Expedition to Mentawai tribe, orangutans of Sumatra Island and Pacu Jawi festival

WESTERN INDONESIA


October 9 - 21, 2022
Tour Sumatra and Mentawai islands, Indonesia

tour to to Sumatra Indonesia ethnic expedition tour to Mentawai Sumatra volcanoes tour to orangutan Pacu Jawi Batak people

Dassanech Karo tribe Bulls jumping ceremony Assale Afar
Go deep into the jungle of Mentawai Islands, where the culture of the cognominal tribe is still alive. Meet the people who live in complete harmony with nature and tattoo their faces and bodies. Walk through the rainforest of Northern Sumatra and encounter one of the most notable primates of the modern world – orangutans. See Sumatran super volcanoes and explore its endangered Batak and Minang cultures, participating in the Pacu Jawi bull racing festival – iconic for any photographer.

Go deep into the jungle of Mentawai Islands, where the culture of the cognominal tribe is still alive. Meet the people who live in complete harmony with nature and tattoo their faces and bodies. Walk through the rainforest of Northern Sumatra and encounter one of the most notable primates of the modern world – orangutans. See Sumatran super volcanoes and explore its endangered Batak and Minang cultures, participating in the Pacu Jawi bull racing festival – iconic for any photographer.

SCHEDULE & COST:

Dates: October 9 – 21, 2022

Duration: 13 days / 12 nights

Number of participants: 7 – 12

Cost per person:
USD 1 990 subject to 11 – 12 participants, or
USD 2 090 subject to 9 – 10 participants, or
USD 2 290 subject to 7 – 8 participants.

Everything is included except for:
- international flight to Medan and back from Padang,
- international medical insurance,
- Indonesian visa (around USD 35),
- lunches and dinners in Padang and Samosir island.

Estimated cost of international flight Moscow – Medan and Padang – Moscow: USD 1500 – 1800 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).

Single supplement: USD 220 (single supplement is provided only in the hotels and not provided in the jungles)




TRAVEL PROGRAM: TOUR TO INDONESIA
DAY 1.
October 9, 2022 (Sunday). MEDAN – BUKIT LAWANG

Arrival in Medan (Kuala Namu International Airport). Meeting the driver. Transfer to Bukit Lawang takes 3 – 4 hours driving, passing via Binjai and Kuala villages. Arrival in Bukit Lawang, check-in at the hotel Thomas Retreat Bukit Lawang. Rest of the day is free for leisure, you can swim or take a beautiful walk to the local village nearby.

* Recommended flights from Kuala Lumpur (or from Jakarta) to Medan:
— from Kuala Lumpur to Medan with Batik Air, departure at 10:05 am on October 9, arrival in Medan (KNO) at 10:10,
— from Kuala Lumpur to Medan with Malindo Air, departure at 14:00 on October 9, arrival in Medan (KNO) at 14:00,
— from Jakarta to Medan with Lion Air, departure at 10:30 on October 9, arrival in Medan (KNO) at 12:50,
— from Jakarta to Medan with SW Italia s.p.a, departure at 11:45 am on October 9, arrival in Medan (KNO) at 14:05,
— or from Kuala Lumpur (or from Jakarta) to Medan with another flight with arrival in Medan before 14:00 on October 9.

* Recommended flights from Moscow to Kuala Lumpur (or to Jakarta):
— from Moscow to Kuala Lumpur with Qatar Airways, departure from Moscow at 20:15 on October 7, arrival in Kuala Lumpur at 20:55 on October 8, with stopover 6h45m in Doha (extra night in Kuala Lumpur for October 8 needed and to be paid),
— from Moscow to Jakarta with Emirates, departure from Moscow at 1:50 am on October 8, arrival in Jakarta at 22:10 on October 8, with stopover 2h05m in Dubai (extra night in Jakarta for October 8 needed and to be paid).
— or from Moscow to Kuala Lumpur (or to Jakarta, or to Singapore) with another flight with arrival in Kuala Lumpur (or to Jakarta, or to Singapore) before 6:00 am on October 9.

