Leif Cocks East Borneo Tour - May 2023

Travel type
Small group of up to 10 guests - Ages 14 years +
Expedition grade
Moderate to Difficult (some jungle trekking involved)
8-15 May 2023 - 8 Days
Hotels and dayak village home stay
$3550.00 (AUD)

ex Bali (twin-share). Participants in this expedition are required to fundraise a minimum of AUD$1,000. Excludes Derawan Island extension POA


Single supplement


On this eight-day fundraising tour, beginning and ending in Jakarta, you will be visiting rainforests, trekking into the jungles of the Kutai National Park, travelling up rivers on motorised canoes, and driving through the landscapes of East Borneo and experiencing the traditional Dayak culture. You will go back in time to places in the jungle where orangutans have lived freely for generations and see where The Orangutan Project (TOP) and Center of Orangutan Protection (COP) are working to save orangutans and protect the jungles through their Bornean Orangutan Rescue Alliance (BORA).

You will also have the unique experience of visiting an orangutan rescue centre. You will see how BORA's team are working incredibly hard to prepare orangutans for reintroduction back into the forests. This is where you will see the real difference being made by BORA.

After East Kalimantan, guests have the option to spend three days on a tropical island off the coast of Berau.

For guests that want further adventures, we are offering action-packed extensions to Krakatoa, Lombok, 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.

An Introduction to COP.
The Centre for Orangutan Protection was founded in 2007 and works to counter crimes that threaten the orangutan and their natural habitats. As part of this mandate, we investigate, document, expose, and if necessary, readily confront any persons or groups who threaten to disrupt the lives of orangutans or local communities living nearby. COP is at the forefront of saving Critically Endangered wild animals, and strive to create a second chance for orangutan to thrive, whether this is in their natural environments or in captivity. COP operates several rapid-response teams that work to rehabilitate orangutans in Labanan, East Kalimantan. We work wherever orangutans are in need of assistance, whether this is from the cruelties of the illegal animal trade, circus performances, or low-standard zoos.

Your Tour hosts
You will be joined on this tour by two remarkable men. Hardi (COP Founder and TOP™s Orangutan Field Manager) and Leif (TOP Founder). Hardi and Leif will travel with you throughout the journey and give you their personal views about orangutans and how their organisations are helping to save and allow them to be released back into the jungle.

COP Founder and TOP™s Orangutan Field Manager - Hardi Baktiantoro
From 2006, COP Founder Hardi Baktiantoro worked as an assistant to Lone Droscher Nielsen at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Centre/BOSF Nyaru Menteng. During this year, at least 256 orangutans were saved from concession areas reserved for palm oil plantations. This figure does not include the orangutan that died before reaching the reintroduction centre. Moved by his experiences at Nyaru Menteng, Hardi was compelled to make a stand against the palm oil companies committing these atrocities in forest areas. From the onset, he sought to expose their actions, alerting people around the world to what was truly happening on the ground, as well as undertake direct and meaningful action to save orangutans and their habitat. COP is the first and remains the only orangutan conservation organisation to originate from Indonesia. In 2021 Hardi joined the long-term founder of COP, The Orangutan Project as the organisation™s Field Manager.

TOP Founder - 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 the leader 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 develop and entact genuine and long lasting conservation outcomes 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.

Leif Talks Orangutan Tours
Hi, I have now completed several Leif Cocks 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"

Participants in this expedition will raise funds (a minimum target of $1,000 AUD per participant) by getting friends, family and colleagues to fundraise via your own customised fundraising page, specially designed to direct these monies straight to The Orangutan Project. Details of how to achieve this goal and further info 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. (These costs are included in your trip fare).

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 Borneo has to offer including 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 surroundings. Further, Orangutan Odysseys has partnered up with The Orangutan Project which supports conservation programs in Borneo and Sumatra.

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.



8 days (8-15 May 2023)
*Subject to change due to local conditions

Day 1 - 8 May: Arrive Bali.
Today you will arrive in Bali and be transferred you to your hotel for your overnight accommodation at the Holiday Inn located near the airport. Tonight our group will meet and hold a tour briefing.

