Though the park is home to many animals, seeing orangutans is usually the visitors’ main reason to visit the park. Orangutans, which literally mean the man of the forest, are the largest arboreal animal on the planet. Most of their lives are spent in trees where orangutans travel from branch to branch by climbing or swinging with their long arms.
To see orangutans, we should go to Camp Leakey, which is located in the heart of Tanjung Puting National Park. Camp Leakey is a rehabilitation place for ex-captive orang utans and also a preservation site. It is also a famous center for research about orangutans which has been conducted by the famous primatologist Dr. Birute Galdikas since 1971. Here visitors can see daily feedings to orangutans at jungle platforms as part of the rehabilitation process to their natural habitat. This event gives them opportunity to see orangutans up close.
To reach the place, we should take a boat down Sekonyer river. The boat is popularly called perahu klotok which is a boathouse that can accommodate four people. The trip by the boat to Camp Leakey takes three days and two nights. You sleep, cook, and eat in that klotok, night and day during your journey into the jungle.
The traveling in the boat offers an unforgettable experience. In daylight, on your way to Camp Leakey, you can see trees filled with proboscis monkeys, monkeys that have enormous snout which can only be found in Kalimantan. The monkeys anxiously await klotok arrivals. A troop of 30 light-brown monkeys may plunge from branches 10 meters or higher into the river and cross directly in front of the boat. These monkeys know that the boat’s engine noise and the threat of its propeller scare crocodiles, which find these chubby monkeys delicious. At night, you can enjoy the clear sky and the amazingly bright stars as the only lights for the night.