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ORANG UTANS: Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas' Work @ Camp Leakey, Borneo (Day 2) #Travel2Indonesia

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Tanjung Puting National Park is home to the largest wild population of Orangutans. Orangutan is a combination of two words: Orang (person) + Utan (forest) which means Old Man of the Forest.

Exploring the national park is usually an overnight experience onboard a klotok. After the first day, I thought if you've seen one Orangutan, you've seen them all. I did not realize that the best was yet to come. 

Here's the day 2 highlight of our Tanjung Puting National Park Adventure:

Travel to Wonderful Indonesia Blog Series:

CAMP 2: Pondok Tanggui

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I woke up to the sound of monkeys and birds playing in the forest. Since we were already parked in the Camp 2 dock, we had time for breakfast and did our morning ritual before the 9AM Orangutan feeding time.

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It was a pleasant surprise to see an Orangutan named "Sweet Hope" in the dock posing for the cameras.

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Sweet Hope is adorable and she likes to mimic poses of models in front of the camera.

(Did you know: that female orangutans have the same 9-month pregnancy like humans? However, they can only give birth every 9 years that is why their breed is a candidate for extinction.)

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We woke up to a breakfast treat of Nasi Goreng and Indonesian Coffee. You also have an option of continental breakfast with bread, butter, jam and eggs.

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Nasi Goreng - My favorite Indonesian breakfast :) You can't get enough of it during  your trip to Indonesia.

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We walked for 10 minutes to reach the rangers’ office where you need to register.

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We loved taking photos of the Mother & Child orangutans specially this mom who was a bit protective and making a wild sound.

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We hiked for another 15 minutes just in time for the 9AM feeding time in Camp 2.

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Meet Doyok, the Alpha Male in the Pondok Tanggui forest. Male orangutans develop large cheek pads and they usually have fights in the presence of other male orangutans. The strongest (usually with the strength of 8 humans) becomes then the king of the forest.

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He loves to drink powdered milk and consume bananas. No other orangutans and monkeys  dare to eat in his presence.

Orangutan World, Tanjung Puting Borneo Adventure-197.jpgUsually other orangutans don't want to go near him, and they eat after he is gone...

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... or some just help themselves from the accessible basket of the rangers.

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After one hour of watching the Orangutans feed, we walked back to the boat as it was time for our own serving of Pisang Goreng (Fried Bananas). 

(Note: This was the BEST Fried Bananas we have ever tasted on our whole 2-week travel to Indonesia)

CAMP LEAKEY:

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We made our final cruise to the main base camp called Camp Leakey which is 1.5 hours away and deeper into the Borneo forest from Pondok Tangui.

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The water gets cleaner and as dark as black making it a natural reflector of the beauty of the rain forests.

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During this trip, we were lucky to meet Freddie Galdikas, son of Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, who runs Orangutan Foundation International (www.Orangutan.Org). 

OFI's goal is to study the behavior and ecology of wild orangutans to protect them from extinction by conserving their population and preserving their natural rain forest habitat. 

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Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas Bio. Scientist, conservationist, educator: for almost four decades Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas has studied and worked closely with the orangutans of Indonesian Borneo in their natural habitat, and is today the world’s foremost authority on the orangutan. (Source: Orangutan.Org Read Complete Bio here)

Read Dr. Galdikas' blog at DrBirute.com and follow her twitter account @drbirute.

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We had another sumptuous lunch of fresh seafood (Udan Galah - Prawn Javelin above), vegetables and sambal, before we visited Camp Leakey for the 2PM  Orangutan feeding.

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Camp Leakey was established in 1971 by Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas as the base camp for the study of wild orangutans in their natural habitat. It was named after her mentor, the late paleoanthropologist  Dr. Louis Leakey, who also mentored Jane Goodall for her study of Chimpanzees and the late Dian Fossey for her study of Mountain Gorillas. The three of them are called Louise Leakey's Angels.

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It is recommended to visit the solar-powered Information Centre which provides a mini-Organutan exhibit featuring trivia, photos, memorabilia, and...

