Home Blogs Mount Leuser National Park
Gunung Leuser National Park is one of the biggest and the most
diversed national parks in Indonesia (950,000 hectare), covering 7,927
km² area in northern Sumatera, Indonesia. The national park, named after
its highest peak, Mount Leuser (3,381 m), protects a wide range of
ecosystems. Basically it’s a collection of various nature reserves and
forests: Nature Reserve Gunung Leuser, Nature Reserve Kappi, Nature
Reserve Kluet, Sikundur Langkat Wildlife Reserve, Ketambe Research
Station, Singkil Barat and Dolok Sembilin.
Most parts of the national park lie in the region Aceh Tenggara (SE
Aceh). Other parts are situated in the region east Aceh, south Aceh, and
Langkat (a part of North Sumatra). Most visitors usually enter the
national park through Bukit Lawang.
Generally this park may represent each of this character of beach and
swamp forest, lowland rainfores , montane or moss fores up to subalpine
The Gunung Leuser National Park comprises more than 100 kilometers of
the Bukit Barisan Mountains. Because of that, the park consists of
steep, almost inaccessible mountainous terrain.The altitude ranges from 0
meter, in Kluet (South Aceh), to 3,381 meter, on top of the Gunung
Leuser (Southeast Aceh). The Alas river cuts the park into an eastern
and western half.
Apart from mountains you will find several other ecosystems: beach
forest, swamp areas, lowland rainforest, alpine and mountain forest.
A one-way bus fare on large, non air-conditioned buses from Medan,
Pinang Baris Bus Terminal to Bukit Lawang, 86 km by road to the
north-west, was Rp10,000 per person (in October 2008). There should be
busses every 30 minutes, but sometimes some are skipped. Back to Medan,
you can take a minibus (Rp12,000 per person (October 2008)) or a large
bus (Rp10,000, but they might ask for more). They alternate every 15′
from Bukit Lawang Bus Terminal.
There are many drivers offering minivans from the Belawan ferry
terminal direct to Bukit Lawang, bargain hard. Expect to be shifted
minivan at least once (in Medan). Prices vary between Rp60,000 and
70,000 all the way to Bukit Lawang. The extra cost should outweigh the
hassle of getting into Medan, finding the bus station, then finding a
hostel in Bukit Lawang (especially if you arrive during a torrential
downpour). The driver will usually recommend a family or friend’s
Another option is to self drive a rental car. This is possible with
an international drivers licence and will cost around Rp350,000 per day
plus fuel (Jul 08). The road to Bukit Lawang varies in state from well
made dual carriage ways through to deep pot holed aphalt roads and some
gravel. Anyone considering driving in Sumatra should travel with a local
bus first to get familiar with the driving style of the locals. The
drive takes about 3.5 hours and you can park the car with security at
one of the local hotels for Rp10,000 per day. Yoga Car Rentals in Medan
is the most prominent company on the internet and their service was
Access to the Gunung Leuser National Park is Rp20,000 per
person–payable either in Bukit Lawang, or at the orangutan feeding
ground. Permit should be included in all treks and jungle activities,
but check with the guide to be sure.
Bukit Lawang is a small village and it is easy to get around by foot.
You can walk from on side to the other in about 25 minutes. There are
three bridges that provide access to the resorts across the river.
Explore around. A jungle trek is a must when you go to this park.
Seeing the orangutan in the wild is one of the best experiences you will
have in your life.
At least 130 species of mammals are recognised in this park like the
Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatraensis), Sumatran elephants
(Elephas maximus), Sumatran rhinocheros (Dicherorinus sumatraensis ,
Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), Siamang (Hylobates syndactilus), macaques,
clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), ajak (Cuon alpinus) and various
sub species of deers and sambars. Bird watchers might find this place to
their liking for at least 325 species of birds live inside the park.
Reptils and fish may also represent the still diversed ecosystem.
In Bohorok-Bukit Lawang lies the Orangutan Rehabilitation Station and
in Ketambe stands the Ketambe research station. The research station is
not open to tourists. An Orang Utan sanctuary of Bukit Lawang is
located inside the park.. Estimated there are up to 5000 orangutans
inside the parks, together with Bukit Barisan Selatan and Kerinci Seblat
national parks, they form a World’s Heritage Site. It is the only place
on earth where four of world’s spectacular animals namely the
orangutans, rhinocheros,elephants and tigers are found together.
