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Last Update: 14.03.2018

Ketambe Jungle Trekking and Tours
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Trekking gallery

Ketambe - Trekking into the Gunung Leuser Nationalpark
  Ketambe - View over Leuser Nationalpark    
  View over the Gunung Leuser Nationalpark    

The main reason to come to Ketambe is to do a trekking tour into the Gunung Leuser Nationalpark. There are various possibilities to do a tour. We recommend to come to Ketambe and let organize your trip over there. Some guides in Medan will offer you their service, but mostly they don't know much about the jungle and how to find orangutans or other animals. Also they will ask much more money from you, than you will actually pay in Ketambe.

The guesthouses in Ketambe offer 1 day treks for beginners or people with short time and multiple day treks with camping and animal watching.
In 2015 we have founded a local travel agency to offer trekking tours. Please check the website to get detailed information on trekking tours arround Ketambe. Click on the blue link: KETAMBE - Jungle Trekking & Tours (opens in a new window)
There are about seven local guides from Ketambe working for us. They are very experienced and speek English well. Every time they went into the jungle, people of their group came back very satisfied and happy, because they always spotted orangutans. They will also cook on the trip. The "jungle pancakes" are very famous.
JHON KANEDY aka JFK (see picture right and down with his 3 kids) is most famous in Ketambe, because he works for more than 15 years as a guide. His endless knowledge about the jungle, the animals and plants as well as his friendly and funny nature makes him famous and unique. Don't confuse so with Jhony Jungle. He is a guide from Medan and use the similarity of his first name with Jhon Kanedy to get costumers. He is not so experienced and doesn't work together with Friendship Guesthouse.
  Ketambe Trekking - Jhon aka JFK    
  Ketambe Trekking - John swing the liana      
For trekking we provide the guide and if its neccesary, one or two porters. The permit for the national park, all food, drinks, cooking facilities and camping gear will be included in the price.
The cost of an organized trekking tour depends from the length of stay, the number of people going together and of the kind, quantity and cost of food and drinks you want to take with.
In general the price should be discussed with the owner of guesthouse, because he will organize everything. In general an advanced payment of half total price is requested. If possible, bring the money in Indonesian Rupiah, because there is no money changer in Ketambe or Kutacane.
Prices for the trekking tours are depending from the area you want to go, the number of people and the number of porters. 1-day trips are cheaper than multiple day trip, because there is nothing to bring for the night. If only a single person wants to go its more expensive than for 2 or 3 people. Trips to Lake Tiga Sagi cost more than trips into the Ketambe jungle. The price also depends from the season. You can ask prices by email or phone (see contact).
If some guides in Medan offer you trekking tours for less than 350,000 - 400,000 IDR per day per person, they can not be serious or they don't have an experienced guide, which is important to find the wild living orangutans in the jungle.

The following trekking tours are possible to organize:

