Bijgewerkt: 25 jun 2018
This was our Nr.1 activity during our first trip to Indonesia. Getting to Bukit Lawang, Sumatra is not easy but all the trouble to go jungle trekking is definitely worth it. Brace yourselves for an authentic adventure!
Transport to Bukit Lawang, Sumatra
We flew from Amsterdam to Jakarta with a transit in Dubai. After the shortest night ever sleeping like homeless people outside of the airport we took a flight to Medan, Sumatra. We didn't book anything in advance, so we walked outside of the airport and found a bus that drove to Binjai. You have to take the ALS bus. It has a fixed price of 45.000 rp. It's pretty comfortable and has wi-fi.
The drive is around two hours and when you arrive in Binjai you have to take a mini-van to Bukit Lawang. Make sure to pay between 10.000 and 30.000 rp for a trip to Bukit Lawang. Remind yourself that you're a tourist. You're going to get financially raped eventually. This trip will take about two hours as well. The distance isn't that far but the roads are the worst. Don't be surprised to be a witness of some heavy traffic accidents. The heavy rainfall destroys the pavement.
When (or if) you arrive at the Bukit Lawang busstation you have to ask for an 'ojek' to take you to the village. This will come down to your bargaining skills again. A good prices is anywhere between 5.000 and 25.000 rp.
Booking your Jungle Trekking in Bukit Lawang
Before you book your Jungle Trekking in Bukit Lawang you have to ask yourself a question first.
How much time do you have?
What do you expect to see?
What is your physical shape?
You have the option to do a hike of three hours to a jungle trek of eight (!) full days. The deeper you go into the jungle, the more you'll see! It's necessary to think about the fact the jungle trek is going to be physically taxing. A lot of steep inclines, extreme weather conditions and full of surprises.
Beware of random guides who offer their services to you. It's really REALLY important to feel good about your guide and crew. We did our share of research and booked with Nicco Gino and his crew. We felt good about them during the first instant we met them. We booked a three day jungle trekking adventure including two overnight stays in the jungle.
Clothing, Gear and Sleeping in the Jungle
Make sure to bring adjusted clothing for the jungle. You're going to sweat...a lot. You don't have to be afraid of mosquitoes and leeches. It's okay to wear shorts and a t-shirt. The most important thing are your shoes. Make sure to bring some good boots. It can get really slippery and the paths range from little rivers to climbing trees. I've warned you!
Bring a raincoat as well. We were there in September and after 4 or 5PM it started to pour! For every day you should have a new set of clothes. The amount of sweat you'll be losing is absurd. You don't want your co-tourists to hate you because of your overwhelming smell.
Think about getting an extra battery for your camera or phone. Get a big bottle of water, your guides will boil water from the river during your trip so you can have yummy hot water that's bacteria-free.
Bug spray !!!
After two trips to Indonesia I finally found something that worked. They're called Bye-Bugz and they kept me without a bug bite for 26 days. Kudos for that!
Don't forget your swimming gear. After a long day of hiking, climbing and sweating, you'll want to take a luxurious shower in the ice-cold river. Again, do it! Or else your tourist buddies will hate your guts!
Sleeping in the jungle is kind of alright. The only thing we had was a sleeping bag and that did the trick. You're sleeping on a thin yogamat and my back never felt better. If you're not used to sleeping on something hard. Make sure to bring something extra with you.
One last thing: Toiletpaper... think about it... thank me later ;-)
The Trip !
From the get-go the hike was loaded with highlights. We received delicious fruits every two hours and the crew made sure our three meals were prepared whenever we were hungry. Nicco talked about huge jungle ants, the jungle alarm, how to come closer to an orangutan and much more stuff you wouldn't know about.
Here' a couple of pictures to create an impression of the tour...
After two days and two nights of intense hiking in the jungle, we spent the third day chasing waterfalls and chilling in the magnificent surroundings. We got to have a chance to learn more about our group. Two Swiss girls and two Aussie blokes who were the greatest people.
I do think we were extremely lucky with our group and our guides. After spending the morning and early afternoon in the water, it was time to 'tube' back to the village.
Tubing is the Bukit Lawang way of rafting and let me tell you something, it's wayyy better than rafting! Check out our video for a quick impression:
Here are some useful links you can use to create your own adventure:
Organisation for the Jungle Trekking
Direct Whatsapp contact with the Legend Nicco Gino
Direct link to the three day package
Transport from Airport to Bukit Lawang Village:
Bye Bugz anti-bug products (not an affiliate):
Our overnight stay: