Summary

Travel Style: ,
Destinations: Asia
  • 14 Days From
    R 41500
  • Trip code: WOZA
  • Activity: Wildlife, Primates, Marine Wildlife
  • Min age: 16
  • Group size: 4 - 16
Leisurely / Moderate

Search for Orang-utans, Komodo dragons and more of Indonesia’s endemic wildlife.

‘Here there be dragons’ goes the old cartographer’s adage, and in Indonesia there are, with forked tongues, poisonous saliva and scaly bodies. Tracking Komodo dragons in the archipelago of the same name is just one of the experiences this vast country offers us on this two week trip through Sumatra, Bali and Komodo. We explore the jungles around Bukit Lawang looking for Orang-utans and various monkeys, take to the seas as we snorkel with a myriad of colourful fish and possibly swim with Manta rays and uncover the culture and natural beauty of central Bali.

Key information
  • 14 days land only / 16 flight inclusive
  • Travel by minibus, boat and internal flight
  • 11 nights hotels and eco lodges, 2 nights on board a boat
Activities
  • 14 days land only / 16 flight inclusive
  • Travel by minibus, boat and internal flight
  • 11 nights hotels and eco lodges, 2 nights on board a boat

Highlights

* Seeing orang-utans in the wild in Gunung Leuser N.P. * Track Komodo dragons on Komodo and Rinca islands * Snorkel with colourful fish and possibly even Manta rays and turtles * Ubud, the heart of Bali’s artistic community

Dates & Pricing

 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
02 Sep 2018
15 Sep 2018
Guaranteed (Available)
R 41500
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
30 Sep 2018
13 Oct 2018
Guaranteed (Available)
R 41900
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
04 Nov 2018
17 Nov 2018
Guaranteed (Available)
R 42300
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
12 May 2019
25 May 2019
Available
R 44200
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
30 Jun 2019
13 Jul 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 44600
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
14 Jul 2019
27 Jul 2019
Available
R 44600
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
29 Sep 2019
12 Oct 2019
Available
R 44200
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
03 Nov 2019
16 Nov 2019
Available
R 44200

Full Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 Land Only

Start Medan, Sumatra; drive to Bukit Lawang.

Those not flying with the group from London will meet the tour leader at the airport at 9:00am (subject to change – see Final Joining Instructions) and will then meet the rest of the group there (it is normally possible to meet the tour leader at our pre-tour hotel at 7:30am and go with them to the airport to meet the rest of the group – though this needs to be arranged beforehand). From the airport we drive to Bukit Lawang (approx. 4-5 hours) on the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park stopping for lunch on the way. The rest of the afternoon is free to simply relax after the flight and explore the village. Bukit Lawang is one of the most accessible places to spot orang-utans, thanks to an orang-utan conservation programme that has been operating on the eastern edge of the park since the 1970s. The Gunung Leuser National Park is one of the orang-utan’s last remaining strongholds, with more than 5000 animals thought to be living in the wild. Sumatran elephants, Sumtran rhinos and Sumatran tigers are all also found in the park, though very rarely seen. The village is attractive, built along one side of the river; relaxing at the river side it is not uncommon to see wild orang-utans come down to the water to drink. *Rindu Alam or similar, Standard Hotel*

Day 2

Walk in Gunung Leuser N.P. in search of Orang-utans.

This morning we will head into the Gunung Leuser National Park which is one of the two remaining habitats for Sumatran orang-utans. This is one of the largest national parks in the world, containing over 800,000 hectares of virgin rainforest. We will spend time with our guide and have an opportunity to explore the trails, searching for orang-utans and other wildlife. The hike itself is a leisurely couple hours and there is a good chance of seeing Thomas leaf monkeys and Long-tailed macaques as well as, hopefully one of the orang-utans who inhabit the forest. Our hike ends at the ex-feeding station. Whilst orang-utans are no longer fed here it is still a good place to have good chances of seeing them. *Rindu Alam or similar, Standard Hotel*

Day 3

Full day with local guides in Gunung Leuser N.P home to Gibbons, Orang-utans, monkeys and Many different bird species

