Washing the elephants
Key Details
5 days
Mobile Voucher Accepted
Live Guide

Select date and participants:


What You'll Do
  • Search for orangutans in Gunung Leuser National Park
  • Explore the jungle on a guided trek
  • Float down the river by tube back to your hotel
  • Help scrubbing and cleaning the elephants
Experience the stunning beauty and heartwarming friendliness of Sumatra. Search North Sumatra for the orangutans that live in the steaming jungles of Gunung Leuser. Take a guided jungle trek.
What to Expect
Head into the jungles of North Sumatra on a memorable 5-day excursion. Encounter orangutans at jungle feeding stations, trek into the rainforest, float along the river on a tube, and help scrub an elephant clean. Enjoy a ride through the jungle on an elephant as well!

Day 1: Airport – Bukit Lawang
You’ll be picked up at the airport in Medan and drive to Bukit Lawang, passing coconut oil and rubber plantations. The 3-hour transfer takes you to your hotel, which is located at the edge of the jungle.

This is the site of the famous viewing platforms where orangutans can often be seen. Please be aware that sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Day 2: Bukit Lawang
In the morning and afternoon, the orangutans are fed and it's a great experience to see this. Because they have no natural enemies they are naturally curious.

After breakfast you'll visit the orangutans, starting out with a walk upstream along the banks of the river and then crossing over by traditional canoe. In the jungle you can watch these beautiful primates at the feeding station. To make it even more exciting you can continue on into the park by a more difficult route to find more orangutans and monkeys.

In the afternoon you can either visit the town or just relax in or around the hotel.

Day 3: Tangkahan
Today you’ll go off road with a jeep, traveling for around 3 hours to Gunung Leuser National Park into real jungle. Your accommodation for the night is managed by local people and is situated at the confluence of 2 rivers. The local Batak people have realized that it is in their interests to protect the rainforest and with outside help, they initiated this tourism project.

Enjoy the heartwarming welcome!

Day 4: Tangkahan
Today you’ll head out on a special family trek through the jungle, and learn from your guide about the native plants and animals. Following the trek you’ll float on a tube along the river back to the hotel. In the afternoon you can help scrub and clean the elephants.

Note that the elephant washing cannot be arranged on Friday as the elephants work patrolling the forest on that day.

Day 5: Medan
You’ll travel to the airport in Medan on a ride that takes approximately 4 hours.
What's Included
  • Accommodation based on twin sharing (with breakfast)
  • Air-conditioned car with driver on Day 1 and Day 5
  • Jeep and driver on Day 3
  • English-speaking guide throughout the trip
  • Local trekking guide on the trek in Tangkahan and Bukit Lawang
  • Tubing on the river and scrubbing elephants in Tangkahan
  • 10 per cent government tax
What's Not Included
  • Flights
  • Airport taxes
  • Entrance fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and donations
Meeting Point

Medan airport, Sumatra (Open in Google Maps)

Know Before You Go
Character of the trip:
This is a challenging excursion that is not suitable for those looking for a luxury holiday. The roads in this part of Sumatra are winding and sometimes bad. The hotels are simple, especially in Tangkahan. If you do not mind less luxury, you will be rewarded with a special experience.

Travel is by car with air conditioning and driver. You will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide. The jeep from Bukit Lawang to Tangkahan does not have air conditioning.

Cancellation Policy:
• From the date of booking until 30 days before departure, a 25 per cent cancelation fee will apply.
• Between 29 and 11 days before departure, a 75 per cent cancelation fee applies.
• From 10-6 days before departure, a 90 per cent cancelation fee will apply.

From $323 per person

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Sunda Trails

Product ID: 35463