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Exo Travel


Medan / Tangkahan (Elephant Rescue Center) / Bukit Lawang National Park

Travel deep into the jungle for an adventure like no other! Explore north Sumatra’s rugged landscapes by jeep and on foot, searching for orangutans in the wild. After a night in a remote nature lodge, continue to an elephant rehabilitation centre for an unforgettable encounter with the gentle giants.

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Tour Highlights for Orang-Utans & Elephant of North Sumatra
See orangutans in the wild

See orangutans in the wild

Trek through Gunung Leuser National Park to spot Sumatran orangutans in their natural habitat, an incredible wildlife experience. 

Visit an elephant rehabilitation centre

Visit an elephant rehabilitation centre

Spend a morning with Sumatran elephants, bathing the gentle giants and riding on their backs through the jungle.

Explore Medan’s highlights

Explore Medan’s highlights

Take a tour through Medan, seeing Maimoon Palace, the Great Mosque and a Chinese temple- evidence of Medan’s cultural diversity. 

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Orang-Utans & Elephant of North Sumatra - 4 Days / 3 Nights

DAY 1 - Kuala Namu Airport – Medan – Bukit Lawang MealsMEALS [L]

Exo TravelKuala Namu Airport – Medan City Centre (30 km): 1 hour 15 minutes Medan City Center – Bukit Lawang (70 km): 2 hours 15 minutes

Arrive at Kuala Namu International Airport and meet with the English speaking tour guide outside the main building for the start of the program.

Recommended flights (Not included and quoted separately– Tariffs and schedule subject to change without prior notice):

International: Silk Air MI234 from Singapore to Medan arriving at 08:00 (daily) and Malaysia Airlines MH860 from Kuala Lumpur to Medan arriving at 08:30 (daily).

Domestic: From Jakarta to Medan by Garuda Indonesia GA182 departing at 07:50 and arriving at 10:15 (daily) or GA184 departing at 09:00 and arriving at 11:20 (daily).

Leave Kuala Namu Airport and proceed to Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, and an interesting melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Batak people living together in harmony.

Embark on a city tour of Medan including a visit to Maimoon Palace. Built in 1888 by the Sultan of Deli, the former name of Medan, this beautiful palace is combines traditional elements of Malay, Islam as well as Spanish and Indian, architectural. The palace is, until present day, inhabited by the Sultan who remains a symbolic figure for the Malay community.

The tour continues to the Great Mosque, built in 1906 by the first sultan and still considered as one the most beautiful mosques in the country.

Lunch is served at a local restaurant in Medan

In the afternoon, after visiting Vihara Gunung Timur, a traditional Chinese temple, leave Medan and proceed to Bukit Lawang at the entrance to Gunung Leuser National Park

Upon arrival at Bukit Lawang, cross the impressive wooden suspension bridge over Bohorok River by foot and check in at the lodge in Bukit Lawang.

Dinner at leisure.

Overnight in Bukit Lawang.

Note: Please take a light bag along for tonight, as the driver will proceed with the main luggage directly to Tangkahan after dropping in Bukit Lawang.

DAY 2 - Bukit Lawang – Orangutan Trekking – Jeep Drive to Tangkahan MealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelBukit Lawang - Tangkahan (45km): 2 hours 30 minutes by local jeep (max 3 pax + guide)

Breakfast at the lodge.

Bukit Lawang is at the entrance to Gunung Leuser National Park, one of the last sanctuaries of the Sumatran orangutan.

Start a trek early at 08:00 behind Eco Lodge (with an additional local English speaking jungle guide).

The first part is an easy climb to the forest for about 30 to 45 minutes – the local guide always sends a tracker ahead to check where the orangutans are. If some are seen in the first part of the trek, the guide will suggest people who have difficulty to walk to return to the lodge with the tracker while accompanying other participants all the way (one hour up and down in the jungle: more challenging and can be slippery. Good walking shoes are recommended).

After observing orangutans continue down to the Orangutan Information Centre on the banks of the Bohorok River (30 minutes) – cross the river using a pneumatic raft pulled by a rope (2 minutes crossing) and walk back to the Eco Lodge along the river bank and main village of Bukit Lawang (30 minutes)

Note: Feeding time is around 08:30 (or in the afternoon at 15:00). Camera fee is not included and must be paid locally IDR 50,000/camera (around USD 4) and IDR 150,000/video (around USD 11) each time clients enter the Gunung Leuser National Park

Free time for shower and changing at the lodge before checking out.

Lunch is served at the lodge restaurant.

In the afternoon, hop on a local jeep on the other side of the Bohorok River for an off road trip to Tangkahan (approximately 2 hours 30 minutes), passing through rubber plantations, beautiful jungle and mountain landscapes along the way.

