Indonesian Eco-Resorts and Orangutans
The remote Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge is Indonesia’s new answer to a honeymoon that is sure to raise a few eyebrows (and much more interest than the cascading nature wonders of Niagara Falls).
Truly exotic surroundings may translate into a luxury hotel for some, but for others, like honeymooning Australian couple Richard and Clair Webb, an eco friendly lodge surrounded by wild orangutans fills the bill much better.
The remote Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge, which borders on the Tanjung Puting National Park in south Kalimantan, is a known animal sanctuary for the orangutan, which is considered an endangered species.
The lodge is one of four places throughout Indonesia that is attempting to educate visitors about the importance of the environment and wildlife conservation.
The three others are located in Bali, Komodo National Park and Sumatra and they are also managed by Eco Lodges Indonesia, a small company whose roster of shareholders are environmentalists that are both local and international.
Profits from all four establishments are used to protect the parks they border, and to fend off illegal logging, poaching or harmful agricultural practices.
“Watching these animals that are so rare was a really beautiful experience. It was the highlight of our honeymoon… I’m a bit more conscious of my environmental impact. It was good to be able to stay at a place that was eco and animal friendly,” said newly-wed, Clair Webb.
The eco lodge is unique in the fact that through local guides, it takes visitors for encounters with orangutans in the wild
Ironically in light of all this conservation, Indonesia has been severely criticized for rampant deforestation for palm oil, timber and other development, leading to rising greenhouse gas emissions and loss of habitat for wildlife.
But the light at the end of the conservationist tunnel still shines brightly as eco-tourism becomes more and more popular in Indonesia.
In efforts to boost the tourist trade, the Indonesian government extended the length of tourist visas to allow two-month stays. This has brought about an eco-awareness on the part of consumers and travel agents to pressure those giving tours to prove “their green” so to speak.
Happy Orangutan – to everyone.