  1 day trek    
On an one day trek usualy only a guide is going with you. Its possible to choose the area (Gurah - west, or Ketambe jungle east of the road). You will start walking from the guesthouse. Its a 20 minutes walk on the road until you turn into the jungle and walk on small trails for 6 to 8 hours. The guide can show and explain special plants. The main attention is to look for and spot orangutans, gibbons, monkeys and birds. A longer break will be for lunch beside the river. Over there its possible to take a bath or swim in the river.
In the afternoon there will be again time to spot animals. If you interesting, the guide will bring you to the area, where the Rafflesia flower is growing. If you lucky its in bloom, normaly in July/August.
  Orangutan with baby   Big orangutan    
  Tropical storm in Kedah   Sound of the Ketambe jungle    
  Ketambe Trekking - Orangutan in the tree   Ketambe Trekking - Campingground 1    
  Orangutan in the tree   Camping ground    
  2 to 5 days trek    
For a 2-, 3-, 4- or 5-days trek it is necessary to take a guide and at least one porter with you. Its going deep inside the Ketambe jungle. There is individual daily walking time on trails and also into deep jungle. Of course you will look for and spot orangutans, Thomas Leaf monkeys, gibbons (siamang), macaques, lizards, sun bears (if you lucky), deers, wild pigs and birds (e.g. hornbill). Its enough time to see special plants and insects.
On the first day you will stay at a camping ground beside the river.
  Ketambe Trekking - Activities    
  Fun: Swing on a liana - Crossing the river - Climbing a "ladder"-tree    
On the next day you have to cross the river and you will continue the walk until a camp side beside the hotsprings. Over there a tent will be set for the night. You can enjoy taking hot, warm and cold bath, because the hot water is flowing into the river and mix up with the cold. The guide and porter will go fishing to have fish for the barbecue dinner. If you are interested you can join and see the special way of catching fishes. Later you will have dinner and ... talk, sing, smoke, relax, ..., enjoy the jungle noise, ..., sleep.
  Video: Hotsprings and surrounding area    
  Ketambe Trekking - Tent at hotsprings   Ketambe Trekking - Hotspring    
  Tent - place for sleep at night   Hotspring beside the river    
  Ketambe Trekking - Jungle Pancake   Ketambe Trekking - Fish Barbecue    
  Breakfast: "jungle pancake"   Dinner - fresh river fish barbecue    
The program for the following days depends from your interest. Of course you look for orangutans and other animals. But if you want to relax its possible to stay longer at the hotsprings. The trip also includes a visit to a beautiful waterfall. Longer treks go deeper in the jungle. The way back will not be the same path you came, so there is a better chance to see more animals.
  Ketambe - Trekking - Rafflesia in bloom   Ketambe Trekking - Thomas Leaf Monkey    
  Rafflesia (largest flower in world)   Macaque in the tree    
Mabye you don't believe it, but there are nearly no moskitos at night, so it would be possible to sleep outside. There is no malaria. Because of safety reasons (e.g. snakes) you should sleep inside the tent.
And the question about the leeches? Yes, there are leeches, especially after rain. The best way to avoid leeches drinking your blood, is to use closed shoes and long trousers. We will provide special leech-socks. Also there are some chemicals or tabacco-juice what can be used to push away the lovely worm. But at least one leech will find the way through all your preventions. Its not dangerous.
  6 days trek - Lake Tiga Sagi (Lake Marpunga)    
To trek to the lake Tiga Sagi (three corners) - also called Lake Marpunga - takes 6 days (3 days to go and 3 days to come back). The lake is best visited in the dry season. During this time animals go to the jungle lake for drinking. There is a good chance to find many animals over there, e.g. elefants or their footprints at least, deers and pigs. But keep in mind, that there is no guarantee to see all these animals - they don't wait for you. On the way you also look for orangutans, monkeys and other animals.
This trek is more difficult than the trek descibed above, because the pathes can be overgrown, the way is quite steep in parts and its going up and down. Overnight you stay in a tent. All food and drinks must be carried. So one guide and two porters are nessesary. The starting point is about one hour by public minibus (direction north to Belangkeceran) from Ketambe.
  7 days trek to Bukit Lawang - Not always available    
It is possible to trek from Kutacane to Bukit Lawang within about 7 days (one way). You will see many orangutans and gibbons. In this part of the jungle elefants were seen. The hike is not easy and you will have to cross rivers more than 20 times. An experienced guide and a minimum of 2 porters are mandatory. The starting point is 40 km south of Kutacane.
This trek can not be organized anytime, because there are only few guides who know the exact route. Price is more expensive than other treks. If your are interested please inquire by email.
It can be organized (for extra charge) that your luggage will be delivered to a guesthouse in Bukit Lawang or Medan. We recommend to leave your main luggage in Medan or Bukit Lawang before heading to Ketambe.
More impressions from a trek into the Leuser Nationalpark
Ketambe - Jungelview to the river Alas
Ketambe - Alas River
Alas river near Ketambe
River Alas - Evening light
  Ketambe Trekking - Jungleview   Ketambe Trekking - Hotspring    
  View on the way - pure jungle   Steam at the hotsprings    
  Ketambe - Jungle Orangutan   Ketambe - Jungle Butterflies    
  Orangutan at the top of a tree   Butterflies on the riverbanks    
  Ketambe Trekking - Cooking noodle soup   Ketambe Trekking - Breakfast    
  Preparing noodle soup   Enjoying jungle breakfast    
  Ketambe Trekking - Flower1   Ketambe Trekking Bat Flower    
  Flower in the jungle   Bat flower    
  Ketambe Trekking - Unknown insect   Ketambe Trekking - Butterfly    
  Red nosed lantern fly   Common bluebottle butterfly    
  Ketambe Trekking - Treeroots   Ketambe Trekking - Fungus    
  Giant roots   Funguses    
  Ketambe Trekking - Leech   etambe Trekking - Centipede    
  Leech   Centipede    
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