (or similar), simple accomodation but clean and nicely located by the lake side.
Day 7: Samosir Tour (B)
Today we offer you 2 kind of tours and the clients can freely choose one of them.
- Batak culture tour. We’ll bring you to visit Ambarita village where the remnant megalithic culture of Batak Toba lies in front of traditional houses. Continue to Simanindo to see folkdance Tortor performed by the villagers. Here you also can visit a museum built in typical Batak style. On returning to your hotel, stop at Tomok village to see a very old but nicely decorated sarchopagus, the old tomb of king Batak Toba Sidabutar.
- Samosir walk. We will pick up you from hotel and transfer to Sigarantung, a village at higher altitude in the centre of the island. From here you will start a wonderful walk 3-4 hours downwards through bush, rice fields path, paved road and agriculture fields with people working on it. Enjoy the great views of lake Toba during the walk! Enroute stop at a traditional Batak village and have tea/coffee at one of the family home in the village. You also will stop at a school and sometimes can go inside of the classroom and see how the children learn. Picnic lunch provided enroute, at a nice place overlooking the lake. The walk ends in Tomok village from where you will be taken back to your hotel.
Day 8: Samosir Island – Medan airport (B)
Across back the lake by boat on about 45 minutes to Parapat. Then, drive ± 5 hours to Medan airport for your onward flight. You will pass by town of Pematang Siantar, Tebingtinggi and some plantations of oil palm, rubber and cocoa.
On last departure day:
Due to public boat schedule as well as long drive to reach airport ±5 hours, then should arrange the departure flight that leaves at 15:00, or later.
Price incl: Transfer and tours program as indicated in the itinerary, Room with daily breakfast, Meals as specified in program, Entrance fees, Tubing, Elephant tour, Basic camping equipment & English-speaking guide.
Not incl: Airfares & airport tax (40.000IDR/person), Other meals not specific, Tipping, Porter service at airport, hotel etc, Camera/video charge in Gunung Leuser National park, Personal travel insurance & Other personal expenses such as laundry, telephone call, minibar, room service.