Komodo orangutan Begantan
Laos / Vietnam


Exploring Indonesia: Java, Borneo, Sulawesi


Sept. 1-12, 2015

The 17,000 islands that comprise the nation of Indonesia stretch more than 3,000 miles along the equator, bridging Asia and Australasia. The archipelago encompasses Sumatra, most of Borneo, Java, Bali, Sulawesi, the “spice islands” of Maluku, and half the island of New Guinea. Some of the islands, like Java and Bali, are densely populated, while others, like Papua, remain largely wilderness. Indonesia’s natural habitats vary widely. On some islands, tropical forests climb from steamy lowlands to mountain slopes. On others, parched savannah thrives. Coral reefs line thousands of tranquil atolls, while relentless waves batter rocky cliffs on other shores. In Papua, the mountains reach so high that permanent ice caps top their peaks, surrounded by barren alpine tundra.

The archipelago’s wide range of habitats are home to more than 1,600 species of birds—a staggering 17 percent of all bird species—including cockatoos, birds-of-paradise, hornbills, and mynas. More than 500 mammals—12 percent of the world’s mammal species—including the orangutan, rhino, tiger, and elephant, also live here. So do 1,000 species of amphibians, 2,000 species of reptiles, 8,000 species of fish, 25,000 species of flowering plants, and a mind-boggling 250,000 species of insects. Indonesia tops the global charts for “endemism”—or the number of species found here and nowhere else.

With more than 240 million people, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country on Earth. With so much wildlife and so many people sharing the same space, conflicts over resources are inevitable. To date only one species is thought to have become extinct in Indonesia (the mysterious Javan lapwing), but many more are endangered. Some of these vulnerable species live only one or two small islands.

We begin our trip in one of the best places in the world to see endangered orang-utans in the wild, Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan. You will be able to spend the days cruising the backwaters on a traditional Klotok boat, visiting the three orang-utan outposts and enjoying the diverse wildlife including proboscis monkeys, gibbons, macaques and hornbills.

From here your journey continues to Flores to spend some time exploring Komodo Islands National Park by private boat. You can visit both Komodo and Rinca Island and enjoy the thrill of seeing the feared and endangered Komodo Dragon in the wild in the only area of the world that they are found.

A great way to end the trip is with some time on one of the beautiful beaches in Bali where we will enjoy world-class snorkeling or diving (if you quality!).

Raves from members of the August 2011 Trip:

“Borobudur and Prambanan were spectacular. Ramadan turned out to be a great time to visit these fabulous sites, as there were few other visitors.
Seeing orangutans and other wildlife up close in Kalimantan was thrilling! Traveling by boat was fun, and meals on the boat were outstanding.
In Sulawesi it felt like a great privilege to be welcomed as a guest at an elaborate funeral in Tana Toraja. Having a Toraja guide to explain funeral customs and etiquette added value to this fascinating experience. The music, decorations, animals, and community were beautiful!”
Susan Frances, Arcata CA.

"Kalimantan was the high point of the trip for me. Wonderful food on the boat and the jungle cruses were unexpected treats. Place I'd like to come back to. Rimba Lodge is a wonderful story and comfortable accommodations considering the location. The people involved were polite, knowledgeable and helpful. Appreciated the commitment and knowledge shown by the volunteers and others we came in contact with. Look forward to our next trip with Danu."
David Reid, Grass Valley CA

“As usual, everything was wonderful. Great group, very good accommodations, etc. I'd go again!”
Melinda Sharp, LA CA.


