Orangutan Quest

13 day | 5 day | 7 day

The Quest series of trails start in Kuching, Sarawak , Malaysian Borneo. We rate them hard.

This Trail begins in Kuching, the charming and historic capital of the white Rajahs.

Established by Sir James Brooke in 1841, Kuching still has many grand colonial buildings, a corner of Victorian England set in a lush and tropical background.

The State capital of Sarawak , one of the states within the Federation of Malaysia, Kuching, is like no other city in Malaysia , displaying its charm with an easy grace. The name “kuching” in Malay means cat. There are many theories as to how the name came about but the most likely explanation is that the name comes from Mata Kuching (the Cat's Eye Fruit), a close relative to the lychee fruit that used to grow in abundance along the riverbank here.

Kuching's city centre is still well preserved and compact and most sights worth seeing can be reached on foot or by water taxi. There are ornate Chinese temples, quaint Malay villages, many fine examples of architecture dating from the Brooke Era and a number of interesting museums, including the world famous Sarawak Museum .

Proceed to into the heartland of Borneo into Iban country, The Iban, the largest of the 22 tribal groups in Sarawak , are originally from Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). They began emigrating to present day Sarawak 3 to 4 centuries ago. The Ibans, whose name was synonymous with headhunting in the old days, were highly successful in their military prowess, dominating all the other tribes in Sarawak . Culturally, they are one of the most vibrant ethnic groups. Their superb woven textiles of which are intimately tied to their headhunting rituals, rank in artistry and technique with the finest Persian carpets. The rural communities still practise the ancient form of swidden or “slash and burn” agriculture and are intimately connected with the land.

We shall visit several rural Iban communities and partake of their hospitality between a challenging walk / trek through quite mountainous areas where the orang utan still occur n the wild. Apart from field observations, have an insightful look at how the modern day Iban community interacts with the indigenous orang utan population. Learn about how conservation measures could work in these communities to ensure the survival of one of the world's great apes.

Working with The Orangutan Foundation these tours have established a remote trekking route in one of the few remaining orangutan habitats in Borneo . This trek has raised orangutan conservation and awareness, both locally and internationally and the money raised has funded community based orangutan projects in Sarawak . Adventurous travellers are encouraged to use the trail, which will also provide a sustainable source of income for the local people.

The Quest promises to be a real challenge. You will be trekking, with Iban guides for 5 days in a rural and remote region of Borneo , surrounded by dense tropical rainforest. The humidity and the temperature will be high and the terrain will be difficult and very hilly. You will probably have to cross and trek in shallow rivers and streams, pick leeches off of your legs and if it rains (and it most likely will), you will also have to deal with muddy, slippery conditions. You will be expected to carry your own pack and sleep overnight in the jungle. There will be few amenities, if any, on route. Amenities such as electricity, conventional sanitation, or running water (except where there is a waterfall) will be all but a dream for the duration of your trip. Food supplies will have to be carried with the team and cooked over an open fire. For the duration of the trek, you will be totally isolated from the outside world, meaning, it will be impossible to turn back once the trek has started (except for medical emergencies). It will definitely involve a great deal of physical and mental exertion. This is why we believe the Quest is for serious participants only.

Please take note that this trail is for the very fit and serious trekker and require participants to be able to hill trek for several hours per day in tropical and humid conditions.

Furthermore, it's important before the trip also to 'tune-in' mentally as good as possible as part of the preparation to be in the jungle for a number of days. It can be quite a bit of a change and mentally challenging to arrive from a different county, civilisation and climate and then go deep in to the jungle in a matter of a few days. Mental preparation is therefore essential.

These tough trips are for you if;

- you are interested in wildlife, conservation and the natural environment.
- you are interested in indigenous people and their way of life.
- you are really adventurous.
- you are used to outdoor activities.
- you are physically very fit and do not mind to rough it out.
- you will be able to trek for several hours a day in hot and humid tropical conditions.
- you have no problem carrying your own personal belongings.
- you do not mind sleeping overnight in the jungle in a hammock just sheltered by a canvas.
- you do not mind getting wet and dirty.
- you are not put off by leeches, spiders and similar creatures.
- you will have no problem eating simple meals prepared over an open fire.
- you do not mind returnng home with sore muscles, blisters etc.

