Thirty years ago my parents spent a month volunteering in the jungles of Kalimantan working with primatologist Birute Galdikas and the Indonesian orangutans living in Tandjung Puting National Park. This past year my mom and I boated back up the Sekonyer River – six hours till we reached Camp Leakey. The matriarch’s daughter, Siswee, is now the leader of the pack.
If you have time to spare, or are trying to decide which of the thousands of Indonesian islands you will visit, I would strongly suggest visiting Camp Leakey. It is not the most simple of trips. You must fly from Java to Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), drive from Pangkalan Bun to Kumai, get permission to travel up the river from the local police and then boat up the river for six hours. But …. Jenie Subaru (firstname.lastname@example.org) will guide you. He grew up on the edge of Tanjung Puting park and knows the ex-captive and wild orangutans by name. Some know him well enough to wrestle. Travel up river with him on a houseboat and spend 2-3 days visiting the orangutans. Its like nothing you have ever done and totally worth it.