Located in the southwest of Aceh Province, Gunung Leuser National Park is a supremely beautiful and rugged part of Sumatra. It is famed for its dense jungle and trekking, but most of all for its thriving orangutan population.

Gunung Leuser National Park covers almost a million hectares of the southwestern part of Aceh and straddles North Sumatra. The park takes its name from the highest mountain, Gunung Leuser (Mount Leuser), at 3,381m.

Most visitors head for the tourist village of Bukit Lawang when visiting Gunung Leuser National Park. It resides on a river deep in the east of the park and is famed for its orangutan rehabilitation center. Feeding times are 08:00 and 15:00. Another popular place is Ketambe village on the west side of the park. It is less touristy than Bukit Lawang.

Serious hikers make a beeline for Mount Leuser although a permit is needed to enter the jungle and you can’t go at it alone. Licensed guides are plentiful and tours can be booked in all surrounding towns.

Getting There & Away

Medan is the main gateway town to Gunung Leuser National Park and has one of Sumatra’s main airports. Flights from Jakarta take around 2 hours while flights from Banda Aceh take 40 minutes. Bukit Lawang is 85kms away (or 3 hours) from Medan by minivan. Ketambe village is 7 hours away by road.