Our many destinations on this special trip are within and between the forests of Central & East Kalimantan (Borneo) where we will see orangutans in their natural environment, visit the local people, and witness the change to the rainforest ecosystem. You will be co-hosted by Dr Gary and Inggriani Shapiro, a couple who know orangutans and Indonesia very well. Gary has been studying orangutans for over 46 years and Inggriani is an Indonesian who is a practitioner in the eastern healing arts, including meditation, yoga and massage therapy. Gary is co-hosting this expedition as part of his 70th birthday year celebration. Throughout the expedition, you will be given the opportunity to attend lectures on orangutans and yoga therapy sessions to engage your mind and restore your body.
Our first stop is Tanjung Puting National Park where your co-host, Gary spent time 40+ years ago studying orangutans and helping to rehabilitate ex-captive orangutans. At Camp Leakey, we may come across Tom, the dominant male at the feeding station. We will see both reintroduced and wild orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) as well as a host of other rain forest animals. The Tanjung Puting National Park is home to rare and interesting species including the proboscis monkey and the false gavial, a strange looking crocodile. But, it is the orangutan that most people come here to visit. It's sheer beauty and passive demeanour endears one of our closest relatives to our hearts.
After visiting this wonderful animal's natural environment, we will head to Palangka Raya, the capital of Central Borneo to visit the peat forests in the Sebangau National Park. We will meet the staff at the field station operated by a partner organization, Borneo Nature Foundation, and learn about the research and conservation activities at this important ecosystem.
We will also travel upriver to visit the orangutan islands operated by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, another partnering group. Later we will visit their education center at the famous Nyaru Menteng reintroduction center.
Next, we will fly to Balikpapan in East Borneo then drive to Samarinda where we will spend the night. Along the way, we will observe the changing landscape of this wealthy province that is making preparations to host Indonesia's new national capital.
From Samarinda, we will head to the Mahakam River known for being the habitat for the critically endangered Mahakam river dolphins. We will have a day cruise of the river, search for dolphins and witness the busy activity on the river. Later we will visit a traditional burial site and begin our trip to Sangatta, the gateway to Kutai National Park. Along the way, we will stop to visit the equator monument and have lunch at a Buddhist restaurant in Botang Kuala.
The next day we will begin our jungle trekking in Kutai National Park, home of the wild orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus morio). This darker haired subspecies of Bornean orangutan is only found in this part of East Borneo and Sabah. We will spend the day in the forest guided by local rangers and witness orangutans make their nests for the evening before returning to our hotel.
After breakfast, we will begin our journey overland to Berau and the Dayak village of Merasa. Along the way, we will stop at Bukit Pelangi Hills and see the biggest coal mine in Indonesia. We will view palm oil plantations and see with our own eyes the environmental challenges facing this developing country and its natural heritage. One we arrive at Merasa, we will experience a welcoming ceremony and meet our host families who will provide us with a homestay experience for the next two nights. During our stay, we will participate in normal Dayak life but we will take excursions by motorized canoes to the orangutan islands operated by the Center for Orangutan Protection (COP). We will view the orangutans and the other sights along the river.
On our last full day in the field, we will say goodbye to our Dayak hosts and visit the COP Orangutan Center and learn about the process of rehabilitating and reintroducing orangutans to the wild. Later we will transfer to our hotel in Berau town for a final dinner and walk around town for exotic fruits.
We will make our way back to Jakarta via Balikpapan the next morning or stay in the region for a post-tour excursion to the beautiful Derawan Island or the island of Maratua. Both are enjoyable for 2 ½ days of snorkelling, swimming, exploring and relaxing.
About OURF, the organization you will be supporting with your donation. The mission of the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) is to save the critically endangered orangutans from extinction by supporting, coordinating and facilitating conservation education, outreach programs, and other innovative collaborative projects in the species’ host country of Indonesia. Established as the Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative in 2004, OURF received its foundation status in 2007.
OURF seeks to transform the attitudes, values and beliefs of local Indonesians who impact wild orangutan populations in culturally appropriate ways such that they become the caretakers of the species and their rain forest habitat. OURF networks with other organizations, leveraging limited resources to make the largest impact possible. Some of the groups include The Orangutan Project, Borneo Nature Foundation, Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program, Yayasan Palung, Orangutan Information Center, Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, Center for Orangutan Protection, and the Sustainable Green Sumatra Foundation.