Meals included: dinner
Accommodation included: Thomas Retreat Bukit Lawang hotel luxury rooms


DAY 2. October 10, 2022 (Monday). BUKIT LAWANG – GUNUNG LEUSER NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast at 9:00 am our guides will greet us at our hotel and we set off into the jungle for roughly a 6 to 7 hour trek. During the trip we will meet orangutans – our main goal here. Orangutan belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia. Like the other great apes, orangutans are highly intelligent, displaying tool use and distinct cultural patterns in the wild. Orangutans share approximately 97% of their DNA with humans. According to some researches orangutans are considered the smartest animal on Earth but human, even more intelligent than chimpanzee. Even the word "orangutan" derives from Bahasa words "orang" – human, and "utan" – forest.
If we are lucky, we may also spot Thomas leaf monkey, gibbons, or long-tailed macaque. During the day we have lunch with tropical fruits. Following by a short walk to our campsite location, we can bath in the river and behold the beauty of the natural landscape which will surround us, with the brake for a tea, coffee and snacks. Dinner and well needed rest in the wild right in the jungle. After dinner we make campfire with the team. If the weather is good we can go fishing in the river. We spend the night in the jungle, an amazing experience.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: jungle camp in the National park


DAY 3. October 11, 2022 (Tuesday). GUNUNG LEUSER NATIONAL PARK – BUKIT LAWANG

After breakfast we make a trek into the jungle. Today we gonna spot again the unique wildlife of Sumatra: endangered Sumatran orangutan. Sumatran orangutan is one of 3 species of orangutans and is the biggest one. It reaches 1.7 meters long and weighs up to 100 kg. Orangutans, as opposed to other primates, are not social and do not live in the groups. They ideally adapted for life in the crown of trees. Even in order to drink, they prefer to lick the moisture from the leaves or drink the rain water that has accumulated in the hollows rather than to go down to the water bodies.
If we are lucky, also some other interesting animals such as gibbons, snakes, monkeys, monitor lizards, and birds. During the journey we will also learn about the plants of the forest that can be used as herbal medicine. There's also a nice waterfall we can visit. The jungle trek is typically a 4-5 hour walk. During the day we prepare a lunch that includes locally sourced fresh fruits. After lunch we will begin our trek to return to Bukit Lawang. We have option to return not on foot, but with a traditional tube raft which we can ride down the river! Let adventure begin! The rafting takes not more than 1 hour, the difficulty is moderate and appropriate for everyone. Rest of the day free for leisure.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Thomas Retreat Bukit Lawang hotel luxury rooms


DAY 4. October 12, 2022 (Wednesday). BUKIT LAWANG – BERASTAGI – LAKE TOBA – SAMOSIR ISLAND

After breakfast we head to Lake Toba. Passing Berastagi, we stop in to see its famous fruit market, Sipiso Piso waterfall, with its 120 meters the highest in Sumatra, and village of Karo people. Karo tribe belongs to the group commonly called Batak people, who many years ago were famous for cannibalism practices. The architecture of Karo villages is beautiful and unique. They traditionally lived in shared longhouses, but very few now remain.
We are in Karoland now. Karoland contains two major volcanoes: dormant volcano Sibayak and Mount Sinabung, which after 400 years of dormancy erupted 6 times for the last 10 years! We will see Sibayak volcano from a view point. Since 2010 Sinabung volcano has buried under its lava and ash dozens of villages and forced thousands of people to leave their homes. En route we have chance to explore those hit villages covered with the ash. Don't forget that legendary Krakatau is located in Sumatra. The eruption of Krakatau in 1883 became the most notable and violent volcanic events in recorded history.
We proceed to Lake Toba, the huge crater lake situated right in the middle of the biggest volcanic caldera of 1775 square km. Toba volcano is acknowledged the most violent volcano for the last 25 million years! 75 thousands of years ago, Toba volcano destroyed humanity, plunging the whole world into the Ice Age, thereby reducing the already small population of the globe to 10 thousand people.
We arrive in Lake Toba in the afternoon, cross the lake to get to Samosir island, check in at Samosir Cottage and stay overnight in the very center of the most powerful volcano on Earth in the whole history!

Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation included: Samosir Cottages, Super Deluxe rooms


DAY 5. October 13, 2022 (Thursday). SAMOSIR ISLAND

After breakfast start tour around Samosir Island. Visit the Ambarita village, then Simanindo to see Batak museum and their wonderful architecture. Batak traditional dance performance: tor-tor dance and Sigalegale performed with the puppets. And learn more about former Batak practices of ritual cannibalism. After the performance visit another village to see sarong/ulos or Batak blanket maker. We stop for lunch before back to the hotel in the afternoon. Toba is the main resort of Sumatra. Mountain landscapes, fresh air and crystal water of the volcanic lake create an atmosphere of relaxation and serenity. Rest on the lake.

Meals included: breakfast
Accommodation included: Samosir Cottages, Super Deluxe rooms



DAY 6. October 14, 2022 (Friday). SAMOSIR ISLAND – MEDAN – PADANG

After very early breakfast, around 7 am we leave for Medan airport (KNO). Transfer to Medan airport, depending on the traffic may take up to 6 hours. Check-in and flight to Padang at 14:00, JT-2239 from Medan with Lion Air, arrival in Padang at 15:40.
Padang – the harbor city and capital of West Sumatra. Now we find ourselves in the southern hemisphere, as we crossed Equator in the air. Transfer to the hotel Favehotel Olo Padang 3* or similar. Rest in the hotel and walk around Padang to get acquainted with Padang cuisine.

Meals included: breakfast
Accommodation included: Favehotel Olo Padang 3* or similar


DAY 7. October 15, 2022 (Saturday). PADANG – TANAH DATAR (PACU JAWI FESTIVAL) – PADANG

After breakfast in the hotel, head to Bukittinggi or another place in Tanah Datar regency for attending Pacu Jawi festival. Tanah Datar is populated by Minangkabau (Minang) people who are famous for practicing matriarchy while being the Muslims and building beautiful wooden peak-roof houses erected in honor of the horns of local buffaloes. According to tradition, when the rice fields are empty after harvest and before the next planting, and so that Mount Marapi becomes visible, Pacu Jawi festival can be held. Its location is rotated between several villages of Tanah Datar.
The central action of Pacu Jawi is a traditional bull race. In the race, a jockey stands holding on to a pair of loosely-tied bulls by their tails while the bulls cover about 60 – 250 meters of muddy track in a rice field. Although it is called a "race", the bulls do not directly compete against each other, and no formal winner is declared. Instead, spectators judge the bulls by their performance (mostly their speed and their ability to run straight), and may buy well-performing bulls at well above their usual price, which of course motivates the contestants.
Lunch during the festival and drive back to Padang. Evening at leisure and overnight in the hotel

Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation included: Favehotel Olo Padang 3* or similar


DAY 8. October 16, 2022 (Sunday). PADANG – SIBERUT – BAT DOROUGOT

After early breakfast in our hotel, driver will pick us up at the hotel and then transfer to harbor to take charter fast boat to Sanctuary island Muara Siberut. Private fast boat leaving at 07.00, Arrive in Siberut around 13:30 pm and meet with our guide, prepare and report to authority for trekking, continue by local motor canoe along the river. In some 2 hours arrive to Bat Dorougot, Mentawai traditional village. Stay in Bat Dorougot.
Mentawai are semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers who, believed, came to the area more than 3000 years ago, and since then, their lifestyle and culture have changed not much. Mentawai people call their homeland Bumi Sikerei. They follow their own animist belief system called Arat Sabulungan, that links the supernatural powers of ancestral spirits to the ecology of the rainforest. Mentawai also have very strong belief towards objects they think are holy. They are characterized by their heavy spirituality, body art and their tendency to sharpen their teeth, a practice they feel makes one beautiful. Mentawai tend to live in unison and peace with the nature around them because they believe that all things in nature have some kind of spiritual essence.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodatiqaaaqq we don included: Mentawai traditional dwelling