It is not permitted to go unaccompanied into the jungle. There are
plently of good and reliable guides around so take your time to get to
know some of them, have a chat, make your choice and prepare for a great
adventure. All guides have to be licensed so ask to see their permit if
in doubt of someone’s expertise. A fixed price for jungle treks is €25
per day. Usually food and camping gear is arranged for by your guide.
Always ask though to make sure.
Even though sightings of the orangutan and other wildlife can never
be guaranteed, when following the instructions of your guide the chances
Another hero is the Thomas Leaf Monkey. Such a wonderful creature
that leaps into air with wild abandon as they move from tree to tree.
Their mohawk hair styles and faces filled with millions of years of
character really make these little guys stand out.
If you want to go on a multiple day trek make sure you are fit and in
good condition. The humidity coupled with the intensity of grade of the
hills makes for some hard work. The reward at the end of your jungle
adventure is a late afternoon paddle in the river back to the village.
Everyone who is planning to go on a jungle trek or even to the
feeding platform is asked to refrain from any physical contact with the
orangutans. Getting too close to an orangutan increases the risk of
passing on disease and viral infection, which jeopardises the orangutans
chances of survival and in turn the health and survival of the wild
orangutan population in the entire area. All guests should keep at least
10 metres away and move away if an orangutan approaches. The motto of
any jungle adventure should be take only pictures, leave only footprints
Another popular past time activity is tubing. When tubing one uses an
innertube to float down the river. Tubes can be rented at various
stalls along the village and expect pay around 10.000Rp per tube. Be
carefull on the water because currents are strong.
You can also visit the bat cave, make a stroll around the rice fields
and rubber plantations, visit some of the social projects (like the
free English School, Children’s Home and free clinic), visit the Friday
market or just hang out with some of the locals and enjoy the relaxed
For a different kind of experience altogether, 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. Need to be physically fit and
accompanied by a guide.
Whatever you do, remember to enjoy your stay to the fullest!
In order of position up the pathway by the river in Bukit Lawang.
* Jungle Inn, directly opposite the orangutan sanctuary. Offers
reasonably priced rooms, but slightly inflated prices for food by
Jungle Inn has a couple of very special rooms namely ‘Honeymoon
Suite’ for 350,000+ and the new ‘Penthouse’ for over 450,000. Contact
name and no. to book. Rahman +6281375324015
* Sam’s – 3 lovely rooms with prices from 80,000-180,000, Contact
name and no. Samsul +6281370093597,
* Jungle Tribe A free standing house at 250,000/night with ‘a bar and
restaurant’ next door. Contact name and no.Iman +6281263749602
* Garden Inn not far from Jungle Inn is another pleasant place to stay
in Bukit Lawang (Nice double bed rooms, cold shower and mandi for Rp 50k
to Rp. 60k). Contact name and no. Pardil +6281396000571
* Hostal Indra Inn, directly at the river at your left hand side when
you walk to the orangutan centre.
Authentic rooms and 3 new rooms that were completed on the end of
March 2007. Good healthy food for reasonable prices.
* Greenhill, now have 2 rooms built high up behind their beautiful
open air building with incredible views. Rooms are 150,000 rupiah/night.
Contact name and no. to book Mbra +6281263643775 or +6281 370 349 124
* Rain Forest New accommodation built by Nora’s family – 5 rooms and
restaurant. Rooms from 40,000/night
It is a great place to stay, lots of fun entertainment with many of
the guides playing guitar and singing in the evenings, great food and as
always Nora herself provides great company. Contact name and no. to
book Nora +6281362070656 ( note Nora’s mobile no. is incorrectly written
in LP Indonesia guide.
Down by the river there are a number of other accommodations to stay
* Bukit Lawang Cottages also known as ‘Eco Lodge’ (just across the
river from main village at the base of the hill and where the walking
tracks start) is a good option with prices starting from 80,000/night
particularly good, if you arrive late in the day.
It’s also one of the main places to eat/drink at night and meet in
the morning for treks.
* Wisma Bukit Lawang Indah is across the river next door to Yusman
which is next door to Wisma Sibayak.
Cheap rooms with a double and single bed go for Rp. 35,000. Bukit
Lawang Indah has excellent cheap food
In village of Gotong Royong where the weekly market is held in
Fridays is Nora’s other homestay. Almost opposite the new hospital built
with the inspiration and determination of the amazing Becky Coley of
Bukit Lawang Trust Foundation.
* Nora’s Homestay, approximately two kilometers by road from the
river. A great kampung-style experience from 25,000rp upwards per night
including self-contained shower and toilet.
Best time to visit is from June to October.
Quoted from :
Supported by : JavaTourism,
Lintang Buana Tours