Bukit Lawang is a forest area famous for its rushing and clear streams of the river as well as a place of observation of Sumatran orangutans. Located in the district of Bahorok, Langkat, it is about 3 hours from Medan. To see it on the map, click here.
The orangutan (Pongo abelii) is one of two species of orangutans in Indonesia, which only live on the island of Sumatra. Trekking the jungle is the primary activity at Bukit Lawang because it is the gateway to the protected forest of Gunung Leuser National Park. During the trekking, visitors can also see other animals, such as birds, monkeys, and gibbons. One of the interesting species is the Thomas Leaf Monkey. They have mohawk-style hair. If you are lucky, you can also see the Sumatran tigers, Sumatran rhinos, and honey bears. Another favorite activity is tubing, i.e., using inflated truck tubes to float in the river. You can also visit the bat cave and enjoy the waterfall while playing or swimming in the river.
What to Expect
Anyone in the jungle journeys is asked to refrain from physical contact with orangutans. Getting too close to orangutans increases the risk of disease and viral infections, and jeopardizes their survival. Do not feed animals without guide directions. You must hire a guide because the forest is easy to get lost. Lodging, restaurants, cafes, and souvenirs are available at the entrance to the jungle. Entrance fee is Rp 25,000 ($2).