Monkey business in Ketambe

There are a few places where you can spot orangutans in Sumatra, but we decided to look for one that didn’t involve feeding stations. It’s an artificial way to lure the orangutans near and we rather wanted to see them, well, being themselves. Even if that meant it would be harder to find or see them (and possible not find them at all).

We ended up being very very lucky. We initially planned on doing a 2-day trek but I got ill and we ended up doing a 1-day trek through the jungle. It took a while but we eventually heard and saw the orangutans high up in the trees (with their babies!). It was a magical sight… seeing the sun shimmer on their orange fur.


Ketambe travel information

  • Transport: By minivan from Takengon to Ketambe (which took the whole day because the road was under construction & there was a small storm which caused road blockages) and from Ketambe to Lake Toba.
  • Stay: Friendship Guesthouse & Restaurant: clean place, friendly owners, a very good guide and a lovely restaurant. (And as an extra: there’s a little river at the back of the guesthouse which is fun to walk through).
  • Things to do: Walk to “town”, walk up and down the road to spot little monkeys, get a guide and take a long walk to spot the orangutans.
  • Food: We sticked to our hotel’s restaurant which was perfectly fine. I wasn’t feeling that well and they had great spaghetti (which they cooked for us for the first time at 1 o’clock at night after our long long trip).


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