Borneo orangutan photography holiday

“My Borneo orangutan holiday was all I imagined and more. If you’re looking for a trip where you walk away feeling like you’ve gained an insight into another world, then this is the one for you. Amazing !Rebecca Logan

Glide down gorgeous rivers and visit orangutan feeding sites and the Camp Leakey research centre. In partnership with The Orangutan Foundation I’ve been leading these trips for over 14 years and they are always a highlight of my year. I can certainly make you a few promises:

  • Intimate encounters with orangutans and a huge array of other wildlife on a daily basis
  • A holiday that’s both inspiring and also great fun.
  • Travelling in a small group (max 8 people) united by a love of nature.
  • Special access to some projects and areas normally off limits to visitors.
  • Plenty of opportunities to see and photograph baby orangutans.
  • A chance to develop your photography skills in a friendly, supportive and creative environment. Non-photography people are of course most welcome too !

You’ll also help to ensure a long term future for these great apes because the profits are donated to The Orangutan Foundation UK. Over the last few years we’ve raised tens of £1000’s for orangutan conservation from these trips. In our crazy world, it’s easy to lose hope about conservation but I guarantee you’ll return home inspired.

We’ll get the opportunity to get very close to lots of the wildlife meaning you don’t need highly specialist camera equipment to get photos that you’ll be proud of. As well as over 4000 orangutans this bio-diversity hotspot is home to 30 other mammal species with daily sightings of Proboscis monkeys and other primates virtually guaranteed.

“A wonderful combination of brilliant photographic opportunities and meeting new friends. Having a holiday where you can relax in beautiful surroundings, learn a new skill and take away some wonderful memories. What could be better, thank you so much.” Gill and Andy Tarrant

Borneo Orangutan photography tour - further information

“It was incredibly special to see so many orangutans and other species living happy and free in the rainforest. Ian’s knowledge of the wildlife and his relationships with local people made the experience easy, enjoyable and unforgettable.” Liz Vagg

Tanjung Puting national park has no roads so we’ll explore each day by river and on foot. Our boat is comfortable and spacious ensuring there’s plenty of room for everyone to take photos from. Its large shaded area also provides the perfect space to relax while we cruise along beautiful rivers in search of wildlife. Orangutans, Proboscis monkeys and numerous birds including several species of Hornbill are seen regularly here. We’ll visit many places in the park including orangutan feeding stations in the forest and the famous Camp Leakey research centre. Here you often literally have to step out of the way of orangutans !

Our small group size (max 8 people) ensures there’s plenty of time for individual advice on photography. At night we all stay at Rimba Lodge which is located in the park. Comfortable and clean with on-suite bathrooms and hot showers; this is the ideal place to regroup after our day’s adventures. It has a lovely restaurant which serves yummy food which we’ll share together each evening. After supper we can have a look at a few of our photos from the day, which is a great way to develop our creative juices. Shortly after entering Tanjung Puting national park, civilization will dissolve away behind us and these trips quickly become like a group of friends sharing an amazing experience together.

“I came across this trip through the Orangutan Foundation website and was keen to do something a bit different. So with a love of orangutans and a new camera I decided to give it a go. I couldn’t have asked for a better group – you really do feel like you have known each other for ages. The orangutans were so close by and everyday brought a new story to share. Amazing. Roll on the next trip.” Lucy McDonagh

Borneo Orangutan tour - Dates, costs and bookings

Borneo orangutan holiday – 2017 trips

Trip 1 – 22nd to 30th Oct 2017 – To enquire click here

Trip 2 – 7th to 15th November 2017 – To enquire click here

Borneo orangutan holiday – 2018 trips

Trip 1 – 22nd to 30th Oct 2018  – To enquire click here

Trip 2 – 7th to 15th November 2018 – To enquire click here

Borneo orangutan holiday – Cost (same for 2017 and 2018 trips)

£2175 per person based on double or twin room

£2365 per person single room

A deposit of £600 is needed to reserve a place with the balance payable 12 weeks prior to departure.

Including: All national park permits; 7 nights accommodation at Rimba lodge (all rooms have on-suite bathrooms with hot showers, mosquito nets and air conditioning). Guides and boat crew; all wildlife trips including Camp Leakey and daily orangutan feeding sites; photography tuition; airport pick up and all transportation. Membership to the Orangutan Foundation UK and a donation of £350 per person to them.

