Set within the stunning Gunung Leuser National Park along the banks of the fast-flowing Bohorok River, Bukit Lawang is famous for its orangutan rehabilitation centre. This jungle resort is a great location for seeing wildlife, trekking to the park’s magnificent waterfalls, river tubing, rafting or simply lazing and soaking up the scenery.
Bukit Lawang is a small village on the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which first came to fame when the Bohorok Rehabilitation Centre was established in 1973 to rehabilitate ex-captive orangutans. While the rehabilitation programme itself has now been suspended, the centre is still open to visitors who can enjoy watching the twice-daily feeding sessions. These orangutans are semi-wild but to have a chance of seeing wild apes, you will need to trek deeper into the jungle, where you may also be lucky enough to see black gibbon, Thomas Leaf monkey, clouded leopard, crocodile and Sumatran elephant, tiger and rhino. A jungle trek is also the best way to see the many waterfalls and swimming holes throughout the park.
In recent years the village, which is around a three-hour drive from Medan, has spread further along the banks of the Bohorok River to become something of a laidback jungle resort. Traveller-friendly, we think it’s a great place to relax and experience the Sumatran jungle.