Up the "Windy River"
Trip Start Dec 28, 2009
74Trip End Apr 20, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
On a river boat!
Upon arriving in Kumai, there are only about 2 hotels in this really small town but the taxi driver didn’t seem to know any of them, we were saved by a man from one of the tour companies who randomly pulled up next to our taxi, he could speak some English, and directed us to the hotel. We got to the hotel and arranged quite easily the boat for 3 days, 2 nights, you pay for 1 guide 1 driver a cook and a helper man, + ours and their food. On the trip you spend the time travelling up the river and you sleep on the deck of the boat, under a mosquito net, out in the open
On our way up the river it wasn’t long before we saw our first wild ape, they sit in the palms breaking the leaves off to eat, so you can see the branch shaking in the distance. They don’t stick around for long so it was only a short glance we got. The first camp we stopped at, we stupidly didn’t cover up for the mosquitos, even though we had spray on we were getting bitten to death, we stayed at the feeding station for about 5 minutes with Justin wacking me with a branch to get the mozzies off and we also had a wasp flying around our heads, you can imagine the scene, so we quickly headed back with many bites.
Travelling up the river was very relaxing and we saw more wild orangutans which was amazing and wild proboscis monkeys. Dodi was fantastic at spotting wildlife. The first night we moored away from any other boats and we had a family of proboscis monkeys very near to us, sitting in the trees on the river bank
The next morning we woke up at 4.30am, didn’t see the sun come up as it was really cloudy but early morning is the best time to see birds and some monkey action. We spent the whole day travelling up the river and stopped off at 2 feeding stations. We saw lots of black hornbills flying and loads of nice birds one being a Hawk eagle awesome to see, but couldn’t make out which kind!!
To get to the main head quarters for the rehabilitation centre you have to go of the main river and join a fresh water river that looks like it is black because of the minerals in the water, it is actually very clean and clear. Jungle rivers kick ass!!
At the main feeding station it was about a 20 minute walk, on the way we met Princess who has been on TV as she can use a row boat on her own
At the feeding station, lots of orangutans came down, they don’t get food everyday and today they just got milk, Princess came and sat right next to me and fed her baby and after much entertaining and when all the milk had gone she walked away, but first stopping to wave goodbye to us. On the way back from the feeding station we were very lucky to see some red monkeys, which are very rare and managed to get a picture.
That evening Dodi sat with us for ages and he taught us some words in Bahasa and we helped him with his English
This is probably the best wildlife trip that we have done so far and was well worth making the effort to get here. We are also getting better at Bahasa and can order food and ask how much etc. You don’t have to be able to speak too much but the locals seem to really appreciate it and some find it funny to see you try, plus if we didn’t speak some Bahasa I think we would starve and be sleeping on the streets.