Excluding: Your international and internal flights. Our internal flights from Jakarta to Borneo and back are booked for you by my agent in Jakarta and can now be paid for on arrival in Jakarta. These cost approx $440 US including one night at our Jakarta hotel where we stay together the evening before flying to Borneo. If you’d like help booking your international flights to and from Jakarta I have someone at STA travel who is familiar with this trip.

Borneo orangutan holiday - Itinerary

“A very special experience; a unique blend of sighting wild orangutans from the riverside, mixed with exciting up close meetings at the feeding sites. And complimented with expert advice in catching these memorable moments in photos.” Deborah Rouse

We’ll see so much wildlife on this Borneo orangutan holiday that a detailed itinerary would take several pages. Here’s a general flavour of what we’ll be doing.

Day 1 – Arrive Jakarta from your part of the world where I’ll meet you at the airport and take you to our hotel. We’ll then convene in the evening to introduce ourselves and start to get excited about what lies ahead !

Day 2 – Morning transfer to domestic terminal where we’ll fly from Jakarta to Borneo together; flight time approx 1 hour and 20 minutes. After arriving in Borneo we’ll  transfer by cars to Kumai (approx 30 mins) where our boat will be waiting for us. Our first river journey will be along the large river Kumai until we turn onto the Sekyoner river. From here we’ll cruise into Tanjung Puting national park and can expect to see wildlife quite soon. Our journey to Rimba lodge will take between two and four hours depending what we find on route. Getting distracted by river dolphins or our first sighting of an orangutan is always special.

After arriving at Rimba lodge for check in, we’ll head back out on the river late afternoon. Cruising upstream in search of Proboscis monkeys and other wildlife until sunset where we’ll we have drinks on-board.

Day 3 – Early morning and our first walk in the rain forest for an introduction to some of the flora and fauna. Midday journey on the river with lunch on-board followed by an afternoon visit to our first orangutan feeding site. Fruit is provided to supplement the diet of some of the orangutans that have been re-released into the forest affording us our first chance to see orangutans at extremely close quarters.

Day 4 – Early morning journey upstream where we’ll search for more wildlife. Followed by a short walk into the forest for our next close encounters with orangutans. During late afternoon and early evening we’ll glide along rivers looking for more wildlife.

Day 5 – Early morning start enabling us to visit Camp Leakey for the first time. During this beautiful river journey we can expect to see a huge array of wildlife. Our Afternoon visit to Camp Leakey will be followed by a walk in the forest towards our next orangutan feeding.

Day 6 – Today we’ll visit Pondok-Tangui which is one of my favourite areas and will usually reward us with extraordinary orangutan encounters. During our early evening river cruise we’ll watch huge gatherings of fire flies by the side of the river. Twinkling like thousands of Christmas tree lights this is a magical experience which we’ll photograph.

Day 7 – Another gorgeous river journey where we’ll return to Camp Leakey for more intimate orangutan sightings.

Day 8 – After our morning orangutan feeding we’ll visit  a reforestation project where you can choose a tree to plant in your name. Our afternoon journey will take us to the lovely Sekyoner village in the national park.

Day 9 – Morning river journey back downstream and transfer to airport for our flight back to Jakarta where we’ll arrive by about 3 pm. Onward travel or overnight in Jakarta to travel the next day depending on people’s international flight timings.

“What a fantastic way to go searching for wildlife. Cruising along rivers is so much more relaxing than in a jeep. A truly incredible experience, meeting fantastic people and seeing lots of orangutans and other wildlife (including completely adorable baby orangutans!). Kelly Doig,

A few more photos from these Borneo orangutan holidays – click on any thumbnail to view them larger.

And below are a couple of short Youtube videos I’ve made to give a glimpse into how we spend our days on this Borneo orangutan holiday,

Borneo Orangutan holiday - Trip reports from previous tours

Below are a few links to some trip reports from previous Borneo orangutan holidays. Click on any image to take you the relevant page.

Borneo Orangutan holiday - testimonials

I’m very grateful for the many friendships which have blossomed from my Borneo orangutan holidays. Thanks for the lovely feedback below.

“What did this trip mean to me ? The world ! Sharing this experience was such fun and to see and photograph the orangutans was a life changing experience. ” Ella Clayton

“This trip enabled me to get a sound knowledge of my first digital camera and the one-to-one tuition gave me the confidence to experiment with different camera settings. It was a relaxing way to photograph wildlife with a small friendly group of people.” Colin Williams

“Ian’s trip would have to rank up there as one the best things I have ever done. To be in the presence of these wonderful animals is a memory to be treasured always and to learn so much from one so committed to the animals and his photography was an added bonus.” Barbara Hagger

“Our trip to the Tanjun Puting National Park with Ian was a marvelous experience. To get so close to the wildlife and particularly the Orangutans made for a unique opportunity to see the rainforest. ” Mike Helliwell

“We were looking for a trip that gave us a particular mix of wildlife , personalised travel and developing our camera skills. This trip ticked all the boxes. Very relaxing, learning at our own pace, spoilt for wildlife and above all great fun.” Jools and Gillian Lloyd.

