• Curtis Hart

    Nice report! I was really excited to hear about the areas of Sumatra you visited! I just want to add some comment to your Nantu experience. I have gone two ways, one paying a local fixer to arrange it all from Gorontalo and having Bobby do everything. Bobby is EXTREMELY expensive, but the only value added is speed and easy transport. If you have an extra day, by all means go to the Melati 2 hotel in Gorontalo and ask them to arrange it. They have done it for multiple people I know of. If that is the same ranger station I stayed at, I can see why you had that experience. The best way to stay there is to take a camping hammock, with a net built in over it. The food can be on the low end, but it was also much better than the food provided in town by Bobby. For any short term traveler, I would even recommend bringing some nonperishable food from home to snack on in the hide. Also a camp chair would be wonderful. As far as the bathroom, just follow the example of the rangers and shower in the river and use the jungle as your bathroom. Much cleaner than some dingy little hut.

  • tomeslice

    Hey Curtis,
    I had meant to write you on Facebook and ask you how you brought yourself to go twice to that dreadful place. Lol.
    But I also think some of my disenjoyment had to do with the fact that I was a little sick the first 2 days, and had no company (or internet). I think any guesthouse with running water would have been better… Not sure if any such place exists in the area.

    But yeah, considering it’s the most I’ve paid for anything (more than Satwa Elephant Lodge in Way Kambas), and the worst living conditions I’ve ever experienced, the payoff is only some pigs and maybe a Buffalo… Excuse my terminology. But for the same price and conditions, if you got to see bay cats, bonobos and okapi, then it would be worth it.

    With that said, maybe with your suggestions of food and other stuff, it could be better.

  • Richard Webb

    Nice report Tomer. It’s interesting to hear that Sumatran Tigers are being seen at Kerinci more frequently although it does appear that the Golden Cats have become far more difficult now. I don’t know anyone who has scored there in the past couple of years. Tapan Road must have been superb before it was tarmacked. I just wish I’d got there before the road became so busy.

  • tomeslice

    Hey Richard,
    You’re absolutely right – perhaps with the presence of a tigress, let alone a family of tigers, along the main track – the 2 individual golden cats that were “regulars” have moved further away for a while.

    On the bright side, considering how healthy the ecosystem is of K-S national park, and the increasing awareness of conservation, I truly believe that a week-long trek with Wild Sumatra to the areas suggested to me by different individuals (not only ones who work for Wild Sumatra, but just random birding guides along the way, all of whom pointed me to said Lempur village) could result in some interesting findings! Especially if you have a heat scope.
    Imagine that I was on Tapan road on brightly moonlit nights, and if we disregard that excuse, I was just too tired to go all night, despite traffic having stopped almost completely by 10pm. I bet if you move further into the forest the ecosystem is even better and the animals – more abundant.

    Our last, unidentified mammal was high up in the canopy, was slender, and even more agile than a civet. I don’t want to let my imagination run too wild, but I’m just saying – if there are some cool animals close to such a busy road, there should in theory be heaps more in more remote areas. Maybe someone will even rediscover the sumatran rhino in this huge national park. Maybe I’m just naive and optimistic. 🙂

  • tomeslice

    I also apologize for the several careless spelling mistakes, some auto-correct word replacements (“night walnut” instead of “night walk”), and sudden font change somewhere in the middle of the Tapan road section…

    I did most of it on my phone between my travels and then finished it on my computer at home.

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