Gunung Leuser National Park

Gunung Leuser National Park is also called Mount Leuser National Park.

Location: Aceh and North Sumatra Province. In Aceh Province located in 6 regencies (Southwest Aceh, South Aceh, Aceh Singkil, Southeast Aceh, Gayo Lues, and Aceh Tamiang). In North Sumatra Province located in 3 regencies ( Dairi, Karo and Langkat)

Gunung Leuser National Park covering 7,927 km² or ​​1,094,692 hectares.

Mount Leuser National Park is a mix of coastal forest ecosystems, and tropical rain forest lowlands to the mountains.

Almost all the areas covered by the Dipterocarpaceae forest with several rivers and waterfalls. There is a rare and distinctive plants include Giant Umbrella Leaf (Johannesteijsmannia altifrons), Raflesia Flower (Rafflesia atjehensis and R. micropylora) and Rhizanthes zippelnii which is the largest flower with a diameter of 1.5 meters. In addition, there are also many unique plants.

Endangered and protected animals found in national parks, including Sumatran Orangutans (Pongo Abelii), Siamang (Hylobates Syndactylus), Sumatran Elephant (Elephas Maximus Sumatranus), Sumatran Rhinoceros (Sumatrensis Dicerorhinus), Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), Forest Goat or Mainland Serow (Capricornis Sumatraensis), Rangkong or Hornbills (Buceros Bicornis), Sambar Deer (Cervus unicolor), and Wild Cat or Leopard Cats (Prionailurus sumatrana bengalensis).

Mount Leuser National Park is one established by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. This National Park is fulled with tropical fruits like mango, rambutan, durian, avocado, orange, papaya, and guava. The other parts are situated in the east Aceh, south Aceh, and Langkat of North Sumatra, known to produce world-class coffee and tobacco. Most visitors normally start their adventures in the national park through Bukit Lawang, North Sumatra, where you can always find the gentle giants of the jungle, the orangutans. Discover the gentleness of these sociable primates as your discovery of Sumatra begins right here.

Mount Leuser National Park, named after its highest peak: Mount Leuser (3,381 m). It is one of the largest and the most diverse national parks in Indonesia, covering an area of 7,927 square kilometer in the northern tip of Sumatera, Indonesia. Embracing various ecosystems, the national park is in fact a cluster of various nature reserves and forests: Gunung Leuser Nature Reserve, Kappi Nature Reserve, Kluet Nature Reserve, Sikundur-Langkat Wildlife Reserve, Ketambe Research Station, Singkil Barat, and Dolok Sembilin.

The park is so extensive, it covers mangroves, beach and swamp forest, lowland rainforest, moss forest, and up to subalpine forest. When traversing its extraordinary landscape, enthusiastic adventurer like you will not be disappointed.

The Mount Leuser National Park encompasses more than 100 kilometers of the Bukit Barisan Mountains, known for its steep, almost inaccessible mountainous terrains. The altitude ranges from beach area in Kluet (South Aceh), to 3,381 meter on top of the Gunung Leuser (Southeast Aceh). The breathtaking Alas River cuts the park into an eastern and western half, where your tropical thirst for adrenaline will be captivatingly fulfilled.

Around 130 species are identified in this park only. The mysterious Sumatran tigers, elephants, rhinos, Siamang monkeys, macaques, clouded leopards, reptiles, fish, and around 325 species of birds are among the endemic wildlife known to inhibit the park. Surely the trek to the inner park is more than just a great adventure to the last zoo you visited. Come and take in the experience living in a small friendly village, Ketambe, where the locals are naturally knowledgeable and ecologically hospitable.

Interesting locations and attractions:

Gurah: fantastic views, valleys, waterfalls; animals and plants such as Rafflesia, orangutans, birds, snakes and butterflies.
Bohorok: an orangutan rehabilitation centre; ecotourism activities like kayaking/canoeing, camping, and birdwatching.
Kluet: boating on rivers and lakes, trekking through coastal forest and caving. Kluet is also a habitat of tigers.
Sekundur: camping, caving, animal observation.
Ketambe and Suak Belimbing: suitable place for research on primates and other animals; research facilities include accommodation and a library.
Gunung (Mount) Leuser (3,404 m asl.) and Mt. Kemiri (3,314 m asl.): mountain climbing and hiking.
River rafting along the Alas River: start from Gurah-Muara Situlen – Gelombang for a three-day trip.

Cultural attractions outside the Park include the Lake Toba Festival in June (held on the Lake) and the Malay Culture Festival held in July in Medan.

Access:

  • From Medan to Kutacane about 8 hours by car (240 km). From Kutacane to Gurah/Ketambe about 30 minutes by car (35 km)
  • From Medan to Bohorok/Bukit Lawang about 1 hour by car (60 km).
  • From Medan to Sei Betung/Sekundur about 2 hours by car (150 km).
  • From Medan to Tapaktuan about 10 hours by car (260 km).

Suggestion:

Best time of year to visit: June to October

Temperature: 21° – 28° C
Rainfall: 2,000 – 3,200 mm/year
Altitude: 0 – 3,381 m asl.
Geographical location: 96°35′ – 98°30′ E; 2°50′ – 4°10′ S

Source: Ministry of Forestry and Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia

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