Sekonyer River Cruise, a Safari at the Heart of Kalimantan


Tanjung Putting National Park, a vast protected jungle area situated in the heart of Kalimantan Island. This national park is known as the sanctuary for the extremely endangered Orangutan and also the home to several rare flora and fauna.

The cruiser boat. via Instagram/chitasatya

The traditional way to enjoy the rainforest is by trekking. However, in Tanjung Putting, you can try the river cruise that will get you to the heart of this jungle area. You can enjoy the beauty of this land from the comfort of a ship that cruises through Sekonyer River and its tributary. Here is what you need to know about the river cruise at Sekonyer.

How to get there

Diverse vegetation. via Instagram/godo2point0

Tanjung Putting National Park office is located at Kumai, Kotawaringin Barat Regency. The easiest way to get there is by flying to Iskandar Airport in Pangkalan Bun.

You can then go to Kumai by car, it’s less than 10 kilometers away. Generally, getting to Kumai is easy as the road infrastructure is adequately good.

Picking a cruise tour

Exploring the jungle. via Instagram/borneohouseboat

There are many operators that provide river cruise tour in Kalimantan. Most of them offer a pickup service to the river site. As for the duration of the tour, you can pick three to five days tours. This is, in essence, similar to liveaboard tours that are usually found in Labuan Bajo or Raja Ampat. The only difference is that the boat here explores the rivers.

Klotok Boat

A comfortable boat. via Instagram/indoflashlight

In this cruise, you are exploring the pristine rainforest on a river. The boat they are using is the wooden Klotok boat. This boat is small enough to maneuver in the narrow river but big enough for you to live for a few days. The boat commonly has beds with mosquito nets, a cook who will provide you with delicious food, and of course an experienced captain.

The common Itinerary

Netted bed. via Instagram/borneotour

The usual itinerary for this cruise usually starts at Kumai or Pangkalan Bun. The boat will take you to Tanjung Harapan, Camp Leakey, and Pondok Tangguy which are the rehabilitation center for orangutans. You will visit these places just in time for the feeding time, so make sure you have your camera ready.

Orangutans. via Instagram/djrichardsonpics

You can tailor-make your tour or just take the itinerary provided by your tour organizer. You can also ask your organizer to arrange trekking program during the day to explore the forest. However, many tourists also enjoy night trekking to find glowing mushrooms on the jungle floor.

Living on a boat for a few days while enjoying the big natural forest is a great experience you don’t want to miss. You can also see the conservation and rehabilitation effort to help orangutans back to their natural habitat.

central kalimantan pangkalan bun sekonyer river Tanjung Puting