Bukit Lawang: The Sanctuary of Orangutans

Getting There

First, travel to Medan by air. Daily international flights are available, flight from Medan to Singapore, Malaysia. The domestic flight hook up Medan to Jakarta, Aceh, Pekan Baru, Padang, Batam and Pontianak.

You can arrange your flight through the airline services listed below:

– Garuda Indonesia (www.garuda-indonesia.com)

– Jatayu Airlines (www.jatayuairlines.co.id)

– Air Asia (www.airasia.com)

– Adam Air (www.flyadamair.com)

– Silk Air (www.silkair.com)

Then use a car or a bus to this area. If you’re going to take a bus, get to Pinang Baris bus terminals (located at Jalan Gatot Subroto) by cab from the airport and then take the frequent public bus to Bukit Lawang for a three-hour trip.

If you travel in a group or wish for something more convenient instead of the public bus, you can rent a car with arranged trips through most of the main tourist destinations. National Car Rent (+624157744) which is located at Jl. Balai Kota 2 is a good alternative.

Getting Around

Geting around is basically what you’re going to enjoy doing in this spot. You can either trek the jungle, hike the hills or go rafting.


Overnight trekking is the major favorite among visitors. Most people choose to have a two-day trek in order to have the chance to witness the orangutans and other unique creatures in their habitat. Every single trek should be guided by a professional to prevent notorious event that might  occur in the wild. Make sure to inform the guide if you have special interest to specific flora or fauna before trekking. Guide rates are including basic meals, guide fees, permit and camping equipment.

Ask your guide to visit the bat cave. And leave at the earliest morning to better experience the wilds.

Rafting at Sungai Bohorok

You can also ride the Sungai Bohorok rapids using tubes. This should be done under the assistance of a professional guide. The stream can be extremely tough and strong.

To Do

If you wish to feed the orangutans directly, there are two feeding times daily: at 08.30 am and 3.00 pm; you could feed them milk, bananas and other food supplements supplied by the rehabilitation center. All the activities within the Mount Leuser National Park should be done under the permission and guidance by the professionals provided by the rehabilitation center.

If you’re up to the challenge, you may consider hiking to the peak of Mount Leuseur (3,404 meters), which takes about 10-14 days. The small village of Angasan is a suitable starting point. The first five days will be spent trekking through virgin rain forest where rare primates can often be seen. You need to be physically fit and accompanied by a guide.

To Stay

Most of the hotels in Bukit Lawang run by the local citizens. Here are alternatives to stay in during your visit to Bukit Lawang:

* Bukit Lawang Eco Lodge (+628126079983), an eco-friendly lodging situated in the forest
* Noras Homestay & Restaurant (+62813620706561), situated on the rice field side and the materials are dominated by bamboo huts.
* Wisma Leuser Sibayak
* Wisma Bukit Lawang Indah
* Indrah Valley
* Garden Inn
* Jungle Inn

To Eat

Most of the lodgings have restaurants, so you can ask the owner to provide your meal. Along the river, there are some small cafes with chill surrounding; here you can have fruit salad, nasi goreng and snacks. Local pizza’s also available at Tony’s restaurant.

To Buy

You can buy souvenirs at a shop near the Bahorok River.


Some visitors argued that the regulations is way too strict and stiff, but do realize that the wrong contact by human could harm the orangutan. That’s exactly what made their population scarce in the first place.

* Make sure you are in your best health, fit and well prepared because the Sumatran jungle is not an easy path.
* Bring along a mosquito & leech repellant.
* Sunscreen and mineral water supply are highly recommended .
* Make sure you wear special shoes with grip, since the ground is always slippery.
* Long sleeves and long pants are considered as the best outfit to conquer the jungle fiesta, unless you think that you can outshine Tarzan.
* Heavy rains are mostly downpour at the afternoon; please bring your rain jacket and a water resistant bag to keep your items.
* Do not litter, make sure to collect your trash, any type of trash.
* Dont feed the animals you encountered in your trek

For more info please visit:  www.bukitlawangtrust.org

Bukit Lawang Visitor Centre, open from 08.00 am to 15.00 pm

PHKA Ranger Station opens from 07.00 to 15.00 pm.

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