Bukit Lawang

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One of orangutans is being taken care at Bukit Lawang.
wild orangutans near Bukit Lawang
jungle near Bukit Lawang

Bukit Lawang is a small tourist village at the bank of Bahorok River in North Sumatra province of Indonesia. Situated approximately 86 km north-west of Medan, Bukit Lawang is known for the largest animal sanctuary of Sumatran orangutan (around 5,000 orangutans occupy the area), and also the main access point to the Gunung Leuser National Park from the east side.

Bukit Lawang rehabilitation center for orangutans was founded in 1973. The main purpose is to preserve the decreasing number of orangutan population due to hunting, trading and deforestation.

A flash flood hit Bukit Lawang on 2 November 2003.[1] The disaster destroyed the local tourist resorts and had a devastating impact to the local tourism industry in the area. Around 400 houses, 3 mosques, 8 bridges, 280 kiosks and food stalls, 35 hotels and guest houses were destroyed by the flood, including 239 people (5 of them were tourists) were killed and around 1,400 locals lost their homes.[2] Local authorities and an environmental NGO attributed it to illegal logging.[3] Thanks to several international cooperation agencies, the site was rebuilt and re-opened again in July 2004.[4]


  1. ^ "Sumatra illegal loggers slammed". BBC NEWS Asia-Pacific. 5 November 2003. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "The people of Bukit Lawang" (PDF). 
  3. ^ "Case study: Bahorok River Flash Flood". WALHI. 3 December 2004. Archived from the original on January 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-30. 
  4. ^ "Bahorok resort reopens after 8 months". The Jakarta Post. 27 July 2004. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 3°41′N 97°39′E / 3.683°N 97.650°E / 3.683; 97.650

Bukit Lawang Trust [1] runs a free education centre on the outskirts of Bukit Lawang, on the big road on the way into the village. The Trust was set up after the flood in 2003 and runs a free kindergarten each morning and free english and conservation classes every afternoon, Monday - Friday, for surrounding villages. They welcome visitors and volunteers - visit [2] for more information.