Tropical Rainforest Sumatra
The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra is a mountainous landscape of exceptional beauty, which forests hold many endangered species including the endemic Sumatran orang-utan.
The site comprises three Indonesian national parks on the island of Sumatra. They are:
- Gunung Leuser National Park
- Kerinci Seblat National Park
- Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park
Map of Tropical Rainforest Sumatra
- ●● Natural
Wojciech Fedoruk Poland 17.10.17
Out of all three national parks composing this WHS, perhaps the easiest one to visit is Gunung Leuser on the border of Aceh and North Sumatra Province. Visitors center is in Bohorok, which is located around 3.5 hours by car from Medan airport (from the city of Medan it should take around 3 hours). There are no rental cars available in Medan airport so you either get a taxi or go to the city of Medan and rent a car there. I took a taxi and for a whole day I paid 1.2m INR (around 65-70 EUR). The road is very bad and leads through very populated areas, so drivers must be very careful.
I had only 4 hours to stay in Bohorok, so I had to arrange my visit quickly. It is not a problem at all as foreign visitors (quite many for this part of Indonesia) are immediately surrounded by guides. I was offered with 3-hour trekking which costs 35 EUR per person, 3 people minimum. We agreed for 50 EUR for just me, park fee included.
Of course I desired to see the main attraction of Gunung Leuser – Sumatran orangutans, but the guide realistically told me that the chances to see them during 3-hour trekking are not higher than 30%. Usually people stay there at least overnight or for a couple of days to maximize the chance to see these apes. The park offers long trekkings with a few nights in the jungle, so the participants may see not only orangutans, but also elephants or even Sumatran rhinoceros.
We went for a quite demanding trekking, with lots of climbs and slippery descends. After around 2 hours we saw no apes, all remaining groups passed by were unlucky as well. We were about to go back when my guide saw something brown on the top of distant tree. He started imitating orangutan sounds and crackling a pack of nuts, which he prepared before as a hook. After a while one big female orangutan came to us, followed by her about 2-year-old baby. Although they are undisputedly wild animals, they are quite familiar with tourists, so feeding them was not a problem. There is a rule that you cannot feed the baby if his mother is not eating – it ended with severe beating of the baby and taking away nuts by the mom.
We spent with orangutans about 30 minutes in total privacy, so the experience was unforgettable. Based on what I was told by other tourists, it cannot be compared with observing orangutans in Malaysian Borneo, where there are many tourists and few orangutans.
It should be noted that previously it was possible to see the orangutans in Bohorok Rehabilitation Center, without going to the jungle, but now the place is closed.
John booth New Zealand 29.06.13
Despite external forces of corruption there are still people in Sumatra that are dedicated to halting further encroachment by farmers, loggers and poachers on the remaining areas of tropical rainforest.
I met rangers in the Gunung Leuser National Park who care for the burgeoning number of orang-utans in their care. This notwithstanding that the forest can no longer sustain the numbers now there, requiring the rangers to supplement their food supply.
In the Kerinci Seblat National Park there are similar individuals trying to protect the remaining wildlife and flora, all the time having the forest encroached on by farmers, hunters and loggers.
I visited these two National Parks as part of a tour of Sumatra that also took in visits to Berestagi, Lake Toba, Bukittinggi and Padang.
This WHS is spread out all over Sumatra. All jungle national parks look the same to me and so to find a reason to check this WHS off your list is to get to Medan in North Sumatra and visit the Bohorok Orangutan rehabilitation center, a two hour drive from Medan. Orangutan babies are collected illegally by killing their mothers. They are then sold as pets. The problem is that when the Orangutans grow up and become unmanageable, they are abandoned. The rehab center is to save these animals and train them to survive in the wild with some supplemental milk and food. Orangutan rehab centers exist also in Borneo but this site is more primitive and so much more natural then others I have visited. I visited this site in August 1994 and also nearby Lake Toba and the native villages around the lake.
Bohorok is part of Gunung Leuser National Park.
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Full name: Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra
Unesco ID: 1167
Inscribed: 2004 In Danger
Criteria: 7 9 10
- 2011 - In Danger four proposed roads, ongoing encroachment, poaching and illegal logging
- 2004 - Inscribed
The site has 3 locations.
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29 community members have visited Tropical Rainforest Sumatra. Show all
- Atila Ege
- Bob Parda
- Eric PK
- Erik Jelinek
- Faruk BUDAK
- Francky D'Hoop
- HE SHAOMIN
- J Mitchell
- Jacob Otten
- John booth
- Lars Bogstad
- Lars-Petter Ã˜degÃ¥rd
- Marta Lempert
- Michal Marciniak
- Nihal Ege
- Paul Chatterton
- Peter mathews
- Roberta MacRae
- Su Yen Chen
- Tammy Gouldstone
- Thomas Buechler
- Walter H.
- Wojciech Fedoruk