Most people come to Bukit Lawang for an adventurous jungle trek to encounter orangutans in the wild. They are endangered and only native to Borneo and Sumatra. Trekking is only possible with a guide. Unfortunately some of the guides are not licenced and feed the orangutans so that they come closer to tourists. These animals are 96% like us humans and so it is very dangerous to feed them. Infections and diseases can be easily transfered. Therefore it is essential, that you do some research before chosing a guide.
A good guide
- is licenced by the ITGA-HPI. If in doubt, let your guide show you their license card.
- doesn’t touch or feed animals
- doesn’t allow guests to eat with animals in sight
- is knowledeable about the Nationalpark
- doesn’t call animals
- stays on the paths to avoid destroying rare plants
- takes rubbish from the forest
- keeps distance from animals of at least 10 meters
- doesn’t offer cheaper prices
- doesn’t allow sick people to enter the national park
What is the ITGA-HPI?
That is the Indonesian Tourist Guides Association. To become a licenced guide they had to pay a fee, pass an exam, speak very good English and have been trained about the jungle. This training takes 2 years.
How to find a good guide?
We would always recommend chosing a guide before you come to Bukit Lawang. Because like in many tourists destinations there are always some black sheep and it appears when arriving in Bukit Lawang everybody is a guide.
- Check their website. What do they say about feeding or touching animals? Do you see pictures you (don’t) like?
- Check their reviews on TripAdvisor. What did other travellers say?
- Contact the agencies and operators and ask the things important to you
- Small groups of maxmium 6 people
- Pay the fixed price
- Listen to your gut feeling
Why are the prices for jungle trekking fixed and can you get a discount?
The prices for jungle trekking are set by the guide association (HPI). With that they want to guarantee that all people involved (guides, porters, cooks, national park) get a decent salary.
- 3 hours = 35 Euros/person
- 1 day = 55 Euros/person
- 2 days = 90 Euros/person
- 3 days = 120 Euros/person
All prices include entrance fees, guides, food, accomodation (2/3 days), rafting back (except 3 hours).
Here’s a breakdown of the costs for 2 people for a 2 day trek:
- Permit: 20 Euros
- HPI fee: 4 Euros
- Food: 16 Euros
- Guide: 50 Euros
- Assistant guide: 20 Euros
- Cook/camp/rafting: 70 Euros
Here you see that there are many people involved and everybody gets a decent salary for Indonesian conditions. When you negotiate the price, you are not only agreeing to a bad payment, but you also reduce the quality of your experience. Everybody looses. So if a guide offers you a big discount, be cautious.
Why choose Discover Sumatra?
All our guides were born and raised in Bukit Lawang. They all share the love with nature, culture und wildlife of Sumatra. They are all professional tour guides with many years of experience in jungle trekking. You are in good hands if you choose a jungle trekking in Bukit Lawang with us. In order to help save this beautiful jungle we only work with guides, that love and respect the jungle and don’t feed or touch animals.
Our groups have a maximum of 6 people and we always provide two guides for your jungle trekking experience. If you are traveling with young children we can also provide an additional guide to take extra care for the toddlers. Feel free to contact us.