Orangutan photography vacations

Tanjung Puting National Park is the most popular visitor destination in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, and the reason for that is orange, hairy and partial to eating rocks. Over 4,000 orangutans live in the forest of this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, confining themselves mostly to the trees but often seen on the ground too. Their future is in jeopardy - illegal deforestation of this protected area and forest fires both lead to massive habitat loss, and combined with hunting for bushmeat and traditional medicines, orangutans are verging on extinction in the wild.

Joining an orangutan photography vacation in Borneo is not only a superb opportunity to get up close and personal with the ‘old man of the forest’, but also ensures you are making a positive contribution towards conservation efforts here so that, hopefully, they will survive in the wild a little longer.
Ian Wood from our supplier, A Good Place, on how orangutan photography vacations directly support conservation: “Everyone makes a donation of £350 to the Orangutan Foundation UK from these trips and over the last decade or so we’ve raised tens of thousands for orangutan conservation. People will see some of the projects we supply which are inspiring. They also get a year’s membership to the Orangutan Foundation UK and the biggest thing they can do when they get home if they want to keep helping is to renew this each year. Over the years many people from these trips have felt inspired to help in other ways too and plenty have gone on to raise further funds through various activities.”

Our top Wildlife photography Vacation

Orangutan photography in Borneo

Orangutan photography in Borneo

Develop your photography skills in Borneo

From £2375 to £2565 10 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2023: 21 Oct, 6 Nov
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Wildlife photography or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

What will I see?

You will explore the park by klotoks, traditional covered riverboats, and on foot. The riverbanks and forests here teem with wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, gibbons, crocodiles and kingfishers, so expect to be glued to your viewfinder throughout. Conditions tend to be hot and humid, but there’s not a huge amount of walking involved and it’s very easygoing.

Knowledgeable guides lead you to areas where orangutans roam freely, feeding on fruit, insects and occasionally rocks and small stones, for digestion purposes. These powerful apes live primarily up in the trees, and you may see them swinging elegantly from branch to branch, grooming or gently caring for their young. Occasionally they may be just a few feet away from you, allowing for incredible photographs.
Superb photography opportunities also abound at the Camp Leakey research center, where rehabilitated orangutans are gradually released back into the wild. They can regularly be seen gathering around the feeding stations to snack on fruit, which really boosts your chances of up close sightings. You’ll also learn a great deal here about the various threats facing orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra, and how your trip is making a difference.

Groups with a maximum of eight people are accompanied throughout by an expert photographer. Low numbers not only mean less impact on this unique environment, but also plenty of support with hands-on tutorials and one-on-one advice. You certainly don’t need to be very experienced to get a lot from a trip like this; so long as you have a camera and a passion for the natural world, you could be a complete newcomer to photography and still find it immensely rewarding. Just don’t let an orangutan take your camera; they might smear fruit juice on the lens.

“My ambition was to see both orangutans and proboscis monkeys and this trip fulfilled this every day and more with such close and intimate sightings. A real highlight was watching the interaction between orangutans at Camp Leakey one day. But we saw so much other wildlife too including macaques, gibbons, hornbills and crocodiles. I also very much enjoyed our visit to the village and the interaction with the local children. On a personal level I also learnt a lot about photography which was always explained in a fun and easy to understand way.” – Henriette Hradocka in a review of her orangutan photography vacation in Borneo
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Ian Wood (A Good Place)] [Intro: Ian Wood (A Good Place)] [Ian Wood Quote: Ian Wood (A Good Place)] [What will I see?: Kate Nevens]