Bukit Lawang Eco-lodge, Sumatra

Bukit Lawang is a small village in North Sumatra and is famous for the largest animal sanctuary of Sumatra Orang-Utan (around 5,000 Orang-Utans occupy the area), and also the main access point to the Gunung Leuser National Park. Bukit Lawang rehabilitation center for Orang-Utans was founded in 1973. The purpose of the centre is to preserve the decreasing number of Orang-Utan population by rehabilitating Orang-Utans from captivity.

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On the edge of the Gunung Leuser National Park, surrounded by lush rainforest and on the bank of the Bohorok River, environmentally-savvy guests can relax in nature and comfort at the Bukit Lawang Eco-lodge.

Run by YEL, the Foundation for a Sustainable Ecosystem, the profits from the tourism attracted by the lodge go straight back into the preservation of the environment and the community that cares for it. Its proximity to the national park makes it the perfect base for jungle treks, caving and discovering the rich and diverse flora and fauna of the Sumatran rainforest. The cozy cottages comprise a range of accommodation configurations and all are simple but clean and comfortable, with ceiling fans, mosquito nets and outdoor bathrooms with jungle showers. The lodge’s restaurant serves traditional Indonesian dishes made with local ingredients and enjoys views of the river. The outdoor pool is the perfect place for a relaxing dip after a long day in the jungle.

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Look away now if being amidst nature (read inquisitive monkeys and plentiful mosquitos) makes you nervous or you cant do without a TV and wifi connection. But you’re not here to spend hours glued to a screen! Surrounded by the Sumatran jungle, you’ll have the unique opportunity to view gibbons and orang-utans in their natural habitat or try your hand at river rafting and tubing on the Bohorok River.

By partaking in these activities and staying in this simple eco-lodge, you’re also giving back to the local community. The lodge is run by a non-profit organisation with all profits going straight back into community development, environmental education and nature conservation, particularly that of the Sumatran orang-utan. In addition, most of the staff are local villagers.

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Accommodation comprises of 36 rooms housed within 5 lodges. Room facilities and décor are basic but comfortable – think rattan & bamboo furniture and tiled flooring. Mosquito nets are provided in all rooms and our preferred room categories feature a ceiling fan and en-suite bathroom with a shower (although there is no hot water.) There’s a small on-site restaurant that serves good, staple Indonesian dish. The restaurant is in a great position on the river bank, and serves simple, filling meals to fuel guest’s rainforest treks.

Travellers who make the journey to Bukit Lawang will not be disappointed – this is one of the best orangutan spotting locations in Southeast Asia. Sightings are never guaranteed, as the healthy population of orangutans in Gunung Leuser are semi-wild, and free to roam the huge national park.The rainforest here is also home to over 700 other animal species – including the endemic Thomas Leaf Monkey – and an enormous wealth of different plant species. Spend days trekking through the rainforest, river tubing, or simply lazing riverside with a refreshing drinks.

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Located 80 kilometres from Medan, our Ecolodge is nestled in the rain forest bordering the Gunung Leuser National Park, on the banks of the Bohorok river.

For more information and reservation write booking@topindonesiaholidays.com

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