Bukit Lawang is a small riverside village in North Sumatra with the largest rehabilitation sanctuary for the Sumatran Orangutan, and the main access point for hikes and treks in the Gunung Leuser National Park. Bukit Lawang’s Orangutan centre was founded in 1973 by a Swiss organisation to preserve the decreasing population by rehabilitating individuals previously held in captivity. Around 5,000 Orangutans now occupy the area, and there is now a good chance of spotting them in the forests surrounding the village.
Bukit Lawang is 90km from Medan, but the roads can be slow going, especially in the wet season. To extend your stay in the rainforests of Northern Sumatra it is possible to stop for a night en-route in the small jungle town of Tangkahan to get acqauinted with the resident Sumatran Elephants.