Kalimantan’s Top Jungle Travel Junkies

After the rain in Kayan Mentarang National Park (Image courtesy of Tamas Brunner)

Traveljunkieindonesia.com – Kalimantan’s most celebrated inhabitant is the unbearably human-esque orang-utan. These rich amber–coloured primates with their soulful disposition are an undisputed highlight of the islands fauna and an obvious magnet for tourists.

And, Kalimantan has some spectacular jungle journeys for travel junkies. The following require resilience, respect, Bahasa Indonesia and a keen sense of adventure; the reward is glimpses of ancient rainforests that may not be around for much longer.

Pray for rainforest (Image courtesy of Tamas Brunner)

Putussibau to Long Apari
The meek need not front up for this trek and river combo, which encompasses dense and magnificent jungle with all the primal trimmings. It involves two days of river travel and six or seven of trekking. Basic Bahasa Indonesia is essential in order to hire a guide.

Loksado & Around
This combo tour is easy to organise from Banjarmasin, but also simple enough to do on your own with some Bahasa Indonesia language skills. Bus from Banjarmasin to Loksado, take a few days to trek around Tanuhi and then return to the big smoke onboard a bamboo raft. The best fun you can have on floating foliage.

The Apokayan Highlands
A week’s adventure with a flight into the interior and a five-day jungle trek through the Dayak villages of Long Uro, Lidung Payan and Long Sungai Barang. The highlands themselves are visually splendid and this trek requires a good level of fitness.

large vine (Image courtesy of Tamas Brunner)

Long Bawan & Kayan Mentarang National Park
From Kalimantan’s remote northern pocket you can travel by foot and motorised canoe into the ‘Heart of Borneo’, which encompasses some of the last pristine rainforest on this spectacular island. Forays into Kayan National Park reveal stunning flora and the chance to see clouded leopards.

What to Take?
They don’t call it the jungle for nothing; Kalimantan’s interior gets steamy and wet. Downpours are heavy and the humidity can keep your clothes somewhere between soggy and sopping for a frustratingly long time. A waterproof jacket is essential and layers of clothing are also recommended. For camping take a strong, waterproof material for shelter. Proper footwear is of course mandatory, not just for the terrain, but also to thwart entrepreneurial leeches and indignant fire ants. Basic medicines and iodine for drinking water are wise. Most importantly you want to pack this all up in as light a load as possible, in all likelihood you’ll be carting your own gear.

Happy Green Travels!

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