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... the family trees of the Orangutans. The genealogy shows the name of the mother orangutan and all her offspring named with the same starting letter. 

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Tut gave birth to the named Tom (Alpha Male in Camp Leakey), Terry, Thomas and Tudo. 

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Here is an interesting comparison between the Orangutan and Human Skull.

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Before going to the National Park, I recommend you watch the Born to be Wild IMAX documentary (narrated by Morgan Freeman) about Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas' work  on Orangutan Conservation in Borneo.

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We were greeted by a mother and child orangutan, as we proceeded to the feeding grounds which is 25 minutes away by hiking.

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The Camp Leakey feeding grounds are more interesting because you can see natural ecology right before your eyes where the Orangutans eat the bananas and the wild boar feed on the banana scraps. 

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It felt like seeing the pages of National Geographic unfold before your eyes. 

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The wild boar is huge but non-confrontational.

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It was fun seeing these orangutans trying to grab as many bananas as possible and try to consume them as fast as they can :)

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On our way back to our boat, it was touching to see the orangutan sitting beside Freddie and hold his hands for a moment to greet him.

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From Camp Leakey, it's a 4- hour boat trip back to Kumai Port. We had dinner first and caught  a view of the fireflies on the way back to Pangkalun Bun. 

Some people would stay 3 days and 2 nights on board the klotok or decide to spend a night at Swissbel hotel at Pangkalun Bun before flying out back to Jakarta or other destinations in Indonesia.

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Thank you to Freddie Galdikas for the inspiring talk and for sharing your passion for Orangutan Conservation. To support the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) cause, please visit their official website: Orangutan.Org.

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TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK
Kalimantan Province of Indonesia, Island of Borneo
Official Indonesia Travel Website: Indonesia.Travel
Official Orangutan Foundation Website: Orangutan.Org

For tours and packages to Tanjung Puting National Park, visit OrangutanTravel.com
For more information, you can email our head tour guide during our trip Yomie Kamale who is a freelance tour guide. Email him at Kamale83@gmail.com

Travel to Wonderful Indonesia Blog Series:

For more info about Tanjung Puting National Park, visit the official website: Indonesia.Travel

Live an Awesome Life,

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Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
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If you have tips on awesome food and travel destinations, please email me at anton@diaz.ph.

Full Disclosure: I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it. As a policy, I don't accept advertising from food and travel places we feature in the blog. Our trip was courtesy of Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia to promote travel to Indonesia. 

P.S. Get a chance to win an all expense paid trip to the Komodo National Park in Indonesia by joining the Wonderful Indonesia International Quiz!

 " Experience an adventure into the utimate exotic paradise and witness the legendary Komodo Dragon "The quiz is open for international participants and do not apply for Indonesia. The gameplay of the quiz is quite simple, winners of this quiz is based on the most points scored by participants." Join the Quiz now: Wonderful Indonesia Quiz

P.P.S. Overall, Tanjung Puting National Park is voted as the most loved destinations in our 2 weeks Travel 2 Indonesia trip with International Travel Bloggers. 

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(From left clockwise: Michael Turtle @michaelturtle, Kirsten Alana @kirstenalana, Juno Kim @RunawayJuno, Erwan Maulana (Senior Tour Guide), @TravelJunkieID, Eunice Khong - @travelerfolio, Stephen Bugno - @BohemianTrav, David Lee - @rtwdave, Veny Lai @MissLailai, Amalla Vesta @SwankyTraveller, Cailin O'Neil - @TravelYourself, and yours truly taking the photo Anton Diaz @antondiaz)

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Beautiful photos :)

Thanks for the nice pictures. Thanks God that there are still some species of orangutans in the world.

Great wrap-up of the trip, Anton. You really covered it all... including me sleeping, eating, and looking not particularly photogenic :)

Of course, we want it to look real :) Anyway, you still look good in the photos... Thanks for the comment!


Anton

Hi! :) I've read your posts and it's fun to read. I hope to be as great blogger as you are. Want to read mine? http://scarlettie13.blogspot.com/ it's about relaxation and enjoyment through travels, books and movies. So far, it has a few posts but many posts to come! :D

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