Covering 4,000 sq km of tropical heath and swamp forest on a low-lying peninsula jutting into the Java Sea, Tanjung Puting is Kalimantan’s premier nature reserve. The reason for its great popularity is its 1000-strong population of orangutans, who live semi-wild around three feeding stations deep inside the park – part of the famous Camp Leakey rehabilitation programme, which helps the animals adapt to life in the wild if they have been orphaned or captured. Safaris are generally conducted on klotok cruises along the Sekonyer River – a wonderful way to experience the jungle of Borneo. Alternatively, visitors may stay on dry land in a number of purpose-built eco-resorts, among which the Rimba Lodge is a particular favourite of ours.
As well as the ginger-haired ‘Man of the Forest’, Tanjung Puting supports viable populations of crocodiles and red leaf monkeys. If you’re extremely fortunate, you may even spot a Sunda clouded leopard – a creature so rare and elusive it was only identified as a separate species in 2006.