North Sumatra is home to rainforests inhabited by exotic wildlife, framed by towering volcanoes and waterfalls cascading down into verdant valleys. In the village of Tangkahan, a team of elephants and their mahouts work together to maintain a fledgling national park, where visitors can join these gentle giants at work and play in the pristine rivers and jungle paths of the region. Just upriver, the village of Bukit Lawang is the perfect place to see orangutan in the wild. The apes here have grown used to human interaction, so expect some up close and personal encounters.
Arrival Medan - Tangkahan
A warm welcome awaits as you arrive at Kualanamu International Airport in MEDAN, the capital of North Sumatera province. Once known as the Paris of Sumatera, Medan is a colourful melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Batak people living in harmony. You will be greeted by our professional and licensed guide who will then provide you with an orientation of the city. Drive to the heart of the city and visit the Great Mosque, symbol of the municipality of Medan which was built in 1906. Admire the largest and the most beautiful mosque in Northern Sumatera with its imposing tiled archway with royal burial ground, then proceed to the Sultan’s Palace located about a block away. Dubbed as the Yellow Palace or Maimoon Palace, it was built in 1888 and became the center of the Deli Kingdom.
Your orientation of the city continues to Tjong A Fie Mansion built by a Hakka merchant in the 18th century. Discover his role in building the Chinese community in Medan then continue on foot to a bustling traditional market which is the center of textile trading. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant with an opportunity to sample the famous Sumatran Sidikalang Coffee. Drive pass the town square to see the colonial buildings and the monument of Medan’s Zero Point, then proceed to Tangkahan where your hotel is located. Arriving at Tangkahan approximately 3 – 4 hours later, you will then check-in and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your own leisure.
Overnight at Tangkahan Inn or other similar
Tangkahan - Elephant Activities - Bukit Lawang
Dawn gives way to a new day as the sounds of a jungle symphony awakens you. Enjoy breakfast at the lodge and then head down to the riverside, where you will help in bathing the elephants. Proceed on an hour-long elephant ride through designated dirt trails. Lunch is provided, picnic style with a stunning waterfall set up. Return back to the hotel for a quick check-out.
Next, take a trip to Bukit Lawang traversing thickly cultivated plantations overlooking the dramatic views of forested foothills in the Bukit Barisan mountain range, where you’ll see shady countryside interspersed with local rural houses. Check-in upon arrival at your hotel in Bukit Lawang.
Overnight at Rindu Alam or other similar
Bukit Lawang Trekking
Wake up to the sounds of nature and a jungle symphony; melodious bird chirps or the ascending scale of a cuckoo, the wails of white-handed gibbons and the cries of larger black siamangs in the treetops. Embark on a jungle exploration in the National Park (3 to 4-hour trekking) after breakfast. Guided by a professional local ranger, set off by 08:00hours and start walking uphill through the shade of immense rubber plantations following trails in the thick shrubs.
Observe the flora and fauna including the leaf monkeys, long-tailed macaques, tangles of fig trees, palms, ferns, forest moss and gigantic banyan trees as you make your way through the thick jungle with well trodden paths to follow. The sight of orangutan swinging through the trees is surely unforgettable, yet sightings of solitary orangutan are the result of patience, considerable investment of time and of course fortune. Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints. Return to your lodge on an inflatable tube down the river rapids. Lunch is served at the lodge’s Kapal Bambu restaurant, built using natural and sustainable harvested bamboo and clay.
Overnight at Rindu Alam or other similar
Bukit Lawang - Departure Medan
Check out and then return to Medan. Your assigned guide will be waiting to escort you in a chaffeured vehicle to the airport for your onward flight home with wonderful memories.