|Jorge Sanchez (Spain):|
Since in the year 2013 the boat from Penang to Medan did not work anymore, I had to fly. The price of the flight was cheap, anyway.
I had the intention to visit the separatist province of Aceh, with a strong Muslim character, plus the orangutans of the Gunung Leuser National Park rehabilitation center.
Fortunately I was travelling to Aceh province together with an American traveler and could share expenses.
In Medan we rented a car with driver, not very expensive, and after two and a half hours we reached Gunung Leuser National Park.
The road to the National Park was great. We traversed villages. We even were invited in one of them to observe the ceremony of a marriage.
We had to pay an entrance fee to the park, then we hired a guide, something compulsory; they do not allow you to penetrate into the park alone.
We were not promised to observe orangutans, but we asked to some tourists and everybody said that most probably we will see them.
After half an hour or so climbing mountains we saw the first family. We had been given instruction no to come too closer to the orangutans. It consisted in an orangutan mother and a baby. Our guide gave them bananas and we could observe the family for at least ten minutes, after that they disappeared in the deepness of the jungle.
Then our guide headed to another part of the park and after 20 minutes or so we could see another family, again a mother with her baby up, in the trees. This time we would spend at least half an hour or so watching them. They were not afraid of men.
We were told that some orangutans get used to the humans beings and wait bananas from them, as in that rehabilitation center that we visited, but they exist some other orangutans that live in the deepness of the park, not having contact with the humans
We returned to Medan very satisfied. It was a marvelous experience to be so near to these incredible creatures, so close to the human beings.
The next day I headed by bus to Aceh. My friend would fly there.
|Date posted: July 2013|
|John Booth (New Zealand):|
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.
|Date posted: June 2013|
|Anthony Sun (USA):|
|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.
|Date posted: December 2008|
Have you been to Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra? Share your experiences!