DAY 1, Tues. Sept. 1 : JAKARTA ARRIVAL
On arrival at Sukarno Hatta International airport of Jakarta, taxi to Sheraton Banadara Hotel for overnight.
Meeting of all trip members with Made Surya in the lobby at 6:00PM.
Following breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Pangkalan bun airport, and jumping off point for reaching Tanjung Putting National Park and Camp Leakey.
Upon arrival in Pangkalanbun, you will be transferred to Kumai Harbor where you will board a klotok, a flat-bottomed river boat, to journey up the Sekoyner River. You'll first pass through the bustling river port and its traditional shipyards and enter the nipa-palm fringed black-water river.
Traveling upstream, the river narrows to the point where, in places, you will be passing underneath the thick forest canopy. Keen observation may be rewarded by fleeting glimpses of colorful birds, including hornbills, and various species of primates.
Arrive at your small, comfortable, stilted lodge at dusk for check-in. You'll spend the next three nights in these charming riverside accommodations.
Overnight at the Rimba Orangutan Ecolodge (Emerald Room) - Camp Leakey
This simple ecolodge, although best available, is located on the gently flowing Sekonyer river in Tanjung Puting National Park. Rooms have air-conditioning, hot water and western showers and toilets. A percentage of their profits goes toward environmental protection of the area.
DAY 3, Thur. Sept. 3 :  CAMP LEAKY
Meals Provided:  B L D
Begin each day with an early morning excursion on the river—prime wildlife viewing time. Your program is flexible to afford maximum opportunities for viewing wildlife and taking advantage of any special sightings or occurrences.
During your time at Tanjung Putting National Park, you will also visit the three sites that conduct research and supplemental feedings for ex-captive orangutans, including Tanjung Harapan, Pondok Tanggui and the well-known Camp Leakey.
This morning, cruise upriver to Camp Leakey. On arrival at the camp's river pier you are likely to be greeted by some of the resident orangutans. Stay to observe the afternoon feeding of the orangutans, followed by a cruise at dusk back to the lodge.
Overnight at the Rimba Orangutan Ecolodge (Emerald Room) - Camp Leakey
DAY 4, Fri. Sept. 4 : CAMP LEAKY
Meals Provided:  B L D
Today, continue exploring the area.
While for many the river trips are highlights in & of themselves, seeing the playful proboscis monkeys bounding through the trees is a true delight. These large primates are found only in isolated areas of Borneo. Their pendulous noses give them a comic appearance. You may also encounter majestic hornbills flying low over the jungle canopy and a variety of other wildlife, including leaf-eating macaques as well as the occasional wild orangutan.
In the late afternoon, you will have the opportunity to hike into the Kalimantan rain forest—one of Earth’s most biologically diverse areas.
This evening, participate in a night safari, including a 15-minute boat ride to Pesalat Plantation Conservation Education site, to view the nocturnal animals of Borneo.
Overnight at the Rimba Orangutan Ecolodge (Emerald Room) - Camp Leakey
Meals Provided:  B
Following an early breakfast return to Kumai Harbor by boat. Then transfer to airport for flight to Surabaya. Arrive at Surabaya then take a connecting flight to Denpasar Bali.
Fly Pangkalanbun to Surabaya on Preferred Carrier KD 650, departing 07:15, arriving 08:15. Economy Class. Fly Surabaya to Denpasar on Garuda Indonesia GA 342, departing 11:05, arriving 13:05 at Ngurah Rai Airport of Denpasar, our guide will meet you and then transfer to The Vira Hotel for overnight. (B)

Breakfast at hotel, then transfer to airport for flight to Labuan Bajo. Upon arrival in Labuan Bajo – West Flores at 11.20, our local guide will meet and transfer you to Jayakarta Hotel. Labuanbajo – a little town inhabited by fishermen, lying at the extreme western part of Flores. The town serves as a jumping-off point for the trip to Komodo. Lunch will be served at local restaurant, then visiting Batu Cermin Cave – 5 km away from the town of Labuanbajo. The cave is 75 by 5 m large, and contains stalactites and stalagmites. Proceed to Puncak Waringin to see the beautiful sunset. Return to hotel for dinner and accommodation. (L,D).

After breakfast at 06.00 AM cruise to Komodo Island for about 3 hours by a local wooden boat passing several small islands. Upon arrival in Komodo, walk for 1.5 miles to Banugulung to see the activities of the giant Monitor Lizard "Komodo Dragon" which was scientifically described in 1912 as VARANUS KOMODOENSIS, which is up to 3 m long and about 150 kg, weight. The total number of these lizards is estimated at 3.500 - 5.000 inhabited in Komodo, Padar and Rinca Island. Return to our base and an opportunity to swim or snorkel on clean and white sandy beaches of Pantai Merah (Pink Beach) Which is also considered one of the best spots for under water life and coral reefs. (Rinca is considered closer to Labuanbajo with more possibilities to see the Komodo dragon. If the tour goes to Rinca, theres is no pink beach). Lunch will be served on board. Boating back to Labuanbajo and overnight at your hotel. (B,L,D)
Breakfast at hotel. Full day free program or take an optional tour for visiting Bidara island, Sabolo island or Tatawa island for snorkeling & diving or just swimming on the clear white sandy beach. Accommodation will be at your hotel. ( B L D )
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to the airport to depart for Denpasar-Bali. Arrive at Denpasar Bali. Transfer to our boat for Nusa Lembogan and our hotel for overnight. (B)
Day 10, Thur. Sept. 10: NUSA LEMBOGAN-NUSA PENIDA We take a day trip to nearby (and much larger) Nusa Penida island for a visit to the FNPF Bird Sanctuary, Ped village. The conservation and community development centre for Friends of the National Park Foundation in Ped. Learn about FNPF's Bali endangered starling introduction program and other matters of environmental concern on Nusa Penida, followed by an excursion to  Goa Giri Putri (Karangsari Cave). Large limestone caves on the east coast. You will need a sarong as the caves are sacred. Climb the stairs and enter the caves via a manhole. Inside the caves there is (electrical) light and places for meditation. An awesome atmosphere. The place is of great religious and cultural significance. Some impressive stalactites and other typical limestone formations on view. Return to Nusa Lembogan by boat.