This morning we return to the old orang-utan rehabilitation centre. Those who want will then venture further from the park headquarters, discovering the flora and fauna of the park, and continuing our search for orang-utans and other wildlife. The park is host to approximately 700 different species of animal, more than 175 mammals, 320 birds, 190 reptiles and amphibians including Thomas leaf monkeys, macaques and gibbons. Other mammals found include the Sumatran elephant and elusive Sumatran tiger and rhinoceros, although the last is unfortunately facing imminent extinction. We are unlikely to encounter these shy animals. This excursion will last approximately 6hrs, including time spent at the feeding station, and can be taxing given the steep, muddy terrain and hot and humid climate. Reasonable fitness is required and, therefore, completely optional. For anyone who chooses not to undertake the jungle-hike the rest of the day is at leisure to relax at the lodge. *Rindu Alam or similar, Standard Hotel*

Day 4

Morning village walk and cooking demonstration; afternoon return to Medan.

This morning we explore Bukit Lawang’s cultural side. Following a walk through the village we head to a local house where we get an Indonesian cooking demonstration by one of the villagers. This is followed by local, home-made lunch. In the afternoon we return to Medan (approx. 4hrs) where we will spend the night before our early morning flight tomorrow. *Aryaduta Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 5

Fly to Denpasar, Bali; transfer to Sanur.

We say goodbye to our Sumatran leader and fly to Bali via Jakarta. We aim to catch an early morning flight with good connections to minimise travel time but this may not always be possible and we may have to catch a later flight. If all goes as planned we will be arriving in Bali in the early afternoon. We will meet our leader for the Bali and Komodo section of the trip and head to the hotel in Sanur near the beach. The rest of the day is free to relax and plan any optional activities for tomorrow. *Swastika Bungalows or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 6

Free day to relax on the beach or optional activities in Sanur.

Today is a free day to enjoy what Sanur has to offer. There are numerous options both on land and water whether you’re feeling active, want to take in some culture or just relax on a nearby beach. Some of these options include a full-day temple tour; downhill biking tour; rafting; or Bali village tour. *Swastika Bungalows or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 7

After a relaxed morning; fly to Labuan Bajo, Flores.

Today we fly to Labuan Bajo at the westernmost tip of the island of Flores. This town is the main entry point into the Komodo National Park and as such has been growing in popularity as a tourist destination. We aim to catch the afternoon flight which means we will be leaving for the airport around 12:30 and will be arriving at our hotel in Labuan Bajo later this afternoon. *Hotel Puri Sari or similar, Standard Hotel*

Day 8

Board the boat; look for Komodo dragons on Rinca Island.

Komodo National Park, established in 1980, is comprised of islands and the surrounding sea and includes mangrove forests, sea grass beds, and colourful coral reefs. The three main large islands are Komodo, Rinca and Padar although many smaller islands come within the park boundaries. Boarding the boat early we set sail for the next three days. Our first destination is Rinca Island which we shall visit after lunch. Rinca is one of the islands which houses Komodo dragons but is also known for its wild pigs, buffalos and birds. Going ashore we head out on a trek accompanied by a local island ranger and go looking for Komodo dragons in their natural environment. Afterwards we return to the boat and set sail for Padar Island where we go snorkelling in the pristine waters. In the late afternoon we have the opportunity to walk up to the top of one of Padar’s hills to watch a panoramic sunset over the national park. Accommodation on the boat is fairly basic and is a mix of bunks and mattresses on deck. Sleeping under the stars can be a definite highlight. *On board the boat*

Day 9

Track Komodo dragons and snorkelling excursion to see Manta rays.

This morning we make our way to Komodo Island. Upon arrival we take a trek to Banunggulung, the river bed where the dragons used to be fed fresh goats (until the mid-2000s). The hike takes us through spectacular scenery and there many unusual plants along the way. It is estimated that there are abou 2,000 Komodo dragons on the island along with wild boar, deer and buffalo. There is also good bird-watching with cockatoos and Gosong birds amongst others. Following this we’ll visit Pink Beach where we have time to go snorkelling with good chances of seeing parrotfish, clownfish and, with a bit of luck, various other sea-creatures including sea turtles. There is ample time to swim and snorkel and enjoy the beach before we head towards Manta Point – so-named as giant Manta rays, some with a wing-span of 4m, are regularly seen here. Our final leg today takes us to Gili Laba Island where we will drop anchor for the night. *On board the boat*

Day 10

Final day in Komodo N.P. before returning to Labuan Bajo.

