Aceh, Gunung-Leuser National Park Introduction
The Gunung Leuser National Park is one of the richest tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia. Covering up to 7927 km2 and straddling the border of North Sumatra and Aceh provinces it is one of the last places on earth, where you can see the critically endangered orangutans in the wild.
This region is also a host of other wildlife. Elephants, rhinos, tigers, leopard cats, siamangs, Thomas leaf monkeys, macaques, gibbons are just a handful of the thousands of species found in this unique eco-system. Together with Bukit Barisan Selatan and Kerinci Seblat National Parks, it is a Unesco World Heritage Site (since 2004), a Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra.
The park area reaches up to 3,404m to the peak of Gunung Leuser which gave the area its name and protects a wide range of eco-systems. There are river systems, volcanoes and lakes. This rainforest is immensely biodiverse, hosting approximately 700 different species of animals – more than 175 mammals, 320 birds, 190 reptiles and amphibians. Because of the great differences in altitude and the diversity in soil, the Gunung Leuser National Park has also an enormous wealth of plant species. So 45% of all recorded plant species in the West Indo-Malayan region are found in this area. The flora contains approximately 10.000 plant species, including the spectacular Rafflesia Arnoldi and Amorphophallus titanum, the biggest and the highest flower in the world.
Bukit Lawang, the usual point of start of all our tours, is considered one of the best gateways unto experiencing the many marvels of the Gunung Leuser National Park. Although no longer a centre for active rehabilitation and release, the forest surrounding Bukit Lawang still offers big opportunities to observe orangutans and a variety of other habitants of the jungle. Usually orangutans are seen near the rehabilitation centre and at the feeding platform during the morning and afternoon feeding sessions. But the best experience is an encounter in the jungle where many semi-wild and wild animals are in the trees.
Sumatra Eco Travel cannot guarantee that any animal will be seen during your booked trek. But don’t be afraid, until now our guests never have been disappointed! Usually orangutans, white and black gibbons, Thomas leaf monkeys, macaques and a lot of birds, reptiles or insects are very frequent along our tours. If you are really lucky, but since there are very few still alive it is very improbable, you will encounter the Sumatran Tiger or the Sumatran Rhinoceros during a long expedition.