Gunung Leuser National Park is a large nature conservation area near Lake Toba. It covers a total area of 1,094,692 hectares (4,227 sq mi). Mount Leuser towering to 3,404 meters (11,200 ft) above sea level is the icon of the park that also includes native ecosystems from the coast lines to the deep tropical rain forest of Sumatra. To see it on the map, click here.
Its outstanding scenic beauty and significant natural habitats have made the tropical rain forest of Sumatra (including Gunung Leuser National Park) to become a United Nations’ World Heritage Site. About 130 species of mammals live in this park. They include Sumatran orangutans, gibbons, long-tailed monkeys, macaws, kedihs (Presbytis thomasi), leopards, sun bears, Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants, Sumatran rhinoceros, and sambar deer (Cervus unicolor). About 325 species of birds also live there. The park also includes mangrove forest, beach and swamp forest, lowland rain forest, moss forest, and sub-alpine forest. There are also rare and distinctive plants such as Rhizanthes zippelnii which, with its diameter of up to 1.5 meters (50 ft), is the largest flower.
What to Expect
Most visitors usually start their adventure into the park through Bukit Lawang. Mountain climbers who wish to conquer Mount Leuser may also get there via Gayo Luwes in Aceh. Always take a guide when going into the forest. See Bukit Lawang.