Destinations in Indonesia
Klotok : River Boat to Tanjung Puting National Park
To reach the Park, visitors must first fly to Pangkalan Bun, located on the west side of Central Kalimantan, then take a 20 minutes drive to the town of Kumai on Kumai Bay. In Kumai, quite a number of riverboats – klotoks - are ready to take passengers up the Seikonyer river. As the round trip takes at least two days, and to ensure that you get a boat with adequate bathroom and sleepiing facilities, it is advisable to travel in a group or book well in advance with an operator experienced in handling eco-tours in the area.
Peak season of visits to the orang utans in Tanjung Puting is between July and August, when klotoks may also be difficult to find.
Klotoks are two-storeyed wooden river boats equipped with inboard or outboard motor, and are specially built to navigate through shallow waters and narrow sections of the river. They have a shallow draft and generally measure 12 meters in length by 2.5 meters width. They normally carry goods or passengers up and down the river.
The upper deck is covered with a roof and is meant for passengers. With seats, the open deck is perfect for viewing wildlife in the forests that will often show themselves along the embankments of the river. Here one can see among the dense trees, macaques, proboscis monkeys, gibbons, deer, and a number of birds
When cleared of chairs, the upper deck of the Klotok serves as area for passengers to take their meals, while at night it becomes the passengers’ sleeping quarters. Mattresses are taken out and covered with mosquito nets, ensuring a restful sleep after an exciting trek into the jungle to get up close to the orangutans.
On the lower level of the Klotok are the bathroom, kitchen, and crew quarters. In some higher priced boats, bathrooms are equipped with shower and air conditioning.
While in the small space called “kitchen”, experienced cooks can in no time whisk up delicious meals of fresh crabs, fish, fried tofu, Indonesian salad called gado-gado, and fried bananas for afternoon snack, thus making sure that visitors to Tanjung Puting not only take home memories of an unforgettable trek to see orangutans in the wild, but also unique photographs of an enjoyable journey on a Klotok riverboat through remote tropical forests.
For more information on the Klotok and tours to Tanjung Putting, you can click: