|“Superb – Bukit Lawang (3day Trek Orangutangs) & Tangkahan (Elephant Orphanage)”
Omano and his team were recommended to me by two separate friends from the UK, who had previously done this experience, I wasn’t disappointed. I am based in Singapore and had never been to Sumatra and I had 4 days holiday to spare, I found cheap flights to Medan, only a 1hr flight less than SGD60 return with tigerairways. I gave Omano my rough dates and potential flights and he arranged everything that I wanted to include in the trek, plus see the Elephants at Tangkahan, the fee included all transport and food in the jungle and breakfast as part of a package so it was easy to not worry about having to take out cash at the ATM ( nearest one to Bukit Lawang is 2hrs away).The airport pickup was very smooth in a private car/ transport similar to the chauffeured carriers used in Bali at high end resorts which is good considering the journey to Bukit Lawang is 3hrs from airport).
The stay at Garden Inn in Bukit Lawang, was better than expected, top floor with a balcony and hammock outside, which over looks the river and the edge of the Jungle. The room had mosquito net, electricity, and the food at the bar was very good and reasonably priced.
The trek itself is good fun full of climbs and descents through the rain forest with 30 mins for each climb/ descent followed by a break by the river or under shade of trees. The Guides were excellent, great at spotting animals/ birds that we were oblivious to which were less than 3m away. Mosquito’s were minimal, zero bites for 3 day trek. used lots of deet. The equipment they have is excellent for camping, brand new tents, and the chefs cooked amazing curries and food in the evening, we had two vegetarians in the group which they also catered for. I think it is pretty safe to say that on day 1 of the trek you will guarantee to see the Orangutans. It was worth camping for 2 nights thouugh and rafting back down the river, just to experience the jungle at night was amazing, very noisy, we saw preying mantis, a turtle in the river, swam in the waterfalls, washed clothes in the river, crossed the river, collected fire wood, so if you fancy being bear grills for a few nights without being lost , I can highly recommend this tour & the tour guides in the group.
The other thing I noticed when I was rafting back down the river, there were a few other companies offering similar treks, but where they were camping in the evening was cramped with 4-5 other groups next to them, which I guess would hardly give the feeling of being lost in the jungle ( if you are trying to get away from it all). Omanos team organised isolated spots for us to camp at which I preferred and are the only authentic locally run company.
Highlights: – Riding an Elephant in the jungle & along the river, as well as washing the elephants. Camping and eating round the fire by the river, doing black magic tricks :), singing the bukit lawang song, seeing the orangutans and being away from the City and back to nature. Weather was great in May.