DAY 9. October 17, 2022 (Monday). EXPLORING THE TRADITIONAL ACTIVITIES IN BAT DOROUGOT

Wake up for a bath in the river. After having breakfast exploring the daily activities of traditional Mentawai tribe such as: making loincloth, fishing and making tattoo and then continue your trip to Butui by local motorized canoe, it will take about 3-4 hours, arrival at Butui village, stay at traditional house of Mentawai called "Uma".
Uma is a longhouse made by weaving bamboo strips together to make walls and thatching the roofs with grass, the floor is raised on stilts and is made of wood planks. Each Uma is decorated with skulls of the various animals Mentawai hunted. An Uma can house three to four families.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Mentawai traditional dwelling


DAY 10. October 18, 2022 (Tuesday). EXPLORING THE TRADITIONAL ACTIVITIES IN BADOSAK

After Breakfast In the morning, prepare to continue walking to Badosak, it takes 2 – 3 hours walking in the forest, explore Badosak. We will see how Mentawai weave the baskets or other things from rattan, how they prepare the poison for their arrows and later attend traditional hunting in the jungle. Overnight at traditional dwelling in Badosak.
Men hunt warthogs, chicken, deer, and primates. Dogs are usually used to spot the animals during hunting, then the prey is shot with a bow and poisonous arrow. The poison comes from a local leaf which has been mashed and mixed with water. It is notable never harvest a plant or take the life of an animal without asking for their spirit's forgiveness first because they believe every part of the environment has a spirit. That is why they are also called "Flower People".

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Mentawai traditional dwelling


DAY 11. October 19, 2022 (Wednesday). BADOSAK – KULUKUBUK — MUNTEI — BEACH ON THE ISLAND

After Breakfast, you still have time to enjoy and see the activities of Mentawai (sago collecting or other activities) and then by traditional motorize canoe leaving for the clients stand, via Muntei Village. On the way stop at Kulukubuk to visit waterfall in the forest, you can swim at waterfall and then return to river to continue your trip to Muntei village. In 3-4 hrs (depending on the tide level) arrival in Muntei village.
Immediately move to another island with the beautiful beach. Enjoy the crystal clear water and white sand beach, leisure. Stay in the guest house on the island.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: guest house


DAY 12. October 20, 2022 (Thursday). BEACH ON THE ISLAND — SIBERUT — PADANG

After breakfast free at own leisure on the beach. You can also order surfing or snorkeling.
At 10 am or so transfer to Siberut, to catch scheduled (regular) fast boat to Padang at 12:00 p.m. Arrive in Padang at 18:30 pm, transfer to the hotel Favehotel Olo Padang 3*.
Rest in the hotel and walk around Padang city if you wish.

Meals included: breakfast
Accommodation included: Favehotel Olo Padang 3* or similar


DAY 13. October 21, 2022 (Friday). PADANG – FLIGHT BACK

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and flight back.

* Recommended flights from Padang to Kuala Lumpur (or Jakarta):
— from Padang to Kuala Lumpur with Batik Air and Lion Air, departure at 8:25 am on October 21, arrival in Kuala Lumpur at 15:30 with stopover in Jakarta 2h05m,
— from Padang to Jakarta with Lion Air, departure at 9:25 am on October 21, arrival in Jakarta at 11:15 am,
— or from Padang to Kuala Lumpur (or Jakarta) with another flight with departure from Padang any time on October 21.