In 2015, OURF entered into a special partnership with The Orangutan Project to serve donors in the USA that support more direct conservation-related activities. As the USA chapter, OURF is also known as TOP-USA. OURF and its Indonesian affiliate, the Sustainable Green Sumatra Foundation (YSHL) works with government and existing nongovernmental organizations in Sumatra to promote their local education and outreach programs and partners with them with resources and information to increase their efficacy in the field.
Through YSHL, OURF works with local people in educating them through the Community Education and Conservation Program (CECP) to reduce their conflict with neighbouring wildlife as well as improving their livelihood with alternative and sustainable activities. With other NGOs, OURF also provides scholarships, internships, and fellowships to promote higher education and to develop a cadre of graduates that are advocates for the species. As TOP-USA, OURF is also supporting the more traditional large landscape conservation programs as well as animal rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction.
OURF is engaged in global policy development with other groups on behalf of the orangutan. At the same time, OURF conducts outreach in the United States, works with schools to involve students, and participates in other activities to further the mission of the organization.
More information about OURF can be found at www.orangutanrepublik.org.
After Borneo, we head back to Jakarta. For those that want an adventure on the way back, we will be offering an action-packed extension to Krakatau and Java or perhaps to see Komodo dragons. If you are interested in adventure and giving back to the world at the same time, then you have got to be part of this expedition.
Your special guest hosts. You will be co-hosted by Dr Gary and Inggriani Shapiro, a couple who know orangutans and Indonesia very well. Gary has been studying orangutans for over 46 years and Inggriani is an Indonesian who is a practitioner in the eastern healing arts, including meditation, yoga and massage therapy. Throughout the expedition, you will be given the opportunity to attend lectures on orangutans and yoga therapy sessions to engage your mind and restore your body.
Gary Talks Tours.
Hi, I have now completed several Orangutan Odysseys Eco-tours to Tanjung Puting National Park. On each one, we all had a great time, learned all about the orangutan's habitat, met old orangutan friends, made new human friends and most importantly raised awareness and much-needed funds to help save this endangered species. In the complex world of conservation and animal behaviour, it is difficult to fully grasp the realities of what we see on just a short tour. That is why I feel that the members on this tour, being able to discuss the deeper insights of conservation and behaviour, will enjoy the trip so much more. Plus we will be visiting several locations including a place I have never seen before: Kutai National Park. That will be my birthday present. The more you know about something the more interesting it gets! With any holiday a lot of time is wasted through getting from one place to the other, however, time can fly when you have the opportunity to discuss what you have just seen and what you are about to see in a holistic and in-depth context. It would be great to have you on board!
Gary says "Want an enjoyable holiday, but want it to be something more? Why not, see what is really going on, connect with one of the most intelligent fellow beings on the planet, meet the people working on the environmental frontlines and become part of the solution"
WHAT TO EXPECT
You are embarking on an adventure to places and amongst people whose lives are very different from your own. Many aspects of life in Indonesia will seem unusual. Remember that these are often the same aspects that make an area an exotic and attractive destination. While boat expeditions are considered easy, no trek is easy, even those rated "easy or moderate". In addition to the personal physical challenges you may face, travel conditions can present unexpected obstacles, such as rough and bumpy roads and changeable weather. To prepare for this "pack" a flexible and relaxed attitude. Bring a spirit of adventure and enquiry, a healthy sense of humour and a willingness to encounter the unexpected and you will find your trip to Indonesia the adventure of a lifetime!
To place a booking simply click the 'Book Now' button for your preferred date and complete the compulsory fields of the booking form.
- Visit Tanjung Puting National Park and the famous Camp Leakey
- See both reintroduced and wild orangutans in their natural environment
- Trek through the jungle and plant a tree
- Sleep aboard and travel through the jungle on our river klotok (boat)
- Exclusive special access to visit the COP's orangutan rehabilitation centre in Ketapang
- Travel up jungle rivers to witness proboscis, ebony and grey macaque monkeys
- Help save the orangutans from extinction
- Be escorted and educated by the OURF's Founder and President, Gary Shapiro
- Learn fascinating anecdotes and stories from your host who lived among the orangutans 40+ years ago.
- Restore and rejuvenate your body with yoga therapy guided by Inggriani, OURF's other co-founder and a trained yoga therapist
ITINERARY - 6th to 19th October 2021
*Subject to change without notice due to local conditions.
