Summary : Discover a wild corner of the world and enjoy the rare chance to observe endangered orangutans up close. Snorkel the coral reefs off the pristine Natuna and Anambas archipelagos, and explore the protected forests of Sarawak. Venture into Tanjung Puting National Park by local boat to spot orangutans and, sure to be a highlight, visit Camp Leakey, an orangutan research center founded by National Geographic grantee Dr. Biruté Galdikas—one of the “Trimates,” along with Diane Fossey and Jane Goodall—who will join part of the expedition as a guest speaker.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snorkeling
Free Chronicle: Receive a free video chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!
$999,999,999 to $0
Depart for Singapore, crossing the International Date Line and arriving the following afternoon. Enjoy time to explore Singapore’s diverse neighborhoods before boarding National Geographic Orion. Set sail on the South China Sea, and hear talks by experts and get acquainted with your ship and its amenities.
Your first stop is the remote Anambas Archipelago—snorkel the unspoiled reefs surrounding Pulau Bawah or Pulau Lintang, perhaps ending the day with a beach barbecue.
Scattered in the South China Sea between Borneo and the Malaysian peninsula, the 272 islands of the Natuna Archipelago are graced with white-sand beaches and volcanic peaks, and fringed with coral reefs. Depending on the weather, stop to snorkel at either Pulau Senua or Pulau Tiga, both pristine and uninhabited, and later enjoy a festive welcome ceremony in one of the fishing villages that dot the islands.
In Bako National Park, thick rain forests give way to secluded beaches, and the coast is carved with sea arches and colorful sea stacks. The park harbors seven distinct ecosystems and most of the plant species found in Borneo. Enjoy a full day to explore on a variety of walks and hikes, go birding, and track rare primates like the proboscis monkey.
Continue to Kuching, the capital of the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Visit the Semenggoh Wildlife Center, discuss ongoing research on orangutan behavior, and hear about a successful program that has reintroduced more than a thousand endangered animals into the wild. During free time this afternoon, discover the cultural treasures of Kuching. Spend two days relaxing at sea, tracing the western coast of Kalimantan, or Indonesian Borneo.
Set on a peninsula jutting out from the southern edge of Kalimantan, Tanjung Puting National Park is a trove of rare species and diverse habitats. While the park is home to some 220 bird species and numerous monkey species, its most famous residents are the endangered orangutans. Board local boats for a full-day excursion into the forest, gliding on narrow channels on the lookout for hornbills, crocodiles, and perhaps the unusual proboscis monkey.
Your destination is Camp Leakey, a research station established in 1971 by primatologist Dr. Biruté Galdikas, a protégé of legendary paleontologist Louis Leakey and the founder of Orangutan Foundation International (OFI). A many-time National Geographic grantee, Dr. Galdikas joins you to discuss her efforts to save the orangutan from extinction through rehabilitation and habitat preservation. Boats bring you to feeding stations throughout the forest, where you can observe these gentle creatures at close range. The following day, visit the OFI’s wildlife rehabilitation center to learn how captive and orphaned orangutans are rescued and rehabilitated.
Cross the Java Sea to the lovely Indonesian island of Bali. Disembark the following morning and transfer to the airport for flights home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary (Bali to Singapore): 5/23/2015, 8/28/2015
The photo team, a National Geographic Photographer and a Photo Specialist, will enhance your voyage by working with you on photo composition and exposure; helping you develop your own unique vision; showing you how professionals edit and store images while on the go; and sharing the stories behind some of their greatest images. Whether expert or interested beginner, you'll find added benefits such as walks ashore and Zodiac cruises dedicated to photography, presentations on the creative and technical aspects of photography, and one-on-one mentoring and coaching in the field.
Optional Extension: (2 Days)
Enjoy a pre-trip extension in Bali. The mention of Bali evokes a picture of paradise–beaches, verdant countryside, luxurious accommodations, and much more. Walk through temples carved into caves centuries ago, stroll jungle footpaths among friendly long-tailed macaques, dine on fantastic Balinese specialities, and discover the history, art, and spirituality of this picturesque land. From $1,290 per person. Contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Accommodations as indicated; all meals and non-alcoholic beverages aboard the ship; all shore excursions and sightseeing; transfers to and from group flights; tips (except to ship's crew), all port charges and services taxes; services of a ship physician and expedition staff; use of kayaks.
Air transportation; passport and visa expenses; baggage/accident/cancellation insurance; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, email, laundry, etc.; gratuities to ship's crew at your discretion; fuel surcharge may apply.
© Nick Rains - Orangutan (Mother and Baby), Silver Langur Monkey, Zodiac;
© Joanna Schuetz - Silver Leaf Monkey Infant