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Private Charter

Spirit Of Kalimantan

Traditional wooden riverboat offering wildlife & cultural discovery voyages in Kalimantan's jungles.

Overview

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.

Forest adventures

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.

Itineraries & Prices

1 / 3
3-Day
4-Day
5-Day

3 Day - Katingan River & Sebangau National Park

itinerary map

Orangutan Island, Jahanjang

AM: On arrival in Palangka Raya, we pick you up from the airport in our air-conditioned private charter car. From here we travel to Sei Gohong village and board a simple local canoe to see the beautiful orangutan island, home to rehabilitated orangutans prior to their release into the wild. We watch from a distance that will not disturb this process as they adapt to the natural forest environment of the island.

PM: After returning to land, we visit the Foundation’s Education Centre (if it is open to guests) and have lunch in a favorite Dayak grill warung, before returning to the cars for a 2.5 hour drive to Jahanjang port on the Katingan River. Here we board the Spirit of Kalimantan for a welcome drink and snack as the boat heads upstream to the village of Jahanjang. Walk through this delightful village to the beautiful Danau Bulat to see the cattle feed local industry and to watch the sunset. The boat finds a quiet mooring for the night near the Sebangau National Park entrance. 

The Spirit of Kalimantan's 3-Day Katingan River & Sebangau National Park - Day 1 - Wild Sebangau Orangutan
Location
Katingan River
Day
1 / 3

Sebangau National Park, Telaga

The Spirit of Kalimantan cruises downstream to the small Punggu Alas River, where canoes are waiting to make the transfer into the National Park. Make sure you wear your walking shoes and bring mosquito repellent. On arrival at the research and information site, we have a short presentation on activities at the research center and then we will stroll around the camp and then walk deeper into the forest with an experienced guide to spot some of the wildlife that makes this forest home. Observations of orangutans, sun bears, wild boar or clouded leopards cannot be guaranteed.

After the exertion of trekking through the Sebangu Forest, we make the short return trip to the Spirit of Kalimantan for a cool drink. As a delicious lunch is served, the boat cruises downstream 2 to 3 hours along the wide muddy river with forested riversides and passing tiny, subsistence villages, to our southernmost destination – the village of Telaga. Here we take a walk through this isolated and surprisingly busy outpost. Learn how they survive with such a simple lifestyle and visit their busy fish market. Buy some of their giant river prawns for dinner (if there are any available). Return to the boat, which will find a quiet mooring place for the night. 

The Spirit of Kalimantan's 3-Day Katingan River & Sebangau National Park - Day 2 - Sebangau National Park
Location
Sebangau National Park
Day
2 / 3

Telaga, Sungei Klaru, Return to Palangka Raya

AM: After breakfast this morning, we cruise to the nearby Klaru River. At the river mouth, we are joined by some local canoes to explore this beautiful black water lake system. Within RMU’s Katingan Mentaya Project forest rehabilitation area, we learn more about their REDD+ project as we quietly cruise upstream to a site to watch birds, proboscis monkeys and a variety of other wildlife. Marvel at the reflections here, especially during the rainy season.

PM: Enjoy your final lunch on board as we make the 3 hour cruise to Jahanjang, where we transfer to cars for the return journey to Palangka Raya.

The Spirit of Kalimantan's 3-Day Katingan River & Sebangau National Park - Day 3 - Meeting the Villagers
Location
Klaru River
Day
3 / 3
1 / 3

4 Day - Katingan River & Sebangau National Park

itinerary map

Orangutans on The Rungan River

AM: Starting this trip, we pick you up from the airport or your hotel in our air-conditioned private charter car. From here we travel to Sei Gohong and board a simple local canoe to see the beautiful Kaja and Bangamat orangutan islands, home to rehabilitated orangutans prior to their release into the wild operated by Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS). We watch from a distance that will not disturb this process as they adapt to the natural forest environment of the island. After return to land, we visit the Orangutan Education Centre to learn more about BOSF programs. Lunch in a local Dayak grilled river fish restaurant.

