Borneo River Cruise in Tanjung Puting National Park

The klotok boat runs slowly in the middle of the calm current of the brown water of Sekonyer River. On the banks of the river, on small boats moored under palm trees, residents around the river depend on fishing shrimp. This activity became a plural sight as long as I along this historic river.

Behind the winding and soothing grooves, the Sekonyer River has a heroic story when the Dutch colonialism. ” Sekonyer ” apparently was taken from the name of the Dutch boat, Lonen Konyer, who was sunk by the fighters hiding in the grove of palm trees. The incident occurred in 1948 when Dutch troops tried to re-colonize and storm Indonesian guerrilla bases.

Since that incident, the community has named the Sekonyer River from the previous label Sungai Buaya. The Sekonyer River is increasingly known worldwide for being the only access to the Tanjung Puting National Park – a popular tourist destination visited by 24,693 tourists throughout 2017. Of the total visitors, the majority are foreign tourists (tourists), as many as 14,933 people, compared to 9,760 domestic tourists .

River Cruise in Kalimantan

Along the Sekonyer River by klotok boat became my first choice. Infiltrate the wilderness with a variety of wild animal dwellers who are still awake offering different experiences. Moreover, facilities on the klotok boat are complete. At the rear of the deck of the boat there is an open dining room, making the feel of lunch unusual.

The best period along the Sekonyer River is actually from May to October, the moment during the dry season, because the chances of seeing wild animals are greater. The drawback, in that period is usually a lot of people.

River Cruise is not only focused on watching orangutans in national park camps, but has a wider scope – from observing various animals along the Sekonyer River, day and night trekking, camping and sometimes canoeing, to tree adoption. In fact, sometimes there are also many tourists deliberately leaning against the edge of the palm tree while watching birds and fireflies that often come at night.

Because it is one of the main components, it’s no wonder the klotok boat is designed as comfortable as possible. Spacious room and bed equipped with mosquito nets to provide maximum rest time for tourists. Usually the klotok boat service providers provide class choices, ranging from an economy that can accommodate 4-5 people, a standard 6-7 people, and a premium economy of 10 people.

Fauna Along the Sekonyer River

Sekonyer River and Tanjung Puting National Park are indeed the right combination. Tanjung Puting has also been known as an orangutan conservation center. ‘ Tanjung Puting is ‘the world’s orangutan city’ because the first study of orangutans was here in 1971. Here is also the largest population of orangutans in the world.

Towards the location of Tanjung Puting must go along the Sekonyer River, the Simpang Kanan River. Entering this river, the color of water immediately changes from originally brown to like the color of thick tea. In addition to orangutans, other primates that inhabit Tanjung Puting are long-tailed macaques, proboscis monkeys, monkeys, langurs, and sailors (red monkeys). There are also nocturnal animals, namely lemurs and tarsiers.

For bird species, the most commonly seen is the kingfisher bird which is also commonly called the  ’king of prawns’ ’.

Entering the Simpang Kanan River the atmosphere is more quiet. Being in a tributary as wide as only two and a half large klotok boats took me quickly along the Amazon River as can be seen in foreign films, but this is in Borneo. On the right and left side there are mangroves and tall trees which house proboscis monkeys. After about two hours down the Simpang Kanan River, I arrived at Camp Leakey, a place where tourists can watch orangutans.

Camp Leakey is a great place to see the process of feeding orangutans from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Satisfied to see orangutans directly in their habitat, my journey continued towards Pondok Ambung, where the klotok boat that took me leaned and spent the night. The klotok boat rests on a simple pier made of ironwood. This type of wood is still widely found along the Sekonyer River.

During the journey to Pondok Ambung, the proboscis monkeys returned to a tree on the river bank to rest after a day of searching for food. They are grouped on tree tops.

The next activity is night trekking to see nocturnal animals. Asa I see the tarsier getting higher after the trekking guide shows a photo of this animal. Besides tarsiers, there are also tarantulas, leopard planthopper, tempulu birds, flesh-eating ants, owls and scorpions.

Unfortunately, that night I did not meet tarsiers as I had hoped. Night’s getting late. The Milky Way Galaxy was recorded clearly through my digital camera. The closing moment of the Sekonyer River tour which is increasingly global.


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