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  • Alex Gillam

Camp Leakey, an Icon of Borneo

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

The jungles of Borneo are rich with wildlife found nowhere else in the world, and it is here that you will discover Camp Leakey, an orangutan rehabilitation center founded in 1971 by Canadian researcher Biruté Galdikas. Just reaching the camp is an adventure in itself – visitors bid farewell to society and travel upriver aboard a traditional boat known as a Klotok, all the while entering a pristine world of sun-soaked crocodiles, free-swinging monkeys, and so much more.

Upon reaching the camp, visitors can meet with park rangers and view the resident scientists at work conducting their research, which historically has included everything from charting the monkey’s leaf-eating habits, all the way up to uncovering their sign language capabilities and other cognitive abilities.

The highlight of any visit, though, is the chance to walk through the jungle and observe the orangutan’s behavior with your own eyes; inside the rainforest are a series of specially-placed feeding platforms, which provide a much-needed supplement to the jungles dwindling resources, and at these stations visitors can view ex-captive orangutans, gibbons and other creatures as they interact with one another and come to feed on food provided by the rangers.

The chance to visit one of the world’s last remaining primeval tropical rainforests makes the journey noteworthy in its own right, but spend one day in Camp Leakey and you’ll quickly see why travelers the world over have sung its praises for nearly 50 years.

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