Wild Sumatran Tiger Tracks, rainforest indonesia jungle ecotourism
Our longest and most wild trek, the Sumatran Tiger Trek takes you deep into primary rainforest and through Sumatran tiger habitat. You’ll hike up ridge trails, cross jungle streams, visit peaceful waterfalls, and even take a dip in the magnificently blue Lake Kaco. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot siamang gibbons, mitered leaf monkeys, hornbills, and a variety of birds and other wildlife. And yes, a few of our guests have even had the good fortune of seeing sun bears and Sumatran tigers, with a huge majority at the very least seeing pugmarks, scratches on trees, scat, and sometimes even a tiger’s nearby “aum” call. While the itinerary below is for five days/four nights, for this Sumatra jungle trek we also have 3D/2N or 4D/3N options as well.
*Note: While this Sumatra jungle trekking itinerary is for five days, if you’re short on time you can trim it down to four days/three nights or even three days/two nights, while still having good opportunities to see wildlife and be in Sumatran tiger habitat. You may not go as far as the unnamed waterfall, especially on the three day trek, but will still visit Bukit Lintang, prime Sumatran Tiger habitat, and Lake Kaco. If you want to spend even more than five days exploring the rainforest there, we can arrange that as well. Also, if you’re a solo traveller or part of a duo and want to join others rather than set up a bespoke trek, we’ve set some dates in June, July, and August. Click here to see if these line up well with your backpacking plans. Let us know what best fits for you and we’ll make it happen!

Difficulty: Moderate. While the landscape isn’t too extreme at any points, endurance is necessary for a five day trek.

Activities: Jungle Trekking, Camping, Swimming, Bird Watching, Wildlife Spotting

Elevation: 1100m-1500m

Terrain: Primary Rainforest, Mountains, Lakes, Jungle Streams, Waterfalls, Hutan Adat

Nearest Village: Lempur, Gunung Raya subdistrict, Kerinci regency, Jambi province, Indonesia

  • Each day has roughly six to seven hours of trekking, including rests and stops to study the environment, with only the last day being around four hours. Of course, times can vary wildly depending on if you’re blazing through the forest (why??) or taking more time to observe your surroundings more closely.
  • No comfy accommodations here! You’ll be sleeping rough in tents on sometimes uneven/rocky ground, with very thin camping mattresses, under the forest canopy for two to four nights, depending on your trek length. Plus two nights in a very simple family-run guesthouse in the village. But you’ll be having an experience of a lifetime.
  • The guide and porter(s) will carry all camping equipment, like tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, food, and the like. All you need to carry is your own clothing, toiletries, and whatever other personal items you want to bring into the jungle.
  • Also, as it is a rainforest, expect and prepare for rain at some point during your trek, no matter what season you’re travelling in.
  • The itinerary listed may not necessarily be exactly the same as what you experience. Depending on conditions and desire to not strain the landscape, the exact trail might change somewhat, but you’ll still go through generally the same areas and definitely still be in tiger habitat.
  • Terrestrial leeches can be abundant at times. While harmless, they can certainly be annoying – this is not a trek for the pampered.
  • This is also not a zoo – the animals here are very wild and extremely wary of people, and the lush environment itself makes visibility difficult. While seeing tracks and other fresh signs of a variety of wildlife is very common, and there is abundant life everywhere you look, actually spotting large mammals is rare.
  • You are in a rural, isolated, underprivileged part of Sumatra. Guides and porters are from local communities- many farmers themselves when they’re not guiding. They are all in the process of learning and are not 100% proficient in English or customer service- so don’t expect skills on par with touristic areas like Bali. Thank you for supporting and encouraging them in their improvement process – this is also an aspect of community development and education, and we appreciate you being a part of it as they continue to progress.
  • Since you’ll be hiking in the middle of the Bukit Barisan mountain range, at elevations between 1100m to 1500m above sea level, temperatures are relatively cool – expect highs of around 25°C during the day, and down to around 15°C at night.
  • Food is very traditional local fare. Vegetarian and vegan options are available, if you let us know ahead of time.
  • Like all of our trips, you travel at your own risk. Keep in mind that you are visiting a wild and extremely remote area of rural Sumatra, with wild animals and other dangers that come from being in a natural landscape. Quality medical care is also very far away. It’s your responsibility to make sure you are covered with valid travel and medical insurance.
  • A quality pair of hiking shoes – preferably waterproof – are essential.
  • Comfortable trekking socks – with the various wetlands and streams you’ll be crossing, your feet will definitely get wet, even with good shoes. Good hiking socks can help prevent blistering.
  • Long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt. Preferably made from quick-dry material.
  • A small backpack with a rain cover to carry your personal items, like clothing and toiletries. Extra things you don’t want to bring on the Sumatran jungle trek can be stored at the guesthouse.
  • Your own water bottle, to cut down on single-use plastics.
  • Insect repellent.
  • If leeches really bother you, you could bring leech socks. I personally find them annoying and not every effective, but some people like them. Spraying insect repellent on your socks/shoes/pants can help keep them away as well. But, expect to be made a meal of, there’s no real way to avoid them completely.
  • A headlamp, especially if you want to take any night walks.
  • A waterproof jacket in case it rains, and to keep you warm in the chilly evenings and mornings.

The best place to base yourself before and after the trek is at a guest house in the small village of Lempur, about an hour and fifteen-minute drive south of Sungai Penuh.

Many travelers come overland via the city of Padang in West Sumatra to the town of Sungai Penuh. Expect the drive to Sungai Penuh to take around nine hours, although it can vary by an hour or two depending on the road conditions and the driver, and if you are taking public or private transport. Padang has direct flights to/from the hubs of Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Medan, and Batam. If you are in Bukittinggi, it’s possible to drive directly to Sungai Penuh, roughly a ten-hour drive. From Sungai Penuh, you’ll be met and driven on to Lempur.

The city of Jambi is also a possible launching point, taking roughly eleven hours to reach Lempur, although we’d recommend the Padang route. Susi Air also has twice-weekly flights (Friday and Monday) directly to the town of Sungai Penuh from Jambi, but they aren’t always reliable and are difficult to book.

You can read more about transport to/from Kerinci, and what travel looks like within the valley here.

When booking with us, we’ll be happy to assist you with all accommodation and transport arrangements.

We’re proud that 100% of our proceeds goes directly to local grassroots conservation and community development initiatives here in Kerinci. This also includes donations to Pencagura (Nature Lovers of Gunung Raya Sub-district) to support their forest and wildlife protection activities in the area, and to the local village.

As always, we use only local guides and porters from nearby communities, who are paid a fair, ethical wage above the standard local price. One hundred percent of money spent on this trek stays in this rural community – there’s no tourism leakage here!

Come discover Kerinci for yourself! Learn about the region, visit our itineraries page, or view additional points of interest around Kerinci to create your own custom trip. Be sure to check out our travel tips when you’re ready to start planning.

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