“Lifetime ambition achieved ! A great small group holiday getting closer to orangutans than we ever thought whilst learning how to use our cameras properly. We have already and will in the future recommend you to others.” Tim and Kathy Burrows

“Meeting the orangutans was totally amazing along with all the other wildlife including the proboscis monkeys. It was such a pleasure to hang out with Ian and the rest of the group for the week. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch. The only negative is that it’s over and I’m back at my desk but I’ll always have fantastic memories.” Jerry Esterly

“A fantastic trip and an exceptional opportunity to spend time in the presence of Orangutans, Proboscis monkeys and so much other wildlife. The memories will stay with me for ever.” James McClelland

“Thank you so much. This was the trip of a lifetime and I can’t wait for my next one.” Sarah Marshall

“The opportunity to get so close to the orangutans and observe their behaviour was awe inspiring. Ian’s informal approach to the photography was great and he was always on hand to give advice when needed without making the day overly structured.” Claire Knights, England

“A wonderful trip. I learnt so much and came back inspired; not just to take better photos but also to do something to help save these incredible animals.” Elaine Clueit, England

“Thank you so much. The holiday was a fantastic way of combining an interest in photography with experiencing close up encounters with orangutans and other wildlife in their natural environment.” Lucy Buckley

“This holiday exceeded all my expectations. I never thought we’d see so many orangutans and our time in Borneo was such brilliant fun too.” Isabelle Sutton

“What were the highlights ? Such amazing sightings of orangutans so close up and the beauty of the forest. But also all the other wildlife we saw and our lovely group of people I spent the week with.” Tara Britton.

“My Borneo orangutan holiday with Ian was a life time ambition of mine. I just loved watching those orangutans and all their babies. The tenderness of the one day old baby made me cry !” Ellie Devonshire

“You promised me orangutans but I never dreamt that we would see quite so many. Watching the Proboscis monkeys at sunset was also a highlight for me and the fireflies; they were just so lovely and I even got some photos of them thanks to your advice. Thanks for a great trip. ” Leon Welsh

“Where to start ? I suppose it has to be with the orangutans but we saw so much other wildlife. Proboscis monkeys leaping through the trees and crocodiles in the rivers. Long tailed macaques and gibbons and all those kingfishers too.” Danny Walker

“For me, this was a holiday made in heaven. Thanks to Ian’s patient tuition, I learned how to use my new digital camera by spending so many hours in the company of orangutans. ” Valerie Shipp England

“I’ve just returned home so happy from my Borneo orangutan holiday with Ian. I’ve got many lovely photos from our trip and hope to see you all again in the future.” Anne Hamilton

“Thank you so much for your patient photography tuition and your wildlife knowledge. Seeing all those orangutans with real hope for the future was beautiful and touching.” Sophy Gilmore

“Can I come back next year and carry your bag !? Thanks for a brilliant trip and great adventure. Seeing those adorable orangutans and all the other wildlife was truly wonderful.” Claire Tiffin

“Our trip to Lamandau and Camp Leakey were highlights for me. Going by speedboat down all those rivers and then witnessing the behaviour of the orangutans … just so special.” Paula Martial

“It was incredibly special to see so many orangutans and other species living happy and free in the rainforest. Ian’s knowledge of the wildlife and his relationships with local people made the experience easy, enjoyable and unforgettable.” Liz Vagg

“I came across this trip through the Orangutan Foundation website and was keen to do something a bit different. So with a love of orangutans and a new camera I decided to give it a go. I couldn’t have asked for a better group because you really do feel like you have known each other for ages. The orangutans were so close by and everyday brought a new story to share. Amazing. Roll on the next trip.” Lucy McDonagh

“The trip to Lamandua which was so special and inspiring. Other visitors aren’t allowed in this area which meant that we had the orangutans all to ourselves and also saw some of the projects run by the Orangutan Foundation.” Mark Thompson

“To be in the presence of orangutans so regularly was great; both to observe their behaviour and have opportunities to improve our photography skills every day.” Emma Thompson