Gunung Leuser National Park
Sumatra National Parks
Gunung Leuser National Park is in North Sumatra covering 950,000 hectares, a fair portion of North Sumatra.
The Leuser Ecosystem lists over 382 species of birds, 105 species of mammals, 103 species of reptiles and 35 species of amphibians. The flora contains some 3500 plant species, and in one hectare you can find 130 different tree species.
It is believed to contain around 300 elephants, 60 tigers and 40 rhinos but the chances of seeing one of these is slim. There are also around 5000 orangutan as well as gibbons, the white breasted Thomas leaf monkey, the long and pig tailed macaques, the white handed gibbon and the cuddly black siamang. Also living in the park are clouded leopards, marbled cat, crocodile and sun bears and over 300 bird species including the rhinoceros hornbill and the helmeted hornbill. The Rafflesia arnoldi, largest flower in the world, can also be found within the park.
Gunung in Indonesian means mountain. Gunung Leuser, at a height of 3404m, and Gunung Kemiri (3414m), Gunung Simpali (3270m) and Gunung Perkinson (2828m) are all found within this National Park.
All offers some great trekking opportunities. Trekking to the summit of Gunung Leuser can entail a 14 day return trip. Best place to trek from is Angusan which is close to Blanjkejeren.
Permits need to be arranged before entering the park. At both Bukit Lawang and Kutacane there is a PHPA office to arrange this.
Tangkahan, which has elephants and very few tourists. Guides there charge Rp.180,000 for guided jungle treks, though just seeing the elephants is very cheap (free if you know the right people), and rides on the elephants are negotiable. There is a nice hotel overlooking the river there which was going for Rp.50,000 per night in August 2005. Note, however, that fewer buses go to Tengkahan than Bukit Lawang, so conditions are rougher and longer. It is about 2 hours by motorbike to Tengkahan from Bukit Lawang over dirt roads, as there is no direct bus service between Tengkahan and Bukit Lawang, despite being closer together than either is to Medan. Rates for arranging guides to drive you by motorbike to Tengkahan from Bukit Lawang were Rp.220,000 for 3 motorbikes and 3 guides to drive the bikes there and take them back. A face mask and cheap sunglasses will help with dust. The rainy season can make sections of this route impassable.
Last updated - 13th June 2009
English - Indonesian translator/dictionary
© 2009 Sumatra Travel
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