MAY 2022 DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED
Day 1 - 6 October: Arrive Jakarta.
Arrive and meet in Jakarta. You will be met at the airport by the hotel staff and transferred to the FM7 Resort hotel nearby. Over dinner tonight we shall have a tour briefing.
Day 2 - 7 October: Jakarta - Pangkalan Bun.
Fly Jakarta to P. Bun in the morning and straight to Kumai to meet boat and travel to National Park. Start 3 days/2 nights klotok tour. Visit Tanjung Harapan village in the afternoon and looking wildlife from klotok. Overnight on klotok. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - 8 October: Tanjung Puting National Park.
Klotok tour continues - Visit P.Tanggui (feeding station) and onto to Camp Leakey for lunch and afternoon feeding. Overnight on klotoks along Camp Leakey river. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - 9 October: Tanjung Puting National Park.
Klotok tour continues - Cruise down river and spend the day looking for wildlife from the boat. Visit Pesalat and plant some trees. Evening return to Kumai and overnight Pangkalan Bun hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - 10 October: Pangkalan Bun to Palangkaraya.
Morning P.Bun town tour then fly to Palangkaraya. Afternoon to hotel. (B,L)
Day 6 - 11 October: Sebangau NP tour.
Sebangau NP boat trip and trek. Lunch in the National Park and dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - 12 October: Orangutan islands.
BOSF Orangutan Islands by motorized canoes and then to Nyaru Menteng Education Centre. Visit other places of interest. Overnight local hotel. (B.L)
Day 8 - 13 October: Palangkaraya to Balikpapan - Samarinda.
Fly P. Raya to Balikpapan and drive through to Samarinda (approx 4-hour drive). Overnight hotel. (B,L)
Day 9 - 14 October: Samarinda to Sangata.
This morning we head to the Mahakam River and board a riverboat for a cruise to see the sights along this busy river. After the boat, we meet our cars and stop to see a traditional burial site before starting the long drive through to Sangata (approx 5 to 6 hours). Along the way, we will stop at the equator monument and have lunch at a Buddhist restaurant in Bontang Koala. On arrival (late afternoon) we will check into our hotel. Overnight Sangata Hotel. (B,L)
Day 10 - 15 October: Kutai National Park - Sangata Hotel
An early morning start for our jungle trek to search for wild Orangutan with forestry ranger. You will enjoy walking under the high trees in the forest. Lunch will be served in the camp. After lunch at 3:00 pm we will walk again into the forest to see more wildlife and in the afternoon you can watch the orangutans make nests for sleeping. We will then return to the camp have dinner, followed by a short night trek in the evening to explore and hopefully see tarantula and other nocturnal animals. Overnight in Sangata Hotel. (B,L)
Day 11 - 16 October: Sangata - Merasa Village
Today we leave our jungle camp in Kutai and drive to Merasa Village (6-7 hours). Along the way, we can stop at Bukit Pelangi Hills and see the biggest coal mine in Indonesia. We will also see many palm oil plantations. We will stop for lunch at Wahau (Miau Baru). Here we will see the traditional Dayak longhouse. We may also have the chance to see some wildlife. From here we arrive in Merasa Village, a traditional Dayak village, and get to experience the Dayak culture which starts with a Welcoming Ceremony. The village chief will be there to welcome you and you will see traditional dancing and be introduced to the lives of the traditional people. You will then check into your village homestay accommodation for the night. (B,L,D)
Day 12 - 17 October: COP Orangutan Islands - Merasa Village Home Stay
This morning, after breakfast we will travel down the river in motorised canoes to see the COP Orangutan islands. The islands are a place for orangutans to prepare for their release back to the wild. We will join the COP monitoring team and learn about the orangutans and watch them being fed. There may be time for a swim and a coconut. Then its back to the village for lunch. In the afternoon we will get back onto our boats and head upriver to see the white cliffs and the old tomb of Dayaks set in a cave on the side of the cliffs. We will visit the original home of the Dayak people, enjoy birdwatching and a visit to a waterfall. We will then return Merasa village to experience more of the Dayak culture. You may be asked to join some of the activities and spend time with the local people walking around their village. Later in the day guests will join with the local people to learn how to make some traditional food from Merasa village, “Lemang”. This is a nice time to communicate with local people while waiting for the Lemang to cook. Dinner and overnight at the homestay in the village. (B,L,D)
Day 13 - 18 October Merasa Village - COP Borneo - Berau
Today you will be given a special visit to COP's Orangutan Centre. You will be taken to see the process for rehabilitation and release and be given a presentation about the rehabilitation and rescue work being done by COP. Later, we will enjoy lunch at the centre and time to chat with some of the wonderful people working there. After lunch, we will drive through to Berau town. Final night stay and dinner at the Berau Hotel. (B,L)
Day 14 - 19 October: Berau - Balikpapan - Jakarta.
