Kalimantan

Kalimantan occupies two thirds of Borneo, with the mighty Tanjung Puting National Park covering a large part of central Kalimantan. This is one of the most unique holiday destinations in Indonesia, providing a real opportunity to get off the beaten track and explore. See spectacular wildlife in its natural habitat as well as rare and beautiful flowers such as the black orchid, amidst jagged mountain peaks, waterfalls, caves and acres of tropical forest humming with life.

These vast, dense jungles, divided by endlessly winding rivers, are full of exotic animals and birds, especially the iconic orangutan. Tanjung Puting National Park rehabilitates and protects orangutans, and there are now around 6,000 here- the largest population of orangutans in the world. Make sure you also keep an eye out for the distinctive proboscis monkey, as well as crocodiles, freshwater dolphins, pythons, leopards, gibbons, macaques and kingfishers, while the nights are lit by flickering fireflies and starry skies.

It’s not only wildlife that calls these tropical forests home. You may also find yourself coming across remote villages that are home to the Dayaks, Kalimantan’s indigenous people, who remain largely untouched by modern civilisation. These days, there are over 10 million people living here, a cultural mix of Dayak, Malay and Chinese, with religious influences including Islam and Hinduism.

Explore the expansive waterways in a traditional klotok (houseboat), passing by floating houses and visiting villages, where you can meet village elders, sample arak, the local tipple (a rice or palm liqueur), and see local ways of life, such as traditional medicines. Back on land, go on a bushwalk into the jungle- hardy souls will enjoy the challenge of the legendary Cross-Borneo trek, which crosses the island of Borneo between east and west.

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