For those who wish, we will get up before the crack of dawn in order to head to a viewpoint on Laba Island from which to see the sunrise. Later on there is the opportunity to do some more snorkelling around Laba Island before setting sail again. Time permitting we will make one final snorkelling stop at Kanawa Island on the way back to Labuan Bajo. Returning to Labuan Bajo we will transfer back to our hotel for the night. *Hotel Puri Sari or similar, Standard Hotel*

Day 11

Fly to Bali; transfer to Ubud; Bali’s cultural heartland.

We fly back to Denpasar (the flight times can vary) and drive (approx 2 hours) to Ubud, surrounded by rice fields and temples, our final destination. Ubud gets its name from the Balinese word ubad (medicine); the town was originally important as a source of medicinal herbs and plants, but these days is known for its artistic community, awash with artists’ workshops and art galleries. Ubud’s history can be traced back to the eighth century, when a Buddhist priest came to Bali from Java, he meditated at the confluence of the two Wos rivers at Campuan, just west of the modern day town centre. A shrine was established and later expanded by Nirartha, a Javanese priest who is regarded as the founder of Bali’s religious practices and rituals as we know them today. When Ubud became a Dutch protectorate at its own request, the colonialists interfered little, allowing the traditional arts and culture of the area to remain relatively unchanged. From the 1930s onwards western artists and intellectuals arrived furthering the local art scene, amongst them Charlie Chaplin and H.G. Wells. Ubud is still a haven for literati, glitterati and art collectors. *Hotel Bhuwana Ubud or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 12

Gentle hike to Batur Volcano; visit Gunung Kawi Temple, Tirta Empul Temple and Tegalalang.

Our first stop on our tour of Central Bali is the Kintamani area where we will go on a gentle hike from the rim of the Batur caldera, descending through black lava fields. We have the opportunity to learn more about the volcano and enjoy views over the crater and surrounding area. Our tour continues to the Tampaksiring area where we visit Gunung Kawi Temple. Set amidst rice terraces this 11th century temple feature ten rock-hewn candi (shrines) carved into the cliff face itself. They stand at 7m and combine both Hindu and Buddhist attributes. The descent to the candi involves numerous stairs (which we also have to climb back up!) After this we can visit Tirta Empul Temple known amongst Balinese Hindus for its holy waters which are believed to wash away bad spirits. The final stop of the day is at Tegalagan for sweeping views over the island’s most impressive rice paddies. *Hotel Bhuwana Ubud or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 13

Free day in Ubud; optional trekking or rafting.

Today is free to wander through the vibrant streets of Ubud enjoying the town’s cafes, shops, temples and theatres or go on another optional trip exploring other parts of the island. Your tour leader will be able to advise you on how best to spend your time. *Hotel Bhuwana Ubud or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 14

End Ubud.

Trip ends after breakfast for Land only clients. Those on the group flights will be taken to Denpasar airport in time for their flight home. **

Included

* All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinner * All accommodation (see below) * All transport and listed activities * Tour leaders throughout * Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

Food

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinner included

Indonesian cuisine is generally fairly simple, with rice as the main staple, though noodles are also common, accompanied by dishes created with various spices including coriander, cloves and chilies as well as coconut and lemon grass. Fish, unsurprisingly is popular but other meats are also common. Peanut based dishes such as sate or gado gado are also common on Indonesian tables (if you have a peanut allergy make sure to inform us before hand and to inform your tour leader). Food is often spicy but you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Western food is available in Ubud and Canggu, though it is well worth trying the local cuisine. Quite often tea or water (aqua) is drunk with a meal. Beer is often not cold and coffee is unfiltered and usually very sugary. Vegetarian food is available in Indonesia, however the concept of vegetarianism can be misunderstood so if you are a vegetarian please be clear and state that you don’t eat meat, chicken or fish.

Trip Notes

Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.