PM: Driving an hour gets us to Bukit Batu, a rocky outcrop, for a short climb to see the vast flat surrounding landscape. Returning to the car, we continue our trip to Baun Bango on the Katingan River (2 hours). Here we board the Spirit of Kalimantan for a welcome drink and snack as the boat heads downstream to find a quiet mooring on the river.

Dinner and overnight on board the Spirit of Kalimantan.

The Spirit of Kalimantan's 4-Day Katingan River & Sebangau National Park - Day 1 - Katingan River Forest
Location
Katingan River
Day
1 / 4

Sebangau National Park

AM: Early morning, we visit the tiny village of Jahanjang and take the opportunity to walk to the beautiful calm Lake Bulat behind the village. Then we continue our stroll through the village to meet the people and learn about their livelihoods, including the cattle farming, which is improving village incomes.

PM: Returning to the boat, we continue downstream to the mouth of the small tributary, Punggualas River, the beginning of our forest adventure. We serve lunch on board before transferring to smaller canoes to travel the narrow river course to reach the park information and research site managed by the National Parks Authority. Here you can choose to settle into a private lodge. Each one can accommodate 2 people. Explore the camp and have a short talk on the activities in the camp.

Then we venture along the boardwalks adjacent to the centre, walking deep into the dense forest, keeping an ear and eye out for wildlife. If you choose to stay in the forest overnight, after dinner at the centre, we set off on an exciting night wildlife spotting expedition, looking for the elusive clouded leopard.

Optional dinner and overnight in the forest cabin or onboard the Spirit of Kalimantan.

The Spirit of Kalimantan's 4-Day Katingan River & Sebangau National Park - Day 2 - Access canoe to Punggualas Camp
Location
Sebangau National Park
Day
2 / 4

Sebangau National Park

AM: After early breakfast, set off on your trekking adventure. This is a challenging trek through wet and uneven peat swamp forests, to follow and spot wild orangutans. This experience cannot be guaranteed.

PM: Returning to the camp, pack your bags for the short canoe trip to the Spirit of Kalimantan. The boat continues the journey downstream to the village of Telaga. Arriving in the late afternoon, we have walkaround the village with a local guide to meet the people and visit the fish markets, as well as seeing the traditional livelihood activities. Buy some of the locally fished giant prawns or other available fish and the cook will prepare them for dinner!

Return to the boat which will move downriver to find a quiet location to enjoy the sunset and moor overnight.

Overnight onboard.

The Spirit of Kalimantan's 4-Day Katingan River & Sebangau National Park - Day 3 - Sunset over Baun Bango
Location
Sebangau National Park
Day
3 / 4

Klaru River, Palangka Raya

AM: Wake with the dawn for a stunning wildlife experience as we board village canoes to explore the black water Klaru River. Within RMU’s Katingan Project forest rehabilitation area, we learn more about their REDD+ project.

We make our way upstream to a site to watch birds, proboscis monkeys and a variety of other wildlife, walk along the boardwalks and climb the lookout tower whilst marvelling at the perfect reflections.

PM: After this experience, we return to the boat while we cruise 4 hours upstream to Jahanjang for transfer to cars for the return trip to Palangka Raya.

The Spirit of Kalimantan's 4-Day Katingan River & Sebangau National Park - Day 4 - Sebangau Lake
Location
Palangka Raya
Day
4 / 4
1 / 4

5 Day - Katingan River & Sebangau National Park

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM : Starting this trip, we pick you up from the airport or your hotel in our air-conditioned private charter car. From here we travel to Sei Gohong and board a simple local canoe to see the beautiful orangutan islands, home to rehabilitated orangutans before their release into the wild operated by Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF). We watch from a distance that will not disturb this process as they adapt to the natural forest environment of the island. Lunch in a local Dayak grilled river fish restaurant.

PM : Returning to the car, we continue our trip to Baun Bango on the Katingan River (2 hours). Here we board the Spirit of Kalimantan for a welcome drink and snack as the boat heads downstream to find a quiet mooring on the river.

