Tanjung Puting National Park in general
Tanjung Puting National Park is situated in the southeast part of West Kotawaringin Regency in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. The most imminent main town is Pangkalan Bun. The park is renowned for its orangutan conservation.
In contrast to the man-made orangutan habitat on other areas. Tanjung Puting National Park is a conservation area for orangutan habitat in the wild as well as a preserved biosphere reserve. This condition makes it a superior tourist attraction in Indonesia.
Four research centres have been built within the park for the education and rehabilitation of orangutans and other primates. Camp Leakey is the first one, founded in 1971 with assistance from the Leakey Foundation. National Geographic issued in October 1975 made the results of research from Camp Leakey on orangutans as its cover art.
Orangutan Foundation operates Pondok Ambung Tropical Forest Research Station, assisting Indonesian and international research students. The facility has been developed and managed by Orangutan Foundation and provides facilities to study the park’s diverse flora and fauna. Orangutan Foundation has been awarding small research grants to individual students for many years, with a focus on supporting Indonesian students.
However, the interest of local tourists is lacking. This tourist destination is more visited by foreign tourists. The following are facts that are rarely known by the people of Indonesia.
1. The most significant orangutan breeding place in the world
Orangutan population in Tanjung Puting National Park reaches 30-40 thousand, living wild. Here visitors can meet directly with the orangutans in their natural habitat.
Also, the National Park, which is the size of Bali Island, is supported by tropical ecosystems, such as tropical rain forests, dryland forests, freshwater swamp forests, mangrove forests, coastal forests, and secondary forests. It is the first orangutan rehabilitation centre in Indonesia.
2. Meet directly with orangutans and other primates in the wild forest
The main tourism activity in the National Park is to witness firsthand how orangutans still breed well in tropical forests. This forest is home to eight species of primates, such as orangutans, monkeys, probosci’s monkeys, grey monkeys, to endemic animals, such as various native species of birds, butterflies, fish, dugongs, and crocodiles.
There are three conservation areas inside Tanjung Puting National Park, namely Tanjung Harapan, Pondok Tanggui, and Camp Leakey. The three locations are places to release orangutans to return to their normal life in the natural habitat.
3. Access the tour through the river
Visitors are required to use a boat, “kelotok,” or speedboat to reach tourist sites in Tanjung Puting National Park, so they can feel the liveaboard sensation on the Sekonyer River.
4. Boat and “kelotok” become the livelihoods of the surrounding community
Access conditions require visitors to use boats, boats, and speedboats. This is used as a livelihood by the people around Kotawaringin Barat because of the suitable situation and circumstances.
Although their work is the main highlight sought by visitors, they are accustomed to serving foreign tourists so that the standard and quality of service is maintained.
5. Foreign tourists become permanent donors
The number of foreign tourist visits makes Tanjung Puting National Park have several permanent donors to produce a mutually beneficial relationship.
When the tourism facilities were renovated in 2017, the majority of volunteers who contributed came from outside Indonesia. In this case, it is regrettable. Tanjung Puting National Park is an asset of Indonesia that should be a significant tourist attraction for Indonesian tourists themselves.
Until now, the number of visitors is still dominated by foreign tourists who are more interested in the lives of orangutans. This makes the image of foreign tourists superior to local tourists themselves.