This morning you will transfer to the airport and start our travels back to Jakarta (via Balikpapan). On arrival in Jakarta, you will to connect with your evening flights home or continue your travels in Indonesia. Tour ends.
OR Continue to Derawan Island for diving and snorkelling 3 days/2 nights extension (POA)
Day 14-16: Derawan or Maratua Islands - Berau Hotel
Today you will leave the hotel and travel to the beautiful island resort at either Derewan or Maratua Islands to enjoy 2 1/2 days of snorkelling, diving, swimming and relaxing before returning to Berau for a final night of accommodation.
Day 17: Berau - Balikpapan - Jakarta (or Bali)
This morning you will start your journey back to Jakarta (via Balikpapan) to connect with your evening flights home or continue your travels in Indonesia.
INCLUSIONS / EXCLUSION
- Domestic airfares
- Accompanied by special guest hosts Gary and Inggriani Shapiro for the entire tour
- Orangutan Odysseys experienced tour leader
- Accommodations throughout the tour (twin-share - single supplement available)
- Accommodation onboard our riverboat (klotok)
- Meals as noted in the itinerary (B,L,D)
- National park fees
- Airport transfers
- Boat Captain and assistants
- Experienced local guides
- Donation included for one deluxe orangutan adoption
- Orangutan Odysseys water bottle and travel pack
- Ranger and local guide fees, boat mooring fees
- International airfares
- Travel Insurance (mandatory)
- Meals not included above
- Personal expenses
- Tipping to OO guides
EXPEDITION GOALS & FUNDRAISING OBJECTIVES
Our goal is to provide our guests with a unique experience, to observe wild and semi-wild orangutans in their natural habitat. We will provide you with a safe platform to observe the other wildlife Borneo has to offer including proboscis monkeys, gibbons and more. We will also provide you with comprehensive information about the destination you are in so that you are fully informed of your surrounds. Further, Orangutan Odysseys has partnered up with Orang Utan Republik Foundation, also known as The Orangutan Project-USA which supports conservation programs in Borneo and Sumatra.
PROJECT FUNDRAISING OBJECTIVES
Participants in this expedition will raise funds, a minimum target of USD$1,000 per participant. Once you have booked onto the tour you have 3 options to complete this requirement.
1. Send a cheque directly to OURF
2. Donate directly to OURF via their website link click here
3. Fundraise via your own customised fundraising page, which will be set up for by OURF using Charity Go Fund Me.
Note: All funds go directly to the Orang Utan Republik Foundation and Tax receipts issued.
Details of how to help achieve this goal and further information will be sent once you have booked. Participants in this expedition will also be contributing to the survival of the orangutans and their habitat by adopting an orphaned orangutan (costs included in your trips fare).
ABOUT GARY SHAPIRO
Gary L. Shapiro, PhD began his involvement with orangutans 46 years ago in the field of primate cognition and learning. He was the first person (1973-1975) to teach a symbolic communication system to an orangutan (at the now Chaffee Zoological Park, Fresno, CA) and the first person to have taught sign language to orangutans in the species’ natural environment, the forests of Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesian Borneo (1978-1980; 1981). One of the orangutans, Princess, adopted Shapiro as her father. Shapiro was able to teach Princess over 40 signs which she used to express her interests in obtaining items and activities of interest as well as describing her environment. During his time in Indonesian Borneo, Shapiro assisted in the rehabilitation efforts of dozens of orangutans confiscated from the illegal pet trade and monitored the phenology of the local rainforest ecosystem.
Shapiro received his doctorate in Zoology in 1985 from the University of Oklahoma then returned to Indonesian Borneo (1986) to conduct post-doctoral freshwater ecology studies in Tanjung Puting National Park. Shapiro’s interest in the freshwater ecology of Borneo was an extension of the research projects he conducted while being employed by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (1982-1985). He spent 28 years as a government scientist, first as a biologist with the Army Corp of Engineers, then as a planner with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services and finally with California EPA in the Department of Toxic Substances Control where he worked as a Hazardous Substances Scientist and an emergency responder. He retired in 2014.
