IN­SIDE INFO

Friday - - Leisure Travel - Emi­rates di­rect flights to Jakarta cost ap­prox Dh2,300 re­turn. From Jakarta, fly to Pankalan­bun: Kal­star of­fers di­rect flights for ap­prox Dh570 re­turn. Rooms at Rimba Ecolodge are $80 (Dh300) per night if not book­ing a pack­age, or the Three Days/Two Night

from the noise of the fan over­head, there is no deny­ing you are in the midst of na­ture’s won­der.

There is no phone sig­nal or Wi-Fi – some­thing most city slick­ers will ab­hor ini­tially but should rel­ish within 24 hours.

The menu of­fers lo­cally grown in­gre­di­ents in freshly pre­pared de­li­cious In­done­sian dishes at meal­times – but be warned they like their spices! And when not at the lodge, the cui­sine is also first-rate on the klo­toks, where on-board chefs pre­pare ex­cel­lent spreads, as the com­pe­ti­tion to be the top chef on the Sekonyer river is fierce.

The food served on the Rimba Princess klo­tok is pre­pared by the Eco lodge chef, so you can be sure it’s sus­tain­ably sourced as well as tasty. The man­age­ment also has plans to work along­side the lo­cal de­for­esta­tion foun­da­tion, Friends of the Na­tional For­est, who in an at­tempt to per­suade vil­lagers against sell­ing their land to palm oil plan­ta­tions, are of­fer­ing in­cen­tives to raise cows and grow or­ganic pro­duce. The Rimba Lodge will be pur­chas­ing this to serve to guests.

Th­ese ini­tia­tives to ed­u­cate the lo­cal com­mu­nity about the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing and pro­tect­ing the rain­for­est are vi­tal in the fight against de­for­esta­tion. The stun­ning scenery and wildlife are at risk of dis­ap­pear­ing for ever. Across the globe an area of rain­for­est the size of a foot­ball pitch is de­stroyed ev­ery sec­ond, and Kal­i­man­tan has lost more than half of its lush, green woods al­ready.

With orangutans only re­pro­duc­ing once ev­ery seven to eight years, giv­ing birth to only one child each time, the con­se­quences of this huge threat to their liveli­hood are clear. Their pop­u­la­tion grows very slowly, and even if given the chance, they will take a long time to re­cover.

As a tourist to one of the most re­mote ar­eas left in the world, you will not be dis­ap­pointed. Al­though some­what stripped of lux­u­ries, it is in­stead abun­dant with the beauty of na­ture and by vis­it­ing this far­away land of mon­keys and fire­flies, for­est and macaques, tourists can help re­place the lure of ill-prac­tised palm oil pro­duc­tion and il­le­gal log­ging with sus­tain­able tourism.

This is the kind of hol­i­day where the sounds of the orangutans slip­ping through the rustling trees above as the in­sects hum will for­ever be etched into your mem­ory.

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