One of Sumatra’s oldest nature reserves, Way Kambas has been seriously affected by deforestation but remains home to some endemic species at risk of extinction. Visit the rhino sanctuary and meet the unique Sumatran two-horned Asian species. Look up and you may spot a great argus or a Storm’s stork. In the depths of the jungle, you may find the footprints of a Sumatran tiger or feel the gaze of a family of siamang feeding on the canopy.
Sumatra’s largest national park is mainly inaccessible and is a haven for some rare species such as the Sumatran tiger and the Sumba clouded leopard. The diversity of landscapes and altitude is reflected in the abundant biodiversity, which includes alpine plants and rafflesia flowers, marble cats, sun bears and almost 400 bird species. While the north of the park is the most visited, in the south you will see the magnificent Sumatran elephants moving in herds. A variety of excursions will bring you through valleys, rivers and waterfalls. Take the two-night trek to the top of Gunung Kerinci to appreciate beautiful views over lake Gunung Tujuh or a night safari to meet nocturne species. If you prefer to take it easy, you can opt for a visit to an isolated tribal village or a dip in the hot springs.
Famous for being home to the last remaining viable populations of Sumatran orangutans, Gunung Leuser is also home to a variety of other species distributed throughout the park’s diverse ecosystems. Casuarina trees, wild nutmeg and pandan trees grow near the swamp forests, while Pometia pinnata are found along river sand and strong meranti and keruing trees provide shade in the lowland forests. You will be surprised by the diversity of fruit trees like mango, durian and wild jackfruit to name a few. In the mountains, you will find colourful gentians and juicy strawberries. Look for a damar tree and you will most certainly spot some of the many species who feed on it, such as the rhinoceros and hornbill. With over 350 species of birds, 194 of reptiles and amphibians and 129 mammal species, Gunung Leuser is the only place on Earth where species of endangered animals such as the Sumatran elephant, rhino, tiger and orangutan coexist. Different species of crocodile populate the rivers and the swamps, and it is common to spot flying lizards and snakes gliding through the canopy.
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