Day 2 - 9 May: Bali - Samarinda
This morning we fly from Bali to Samarinda. On arrival, you will be met by our local guide team disguised when crossing the Mahakam bridge we can see the largest Islamic centre in Southeast Asia from the bridge. You can also see the lives of surrounding communities living around the waters on the side of the Mahakam River. Afternoon we shall take a walk in the town and see the "mighty" Mahakam River. Overnight Samarinda hotel. (B,L)

Day 3 - 10 May: Samarinda - Mahakam River - Old Kutai Village - Sangata
In the morning after breakfast, we head to the boat dock to visit some of the oldest Hindu kingdom relics in Indonesia using a tour boat to the old Kutai village which is famous for folklore that is very suitable to be presented to increase knowledge about the kingdom's story in Indonesia. Afterwards, we continue to head to Sangata by minibus. drive from Samarinda to Sangata (about 5 to 6 hours). Along the way we will stop at the equator monument. We will have lunch at Kenari restaurant between Samarinda-Bontang. Late afternoon check into the hotel. Overnight Sangata Hotel. (B,L)

Day 4 - 11 May: Kutai National Park - Sangata Hotel
In the morning, depart from the hotel to the Kutai National Park 20 minutes from the hotel then proceed with a motorized boat about 20 minutes to the simple camp in the Kutai National Park forest. Afterwards, continue the activity along the forest to find wild orangutans in the national park. Lunch will return to the camp. After lunch, then continue the track to another route to look for other wild orangutans and various animals in the Kutai National Park. Late afternoon transfers out from Kutai National Park to the village and drives back to the hotel for overnight. Dinner at a local restaurant or hotel (B,L,D)

Day 5 - 12 May: Sangata - Merasa Village
This morning we will drive through to Merasa Village (approx 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 at we drive. We will stop for lunch at Wahau (Miau Baru) where we will see the traditional Dayak longhouses and perhaps even see some more wildlife. From here we will visit Merasa Village, a traditional Dayak village to experience the Dayak culture starting with a Welcoming Ceremony. You will meet the village chief, see traditional dancing and be introduced to the traditional way of life of the Dayak people. Later in the afternoon, you will check into your village homestay accommodation for overnight. Mattress, pillows, blanket and mosquito nets provided. (B,L,D)

Day 6 - 13 May: BORA Orangutan Islands - Merasa Village Home Stay
This morning, after breakfast we will travel down the river in motorised canoes to see the BORA's Orangutan islands. The islands are a place for orangutans to prepare for their release back to the wild. We will join the BORA monitoring team and learn about the orangutans and watch them being fed. There may be time for a swim and a coconut. Then it's back to the village for lunch. In the afternoon we will get back onto our boats and head up river 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, œLemang. 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 7 - 14 May:- Merasa Village - BORA - Berau
Today you will be given a special visit to BORA'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 BORA. Later, we will enjoy lunch at the centre and time to chat with some of the wonderful people working there. After lunch, we will return to the town. Final night stay and dinner at the Berau Hotel. (B,L) 

Day 8 - 15 May: Berau - Balikpapan - Bali
This morning you will transfer to the airport and start your travels back to Bali (via Balikpapan). On arrival in Bali, you will connect with your evening flights home or continue your travels in Indonesia. Tour ends.


Continue to Derawan Island - Diving and snorkelling - 3 days/2 nights extension (POA)

Day 8 to 10 - 15-17 May: Berau Hotel - Derawan or Maratua Islands
Today you will leave the hotel and travel to the beautiful island resort at either Derewanor Maratua Islands to enjoy 2 and half days of snorkelling, diving, swimming and relaxing before returning to Berau for a final night.

Day 11 - 18 May: Berau - Balikpapan - Bali
This morning you will travel back to Bali (via Balikpapan) to connect with your evening flights home or continue your travels in Indonesia. Tour ends.

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.





You will be supporting The Orangutan Project (TOP) in their work protecting orangutans and their environment as well as other vital environmental research. All funds raised on this tour will be given to BORA to assist them to continue with their wonderful work in East Kalimantan. You will also be helping friends of the national park regenerate areas of cleared rainforest.The purpose of this trip is to create awareness of the threat of extinction facing orangutans due to the destruction of their rainforest habitat and to raise funds to help orangutans. The trip hosts, Hardi and Leif are generously donating their time and expertise to help make this a unique trip and a special experience for all our guests. Orangutan Odysseys has raised over AUD$1,000,000 since 2009 to help support the orangutans survival. Each participant of the trip will adopt an orangutan (included in trip fare) and agree to raise a minimum of AUD$1,000 in donations for BORA. Your participation in this event WILL make a difference.

How else can you help? Bring along some urgently needed equipment.
The following items are needed by the BORA quarantine centre and can probably be purchased on line or through your local veterinary surgery. All are small, light and easily packed in a suitcase and needed at the quarantine centre. You will be able to present any small items to the centre at the time of our visit.