 At 6:30 Visit Aquatic Alliance,  a marine research and education centre set up to collect data on the manta ray and mola mola populations around Nusa Penida. AA works with the Lembongan dive shops to gather information about these magnificent creatures and their critical habitats and observe their feeding/mating/migration habits while monitoring their behavior in order to educate the public, locals, and government about their value to the marine ecosystem and the tourism industry. These lectures provide an in depth and entertaining look at the strange and beautiful marine life around the three islands of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Cenningan, and Nusa Penida. (B)

Day 11, Fri. Sept. 11: NUSA LEMBOGAN

Enjoy the beautiful beaches and indulge in world class snorkeling or scuba diving that this island is famed for. (B)

Day 12, Sat. Sept. 12: Early transfer by boat back to Bali, and then to the airport for you flight out.

  • Private transfers and tours as per itinerary using air-conditioned car or van.
  • Accommodation on sharing basis
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • Entrance fees, donations, parking, English Speaking local guide
    Services of Made Surya during entire stay.
    All inner-island flights and boats.
    Pre-tour information regarding places visited

Not include:
  • Round trip air into Jakarta and out of Bali.
  • Meals which is not specified in the itinerary.
  • Any personal expenses such as laundry, phone call, tipping, beverages, etc.
    Travel insurance.

Trip Cost: $3803.00
based on 2 persons sharing. Single supplement: $701.00
Those traveling single may choose a roommate from among tour members, or elect to pay a single supplement. If no roommate is available, traveler must pay the single supplement.

DEPOSITS/PENALTIES: A $500.00 deposit reserves trip space. A penalty fee of $100.00 will be charged for all cancellations received in writing up to June 30. Final payments are due July 3, 2015, after which there will be a 50% penalty for cancellations. After tickets have been issued further airline penalties will occur. No refunds will be made from 2 weeks before departure. Minimum 6 participants, maximum 12.

TRIP ORGANIZER/LEADER: Madé Surya BS. While a graduate student in Economics at Udayana University in Bali, founded the Mountain Climbing Club, now boasting about 200 members. He has been organizing and leading study tours since 1986 and has assisted scholars and film crews in Exploring Indonesia.

Airline Options: RT air from your point of origin is not included. RT Airfare in 2014 from the west coast USA to Jakarta and return through Bali averaged $1300. on Eva Air. If you want assistance with your air ticket, we can recommend our agent, Linda Schwedlock at Pacific Harbor Travel: 1-800-435-9463.

Terms and Conditions: In case of unexpected situations, the tour leader reserves the right to cancel or postpone any event. Festivals and special events will be incorporated into the itinerary as optional excursions. Any one who leaves the tour at any time FOR ANY REASON is on their own. There will be no refunds for missed tour activities and no substitutions. Trip cancellation and evacuation insurance is recommended.

Accommodations: Generally we stay in clean. comfortable Indonesian-owned hotels with private baths and porch. In a few cases in remote areas, baths are shared. In all remote areas we are booking on a "best available" basis.

Medical: This trip is not extremely rigorous, but it is physically demanding and we travel to some areas where medical facilities are virtually nonexistent. We do pack a first aid kit, but do not guarantee the services of a doctor. Neither myself nor my organization assumes liability regarding provisions of medical care. Participants are urged to check their insurance coverage to be sure it is adequate. You must be in good general health; it is vital that persons with medical problems make them known to us well before departure. The trip leader has the right to disqualify any member from the group at any time if considered medically necessary or to avoid endangering the group, or if the participant in question is physically unfit for the rigors of the trip. Trip members should have a personal supply of medications which they may need. At this time no inoculations are required to enter Indonesia, so it is up to you and your doctor. We recommend Malaria pills for the Borneo segment or be prepared to use repellant, cover up and wear long pants and sleeved garments.

Responsibility of Trip Members: Luggage must be kept to 40 lbs maximum allowed by inner-island flights. Trip members are held responsible for being in sufficient good health to undertake the trip. Trip members are responsible for preparing for the trip by studying the itinerary and pre-departure information packets.

Internal Flights: We cannot guarantee that internal flight prices will not go up. Should this occur, the total price of the final payment will also rise.

Call toll free 888-476-0543 or email for further information.
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