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Irene Spencer

La Jolla, California Travel Agent

Tour to Borneo, Indonesia – to see the Orangutan

Travel on My Private-Access Tour to Borneo, Indonesia to See the Orangutans 

Take a trip to Borneo, Indonesia and experience orphaned babies who are taken care of in the sanctuary looked after by world-famous primatologist Dr. Birute Galdikas. As the only travel professional to offer tours to meet Dr. Galdikas, and take travelers to Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) where Dr. Galdikas studies the animals, I provide once-in-a-life experiences for my clients. The sanctuary is closed to the public and it’s a truly exceptional place to encounter. Dr. Galdikas created it with a group of 13 people and has truly fueled tourism to Borneo. The sanctuary is life-changing for the animals and for people all over the world. The movie “Born to be Wild” is about Dr. Galdikas and it co-stars the orangutan caregiver. When you go on one of my exclusive tours to the Borneo sanctuary, you can actually experience what you see in the film.

A favorite moment for me when I’m at the sanctuary is when I can see one of my friends released back into the wild. I’ve been taking tour groups to the sanctuary for so long that I’ve seen many babies grow up and get to finally life their lives in the wild of the Borneo jungle.  On one of my tours to Borneo, you’ll have the luxury of encountering these wonderful orangutans in a way that the general public doesn’t have access to. I always have to remind my clients who take these tours, however, that the luxury of getting to observe wild animals doesn’t usually include luxury accommodations. When we visit the orangutans, we’ll stay at a property that is as nice as can be found in a jungle. Our accommodations will have all the necessities and comforts we need to enjoy our trip to the fullest, but it is jungle lodging. I have many celebrity clients who take my tours and absolutely love the experience as well where we stay.

A little background on Dr. Galdikas. She arrived in one of the world’s remote places-- Tanjung Putting Reserve in Borneo, Indonesia – in 1971. There weren’t any phones, electricity, roads, televisions or mail service then. The reserve was being logged at the time and wildlife protection laws weren’t enforced. Rhinos had already been hunted to extinction in the area. Little was known about the orangutans. Despite the conditions, Dr. Galdikas did what many said couldn’t be done. She developed the first comprehensive wild orangutan study and her work created Camp Leakey, the site of the longest-running study on any primate. I take travelers to visit Dr. Galdikas and her famous research site at Camp Leakey. They learn about her work and experience the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine Facility that houses more than 300 orangutan orphans. Dr. Galdikas shares her expertise of primatology, anthropology and conservation and we come away from each trip with greater insight into one human’s closest living relatives. Our trips for this year are sold out but are offering waitlist positioning. Due to extremely high demand for my exclusive and life-changing tours, spaces fill up quickly so contact me to be put on the waitlist and to inquire about our trips for 2019. 

A sample of our private-access trip to Borneo to visit the orangutans: 

Day 1 – Arrive in Jakarta. The evening is free for you to relax and have dinner on your own.  

Day 2 – Take the hotel shuttle to the airport to catch our flight to Pangkalanbun, Kalimantan in Borneo. Arrive in Pangkalanbun and meet our Orangutan Foundation International Tour Escort. Dr. Galdikas gives an introductory presentation on the wildlife we will encounter during our first day on the river.

Day 3 – During our visit to Tanjung Puting National Park, we’ll experience 2 sites that conduct supplemental feedings for orangutans, Pondok Tanggui and the famous Camp Leakey. This is the morning we cruise upriver to Camp Leakey. On arrival at Camp Leakey’s river pier, we will likely be greeted by some of the resident orangutans. We stay to observe the afternoon feeding of the orangutans.

Day 4 – In the morning, we leave for Pondok Tanggui to make the morning feeding. In addition to seeing orangutans at their morning feeding, we may see large communities of the rare proboscis monkey. Then, we continue on to Camp Leakey for a forest walk with Dr. Galdikas.

Day 5 – We return to Pangkalanbun by speedboat after breakfast to visit the Orangutan Care Center and Facility. This is a unique opportunity that very few people get to experience. You’ll also have the opportunity to see orangutan orphans in the nursery as they learn forest skills they’ll need to live in the wild.

Day 6 – Transport back to the airport. Call me to learn more about my tours to visit the orangutans in Borneo.