Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Road Less Travelled: Embarking on a Tropical Adventure in the Sumatra Rainforest

Sumatra is known for being the main island in Indonesia. It is also made up of three, huge national parks. One of them is ideal if you want to embark on a jungle adventure, and that is the Gunung Leuser Park. This is actually one of the most protected areas around and this is due to the endangered species that live there. This includes elephants, tigers and even orangutans. Orangutan in Indonesian literally translates to “orang” meaning man and “utan” meaning forest. In other words, an orangutan is the man of the forest!

The Big White Ape!

The main thing that you have to remember is that you can’t just walk into the rainforest and be able to command the animals there like George of the Jungle. That’s just not how things work at all. You’ll need to be patient and you will also need to respect the surroundings as well. If you really want to increase your chances of seeing endangered animals like orangutans then it helps to explore the eastern side of the park. This has a softer jungle and is much more accessible. This is also ideal for those who don’t have a lot of experience hacking through the jungle as well. In Bukit Lawang, there is a very easy path that takes you right through a rehabilitation centre for orangutans as well, and here, semi-wild apes are fed over the course of the day. This is great if you are a tourist, as it gives you the chance to see the apes in their own, natural environment.

Leeches- Why did it Have to be Leeches…

If you are not a fan of leeches then you may want to reconsider your trip to the Sumatra Rainforest. There are probably more leeches living in those pools of water than you could ever imagine and there are also swarms of mosquitoes as well. For this reason, it helps to bring a lot of protection with you so that you can defend yourself against these creepy crawlies.

Fasten your Seatbelts, It’s Going to be a Bumpy Ride

If you are hoping to wander out into the wilderness and see orangutans swinging from branch to branch then you will be absolutely disappointed. Nature is incredibly unpredictable and the chances of you seeing a fully wild orangutan in the world are very, very low. Taking a trip through the forest will probably involve you having to hold your shoes way above your head as you wade through treacherous water before you sit and have lunch around a campfire. A trip to the Sumatra Rainforest is not for the faint of heart, but it is well worth it if you can muster the strength to see it through. There are even hot springs dotted around as well, and with there being no hot water or plumbing in the jungle, this is a welcome addition. There are also plenty of wooden huts dotted around the rainforest where you can spend the night, and these have been set up for tourists who want to explore the jungle. If a wooden hut is not for you, there are plenty of properties for you to book in at in Sumatra and Indonesia. See here for more information:

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

When you venture into the rainforest, you have to make sure that you have all of the right equipment. If you don’t then you run the risk of either having a miserable time or you open yourself up to major issues along the way. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going during the wet season or the dry season because you have to make sure that you have a pair of sturdy shoes that have very good grip. The rocks and the paths in the rainforest are always slippery but this is part of the experience. It saves time for you to have shoes that dry off quickly as well, in fact, it is not uncommon for some guides to wear Crocs for this very reason! If you want to prevent against leeches then you can try and wear long sleeves, but the underlying fact is that the only thing that will stop you from being bitten is to not go into the jungle at all. It’s a good idea for you to try and check yourself on a regular basis. Sometimes you won’t even know that you have a leech on you, but when you’re trying to remove it, use a leaf instead of your fingers as this will make the whole process much more gentle.

Life’s Like a Box of Chocolates

An obvious Forrest Gump movie quote here, but it couldn’t be truer. Life is like a box of chocolates, and you never know what you’re going to get. This really does apply to the rainforest and you will absolutely need to wear sunscreen, even if you don’t see the sun for a day or so. The main reason for this is because the sun has the remarkable ability to burn you even if you are not in direct contact with it. You will also need to wear clothing that is both cool, yet dries fast. The rainforest isn’t called a rainforest for no reason, and you’ll see this for yourself soon enough! Ultimately, when you travel to the Sumatran Rainforest, you need to pack for every single type of weather condition regardless. Even if the app you have is saying sunny spells!

May your Waterproofs be With You

Waterproofs are essential. You will want to have some form of waterproof bag for your camera, your socks and absolutely anything that you have on you. You also have to watch out for the humidity as well, as this is more than enough to destroy just about any form of technology that you have on you. It also helps to have an extra pair of socks and a cap as well. This will help you to protect yourself against rain and insects, but if you don’t have one or if you have forgotten yours then try and use some banana leaves for protection. It’s what they’re there for! Other ideas include taking some plastic bags with you for any leftover food you have. After all, you don’t want to be stalked by a horde of bears who plan on eating your liver with some