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Ways to Experience Camp Leakey
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All reviews feeding platform tanjung puting national park the river palm oil plantations non profit long sleeves an unforgettable experience potatoes gentle creatures visitor center an easy walk indonesian government thank goodness wild orangutans opportunity to meet take care high season
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is the most famous of the three feeding stations found along the Sekonyer River in Tanjung Puting National Park. My spouse and I visited in mid-September 2018 when crowds were smaller than during the high season. Nevertheless, the boat congestion was still unbelievable on the river at the docking point. From there it was a long walk from the water to the feeding platform. The path was for the most part flat and very walkable.

Our guide had us arrive an hour prior to when the feeding would begin simply to avoid the horde of people arriving in their klotoks. We found many benches arranged in front of the elevated platform in the forest to accommodate the crowds, and because we were so early, my husband and I were able to select a seat in the front row.

Be aware that orangutans are not always gentle giants. Before the ranger arrived with bananas and pails of milk, two females (both with babies) began fighting in the trees just behind us. Branches broke, and they ended up in our midst, still fighting. Enraged, one of the females charged through our crowd to the front where we were seated. She was only finally subdued by the ranger who quickly distributed the food, and then sat by the platform the entire time to keep the peace--and to protect us!.

In addition to the many orangutans, we also saw 4 wild Bornean bearded pigs, and a very comedic gibbon that bounded in to steal bananas when the orangutans were not watching. All in all, it was a very fascinating and exciting visit!

Thank CJW913
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 10, 2018

We took a klotok to an area near Camp Leakey and then hiked about 45 minutes to a feeding station where we hoped orangutans would come to fill up on bananas and coconuts. In addition to several orangutans, we saw wild boar and other kinds of monkeys. It was a wonderful experience and, if you're into nature and wildlife, one that shouldn't be missed.

Thank crosswycke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 28, 2018

I have other reviews of this tour, specifically talking of Camp Leakey

In comparison to the other 2 stops, at Camp Leakey there are a lot more benches for sitting on, and it also attracts more people (somehow). When we were there, a female orangutan with babe approached the feeding deck the wrong way. And she was clearly too frightened to figure out what to do. She managed to get herself on a tree which was very close to the benches and of course everyone swarmed to get a shot. For me, this is where the guides or the Camp rangers should have interceded. I spoke to one guide and mentioned that she was clearly frightened as she was constantly bearing her teeth, and his initial reaction was "No idea" but he did say he would speak to a ranger - I have no idea whether he would. 100 plus people were all trying to get the best shots / views of the mother and baby, and there was no one to politely but firmly tell the crowd to move to the other side, so she would feel ok to come down. In the end after the euphoria died down a little, she did descend and a ranger interjected to guide her safely to the deck so she could feed.

Alas when you are this close to nature, the logic that these are wild animals who do not know necessarily how to interact with humans seems to get forgotten as everyone wants to get that memorable shot. Done right, I don't think anyone would have issue with some guidance from the rangers or the Klotok guides. Most of the time it is harmless, but you do think about the Orangutan - especially mothers with young.

The trip and the 3 stops does afford you the chance to watch Orangutan in mostly their wild environment. You see their acrobatics (although it was upstaged by a Gibbon at Camp Leakey), you watch how the young somehow manage to hold on to their mothers as they move through the trees. You watch the young adults who don't have to worry about babies, being more adventurous, swaying in the upper branches till they can reach across to the next one. Down at the feeding platform (elevated), you can watch their antics as they stuff their faces, hands and feet full of food (mainly bananas), and sometimes sit there and eat or ascend up the nearest tree, consume it all, before returning for a second helping! They're really quite fascinating, and certainly for those who really are wildlife lovers, you can easily spend a couple of hours observing them and their interaction.

The museum needs better lighting and looks a little tired - but it represents the years of support they have given to Orangutan, so it is worth the visit.