The Routes

The Quest will take you through one of the world's most diverse ecosystems; one that is also refuge to some of the world's most endangered species, including the orangutan. As a participant on the trek, you may have a rare opportunity to see many of these amazing animals (although we can't guarantee it) and increase your understanding of this incredible environment. Although you will not have direct contact with orangutans, you will search for them during the trek. You will also be taught basic observational skills and learn how to spot and age orangutan nests. Your Iban guides will also share with you many of their traditional jungle skills. Most importantly you will gain an insight into how modern Iban communities interact with the forest and its wildlife. This, in turn, will help us establish a community based orangutan conservation project, which will ultimately help protect and preserve the orangutan and its fragile rainforest habitat.

The Orangutan Foundation (registered charity no: 1042194)

The Orangutan Foundation (UK) was established in 1990 and it aims to protect the orangutan and to conserve its rainforest habitat. The Foundation also cares for, and repatriates ex-captive orangutans back into the wild. The orangutan foundation is a member of the Great Ape Alliance, a coalition of 40 charities worldwide, working for the great ape conservation.

Orangutan Quest and beach

13 Days / 12 nights. 5 days hard trekking.

Starts and ends in Kuching.

Day 01

Arrival.

Arrive in Kuching airport and transfer to Merdeka Palace Hotel for check in and overnight.

Day 02

Free day. The day is free at leisure to explore the charming city centre of Kuching featuring old colonial building dating back to the 19th century. Overnight at Merdeka Palace Hotel. (B)

Day 03

Kuching - Nanga Tibu. Pick-up from hotel lobby and proceed into a journey through rural Sarawak , passing pepper gardens, cocoa and rubber plantations. Along the way, a few stops will be made. Visit the colorful native market in Serian town where a variety of jungle produce such as edible ferns, bamboo shoots and unusual tropical fruit are on display. Visit a pepper garden and stop by to view wild orchids and several species of pitcher plants. Lunch en route. Upon arrival at the Batang Ai jetty, proceed by longboat and ride across Batang Ai Lake (1 hr) into the upper reaches of the Ai River. Very soon you will be shooting up choppy rapids (1 hr or more depending on the water level) as the river narrows under overhanging trees. Settle in at the Adventure lodge. After dinner walk over to the longhouse, share the evening with the Iban people. “Berandau”(dialogue) on the “ruai”(covered veranda) with your Iban hosts. This is a very small community completely dependent on basic agriculture. (L, D)

Day 04

Nanga Tibu – Kerangan Maloh. After an early breakfast we will enter briefly into the Batang Ai National Park. Walk through a secondary mixed dipterocarp forest, crossing a few creeks. Today's climb is strenuous and if fortunate will encounter OrangUtan, pig tailed macaques, leaf monkeys and hornbills. Additionally, more orang utan nests can be seen along the way. After that, proceed on a hike (about 6 –7 hours) to Kerangan Maloh. Upon arrival at Kerangan Maloh, set camp and overnight. (B, L, D)

Day 05

Kerangan Maloh – Kaki Seligi. After breakfast, proceed with the journey and a short but strenuous climb up to Kaki Seligi. This is traditional one of the old trails used by local Iban hunters. Set up camp upon arrival at Kaki Seligi. A short distance from here is cliff with “salt leaking from the walls”. This salt lick is where the orang utans normally congregate. This trail is also quite narrow and slippery and since it is under shade, there is an interesting moss forest. Overnight camp. (B, L, D)

Day 06

Kaki Seligi – Ginting Sesuar. Following breakfast, depart Kaki Seligi for a short climb and then walk along a ridge to Ginting Sesuar. Many wild sago palms can be seen in the area as well as wildlife. Set up camp for the night. (B, L, D)

Day 07

Ginting Sesuar – Keladan Pengirup Ai – Sungai Mawang. After breakfast, start hiking from Genting Sesuar. Ascend slowly and go through virgin forest to Keladan Pengirup. This is one of the traditional “pusaka” forests of the Ibans, that is, a forest where it is taboo to fell any tree. Huge trees 100 metres tall can be seen. Lunch along the way. Continue the journey down hill to Sg. Mawang a scenic area with many waterfalls. Overnight camp. (B, L, D)