Shapiro was the co-founder and vice president of the first orangutan support organization, the Orangutan Foundation International, from 1986-2004 where he administered and oversaw the activities supporting research and conservation in and around Tanjung Puting National Park. He participated in the 1993 Population and Habitat Viability Assessment in Sumatra and authored or co-authored various papers and books on orangutan linguistics, cognition, conservation and ethics. In late 2004, Dr Shapiro and his Indonesian wife, Inggriani, were inspired to create the Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative (OUREI), a nonprofit project, in response to the education needs underscoring the crisis facing orangutans today, particularly in Sumatra. In Sumatra, the orangutan was Critically Endangered at that time (now all orangutans are Critically Endangered). In 2007, the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) was established as a legal organization to support the programs of OUREI in Indonesia. In 2015, OURF partnered with The Orangutan Project (TOP) to serve as their US chapter. Shapiro also serves on the board of TOP and administers the funds collected and distributed to dozens of organizations conserving orangutans.
The goals of OURF are to transform the attitudes and values of Indonesian people regarding the orangutan and its rain forest habitat such that they become the stewards of their forests and wildlife. Shapiro’s philosophy is to enrol the Indonesian people to become educators. Shapiro’s efforts have led to the establishment of Orangutan Caring Week in Indonesia as well as several Indonesian environmental education organizations.
Through OUREI, Shapiro facilitated the establishment of the Sumatran Orangutan Education Consortium, a group of Indonesian NGOs that assisted in putting on an education conference, workshop, and summit in Sumatra (2006). Shapiro administered an education program to reduce the human-orangutan conflict in Sumatra through the administration of US Fish & Wildlife (USFW) funds to the consortium members. He also co-administers a successful Indonesian scholarship program with three local NGOs. 172 Orangutan Caring Scholarships have been given out to college and university students on Borneo and Sumatra since 2006. Shapiro also oversees the LP Jenkins Fellowship for Orangutan Research, given in honour of his late mother, which has helped Indonesian and foreign graduate students in their field research. Additionally, through OURF, he administered the Mobile Education & Conservation Unit (MECU) with the Orangutan Caring Foundation of Indonesia (YPOI) to bring human-orangutan conflict reduction programs, wildlife monitoring and investigation, tree- planting and sustainable farming activities to villagers living near orangutan habitat (2010-2019). He is currently assisting a new organization, the Sustainable Green Sumatra Foundation (YSHL), establish and build their Community Education and Conservation Program (CECP) for a 5-year period. Seeking and implementing solutions of sustainability for local people through education and innovative collaborative projects is the key to saving Indonesia’s great red ape and other species.
Shapiro returns to Indonesia each year to facilitate OURF’s programs in Sumatra and Borneo. He also conducts occasional ecotours to Borneo and Sumatra, and he is an avid SCUBA diver. Shapiro also lectures to audiences of all ages in both English and Bahasa Indonesia when he has the opportunity.
ABOUT INGGRIANI SHAPIRO
Inggriani Shapiro is a certified yoga and massage therapist, and a meditation teacher. She studied 900 hours of yoga therapy at Loyola Marymount University under the guidance of medical professionals and prominent teachers from India and the United States. She received her clinical training for yoga therapy at the Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles. She also completed over 700 hours of comprehensive massage therapy training at the Shiatsu Massage School of California. Once or twice a year, Inggriani participates in 7-12 day Total Silent Health Meditation Retreats at Bali Usada in Bali, Indonesia. She has private clients for massage and yoga therapy practice in the USA and Indonesia, and she is also a regular volunteer Yoga Teacher at the Benjamin Center-Cancer Support Community in West Los Angeles.
Inggriani received a Master Degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma in 1987, and with her husband Gary Shapiro she co-founded the Orang Utan Republik, a non-profit organization in 2004.
She is also a Diabetes Advocate. With her Type 2 diabetes, Inggriani has learned to live healthily and is now committed to helping others lead a healthy lifestyle with yoga and meditation.
Inggriani loves gardening and travelling. She likes to bake healthy cookies and is in the process of writing her wholesome cookie book. You can follow her on Instagram #Inggriani_yogatherapy