This article is part of a weekly series on cruising in The Sun Herald, Sydney. If you have done an interesting shore excursion and are interested in being featured, please send an email to email@example.com.
WHAT Up-close encounters with orang-utans in Borneo.
WHERE In the Tanjung Puting National Park in the Indonesian section of the island of Borneo.
THE SHIP Eva cruised with her husband Bill on Orion II, on a 10-day cruise from Bali to Singapore. The Kajtars had tried a mainstream cruise and found it was not for them.
“We were split into groups of six and went on local boats, called klotoks, to a reserve set aside for orang-utans and proboscis monkeys. On the boat trip we were able to experience some local food … it was like a fried patty and it was very tasty.
“We arrived at a jetty in the jungle and walked on boardwalks … to a place called Camp Leakey. Camp Leakey was set up by Dr Birute Galdikas, who is one of the world’s greatest experts on orang-utans. She was sitting on her porch and we were able to meet her and talk to her.
“Some of our group went off to a feeding platform but a few of us decided to stay at the house, because there were so many orang-utans there. We sat on a bench on the porch and they came closer and closer. One female with a baby passed by and stroked my knee.
“Dr Galdikas told us we shouldn’t initiate anything, but if the orang-utans came to us we should just let it happen, so I didn’t feel frightened.
“When it was time to leave we were waiting at the jetty and the same orang-utan approached us again. She was holding hands with my husband and another man and then she moved up on to the rail, took my hand and… (click here to keep reading)