Deep, dark and exotic, the very notion of Borneo rouses something in the subconcious. Summoning visions of mythical people and ancient forests as one picturesque of every people whom are interested with its secrets and every bits of taste in adventure. It is a romantic notion which has been managed to keep come to her secrets and most of them lie in the interior of its island as one big communal and expanding region in Indonesia.
Borneo is the third largest island in the world after Greenland and New Guinea. Borneo covers 746,309 sq km. Indonesian Borneo is known as Kalimantan “River of Diamonds”. It is occupying two-thirds of Borneo land mass, Kalimantan is divided into four provinces : East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan. There are over 30 ethnic groups living in this particular island making it as an island with the highest human social group in the world. The native inhabitants of it are island is the “Dayak” who live in the interior of its island.
Deep in Kumai, quite a number of riverboats – klotoks – are ready to take passengers up the Seikonyer river. As the round trip takes at least two days, and to ensure that you get a boat with adequate bathroom and sleeping facilities, it is advisable to travel in a group or book well in advance with an operator experienced in handling eco-tours in the area.
Peak season of visits to the orang utans in Tanjung Puting is between July and August, when klotoks may also be difficult to find.
Klotoks are two-storeyed wooden river boats equipped with inboard or outboard motor, and are specially built to navigate through shallow waters and narrow sections of the river. They have a shallow draft and generally measure 12 meters in length by 2.5 meters width. They normally carry goods or passengers up and down the river. The upper deck is covered with a roof and is meant for passengers. With seats, the open deck is perfect for viewing wildlife in the forests that will often show themselves along the embankments of the river. Here one can see among the dense trees, macaques, proboscis monkeys, gibbons, deer, and a number of birds
When cleared of chairs, the upper deck of the Klotok serves as area for passengers to take their meals, while at night it becomes the passengers’ sleeping quarters. Mattresses are taken out and covered with mosquito nets, ensuring a restful sleep after an exciting trek into the jungle to get up close to the orangutans. On the lower level of the Klotok are the bathroom, kitchen, and crew quarters. In some higher priced boats, bathrooms are equipped with shower and air conditioning.
While in the small space called “kitchen”, experienced cooks can in no time whisk up delicious meals of fresh crabs, fish, fried tofu, Indonesian salad called gado-gado, and fried bananas for afternoon snack, thus making sure that visitors to Tanjung Puting not only take home memories of an unforgettable trek to see orangutans in the wild, but also unique photographs of an enjoyable journey on a Klotok riverboat through remote tropical forests
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