Map

Reviews

Amazing wildlife

I really enjoyed this trip and I was very lucky with all the wild life I saw. nThe people of Indonesia are really friendly and it was great to see so much nof the country

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Seeing the wild orangutans and komodo dragons in there natural environment nwas unforgettable

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • My group leader was Elly. She's great, very passionate about Indonesia and nits wildlife. She was always happy to help with any thing.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • If your into photography but want to travel light this may help. I took my nDSLR with just a zoom lens 300m for the wildlife, my compact for everything nelse and my gopro for a few videos. On one of my free days I went on a quad nbike tour in Bali. It wasn't on the list of things but Elly sorted it out for nme. I definitely recommend doing this.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • This is a great trip, You will love it ud83dude01

Hectic but very rewarding trip

This trip fits a lot in to the two weeks but delivers some very special nexperiences with both the orangutans and the komodo dragons so it is well nworth the hardship of some early starts and long travel days. The naccommodation is generally good although the boat is rather basic, but this nis a small price to pay for the excellent snorkelling and komodo dragon nsightings that the boat makes possible. The food on the boat is both tasty nand plentiful and the crew very obliging.nOverall this is an excellent trip and a rare opportunity to see both norangutans and komodo dragons as well as experiencing life in three areas of nIndonesia.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • The first sighting of the orangutans was soon after we started our first njungle trek and was a special moment, especially as they seemed so ncomfortable with us being so close. This was just the beginning of our trek nand was followed by many more sightings including some very playful infants nand an impressive mature male.nThe komodo dragons were no less impressive and watching a female dragon who nwas guarding her nest full of eggs erupt in to action to chase off another ndragon who was looking to eat the eggs is a moment that I will not forget.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Elly was an excellent leader. Good company, very professional and a capable nproblem solver as well as being around when ever she was needed, including nsome late nights when the group went on from the evening meal for some music nand beers and Elly made sure we all got home safely!

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Its generally hot and humid and we had nightly heavy rain when in the Sumatra njungle so a light weight waterproof jacket/poncho is useful. Pack light and nget laundry done half way through the trip in Sanur, the Swastika bungalows ndid a good job with our laundry (24 hour turn around) for very small cost.nTake a t shirt or rash vest for the snorkelling to avoid sun burnt shoulders nand a torch or head lamp for the boat at night (generator off at night by ngroup decision to enjoy the silence) and in case of power cuts in the other nhotels.

Primates & Dargons of Indonesia

An excellent trip seeing the highlights of Indonesia - both animals and nscenery - plus the tourist areas of Bali.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • The Gunang Leuser National Park seeing the orang-utans and other primates. nThe rangers are very knowledgeable and know the history of the individual norang-utans in the area.nThe three days on the wooden boat in the islands of the Komodo National Park nadjacent to Flores. Some wonderful sunrises and sunsets. Seeing the first nKomodo dragon walking across the path in front of us on Rinca - giant lizards nwith a rather nasty bite!nThe snorkelling was superb - I've never seen so many different types of fish nor so many of them on the coral reefs. Apart from when some of us snorkelled noff the boat at Manta Point, the water was very clear.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • We had two - Elly in North Sumatra; Wira in Bali & Flores.nElly is a very experienced tour leader and provided much useful practical nknowledge i.e. you should wear decent walking boots/trainers in the NP with nlong trousers tucked into socks. It was steep in places and slippery (we had nvery heavy rain) and there were leeches! She was good company and we learnt a nlot about Indonesia from her.nWira wasn't quite as practical, but was very enthusiastic and arranged 2 nbirthday cakes. He was also a dab hand with the first aid kit.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • The boat isn't big and has very little storage space, so leave your big bag nat the hotel in Labuan Bajo and take just what you need for 3 days. Do take a nT shirt to swim in whilst snorkelling/taking the dinghy to the beach - it is nhot! As a group we decided to dispense with the air conditioning as it meant nrunning a noisy generator all night; most of us slept on deck - much cooler nand very peaceful when there weren't other boats running their generators.nDo take walking boots/trainers on the central Bali day - it's quite steep ndescending to the lava fields.nThe Swastika Bungalows offered a 24 hour laundry service, or you can get your nlaundry done by one of the local stalls, just outside the hotel. This was nhalfway through the trip, so worked well.nHardy, the supermarket very close to the hotel, sold just about everything, nincluding the local Hatten wine (very drinkable).

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • The travelling days were long - the drive between Medan and Bukit Lawang was n4 1/2 hours; moreorless a full day flying from Medan to Bali; slightly less nbetween Bali and Labuan Bajo.nSanur is very touristy - far more so than I'd thought it would be. Ubad less nso; the stall and shop keepers were slightly less pushy.