Mother nature, along with the resilient people of Bukit Lawang, Indonesia, has carved out one of the most incredible places on planet earth.
Located about 4h drive from the closest airport and the capital city of Medan, the bumpy ride is well worth the trip
Bukit Lawang is a breath of fresh air.
Bukit Lawang was once used as an orangutan preservation area and orangutans which had earlier lived in captivity were released into the wild here. The programm no longer functions in this area, but the orangutans from that time still live here in large quantities.
A few incredibly endangered Sumatran tigers and rhinos wander the jungle too, but you have a higher chance to win the lottery than spot them as they are elusive and shelter deep in the wilderness.
- Trekking can last from a half day walk in the park, to overnight or up to three, four and five days.
The price can vary depending it on whether you book a guide through your hotel, or privately.
Taking an overnight trek is a delightful way to see the jungle. If you have a reliable guide, and you’re interested in a trek on the steeper, tougher trails it’s possible to get away from the other groups and feel more remote.
The overnight camping is both fun and an unforgettable adventure, likely a highlight of your South East Asian trip.
How to get there
- Kualanamu International Airport is roughly 23 miles from the city center of Medan which is about 55 miles from Bukit Lawang.
The serpentine ride through city and jungle is bumpy and hard, to say the least.
Antar Lintas Sumatera bus goes from the airport to a city center called Binjai for about $2.50.
- Find this orange bus parked just outside of the airport arrival exit gate.
- In Binjai, the bus will drop you in front of the Supermall. From there, you need to get yourself to Ginjai Merdeka football field.
- Best is to take a tricycle taxi called a becak for about $1.
- Here, you will find the minibusses waiting to take people to Bukit Lawang for only $1.30.
For about $55, take an air-conditioned 4×4 car straight from your Medan hotel or the airport to your settlement in Bukit Lawang.
Rules Of The Jungle
- Do not go any closer than 10 meters to the Orangutans
- Leave no garbage and remove everything from the jungle, including cigarette butts & organic waste.
- Respect the animals, do not talk loudly, smoke or joke around and very important - do not feed them.
- Do not enter the jungle if you are sick – Orangutans can catch human diseases which can be fatal, especially the infants.
Where to stay
- With only 3 hostels in Bukit Lawang, you should plan ahead and book it in advance.
- Although - guesthouses, Hotels, Bungalows, Ecolodges, and Retreats, Bukit Lawang has no shortage of options to choose from.
- There are no ATMs in Bukit Lawang! Bring plenty of cash with you as credit cards are very rarely accepted.