Comfortably accommodating up to six guests – but with room for 7 – the Spirit of Kalimantan is a converted wooden ‘klotok’ riverboat offering orangutan and wildlife-spotting cruises and trekking through the peat swamp forests of the Sebangau National Park in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.
Life on board
In the company of English-speaking guides, you can look forward to a voyage of discovery and adventure while cruising the waterways in the comfort of cushioned sofas in the screened saloon, in steamer chairs on the covered deck, or on the roof of the boat for unimpeded river and forest views. There are six crew members, and delicious meals are prepared on-board by your personal cook.
The three air-conditioned cabins ― one master across the width of the boat and two doubles to the bow― and two shared bathrooms, are situated below deck. There is also an additional single bed between the cabins and opposite the stairs if you don’t mind the lack of privacy.
You will meet the orangutans and you’ll be introduced to the black water lake systems and the indigenous Dayak culture in the villages along the route, as the Spirit of Kalimantan navigates the broad Katingan River. Board a simple local canoe to see the beautiful orangutan island, home to rehabilitated orangutans prior to their release into the wild.
Visit the Foundation’s Education Center, operated by Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS), whose aim is to care for orangutans that have been displaced from their natural habitat, orphaned, or illegally captured and held as pets. The orphans cannot be immediately returned to a natural, safe forest environment due to their young age so they will undergo the long process of rehabilitation; learning all the skills they need in order to survive in the wild.
Stroll through tiny villages, meet the local people and learn about their livelihoods, trek deep into the forest with an experienced guide, or explore the fascinating black water lake system by canoe, spotting birds, proboscis monkeys, wild boar, sun bears, and a whole variety of other wildlife.
On longer itineraries you can stay one night in a private lodge at a research camp managed by the National Parks Authority, and venture along the boardwalks into the dense forest after dark on an exciting nocturnal wildlife spotting expedition, looking for the elusive clouded leopard. A more challenging daytime trekking adventure takes you through wet and uneven peat swamp forests, in the hope of seeing wild orangutans.
Sebangau National Park
The Sebangau National Park is one of the last remaining peat swamp forests in Borneo. It is home to over 6,000 orangutans, forming one of the world’s largest populations in the wild. Among the peat swamp forests, are some dramatic hills and crystal clear, freshwater lakes, which are the habitat of many species of fish and other distinct flora and fauna.
A river cruise on the Spirit of Kalimantan offers you and your partner, family, or friends to meet the critically endangered orangutans of Borneo, while also trekking and exploring the extraordinary diversity of the flora and fauna of this incredible region. If you’re enthusiastic about wildlife, you may want to consider combining this with a Komodo Dragon cruise to Eastern Indonesia.
Suites & Cabins
The two narrow, air-conditioned double cabins are located below deck at the bow of the boat and are facing as you come down the stairs. Though lacking ensuites, these two cabins share a bathroom nearby.
The spacious, air-conditioned superior cabin stretches the entire width of the boat and is located to the rear of the stairs below the deck. It has an ensuite in a Superior Large Cabin.