Travel type

Expedition grade


$ (AUD)


Come and see orangutans the only way they should be seen, in the natural jungles of Sumatra and make a personal difference by contributing to organisations helping to save the great red ape from extinction.

Orangutan Odysseys is raising money for The Orangutan Project and supporting other Orangutan NGO's in their quest to save the orangutans and the rainforests. There really is nothing like giving back. On this specially crafted expedition, you will visit the jungle habitat of the orangutan and help protect their environment for generations to come.

Led by Leif Cocks, president of The Orangutan Project, you will be guided through jungles, on an exclusive expedition led by a man who knows orangutans and this location like few others in the world.

On this nine day Orangutan Odysseys tour, beginning and ending in Jakarta; you will visit pristine rainforests, trek into the jungles of the Leuser Ecosystem in Northern Sumatra and spend time viewing wild orangutans who wander freely in their natural surroundings along with a host of other wildlife.

You will get to meet Rudi Putra, award winnning conservationist and biologist and his team. Rudi Putra leads communities in dismantling illegal palm oil plantations that are causing massive deforestation in northern Sumatra's Leuser Ecosystem, protecting the habitat of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino. He is also an expert researcher and tracker, leading rhino protection teams on field expeditions to track down poachers in the Leuser Ecosystem.

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.

Leif Talks Orangutan Tours
Hi, I have now completed several Leif Cocks Orangutan Odysseys Eco-tours. On each one we have all had a great time, learnt all about the orangutans habitat, made new 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, that have been able to discuss the deeper insights of conservation and behaviour, may have enjoyed the trip so much more. The more you know about something the more interesting it gets! With any holiday, a lot of time is wasted 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.

Leif says, "Want an enjoyable holiday, but want it to be something more? Why not see what is really going on, connect with the most intelligent fellow beings on the planet, meet the people working at the coal face and become part of the solution "

About your expert host Leif Cocks.

The Orangutan Project was established in 1998 by founder and world-renowned orangutan expert, Leif Cocks, as a result of his almost 30 year career working with orangutans. Leif is a passionate campaigner for orangutans and has been President of The Orangutan Project since its inception.

Leif's years in the field have earned him respect within the conservation field. He has been a key player in developing conservation plans for orangutans and influencing positive change for orangutan protection and survival. This respect has given The Orangutan Project world standing in conservation and allows Leif to successfully negotiate conservation agreements with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and other government officials.

A small population biologist and curator by trade; Leif has several academic qualifications, including a Masters of Science studying orangutans. He lectures at universities, is a seasoned public speaker, supervises university students and has published several papers on orangutans in peer-reviewed journals. Leif is also the author of the book 'Orangutans and their Battle for Survival' and Amazon best seller, 'Orangutans My Cousins, My Friends - A journey to understand and save the person of the forest'.

In respect to his professional, animal, human and financial management skills, Leif has been the longest standing Australasian Species Management Program Committee Member; a Quarantine-Approved Assessor; Zoo Husbandry Adviser; Zoo Accreditation Officer; UN GRASP in-country point of contact, an International Species Coordinator, International Studbook Keeper and Chair of a World Aquarium and Zoo Association global conservation program.

With Leif along, you will garner a full and unusual understanding of what you are seeing, as this adventure of a lifetime takes you deep into the orangutans home.

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 other wildlife Sumatra has to offer. We will also provide you with comprehensive information about the destination you are in, so that you are fully informed of your surrounds. Furthermore, Orangutan Odysseys has partnered with The Orangutan Project which supports conservation programs in and Sumatra and Borneo.

Tour Food - Vegetarian and Vegan based
All included meals provided during this tour will be vegetarian (with a vegan option). Guests will have the option of non-vegetarian meals during breakfast at hotels and for meals (some dinners) not included in the itinerary. 

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 inquiry, 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.


Participants joining this expedition are required to raise funds (a minimum of $1,000 AUD per participant) by networking with friends, family and colleagues to fundraise via your own customised fundraising page. Your fundraising page is created by Orangutan Odysseys and monies raised go straight to 'The Orangutan Project'. Details of how to 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 (included in your trip fare).



9 days (20 - 28 July 2020)
* Subject to change due to local conditions.

Day 1 - 20 July: Arrive Jakarta.
Today you arrive in Jakarta where you will be met at the airport and transferred you to your overnight accommodation at the FM7 Resort Hotel located near the airport. Tonight our group will meet for a tour briefing in the hotel.

Day 2 - 21 July: Jakarta - Medan - Berestagi.
This morning we will fly to Medan. On arrival you will meet by your OO guide and transport and then drive through to the mountain town of Berestagi, with a lunch stop along the way, for your overnight hotel stay. Afternoon arrival will allow you some time to walk around the markets and see some of the town. (B,L)

Day 3 - 22 July: Berestagi - Kutacane - Ketembe - Start 2 day jungle trekking
An early morning departure from Berestagi for the drive through to Ketembe (approx 5-6 hours). On arrival we will meet with our local guide team and head into the jungle looking for wildlife. This amazing ecosystem will provide us with viewings of orangutans, Thomas Leaf monkeys, gibbons, macaques, hornbills and more. We will start the trekking adventure into the jungle viewing wildlife all day as we trek. We will camp at a river and enjoy a swim before dinner. We will camp in tents overnight in the National Park - camping equipment including tent, mattress, pillow and blanket is supplied. (B,L,D)

Day 4 - 23 July: Ketambe Trekking - Ketembe Lodge
This morning we wake to the sounds of the jungle at our riverside camp and head out again into the jungles looking for wildlife and more. After lunch we will walk to the local hot springs for a relaxing river spa before making our way back to Ketembe and our local lodge for overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 5 - 24 July: Ketambe FKL research station - reforestation and trekking - Ketembe
This morning we travel to meet Rudi Putra and his program with FKL, where we will be introduced to their important work. We will trek through the jungle in the morning and afternoon looking for orangutans and other wildlife. Along the way we will learn more about the vital work being done by FKL. Tonight over dinner Rudi will give you a presentation. Overnight at their research station jungle lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 6 - 25 July: FKL Station - Reforestation - Gelombang - Local hotel
This morning after breakfast we will farewell Rudi and travel south about two hours to the FKL reforestation site where we see their work first hand and plant a tree. From there we will meet our cars and travel to a local losmen (simple village hotel) for our overnight stay. (B,L,D)

Day 7 - 26 July: Gelombang - Soraya Research Station
Today we will travel through to Gelombang where we will meet our motorised canoe for a one and a half hour boat trip up to FKL's Soraya Station project in the jungle. We will stay overnight here and be introducted to their amazing work. Late afternoon, we will cool down in an amazing waterfall camp. We will spend time with the research team and do an afternoon trek into the jungle looking for wild orangutans and elephants. We will learn about what the researchers do and maybe help check the camera traps. Overnight Soraya camp. (B,L,D)

Day 8 - 28 July: Soraya Research Station - Lake Toba
This morning after a morning trek and breakfast we will farewell the team and jump back into the boats for our ride to Gelombang where we will transfers by car to Lake Toba. This afternoon we can relax by the pool and with a farewell dinner. (B,L)

Day 9 - 29 July: Lake Toba - Jakarta - Tour ends.
This morning we will fly from Lake Toba back to Jakarta where your tour ends or you can continue with you onward travels. (B)

Why not think about seeing more amazing locations in Indonesia after your orangutan expedition? For more details about some of the exciting trip extensions on offer to other parts of Indonesia please contact us.

Please note: Additional accommodation can be arranged for day 9 in Jakarta should you require it. Please ensure that if departing for home or onward travels on day 9 that all departing flights are booked for early to late PM to allow enough connecting time from your Lak Toba flight.





At around 2.63 million hectares, the Leuser Ecosystem really is a world unto itself; a rich expanse of original tropical lowland rainforests, cloud-covered mountains and swampy peatlands. It is among the most biodiverse ecosystems ever recorded by science, and it is the last place on earth where Sumatran orangutans, elephants, tigers and rhinos still freely roam.

However, the Leuser Ecosystem is now under threat. Despite being protected under Indonesian national law, massive industrial development is being planned for logging, palm oil, pulp and paper plantations and mining. This will threaten the entire ecosystem, as well as the continued wellbeing of the millions of Acehnese traditional landholders who depend on it for their food, water and livelihoods.