Day 08

Sg. Mawang - Nanga Sumpa. Following breakfast , hike for 3 hrs from Sg. Mawang to Nanga Sumpa Longhouse. The trail will follow the banks of the Sungai Mawang and you may need to walk in the water. Settle in at the jungle lodge. Time to relax, swim, explore the rainforest and have lunch or try fishing Iban-style. Return to the lodge. Dinner is served in the lodge with local delicacies to enhance the meal. After dinner, visit the longhouse. Woven blankets and handicrafts are available for display upon request and may be purchased directly from the longhouse people. Overnight at Borneo Adventure's Lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 09

Nanga Sumpa - Kuching. Following breakfast, depart down river by longboat, then overland. Lunch en route. Proceed to Kuching and drop off at Merdeka palace Hotel for check in and overnight. (B, L)

Day 10

Semengoh Orang Utan Centre and Damai Beach . Depart for the Semengoh Wildlife Centre located a short drive from the centre of Kuching. Observe the feeding of orangutans requiring rehabilitation. This tour to Semengoh Wildlife Centre will be arranged to correspond with the feeding time of the orangutans (morning 0900 / 0930) Continue to Damai Beach and check in at Holiday Inn Damai Beach Resort for overnight.

Day 11

Free day. The day is free at leisure at the beach. Overnight Holiday Inn Damai Beach .

Day 12

Free day. The day is free at leisure at the beach. Overnight Holiday Inn Damai Beach .

Day 13

Departure. Transfer to Kuching airport for your departure flight.

***End of Tour***

Price per person based on twin-share for the following categories:

2 pax: USD 1,356.00

3-4 pax: USD 1,178.00

4-5 pax: USD 1,046.00

Single supplement: USD 196.00

This includes:

All airport transfers

3 nights at Merdeka Palace Hotel, with breakfast

7 days / 6 nights Orang Utan Quest, from Nanga Tibu, full board

Semengoh Orang Utan tour, half day

3 nights at Holiday Inn Damai Beach Resort, with breakfast

Meals as indicated above (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

Guiding on tour with English speaking guide

Not included:

Alcoholic beverages

Air tickets

Note: All services stipulated above is subject to availability at the time of booking/

reservation.

Orang-utan Quest:

5 days / 4 nights. Moderate / hard trekking.

Starts in Kuching, Sarawak , Malaysian Borneo .

Day 1 Kuching – Nanga Jelia. Pick-up from hotel lobby at 0830 hrs and proceed to Batang Ai reservoir (41/2 hours). Journey through rural Sarawak , passing pepper gardens, cocoa and rubber plantation. En-route, a few stops will be made. Visit the colourful native market in Serian town where a variety of jungle produce such as edible ferns, bamboo shoots and unusual tropical fruit are on display. Visit a pepper garden and stop by to view wild orchids and several species of pitcher plants. Lunch en route. Upon arrival at the Batang Ai reservoir, transfer for 1 hour by longboat to Nanga Jelia, a trekking starting point. Hike about 20 minutes to the jungle lodge. There will be a time for relaxing and swimming later in the day. After dinner, join your guide for a jungle walk. Civet cats can be spotted in these areas. Large toads, frogs and tortoises can also be found in the nearby stream. Overnight at the lodge . (L, D)

Day 2 Nanga Jelia – Pantu Mong

Trek for about 6 hours to Pantu Mong after breakfast. Lunch en-route. Set camp and gather jungle produce like bamboo shoots or edible ferns for the evening meal. Have dinner and stay overnight at the Jungle Camp ridge. (B, L, D)

Day 3 Pantu Mong – Keladan Pengirup Ai – Sungai Mawang

Hike from Gintung Sesuar to Keladan Pengirup Ai. Lunch en-route. Continue journey to Sg. Mawang. Upon arrival, set camp and gather jungle produce for the evening meal. Dinner and overnight at Jungle Camp along riverbank. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Sungai Mawang – Nanga Sumpa

Trek from Sungai Mawang to Nanga Sumpa Longhouse. Trek along the Mawang River towards the Delok River . Lunch en-route. Settle in at jungle lodge. After dinner proceed to the longhouse across the river. Overnight at Lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Nanga Sumpa – Kuching

After breakfast, depart down-river by longboat, then overland. Lunch en-route. Proceed to Kuching airport directly or drop-off at Kuching hotel. (B, L)

Published price per person based on the following categories :

2 persons 3-4 persons 5-6 persons 7-8 persons

USD 996 USD 818 USD 704 USD 650

This price includes:

All ground transfers as per itinerary

Trips as indicated above

English speaking guide

Meals as indicated above (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)

Donation to local conservation project

Not included:

Optional activities

Alcoholic beverages

Items not mentioned above

Accommodation in Kuching

 

Orang-utan Quest:

7 days / 6 nights. Hard trekking.