Thank Stuart T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 27, 2018 via mobile

This place and experience are very special. The orang utans were so beautiful and fascinating. Apart from breaking branches when travelling effortlessly through the treetops they are silent. One day we also saw a black handed gibbon too. If there were no feeding stations you wouldn’t get a chance to see these amazing apes. They are shy and elusive in the forest. We did see 2 building nests by the river from the boat but only saw the glimpse of an arm. The Klotok was a brilliant experience and we loved every minute. You can see endemic proboscis monkeys from the boat: only found in Borneo.
The main downside was the appalling behaviour of some of the visitors. Speaking loudly in front of a sign saying Silence isn’t acceptable and allowing children to throw sticks in front of the feeding station is wrong and stupid. However when I asked people to stop in a polite way they were very rude. It made me ashamed to be European. I think some people confuse this with a Disney attraction or a zoo. We must respect these lovely gentle creatures and this brilliant work.

1  Thank KathyE799
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 9, 2018

On a three day river cruise to view orangutans we stopped at Camp Leakey to attend the daily feeding. It was amazing to watch the orangs swinging in through the trees coming into the platform for bananas and sweet potatoes. It was an incredible experience. We did notice though that the buildings and walkways could use a little work. I know this is a non profit but it seem a little attention would go a long way.

Thank ClaireInBoulder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 24, 2018 via mobile

Camp Leakey provides education and passion for the conservation of orangutans. It is inspiring and provides a wonderful experience for observing the orangutans as they come for a feed of bananas.

Thank AnnabelleE66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 12, 2018

I went on this tour May 2018. AP Phoenix described it perfectly. It is not about luxury nor comfort. It is all about orangutans, up close and person. Such wonderful animals. No aggression towards us, just curiosity. You could travel with another company, but you would miss the best parts. Dr. G is a wealth of knowledge that she shared daily with our group. We were allowed to visit the feeding stations before the hordes of tourist arrived. We also had an opportunity to meet sun bears. I cannot recommend this trip more than I have.

1  Thank Nancy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 3, 2018

Slightly disappointing museum/info centre that feels neglected, however because it was the original rehabilitation centre, the orangutans here are very comfortable with people and its likely to be the place you'll have a close-up encounter. There's a delightful gibbon who comes to the feeding platform too, and a not-so-wild boar snuffling around so its a great spot to end a tour.

Thank LaraM1743
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 22, 2018

Dr. Birute Galdikas founded Camp Leakey over 40 years ago. If not for this center and the work that Dr. G conducted here, the world would not have it's foundation of knowledge about orangutans. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and are clearly dedicated to the conservation of the area that is being decimated by logging and palm oil plantations. It is evident that a lifetime of work and care has gone into creating, maintaining and trying to preserve this area for this incredible species. The up-close exposure you have to orangutans in their natural habitat where they have freedom to come and go is amazing. They are generally docile, solitary creatures. Witnessing mothers take care of their young is also beautiful. They will walk and swing right by you- many times they were just an arms length away or less.

Some pointers- wear comfortable shoes as there is a bit of walking to the feeding platforms. Wear and bring mosquito repellent. Prior to this trip, I actually treated my clothes in permethrin. I also brought repellent with the highest amount of DEET that I could find. That being said the mosquitoes can still be treacherous so be sure to protect yourself. Also, the heat / humidity is intense as it is in this region of the world. I actually wore light, breathable materials (both pants and long sleeves / 3/4 sleeves for protection from both the sun while walking and bugs) instead of shorts. Bring a water bottle and stay hydrated! Try not to bring plastic, disposable water bottles there... you are in the jungle and it's difficult to remove garbage. I carried a Nalgene.

Enjoy an unforgettable experience and please support Orangutan Foundation International. They are the non-profit that funds the feeding stations, research, orangutan rescue and orphanage. They do not benefit from the fees that the Indonesian government collects from park permits. Anyone you see in the park or Camp Leakey wearing a blue uniform is there because of this amazing non-profit and I'd consider their budget shoe string considering the amount that they do and accomplish.

2  Thank AP_Phoenix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 19, 2018

Started in the 1970's, this humble research center doesn't look like much. But, it is the final destination in the three feeding station tour of the orangutans and other wildlife. This walk is relatively easy compared to the first feeding station (it's long, but the path is in pretty good condition.) As we were walking back to our boat, it suddenly started to rain, and I just enjoyed the warm shower. It was a perfect ending to the visit. They've been doing this routine (the camp's staff) for a long time, and they got it down to a fine art. Just relax and enjoy what nature has to offer.

Thank Bryan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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