What to see and do
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Animals and Waterfalls

The wonders of the nature already start in our own garden and in the forest next to our Guest House. Many birds and animals can be seen here; Hornbills, Thomas leaf monkey, Macaques, Gibbons, Wild boars, and sometimes even Orangutans. Walk 20 minutes and you and you reach our own beautiful waterfall hidden in the rainforest. It is 30 meters high.

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Jungle Trekking

Jungle trekking is a must. Just rent a guide, for a day or more. The guide also helps you to find and see animals, which is not always that easy. One needs a trained eye. The most popular trek is to walk along the ridge down to the Gurah river, where there is an extensive net of trails, mainly made for spotting orangutans. You will probably see anything from birds to snakes. All trails lead down to the white water river, Gurah, perfect for a refreshing swim. There is also an area called “Camping ground”, popular for camping.

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Hot Springs

Don’t miss out on the Hot Springs. Cross the Gurah river from the Camping Ground or further up-stream. Walk through a beautiful and magnificent rainforest. After 2-4 hours you will reach an open area, with lots of steams emerging from the beach of the river. Try a small “pool” with hot soothing sulfuric water mixed with the cool river water. It is truly a natural spa. There are normally myriads of butterflies. If lucky you can spot a lot of wildlife from your warm site.

Most trekkers choose one night in the Camping ground and another one in the Hot Spring. If you have time, we recommend adding a day or two more. There is also a waterfall not so far off.

Elephant Area

Visit the Elephant area, elephants often do. Walk up the ridge behind the Camping Ground for approximately three to five hours. When it flattens out, you are in the area. From the Hot spring you also go there by following one of the Elephant trails. If lucky you can spot one in distance. If too close, you are in trouble. Normally this requires an additional night before going back to Hot springs, or all the way to Camping ground.

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Mount Kemiri

Trek up the Mount Kemiri(3340m) is maybe the most astonishing activity you can do in Ketambe/Gurah. You need at least two to three days to reach the top, camping along the trek. First you trek through lowland forest, but soon the trail brings you through cloud forest, with plenty of lichen and plants. It continues to semi alpine meadows, where you may see recognize flowers you have seen in for example Europe, such as Primulas, Rhododendrons, and others. There are breathtaking views over the whole valley and a number of peaks reaching above 3000m, including the highest of them all, Mount Leuser (3450m). You need two days to descend.

The Kapi Area

The Kapi area (app. 1000m) is a flat highland, covered with lush forest and gently meandering rivers. As soon you get up the fairly steep mountain sides, you will reach into an easy trekking flatland. You may spend minimum five days on the trek, and if lucky, you may see lots of birds, Orangutan, Elephants etc. The rivers are rich in fish and frogs.

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Marpunga Lake

Marpunga Lake is not far from Kapi area. It was almost completely unknown until the mid 90 ties, but there are now several trails to the area. Like to Kapi, you must climb the mountain sides, before it flattens out. You will reach an area called Batu Putih (White Stone), which is an area of several hectares, with sulfuric rock and without vegetation. From here you have splendid view of the rainforest, especially in morning and dawn, when clouds emerge from the forest. This place also attracts wildlife, because of its minerals. From here you spend about three to 4 hours to the lake, beautifully located in a former crater surrounded by forest. There is also a campsite in the southern side, although a bit wet. Seeing the lake in morning or afternoon is like a fairy tale, when the mist plays over the water surface. You will see lots of wildlife, for example many frogs.

Good to know:

  • There is no money changer in Ketambe or the nearest town Kutacane. Bring enough cash for accommodation, guiding and food, etc. The ATM machines are not always working. Pak Mus Guest House can change money if needed, but rates are better in Medan.
  • Bring copies of your passport and visa stamp. Often comes handy.
  • Connections for mobile phones are good. If you buy a new SIM card, maybe As and Simpati has the best coverage.
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A guide per day is app. 350.000 IDR per person and day incl. lunch pack, permit, and tent (if overnight). Prices can always be discussed, depending on several factors, such as number of participants, length of trek, number of porters (if needed). Jast talk to us in Pak Mus Guest House. For longer trekking in the national park we also arrange a police permit for you. Bring a copy of the passport and the visa stamp.