Tangkahan: Riding Elephants in the Hidden Paradise of North Sumatra

rivers rock formation in Tangakahan (photo credit: joko guntoro)
rivers rock formation in Tangakahan (photo credit: joko guntoro)

Tangkahan is well-known as the hidden paradise of Gunung Leuser National Park. This place is an Ecotourism area in the Langkat District, North Sumatra. The peaceful jungle retreat is located along the Kuala Buluh River next to the dense rainforest, just 2.5 hours far from Bukit Lawang driving on a bumpy road through palm oil plantations and rural villages.

lodges are situated in the forest (photo credit joko guntoro)
lodges are situated in the forest (photo credit joko guntoro)

The two villages framed the Tangkahan area Namo Sialang and Sei Serdang village, with the estimated population of 7,433. Livelihood of the villagers are mostly by farming, oil palm, nature rubber, sweet oranges and limes are some of the main local corps commodity. It is the perfect place to lay back from strong traveling and spend a memorable time with seven rehabilitated adult Sumatran elephants and a few small calves who work together with the rangers to patrol the rainforest.

a restaurant of a lodge in Tangkahan (photo credit: inaturaltresures.com)
a restaurant of a lodge in Tangkahan (photo credit: inaturaltresures.com)

This tiny, remote village was practically built on the logging trade in the 1980s and 1990s, because the people became aware of the damages by such activity. They collectively decided to stop illegal logging and transform the area into a functional, self-sustained ecotourism destination. So in April 2001 the community banded together to form the Tangkahan Tourism Organisation (Lembaga Pariwisata Tangkahan – LPT) and fixed regulations prohibiting the exploitation of the surrounding rainforest. So the Conservation Response Unit (CRU) was born – a team of Sumatran elephants and their mahouts that helps safeguard the national park to protect it from encroachment. When its bath time at the elephant camp on the outskirt of Gunung Leuser National Park tourists are allowed and charged to help. By joining the elephants by their afternoon bathing or taking a trek on an elephant you will support this local initiative.

situation of a lodge in tangkahan (photo credit: joko guntoro)
situation of a lodge in tangkahan (photo credit: joko guntoro)

Riding elephants are arranged jointly by local communities, the national park authorities, and local and International NGO’s. All profits are used for community development, social programs and nature conservation. The elephants originate from areas where human encroachment on elephant land has caused conflicts, causing the wild elephants to loose their habitat and forcing the authorities to round them up and move them to government camps. The elephants are among the few to have been tIn the year of 1994, this very area was one of the illegal logging exit points out of national park. The robbing was done in view of the matters that the price of lumber were soaring high by that time. Along with the illegal logging incident, local visitor were starting to realize the beauty of this yet another Indonesian paradise. It’s beautiful scenery with it’s virgin forest and crystal river are the Batang serangan River and Buluh River.

bathing the elephants (photo credit: joko guntoro)
bathing the elephants (photo credit: joko guntoro)

Unexpectedly, the crowds of visitor have given yet other alternative incomes for the local people. Thus, has succeeded in broadening people’s perception and knowledge about the forest itself. Apparently, the forest ( the national park ) can give far more valuable earning that illegal logging action.

Located near the border of the Park, Tangkahan Village is becoming an exemplary site of community-based ecotourism. Within this pilot project, former illegal loggers have learned to become trekking guides. Gaining their livelihood from the beauty of the forest, they are now the best guardians of its natural wonders.

mahout (keeper of elephant) is bathing an elephant (photo credit: joko guntoro)
mahout (keeper of elephant) is bathing an elephant (photo credit: joko guntoro)

The Gunung Leuser National Park in North Sumatra is a hidden paradise, one of the last places you can experience the rainforest at it’s best. Majestic trees, thick lush tropical vegetation interspersed with beautiful rivers, waterfalls, caves combine to make this one of the most beautiful places on earth. This is also home for many endangered animals such as the Sumatran orangutan, the Sumatran tiger and the Sumatran elephant, to name but a few, and also reptiles and amphibians such as frogs and snakes. If you are lucky, you will see them in forest.

a view to the river and forest from a restaurant (photo credit: joko guntoro)
a view to the river and forest from a restaurant (photo credit: joko guntoro)

It is also the only place in Indonesia where you can venture into the jungle on the back of your own elephant, exploring parts of the rainforest that would be difficult to reach otherwise. This is the place to come if you want a truly exclusive and unique experience combining rainforest exploration with camping and above all with riding elephants.

local visitors enjoying the river (photo credit: joko guntoro)
local visitors enjoying the river (photo credit: joko guntoro)

Many families spend their weekends with an excursion or picnic. There are many options that can give peace to yourself or family. Tangkahan is one attraction that can give peace. Not only is the freshness of the mountain air, the beauty of the hill ranks and captive elephants while in the daily attraction visited by foreign wiasatawan. Thurs can also enjoy the beauty of some of the surrounding waterfalls and several caves that make us want to explore its depths. There is a suspension bridge that can be passed, if brave through it. No need to worry about lodging. In many inns attraction. Just choose economy class hotels or inns vip class.

This attraction also features a tour-guide who can help us explore the forest. Thurs not have to worry about the security at this location because the attractions provider will provide security teams for tourists who visit. Not just tour guides and security team is on site but also the cleanliness of the team to be one thing. (inaturaltreasures.com)

Advertisements

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s