Tangkahan is a small rural settlement on the edge of the Gunung Leuser National Park. It is more isolated than Bukit Lawang and has not been developed to the same extent. Get up close and personal with Sumatra’s largest animal, the Sumatran elephant. One of four Asian elephant subspecies, only around 2000 Sumatran elephant survives and they are high risk of extinction. Experience the beautiful scenery of the rivers cape on the edge of the jungle.
If you make the adventurous journey here you will be rewarded with unspoiled nature and the friendly local Karonese people. There is certainly plenty for all nature lovers here with elephant treks; walks to several waterfalls and springs; rafting or tubing down the Alas, Bamboo or Buluh Rivers and plenty of fantastic treks through the wild jungle. Rangers are on hand to lead the treks and although their English can be somewhat limited their friendly persona and excellent knowledge of the area is second to none. Tiger, rhino, clouded leopard (recently discovered to be an entirely new species) and orangutan all inhabit the Gunung Leuser Park and although hard to find, you can attempt to track them down with your guides.
Trekking through the jungles of Sumatra may well bring you in to contact with leeches, especially if you are out after rainfall. Leeches are not dangerous and you do not catch disease from them but they are a nuisance and you do need to expect to come across them.
What to explore at Washing Elephants in Tangkahan?
Ride patrol elephants on a choice of treks with a well-designed and comfortable howdah to experience the adventure of wildlife patrol. Steep slopes and dense vegetation bring you the excitement of the jungle. At the end of the trek you can bathe with the elephant as they spray water to cool off in the forest river. You can join the bathing twice a day 8:30- 9:30 am in the morning, and 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm in the afternoon, and choice your elephant for a hand feeding. According to the senior mahout the bathing time is the golden time to establish an emotional contact between this social animal and mahout.
For elephant enthusiasts there is a chance to learn how to handle Sumatran in bean elephant’s mahout package. It takes only 3 days to learn to use the basic commands and be able to handle the animal by your own. You will experience all the works that a mahout does to care for the elephant, including bathing the elephant, cooking its food supplement, and riding an elephant by yourself!
Be swept away on raft rides, tube over rapids and through caves. Taste the sweet oranges at the local orange groves, all accompanied by the gentle call of the argus pheasant and the cry of the gibbons.
How to get there:
Tangkahan is a small village located about 47 miles away from Medan on the border of Gunung Leuser National Park located. It’s situated at the junction of 2 rivers, the Buluh River and the Batang River.
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