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Trekking with Orang-utans In The Sumatran Jungle

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Thankfully our flights to KL and then onto Sumatra were all on time and easy. As soon as we landed in Medan, Sumatra we easily arranged a cheap car to take us a few hours up north into the jungle. We went to a small town called Bukit Lawang where we booked our 3 day 2 night jungle trek for the next day. That evening there was a massive thunder and lightening storm, it was so cool watching it on our balcony with the picturesque scenery of the jungle behind.

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We started the next day around 9am trekking into the Taman National Gunung Leuser, up the muddy trails to go in hunt of the wild and semi wild orang-utans and other wildlife the jungle has to offer. Literally a few hours later we encountered our first orang-utan swinging from tree to tree above us. It was wonderful, even though our red-haired cousins are quite big they are so agile knowing exactly which branch or vine to go for. The rest of the day we spent trekking through the dense and very humid jungle seeing many wild and semi wild orang-utans, around 4pm we arrived at our campsite, swam in the river, ate some local food and played card games until it was time to retire to bed.

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The next morning we were wondering what else we were going to do as we had seen so many animals the previous day. We set off in the mid morning climbing up and down, up and down deeper into the jungle. The first orang-utan we encountered was an aggressive mum called Mina, she had previously been a captive so was not a fan of humans. Our guides very carefully distracted her and her 5 year old baby while we ran for our lives, it was all quite exciting. We had only just caught our breath when we were then attacked buy a vicious swarm of wasps, I was stung once and poor Paul was stung 5 times! Our guide quickly sucked the sting out, not that that helped the pain. After we all calmed down we sat down to have lunch of fried noodles, one of the guides got a pack of biscuits out and I turned around just to see Mina sneaking up right behind us, I screamed ‘she’s coming’ and bolted in the other direction before anyone realised what was going on. The guide chucked the biscuits at her and we all ran for our lives once again. Once we were all at a safe distance we burst out into a fit of laughter.

As it had started to rain we decided to head into the direction of the 2nd campsite and the track would soon get dangerously slippy. On the way we caught a glimpse of the fast moving White Gibbon, we saw it bounce from tree to tree without any effort at all.
The 2nd campsite was just a beautiful as the first, set along the river with the mystical jungle surrounding everything. We had only just started to relax after our eventful day when another less aggressive captive orang-utan called Jackie and her baby approached our campsite from along the river. She came so close looking for food so the guides shooed her away but then she was quite content washing in the river and having a good look around.

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Paul and I woke early in the morning so chilled out by the river until the rest of our group woke up. There were so many cheeky monkeys scavenging for left over food jumping from tree to tree. Luckily Jackie came out to play too, she was hanging around a few meters from us and her baby was having a ball of a time scaring the small monkeys. It was so amazing to see!
After breakfast and a swim in the river we packed up and went tubing down the river back to Bukit Lawang. Paul, I and the rest of our group had the best time, it was defiantly one of the best experiences of my life.

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Posted by LeahPaul 21:22 Archived in Indonesia

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