As Tanjung Puting is a roadless park, the only way to travel around it is on the Sekonyer River. A fleet of small klotok boats chug daily from the jetty at Kumai, a port connected by road to the airport at Pangkalan Bun, mooring at night in secluded spots deep in the jungle, where guests sleep on deck atop simple mattresses.
While they offer good value for money, klotoks aren’t all that comfortable, for which reason we often recommend safaris on the more luxurious Rahai’i Pangun – a beautiful, 20-metre wooden riverboat fitted with 6 cabins and a spacious observation deck. As the journey unfolds, the river narrows and banks fill with spiky pandanus bushes, with vivid yellow gardenia and ranks of stately dipterocarp trees lining up behind.
Orangutans nesting in the trees, gibbons swinging through the branches, crocs drifting through the still, green water or hornbills flitting through the tropical canopy could appear at any moment as you glide deeper into the jungle, arriving eventually at the Camp Leakey feeding stations, where you’ll be able to watch the apes at close quarters. Nightimes on board the Rahai’i Pangun, with the nocturnal sounds of the forest filling the air, are equally memorable.