Upon arrival in Tangkahan, register at the Gunung Leuser National Park Visitor Center before walking to the lodge, located on the other side of the river. Access to the lodge along an impressive suspension bridge (15 minutes’ walk).

Check in at the lodge in Tangkahan. 

Dinner at leisure.

Overnight in Tangkahan.

DAY 3 - Tangkahan – Elephant riding – Medan MealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelTangkahan - Medan city center via Stabat & Binjai (100 km): approximately 4 hours 30 minutes

Breakfast at the lodge.

After breakfast at the lodge, start around 08:00 with a 30-minute walk to the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, the starting point for a memorable activity with Sumatran elephants which are native to the island.

Start the program with an unforgettable experience bathing the elephants in the Batang Serangan River. Then head on a one-hour elephant ride between the rehabilitation centre and the lodge along the river & through the jungle (2 pax/elephant + local mahout)*

At the end of the ride, disembark at a platform near the river and walk up the stairs back to the lodge


  • Access not possible for vehicles bigger than ELF as the last hour to hour and a half is along a very bad road and a bridge that does not allow buses -so this can only ba accessed for FIT.
  • Please take only a light bag for tonight. The accommodation is basic with no hot water or AC. The driver will proceed with main luggage to Bukit Lawang.
  • On Friday, the elephant ride cannot be done because all elephants are on patrol in the park with the rangers. Advance booking is needed as only 5 elephants operate.
  • We do recommend participants to wear short pants, tee shirts and sandals for the activity and bring a change of clothes for changing into when returning to the lodge
  • *the elephant ride can be skipped against a price reduction

After arriving at the lodge for the night, take some time to freshen up and change.

The rest of the morning at leisure. Walk around the lodge, with plenty of opportunity to observe cheeky Thomas leaf monkeys in their natural surroundings.

After lunch at the Jungle Lodge, cross back to the other side of the river using the suspension bridge (10 minutes walk) where the driver will be waiting for the journey back to Medan via Stabat and Binjai. The first portion of the journey is along a rough dirt road (for about 1 to 1 hours 30 minutes).

Upon arrival in Medan, check in at the hotel and take time freshen up.

Dinner this evening is under guidance of the tour guide who lead the way through a maze of food stalls in Medan’s Chinatown.

Overnight in Medan

DAY 4 - Medan – Kuala Namu Airport – Departure MealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelMedan City Center – Kuala Namu International Airport (30 km): 1 hour 15 minutes approximately

After breakfast and check out, transfer to Kuala Namu Airport for the departure flight

Recommended flights (Not included and quoted separately– Tariffs and schedule subject to change without prior notice):

International: From Medan to Singapore by Silk Air MI233 departing at 08:45 and arriving at 11:05 and from Medan to Kuala Lumpur by Malaysia Airlines MH861 departing at 09:30 and arriving at 11:30 (daily) or MH865 departing at 15:45 and arriving at 17:45 (daily).

Domestic: From Medan to Jakarta by Garuda Indonesia with same day connection flight to Jogjakarta, Semarang, Solo (Java) or Denpasar (Bali): please contact us for further information.

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Our Services Include:

  • Hotel accommodation in half-twin, double room with daily breakfast.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • English speaking local guide (other language guides available and additional charge may apply).
  • All entrance fees and tours as indicated in itinerary.

Our Services do not include:

  • Visa arrangements.
  • International and domestic flights.
  • International and domestic departure tax.
  • Meals other than mentioned above.
  • Camera, video entrance fees.
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc.)
  • Travel insurance. 
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.
  • This program is for FIT only as the access to Tangkahan is not possible for vehicles bigger than ELF as the last 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes of the journey will pass through bad roads and the bridge does not allow to be crossed by bus.
  • Our rates are nets and quoted in American dollars (USD), however some services (like transportation, guide fees, entrance fees, some activities,  meals, air tickets and train tickets and sometimes accommodations) are based on local prices in Indonesian Rupiah in (IDR). In the case of a major change in the exchange rate (5% or more) between the Indonesian Rupiah and the American dollar (USD), we reserve the right to correct our quotes to align our rates and revise the value of the American dollar (USD).
  • All rates are based on the current gasoline price. Should the gasoline price increase by more than 10% we would readjust transfer rates with a 30 days prior notice
  • Road conditions in Indonesia are not always very good and this can cause slow driving times. As a general rule we calculate 30 km = 1 hour driving. This can be even less when traveling in very remote areas and jungles with 4WD jeeps. Also, some islands are very populated which during public holidays and long weekends causing traffic problems which will influence your journey can time considerably.
  • Your tour includes a crossing a small river in Bukit Lawang using an inflatable raft pulled by a rope. No life-jackets are provided and this tour is not suitable for non-swimmers or those who travel with small children. Please advise your consultant if you have any concerns.


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