Like Dr. Biruté in the Camp Leakey Borneo

Dr. Biruté & Dr. Louis on NatGeo Magz | camera Sony NEX-7 – A few months ago, I was invited to the glamourous travel to Indonesia with International Travel Bloggers.

Tanjung Puting National Park, home to the largest wild population of Orangutans. Orangutan is a combination of two words: Orang (person) + Utan (forest) which means Old Man of the Forest.

Camp Leakey was established in 1971 by Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas as the base camp for the study of wild orangutans in their natural habitat.

It was named after her mentor, the late paleoanthropologist  Dr. Louis Leakey, who also mentored Jane Goodall for her study of Chimpanzees and the late Dian Fossey for her study of Mountain Gorillas. The three of them are called Louise Leakey’s Angels.

Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas BioScientist, conservationist, educator: for almost four decades Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas has studied and worked closely with the orangutans of Indonesian Borneo in their natural habitat, and is today the world’s foremost authority on the orangutan. Read more about her bio  here.

Here are postcards from Camp Leakey, Tanjung Puting National Park:

freddie galdikas and travel bloggers on klotok | camera Sony NEX-7

During this trip, we were lucky to meet Freddie Galdikas, son of Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, who runs Orangutan Foundation International.

Read Dr. Galdikas’ blog at and follow her twitter account @drbirute.

river cruise to camp leakey | camera Sony NEX-7

klotoks in camp leakey | camera Sony NEX-7

please do not | camera Sony NEX-7

We made our final cruise to the main base camp called Camp Leakey which is 1.5 hours away and deeper into the Borneo forest from Pondok Tangui.

The water gets cleaner and as dark as black making it a natural reflector of the beauty of the rain forests.

travel bloggers & freddie at information centre | camera Sony NEX-7

It is recommended to visit the solar-powered Information Centre which provides a mini-Organutan exhibit featuring trivia, photos, memorabilia, and the family trees of the Orangutans. The genealogy shows the name of the mother orangutan and all her offspring named with the same starting letter.

Tut gave birth to the named Tom (Alpha Male in Camp Leakey), Terry, Thomas and Tudo.

the orangutan and human skull | camera Sony NEX-7

Here is an interesting comparison between the Orangutan and Human Skull.

Then, we were greeted by a mother and child orangutan, as we proceeded to the feeding grounds which is 25 minutes away by hiking.

orangutan lovers | camera Sony NEX-7

The Camp Leakey feeding grounds are more interesting because you can see natural ecology right before your eyes where the Orangutans eat the bananas and the wild boar feed on the banana scraps.

It felt like seeing the pages of BBC unfold before your eyes.

mom, baby, bananas | camera Sony NEX-7


From Camp Leakey, it’s a 4- hour boat trip back to Kumai Port. We had dinner first and caught  a view of the fireflies on the way back to Pangkalun Bun.

Exploring the national park is usually an overnight experience onboard a klotok. Travel to Tanjung Puting National Park blog series:

01. 6 Days Exploring Tanjung Puting National Park
02. Top 10 Travel Songs in Tanjung Puting National Park
03. The Best Way to See Tanjung Puting National Park
04. 16 Tips in Exploring Tanjung Puting National Park
05. Tanjung Puting National Park is One of the Natural Wonders of the World

A Big thank you to Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy,, and Freddie Galdikas for the inspiring talk and for sharing your passion for Orangutan Conservation.

To support the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) cause, please visit their official website

Happy Sustainable Travels!

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