* Recommended flights from Kuala Lumpur (or Jakarta) to Moscow:
— from Kuala Lumpur to Moscow with Qatar Airways, departure from Kuala Lumpur at 3:55 am on October 22, arrival in Moscow at 18:20 on October 22, with stopover in Doha 8h20m,
— from Kuala Lumpur to Moscow with Qatar Airways, departure from Kuala Lumpur at 21:45 on October 21, arrival in Moscow at 18:20 on October 22, with 2 stopovers in Singapore 3h40m and in Doha 7h45m,
— from Jakarta to Moscow with Emirates, departure from Jakarta at 0:40 am on October 22, arrival in Moscow at 3:45 on October 23, with stopover in Dubai 17h35m,
— or from Kuala Lumpur (or Jakarta, or Singapore) to Moscow with another flight with departure from Kuala Lumpur (or Jakarta, or Singapore) any time on October 21.

Meals included: breakfast
Accommodation included: no

Cost includes:

• flight Medan – Padang one way, including the hand luggage and 20 kg of checked-in baggage
• ticket fast ferry/boat Padang – Siberut – Padang
• twin/double accommodation in hotels,
• accommodation in local houses/dwellings and in camping
• 3 times a day meals throughout the whole program, except for Padang and Samosir
• breakfasts in Padang and Samosir
• pure drinking water in jungle
• all transfers according to the program
• all motor boats with experienced drivers,
• cook and porters in Mentawai trek (up to 15 kg)
• camping equipment
• experienced English speaking local guides and Russian and English speaking team leader Mzungu throughout the trip
• local conductors
• tube rafting and all activities as per the program
• all permits to National Parks and entrance fees to protected areas
• local tribes financial support
• Pacu Jawi festival participation and all tickets as per the program



Cost excludes (to be additionally paid) :

• international flight to Medan and back from Padang
• international medical insurance
• Indonesian visa (if required)
• meals not specified in the program (lunches and dinners in Padang and Samosir)
• excess baggage charge
• dancing ceremony, tattooing and other extra activities in Mentawai
• alcohol and drinks,
• tips and personal expenses
• single room supplement in hotels



To take with:

· two sets of clothes (trousers, long sleeve shirt, T-shirt, underwear, socks;
· comfortable and hard wearing shoes: 1) light ones for the cities; 2) high rubber boots (waterproof) for jungles; 3) trekking snickers or shoes for time in the tribes and for trekking;
· light trekking jacket;
· raincoat;
· sun hat;
· swimsuits;
· sun glasses and sun protection cream;
· personal medical kit (analgesic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydration, court plaster, your personal medicine);
· personal hygiene items: soap, wet tissues, towel;
· forehead torch;
· travel backpack (better waterproof), not more than 70 liters capacity;
· small backpack for personal stuff and photo-, video- cameras;
· sleeping bag for warm weather,
· tourist sleeping mat;
· anti mosquito net (is a must!);
· various anti mosquito repellents;
· anti malaria prevention medication (up to you to decide but recommended);
· waterproof case for the documents;
· photo-, video- cameras;
· additional batteries for cameras and power bank,
· waterproof case for camera (would be appropriate).
KEY FEATURES:
TOUR TO INDONESIA
Sumatra island and Mentawai islands, Western Indonesia

Best season: March – October




Deep jungle expedition to Mentawai tribe who live in full harmony with nature and cherish their unique and vanishing culture

Trekking with orangutans in their natural habitat

Pacu Jawi Festival – famous Sumatran bull racing

Cultures of great architects: Minang people practicing matriarchy and Batak people, former headhunters

Famous Sumatran volcanoes: Sinabung and Sibayak, Lake Toba situated in the crater of super volcano

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1
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2
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3
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In our trips we pay special attention to safety. All our travels are based on personal experience, equipped with the best gear, involving proved providers and experienced local guides who perfectly know local features.
4
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