Elephant Trek

Venture into elephant territory on our 10-day expedition

Our elephant trek will take place in the deep jungle of Gunung Leuser National Park and is scheduled for 10 days to increase the likelihood of an elephant sighting. On our quest, we will climb mountains, cross valleys and venture into flatter areas of the rainforest in the north of Sumatra, where the preferred territory of the forest giants lies. Walk along their trails, cross rainforest rivers and take in the pure, pristine nature around you to the full…

Far more than “just” the forest elephants of Sumatra await you on this unique expedition!

Trip Profile

10 Days & 9 Nights
Bukit Lawang
Bukit Lawang (+9)
Option 1
7 days with 2 scouts
Group: 11.000.000 IDR pp
private: 20.500.000 IDR pp
smaller chances
Option 2
10 days with 3 scouts
Group: 14.000.000 IDR pp
private: 26.000.000 IDR pp
higher chances
group size
2 - 6 People

Trip Highlights


On this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, there is an extremely realistic chance of encountering wild forest elephants. To increase the likelihood of a sighting, we have put together a very special & highly experienced team: Besides your English-speaking guide and assistant guide, you will be accompanied by our chef and 3 so-called “scouts”! They know the jungle inside out and will try to locate the current position of the wildlife before your trek. If this is in a more remote part of the national park, you will be taken there by motorbike or jeep, which costs an extra of 300,000 to 1.000.000 IDR (depending on the location).

Our 10-day expedition usually starts around 9 am in Bukit Lawang. Depending on the motorbike ride that might be required, the starting time may change slightly. Once we arrive at the starting point of our expedition, the adventure can begin! After we have hiked into the rainforest for a while, we will have a revitalising break with tropical fruits. Then it is time to hike on and cover ground to get closer to the elephant territory step by step. After an energising lunch of nasi goreng, the hike continues until about 4 pm. Around this time, your team will start looking for a suitable place to camp in order to have the tent up before sunset. During the first camp set-up, it’s all about watching and learning, but in the following days, your team will be happy for any help. Once we have reached our first camp, our scouts will head out in different directions to look for fresh evidence of elephants. This way we save a lot of time and distance, which increases the chances of sightings enormously.

During our search for the forest elephants, with a bit of luck we can also sight other wildlife. For example, various species of deer, seraues (Asian genus of goat-like animals), wild orangutans, gibbons & siamangs, several species of monkeys (Thomas leaf monkeys, pig-tailed macaques, long-tailed macaques (Javanese monkeys) and silvered leaf monkeys), snakes, eagles and exotics such as the hornbill. At dusk, there is a good chance of spotting deer, mouse deer, sun bears and wild boar. However, all these animals will be very shy as they are not used to the sight of humans in the deep jungle. Observation will therefore mostly take place from a distance. But you will most likely be able to admire many different insects from a very close distance 😉

Normally, our daily routine will look like this:

After breakfast, around 9 am, when everything has been stowed away and all human remains have been removed, we will break camp and move further into the jungle. Every day, a hike of about 6 to 7 hours awaits us. There will be breaks and lunch along the way, of course. Always keep your eyes open for signs of the forest giants or other wildlife! Any paths you can make out in the thicket are forest elephant trails. Broken branches, footprints and dung heaps are clues for your guides to assess when the elephants were there last. Along the way, we will climb mountains, cross rivers and hike through valleys. Every afternoon around 4 pm, your expedition team will look for a suitable place to camp. Now you are welcome to help set up the tent from sticks or bamboo poles and a large plastic tarp, or to collect firewood for cooking. Cooking will be done from the ingredients we brought from Bukit Lawang plus fresh ingredients we will collect during our trek, such as fern, the inside of the banana plant, young bamboo or even fresh fish. Your guide will be able to tell you a lot about eatable and healing rainforest plants – so feel free to ask him! Besides, there will be tea or coffee and biscuits and in the evening there will be a lot of chatting or playing games to pass the time. Of course, it is also possible to leave the camp again during dusk to look for crepuscular and nocturnal animals. We will then all sleep together under the constructed tent. There is a thin mattress, a sleeping bag and a mosquito net for each of us. River water is boiled every evening at camp so you can fill up your bottle with it.

This is the daily routine for all the following days. If you particularly like a place during the trek (e.g. because of good photo opportunities or lots of wildlife in the area) and would like to stay there for several days, this is possible – please discuss this thoroughly with your guide so that he can adjust the route accordingly.

Your backpack should be packed as light as possible for this expedition. You will only need a few changes of clothes (preferably light sportswear), mosquito spray, a torch, a light rain jacket, a hoodie for the night and any medication you may need. Feel free to check out our packing list for more information. Everything else will be provided by us.

At the end of the expedition, one of the scouts will leave us and hike back to Bukit Lawang to inform our rafting team of our current position. This team will join us at day 9 to prepare the rafting for day 10. This way we want to give you more precious time in the deep jungle instead of having to walk back halfway through. Depending on how deep we have gone into the rainforest during our expedition, the raft ride can take up to 8 hours. As it can get a bit cold, we will take breaks to have lunch and warm up. Back in Bukit Lawang, your guide will take you to your guesthouse where you can recharge your batteries (and those of your camera) and evaluate your adventures and photos.

The chances of spotting single elephants or even a herd are very realistic on this expedition – but we can’t promise a sighting. The trek is scheduled for 10 days to keep the chances as high as possible. However, if you want to be more sure, we can arrange more days in advance.

Info: Besides a sense of adventure, average to good physical fitness is required for this expedition. Conditions can be hot and at times strenuous in a tropical rainforest climate. The expedition is not for the faint hearted or those seeking the luxury of the jungle. We camp together in a tent each night and the river serves as a shower to wash us. No one will return with clean clothes!


In the event of an encounter with forest elephants and other wild animals, we ask you to strictly follow the rules, instructions and orders of your guides, as they are in the best position to assess and control the situation.

What's included:

Don't forget:

We highly recommend to get a health and accident insurance before your holiday in Indonesia to be covered in case of unforeseen injuries or illnesses during your entire trip.

Important Information


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Feel free to ask us anything you want to know!

We look forward to hearing from you!