Starts in Kuching, Sarawak , Malaysian Borneo .

Note: This trek is for the physically fit trekkers only.

Day 1 Kuching - Nanga Tibu

Pick-up from hotel lobby and proceed into a journey through rural Sarawak , passing pepper gardens, cocoa and rubber plantations. Along the way, a few stops will be made. Visit the colorful native market in Serian town where a variety of jungle produce such as edible ferns, bamboo shoots and unusual tropical fruit are on display. Visit a pepper garden and stop by to view wild orchids and several species of pitcher plants. Lunch en route. Upon arrival at the Batang Ai jetty, proceed by longboat and ride across Batang Ai Lake (1 hr) into the upper reaches of the Ai River. Very soon you will be shooting up choppy rapids (1 hr or more depending on the water level) as the river narrows under overhanging trees. Settle in at the Borneo Adventure lodge. After dinner walk over to the longhouse, share the evening with the Iban people. “Berandau”(dialogue) on the “ruai”(covered veranda) with your Iban hosts. This is a very small community completely dependent on basic agriculture. (L, D)

Day 2 Nanga Tibu – Kerangan Maloh

After an early breakfast we will enter briefly into the Batang Ai National Park. Walk through a secondary mixed dipterocarp forest, crossing a few creeks. Today's climb is strenuous and if fortunate will encounter Orang Utan, pig tailed macaques, leaf monkeys and hornbills. Additionally, more orang utan nests can be seen along the way. After that, proceed on a hike (about 6 –7 hours) to Kerangan Maloh. Upon arrival at Kerangan Maloh, set camp and overnight. (B, L, D)

Day 3 Kerangan Maloh – Kaki Seligi

After breakfast, proceed with the journey and a short but strenuous climb up to Kaki Seligi.This is traditional one of the old trails used by local Iban hunters. Set up camp upon arrival at Kaki Seligi. A short distance from here is cliff with “salt leaking from the walls”. This salt lick is where the orang utans normally congregate. This trail is also quite narrow and slippery and since it is under shade, there is an interesting moss forest. Overnight camp. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Kaki Seligi – Ginting Sesuar

Following breakfast, depart Kaki Seligi for a short climb and then walk along a ridge to Ginting Sesuar. Many wild sago palms can be seen in the area as well as wildlife. Set up camp for the night. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Ginting Sesuar – Keladan Pengirup Ai – Sungai Mawang

After breakfast, start hiking from Genting Sesuar. Ascend slowly and go through virgin forest to Keladan Pengirup. This is one of the traditional “pusaka” forests of the Ibans, that is, a forest where it is taboo to fell any tree. Huge trees as high as 100 meters' in height can be seen. Have lunch along the way. Continue the journey down hill to Sg. Mawang a scenic area with many waterfalls. Overnight camp. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Sg. Mawang - Nanga Sumpa

Following breakfast , hike for 3 hrs from Sg. Mawang to Nanga Sumpa Longhouse. The trail will follow the banks of the Sungai Mawang and you may need to walk in the water. Settle in at Borneo Adventure's jungle lodge. Time to relax, swim, explore the rainforest and have lunch or try fishing Iban-style. Return to the lodge. Dinner is served in the lodge with local delicacies to enhance the meal. After dinner, visit the longhouse. Woven blankets and handicrafts are available for display upon request and may be purchased directly from the longhouse people. Overnight at a lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Nanga Sumpa - Kuching

Following breakfast, depart down river by longboat, then overland. Lunch en route. Proceed to Kuching airport directly or drop-off at Kuching hotel. (B, L)

Guide price per person based at least two travelling

2 pax 3-4 pax 5-6 pax 7-8 pax

USD 1366.00 USD 1136.00 USD 970.00 USD 902.00

This inclusive:

All ground transfers as per itinerary

Trips as indicated above

English speaking guide

Meals as indicated above (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)

Donation to local conservation

Not included:

Optional activities

Alcoholic beverages

Items not mentioned above

Accommodation in Kuching

NOTE :

There is a 11 day / 10 night trek available - rated extreme even by our own guides!!

Details on request.

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