We affectionately refer to our home here at Sumatra Surf Resort as “the Jungle”. For a bit of background information, Sumatra Surf Resort lays in the town of Tanjung Setia, 20 minutes south of Krui on the south western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.
While the coastal land is relatively flat and is used for farming, there are only a few rows of houses either side of the road, immediately behind rises a mountain range covered in the dense rain forest of the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. This park is listed by the World Wildlife Foundation as one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world and home to species such as the sumatran rhinocerous, asian elephant and 40 sumatran tigers – 10% of the remaining population – just to name a few!
The nearest entrance to the park from Krui is an hour on the winding mountain road towards the town of Liwa where we found the ranger station on the left hand side of the road opposite the entrance to the National Park. With the help of two guides and a sharp machete, we plunged into the dense jungle and within five minutes saw a baby Owa, a member of the gibbon family and bright orange in colour, swinging through the trees.
The walk was not for the faint hearted, but then again, not many people find their way into the Sumatran jungle if they aren’t up for an adventure, and was well worth the effort as we emerged from the trees at an absolutely breathtaking waterfall.
On our return journey we started off to a choir of Siamang booming out across the valley, and later came across a family of golden orange Owa Sumatera, the white handed gibbon that can range in colour from black to almost white and all shades of orange and brown in between. The two species calls were markedly different, with the Owa much higher in pitch.
As the animals started to become more active after midday, we stepped quietly and tried not to talk to startle anything away, and managed to get right underneath the nest of a hornbill, a giant black bird that sounded like something straight out of Jurassic Park as it flew in to roost.
Although the density of the jungle and the thick canopy meant we heard many more animals than we saw, the opportunity to see and hear some incredibly rare monkeys was fantastic, and we found the fresh footprint of a tapir as we were walking out as well, which sent us home absolutely stoked.
Until next time Bukit Barisan Selatan NP!
Cheers from the SSR Crew