Dinner and overnight on board the Spirit of Kalimantan.


The Spirit of Kalimantan - Katingan River & Sebangau National Park - Day 1
Location
The Spirit of Kalimantan
Day
1 / 5

Lake Jelampangen - Jahanjang

AM : Early morning, we board local canoes for a trip to the vast peat water Lake Jelampangen. Entering along narrow canals used by fishermen. Watch out for birdlife.

PM : Mid-afternoon, we visit the tiny village of Jahanjang and stroll along the walkways to meet the people and learn about their livelihoods, including cattle farming which is improving village incomes. We then take the opportunity to walk to the beautiful calm Lake Bulat behind the village to watch the sunset reflected in the mirror waters. We have a snack there and then return to the boat overnight.

The Spirit of Kalimantan - Katingan River & Sebangau National Park - Day 2
Location
Kantingan River
Day
2 / 5

Sebangau National Park

AM : Today we continue downstream to the mouth of the small tributary, Punggualas River, the beginning of our forest adventure. Early morning, we transfer to small canoes to travel the narrow river course to reach the park information and research site managed by the National Parks Authority. Explore the camp, meet the ranger, and talk briefly about the camp's activities. Venture along the boardwalks adjacent to the centre, walking deep into the dense forest, keeping an ear and eye out for wildlife, for orangutans, proboscis monkeys or macaques. Return to the boat for lunch.

PM : In the cool afternoon, we set off for a short forest trek to track wild orangutans and later spotting night wildlife as we return to the boat for dinner and overnight. Note that this is a challenging trek through wet and uneven peat swamp forests to follow and spot wild orangutans, which we cannot guarantee. You may also see the rare clouded leopard or hear gibbon songs.

Optional dinner and overnight in the forest cabin or onboard the Spirit of Kalimantan.

The Spirit of Kalimantan - Katingan River & Sebangau National Park - Day 3
Location
Sebangau National Park
Day
3 / 5

Telaga

AM : The boat continues the journey downstream and we stop at villages to see their traditional fishing industry. Lunch is served is served as we cruise. Keep an eye for the iconic hornbills crossing the river. Reaching the larger village of Telaga, we walk around with a local guide to meet the people to see traditional livelihood activities. Buy some of the locally fished giant prawns or other available fish and the cook will prepare them for dinner!

PM : Return to boat which will move down river to find a quiet location near Klaru River to enjoy the sunset and moor overnight.

The Spirit of Kalimantan - Katingan River & Sebangau National Park
Location
Telaga
Day
4 / 5

Disembarkation

AM : Wake with the dawn for a stunning wildlife experience as we board village canoes to explore the black water Klaru River. Within RMU’s Katingan Project forest rehabilitation area, we learn more about their REDD+ project.

PM : We make our way upstream to a site to watch birds, proboscis monkeys and a variety of other wildlife, walk along the boardwalks into the forest for further opportunities to see wildlife. After this experience, we return to the boat while we cruise 4 hours upstream to Jahanjang for transfer to cars for the return trip to Palangka Raya (approx 3.5 hours by road).

The Spirit of Kalimantan - Katingan River & Sebangau National Park - Day 5
Location
Palangkaraya
Day
5 / 5
1 / 5

Accommodations

Social Areas

Observation deck
Saloon
Living Room
Local Dinghy
Meals
Dining

Suites & Cabins

The Spirit of Kalimantan's Double Cabin
2 Cabins

Double Cabin

Guests
2
Size
9 m² / 97 ft²
Beds
Double

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 Spirit of Kalimantan - Superior Cabin The Spirit of Kalimantan - Superior Cabin
1 Cabin

Superior Cabin

Guests
2
Size
18 m² / 194 ft²
Beds
Double / Twin

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.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Features

  • Air conditioning
  • Hot showers

Equipment

  • Kayaks / Canoes
  • Flash lights
  • Insect repellent
** Use of certain equipment at additional cost, ask for details
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