See orangutans in Indonesia - Azimuth Adventure Travel Ltd
See orangutans in Indonesia

See orangutans in Indonesia

Mar 14 2024

Indonesia continues to fascinate the whole world with the diversity of its wildlife. The archipelago has a large number of animals visible nowhere else, including the mythical Komodo dragons and orangutans.


Orangutans are amazing creatures, sharing almost 97% of our genes. These animals are currently included on the list of the most endangered species in the world. Many tourists traveling to Indonesia design their itinerary so as to be able to come across these great Asian apes. If you too would like to meet them, we give you here some valuable information which can help you in organizing your stay with the orangutans.


Orangutans in brief


Great apes on the verge of extinction, orangutans share 97% similarity with the human genome. This is also one of the reasons why the Malaysians named them orang hutan, which literally means “man of the forest” or “man of the woods”.


Some characteristics


The average size of an orangutan varies between 1m10 and 1m40, for a weight of 40 to 90 kg. Their powerful arms are longer than their legs and can reach 2 meters. Its life expectancy can reach 30 to 40 years. To move around, the youngest cling to their mother's back or stomach until the age of 2 or more. Adults generally spend their lives in trees and avoid the ground as much as possible where they are more vulnerable to predators.


These primates are known to be particularly intelligent. Indeed, in the mid-90s, scientists saw families using tools to feed themselves.




Orangutans are among the great arboreal apes. To survive, they feed mainly on fruits, young shoots and bark. They are also fond of small vertebrates, insects and bird eggs. To the great astonishment of specialists, some orangutans who previously lived in captivity before being released in Borneo even eat fish products.


Orangutans: endangered species


Orangutans were once widely distributed throughout Southeast Asia, reaching as far as southern China and as far south as the island of Java. Today, orangutans appear on the IUCN red list and their presence is limited to two islands, Borneo and Sumatra, from which the name of the two species comes: Pongo abelii (Sumatran orangutans) and the Pongo pygmaeus (Bornean orangutans).


Their numbers have declined considerably over the past 80 years. This demographic decline is mainly caused by deforestation, causing the destruction of the natural habitat of primates. Added to this is poaching with the capture of young orangutans for sale on the black market.


Where to see orangutans in Indonesia?


Nowadays, you will only see orangutans in Malaysia and Indonesia and more specifically on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.


On the Indonesian archipelago, you can observe these primates in the Mount Leuser National Park, in Bukit Lawang in North Sumatra, and in the Tanjung Puting National Park, in Kalimantan in the Indonesian part of Borneo. Kutai National Park also located in Kalimantan is home to a few.


  See orangutans in Indonesia  


Each of these nature reserves has a rehabilitation center in which rangers and specialists take care of the orangutans. Contrary to what one might think, these large primates are not held captive in these sites. They are free to move around, according to their needs.


To observe them, you will go into the middle of the jungle, accompanied by an approved guide. During the trek, you will observe many animal species and insects and come across some of these big red men of the forest. Sometimes alone or accompanied by their little one, all encounters are unique and unforgettable.


  See orangutans in Indonesia  

Which national park to choose?


All the sites mentioned above are open to the public to meet orangutans.


The Mont Leuser park turns out to be the most popular. It is easier to observe Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) at the Bukit Lawang rehabilitation center. This 9,500 km² area is classified as a “biosphere reserve” and “Heritage of the tropical rain forests of Sumatra” by UNESCO.


With our Mysterious Sumatra tour, we will take you in the footsteps of orangutans.


When to see orangutans in Indonesia?


If you want to see orangutans on the island of Sumatra, organize your stay during the dry season, between May and September. The rains are transient throughout this period.


Would you rather go to the Indonesian part of Borneo to observe the Pongo Pygmaeus? Leave between the months of June and October. The climate is pleasant throughout the territory during this period; but once again, light rain will surely be there.


My bag for hiking to discover orangutans


Before going to discover the orangutans of Indonesia, prepare your luggage well. The trek can be strenuous and rainy. It is therefore necessary to prepare your bag well so as not to forget anything and go hiking in the best conditions.


In my suitcase I don't forget:


  •         Loose, light clothing to cope with the heat
  •         A raincoat or K-way to protect yourself from the rain
  •         Comfortable, quality walking shoes
  •         A waterproof backpack to carry electronic equipment (camera, phone)
  •         A water bottle or small thermos to have drinking water at all times
  •         A first aid kit for possible accidents, etc.
  •         Mosquito repellent


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