The draw of na­ture

Friday - - Leisure Travel -

their sur­vival. The 300,000 hectares of pro­tected rain­for­est en­able more than 5,000 orangutans to live in a semi-wild en­vi­ron­ment where they can go about their daily for­ag­ing, nest-build­ing and breed­ing with­out fear of plan­ta­tion ex­pan­sion, poach­ing, log­ging, for­est fires or cap­ture for the il­le­gal pet trade.

It is the only pro­tected area in South East Asia with vast tracts of wet­land, low­land, ma­ture trop­i­cal heaths and for­est swamps. Here orangutans, along with pro­boscis and macaque mon­keys, can feed from more than 400 species of tree, and take ad­van­tage of the care that they re­ceive from the park war­dens.

Be­ing one of the last places on earth where orangutans ex­ist in the wild, Cen­tral Kal­i­man­tan is a haven for con­ser­va­tion­ists, sci­en­tists, zo­ol­o­gists and eco-tourists. Vast, re­mote and beau­ti­ful, it is as ro­man­tic as it is ed­u­ca­tional. The un­bro­ken sound­track of the jun­gle as your tra­di­tional klo­tok river­boat chugs up­river, rain­for­est trees on ei­ther side sway­ing in the breeze or un­der the weight of trav­el­ling mon­keys, is a con­stant re­minder of na­ture’s ever-de­plet­ing beauty and its dire need of res­cue. Na­ture is the para­mount lure to this part of the world, and al­though In­done­sia’s tourism sec­tor is es­tab­lished in Bali, Kal­i­man­tan re­mains rel­a­tively un­der­de­vel­oped,

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