The Orangutans of Kalimantan, Borneo - Day 1

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Fri 13 Nov 2015 23:59

Position           02:45.70 S 111.56.48 E

Date                Friday 13 November 2015


Arriving off Kumai on Thursday we telephoned Nina and Rini of Sister Tours as advised by Dagmar and Christoph of Flomaida.  Nina and Rini can be contacted on


Rinimarianiyoung {CHANGE TO AT} gmail {DOT} com  tel +628115219922


ninatraveller {CHANGE TO AT} gmail {DOT} com tel+6285218845388


They were on the boat within 90 minutes and a 2 day tour giving three viewing stops was arranged starting at 0800 Friday at a cost of Rp4.6m (£230).  This included a man to boat sit in our absence to guard against predators and to be on hand for tide changes when the large ships at anchor swung round.  They even ran me across to the town to draw the necessary finds from an ATM, our only visit to Kumai town.  The two ladies were charming and excellent.  Rini travelled with us as our guide and was great and interesting company as well as being very well informed on the subject matter.



Nina and Rini and their jet jockey boatman


0800 arrived as did our boat and our river boat and boat sitter.  The weather was clear, only a slight haze and no smoke from burning forests.  It was an altogether auspicious start.



More African Queen than Queen Mary but comfortable with an excellent and charming three person crew


Allow for the offset of the chart to the ground, this version is about 200 metres out, and the track shows our course up the tributary first to the farthest point, some 25nm, Camp Leakey where there was a visitors centre and a walk out to a feeding station.  Then it was back 2-3 miles and an overnight stop in the forest.  Day 2 saw a morning stop with a walk out to a feeding station and a final afternoon stop for the third feeding station.



Chart showing our river track through the rain forest and the three walking excursions





The river trip allowed time for relaxation and wildlife spotting which included grey long tail and proboscis monkeys, lots of birds and a single crocodile



We were well catered for with a series of excellent meals



Prepared in the sort of conditions more reminiscent of our first Caduceus



Our first sighting as this loan female dropped out of the trees.  She is a rescue case having lost two babies and had a hysterectomy and is a little lonely and mixed up.  We were advised to keep well clear as she can be “a little naughty”



Concurrent activity with a 1 year old breast feeding and the 5-6 year old still very much clutching mother’s skirts



Hang on kids!



And now one for the kids to try at home



Overnight sleeping arrangements.  Most comfortable with forest noises to lull you to sleep