Bukit Lawang is situated 98 km west of Medan’s airport. The drive takes approximately 4 hours. You have 3 options how to get from the airport to Bukit Lawang:
Private Car: We will happily organize you a pickup service from the airport directly to your accommodation in Bukit Lawang. This is the easiest way, because you will have your personal car with air con and your personal driver, who can stop wherever you need it (e.g., to have lunch or dinner on the way). A private car costs 750.000 IDR and the drive takes about 4 hours. Just let us know in your booking or a few days before your arrival.
Tourist Bus: means you will share a private car with other tourists who arrive about at the same time at the airport (sometimes it means to wait for the arrival of another plane). Therefore, that option depends on the season. Please let us know if you are interested and we will give you the current information. Tourist bus costs 13 € / 210.000 IDR and takes about 5 to 6 hours to Bukit Lawang.
Public Bus: We only recommend this option if you are an Indonesian Citizen or have lived in Indonesia for a while, as this drive is quite an adventure! From the airport you have to take a bus to Binjai. There you have to find a smaller bus going to Bukit Lawang. Prices depend on the bus driver, but mostly tourists have to pay more than locals. Therefore, we highly advise you to use option 1 or 2! Of course, all of these options are valid vice versa (from Bukit Lawang to Medan airport).
The small riverside village of Bukit Lawang is located at the entrance of the Gunung Leuser National Park, one of the richest tropical rainforests in South East Asia ! Its unique location makes it the perfect place to stay
to discover the amazing rainforest of North Sumatra and its unique wildlife. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and placed on a list of world heritage sites in danger in 2011,
the Gunung Leuser National Park covers 1,095,000 ha in northern Sumatra and has amongst one of the most diverse biodiversity in the world by housing thousands of species of indigenous animals, insects and plants.
This amazing rainforest provides also a home for endangered and protected species like the Sumatran Tiger, Rhinoceros, Slow Loris, Elephant and of course the wonderful people of the forest, the Sumatran Orangutans ("orang" means people and "utan" forest)
The Gunung Leuser National Park is one of the 2 only places in the world where you can observe Orangutans in the wild.
- Medan Hotel to Bukit lawang - 650,000 IDR
- Medan Airport to Bukit Lawang - 750,000 IDR
- Bukit Lawang to Tangkahan - 850,000 IDR
- Bukit Lawang to Berastagi - 1000.000 IDR
- Bukit Lawang to Lake Toba - 1.500,000 IDR
- Clothes – bright, light, quick drying and breathable: The high temperatures and the oppressive humidity of tropical climates make you feel like walking around in swimming costumes. But the rainforest is home to poisonous plants and numerous insects. So it is advisable to wear light but long trousers in bright colours. Please consider wearing long socks to avoid bare skin between shoes and trousers. Once your clothes are wet, it is hard to dry them because of the constant humidity. That’s why a quick-drying T-shirt (light-weight fabric controlling perspiration) will be your best friend while trekking.
- Colours – Dark tones: dark colours are beneficial against sun and bugs. Dark clothes attract mosquitoes. The best colours to wear on a jungle trek are dark tones, like brown, beige and green, which don’t highlight you in the landscape and don’t scare the animals. Avoid strong colours like yellow, blue and red on your jungle trek!
- Shoes – comfortable with a rough profile: Light, comfortable hiking boots or sneakers are basically sufficient for hiking on flat and steep terrain. The massive amount of tropical rain often causes the ground to be muddy, so a rough- profiled sole is recommended. Sports shoes that dry quickly are advisable (additional sandals for crossing rivers – recommended only for Explorer & Observation treks). Our advice for safe jungle trekking is to choose shoes that are supportive and slightly above the ankle joint.
- Backpack – only for your personal belongings: You only need to prepare 1 small backpack (25-35 liters) for your personal belongings. All equipment (tent, mattress, sleeping bags, river tubes, safety jackets, helmets for children) as well as all food and drinking water while trekking will be provided by our team. You will have to carry your own small backpack, 1 water bottle and your sleeping bag while trekking. Your water bottle can be refilled any time at the campsite by our Bukit Lawang Trekking team.
- Protection – strong sun & insects: Insect bites are not only annoying but they are also a source of tropical diseases. Insect repellents are therefore an essential item for a pleasant jungle trekking experience. On top of that the sun is much stronger in the tropics than in moderate climates. Even when trekking through dense jungle with little exposure to direct sunlight there is the risk of sunburn. Sun lotion and a hat are necessary on each jungle trek. Additionally a cloth should cover the neck.
- Campsite – tips for the afternoon and night: We recommend light T-shirts and shorts in bright colours for the afternoon at the campsite and warm long trousers, long sleeved shirts & warm socks for the evening/night. Please always keep at least one set of dry clothes for the campsite! Additional travel tip for an overnight stay in the jungle: swimming suit, sunglasses, flipflop/sandals, raincoat, toilet paper, flashlight, quick-dry towel, personal belongings (environmentally-safe soap & shampoo, toothbrush & toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, feminine hygiene products, contact lenses .
- Electronic gear – double protection: You may have gathered by now that the rain forest is a pretty humid and wet environment, so if you are planning to bring any electronic gear (camera, lenses, mobile phone, USB power bank, charging cables, batteries, cards…) please make sure to protect it from the elements. All electronic gear should be kept in an extra plastic or waterproof bag. Also make sure your daypack has a rain cover and keep it on at all times during your jungle trek.
- Medication: Due to poor medical care we urgently advise not to travel to Sumatra without bringing your personal medical kit. Recommended medication for jungle treks includes e.g. anti-diarrhea medicine, dehydration salt, antihistamine, aspirin and antibiotics.
- Safety: In order to keep you as safe as possible in the jungle of Sumatra you have to abide by the rules and instructions given to you by the Bukit Lawang Trekking team at all times. By following these simple guidelines for the jungle, visitors are able to see the Sumatran orangutans at Bukit Lawang in a way which is both safe for themselves and for the orangutans.
- Do not touch the orangutans or other wildlife.
- Do not touch the orangutans or other wildlife.
- Do not feed the orangutans under any circumstances.
- Never stay between two orangutans.
- Do not call or lure the orangutans, this could make stress and disrupts natural behavior.
- Do not make sudden movements or much noises, this can be interpreted as threat.
- Hold a minimum distance of 10 meters to the orangutans.
- Do not stay longer than one hour.
- Do not go into the rainforest when you are sick.
- Do not eat or drink in the forest, this increases the risk of both disease transmissions and attacks from orangutans.
- Do not remove, damage or alter any of the vegetation in the forest.
- Do not take leafs, seeds and shells out from the forest because all play an important role within the forest ecosystem.
By following these simple guidelines, visitors are able to see the Sumatran orangutans at Bukit Lawang in a way which is both safe for themselves and safe for the orangutans.
“Note” that the tour operator Bukit Lawang Trekking is not liable for any damages or injuries suffered in consequence of anything that happened in the jungle due to the nature forces.