When people think of rhinos they tend to nearly always think of the two African species, these huge herbivores are synonymous with the savannas and grasslands of East and Southern Africa. However what is not often widely known is that there are more endangered rhinos species than those found in Africa and there is a larger rhino diversity outside of Africa. Despite the bad state of Rhino conservation in Africa the situation is dire in Asia. It gets particularly murky when you talk about the two forest dwelling species (the Sumatran and Javan rhinos) in particular. These animals were poorly understand and not studied when they were abundant throughout the forests of South East Asia and the large islands of Indonesia. So we have developed this unique itinerary to become the first company to take a small group on an expedition style trip into the park in search of the Javan rhino.
This is a unique tour that explores part of the world that are rarely visited, and so to get a good idea of what to expect we recommend you read through the below information thoroughly.
Help from expert Rhino trackers
Hike the forests of Ujung Kulon
Sunda Leopard Cat
Destination: Java (Indonesia)
Tour Dates: 01/06/2021 – 10/06/2021
Duration: 9 nights
Type / Focus: Javan Rhinos
Jakarta / Carita / Ujung Kulon National Park
We have recommended that you arrive in Jakarta the day before the tour is due to start. This makes it easier as we will start to collect all clients (from their hotels) at around 5am.
Once we have collected everyone we will head towards the western tip of the island of Java and the forest park of Ujong Kulon National Park. The drive will take around 3 hours or so to get to Carita, from here we will get into a speed boat and cruise along the coast to the park’s gateway. This boat trip will take round 2.5 hours and we will have lunch on board the boat. We will travel by the boat to Taman Jaya and then land at Laban in the park.
We will then hike south towards Karang Ranjang, searching for signs of the rhinos along the way, we will have the camp close but not too close to where we focus most of our efforts. Todays hike could be around 3 hours long, on arrival at the camp we will set up and settle in with some dinner. If the light is still good and people still have some energy we can take a little walk around. However we recommend that we are up and ready for the morning canoe along the rivers at dawn (or pre-dawn) so a good nights rest is a good idea tonight.
Ujung Kulon National Park
For the next 7 full days we will explore the forest as we search for the Javan rhino, we will rise early each morning as we aim to find a rhino as they use the river to bath and browse on the semi aquatic vegetation. In the past this has been the most fruitful ways to find and see the rhino. So by using up to three of canoes we will silently paddle up and down stretches of the river for a while in the hope that we see one. We will come back to the camp for breakfast and then plan the next course of action, we will probably look to cruise the rivers at dawn and dusk and also have the opportunity to set up hides overlooking some of the wallows that the rhinos like to use. This is an option for anyone wishing to do this and of course we can hike around and try and find fresh evidence of the rhinos as they move through the forest.
As mentioned this is just an overview of what is possible and the exact day by day plan will change and be discussed and dictated by the rhino’s movements.
Alongside the rhinos there are many other species in the park, like all tropical forests there are many species of birds, reptiles and amphibians. Mammal wise there are Javan gibbons and ebony lutungs (both endemic to Java) in the trees, various squirrels around, Javan small-toothed palm civets, bantengs and even leopards in the park. However the leopards have a near mythical status here and the rhinos are seen a lot more often.
It is also worth keeping an eye out in the rivers and sea as there are salt-water crocodiles here and so be careful when near the river banks and keep your hands and feet inside the canoe at all times.
We will return to the camp for our meals and of course our tents for each night. We estimate that hiking per day will be around 2-3 hours, however some days maybe longer (~6 hours) and others much shorter.
Today’s plan is very flexible, it all depends on where we have been camping, we may head straight from the camp back to Laban and catch the speed boat back to Carita from there, or we may get a boat to Handeleum Island. It all depends on how things have gone and what the rhino movements have dictated. If we do go to Handeleum we will take a boat for around 2 hours and on arrival there we could have the chance to canoe the Cigenter River. This was widely regarded as the best place to see Javan rhinos for many years, however many tourists came here (because of its proximity to the entry gate) and seemingly disturbed the rhinos that used to use this river a lot. Since then the sightings here have been very low, but if we are here we will give it a go as you never know.
Whilst the expedition officially ends today when we reach Jakarta and people can book their return flights home for the evening on this day, we recommend that people do not and instead book their return flights home for tomorrow. This is because of any possible delays we can suffer in having to use the speed boat and a vehicle for 2 and 3 hours respectively. Of course if you book your flights for today you will be taken to the airport after we reach Jakarta and if you book your flights for the next day, we will take you to the hotel you have booked for yourself.
We can book this hotel for you if you wish, at the additional cost of GBP £75 per person.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.
Java’s climate is very tropical. This means one minute the weather is hot and humid, the next it is raining in sheets. However, in general, throughout the year, the temperature during the day remains in between 21-30C. As with all tropical climates, Java has a rainy season and a dry season. The dry season lasts from May to September. The wet season however is harder to define and forecast. Expect rain, even in the dry season.
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), except for lunch and dinner in Jakarta. There will be an amount of bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private vehicle to be driven by a local guide for transfers when needed.
All our excursions including guided walks, kayak excursions, hide use, camping fees and park entrance fees and anti-poaching patrol fees also included; we also include all fees for our camping team including cooks, assistants and translator.
Speed boat trips to and from Carita to Ujung Kulon are also included.
We recommend you bring along your own binoculars as well as appropriate clothing; which should be both light and durable walking clothes as well as very warm winter clothes, such as down jackets & trousers, walking socks, gloves, hats, scarfs, fleeces etc. Broken in and comfortable, waterproof walking boots are essential. Any medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera. Waterproof (beach) shoes are also very useful. Good torches and many spare batteries are also needed on this trip.
We provide a comprehensive species list of all the vertebrates present in the areas we are visiting as well as some of the best field guides and reference books for the areas we are visiting. There is usually a spare pair of binoculars but in a group of 4 people these do not stretch too far. We also provide a spot light for nocturnal viewing (this is subject to local condition when we arrive). Where camping all camping gear (excluding sleeping bags) is included as well as camp cooks and assistants where needed.
Nearly everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (contact us for more information one what is required from your insurance policy), any food bought outside of the three main meals, drinks outside of any offered with the meals and the bottled water provided each day and any items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and tips. Any applicable departure taxes and not included (but maybe included in the cost of your flights). Please check before departure.
During camping everything you need will be included except for sleeping bags or sheets and some people like to bring a small fold away chair / stool.
As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport
We recommend KLM or Emirates as a good airline for flights to Jakarta from the UK. One of the best websites to search for the best fares for these flights is www.skyscanner.net. Please check our terms and conditions regarding booking flights.
Please contact us for more information about flights and we can provide you with a link direct to the flights from another supplier; in which case you only have to enter the passenger information and payment details. By using the above link you will leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for the content on the site.
ll UK passport holders and most other nationalities are not required to have a visa issued in advance for Indonesia. You can get a visa on arrival at Jakarta airport, but it is recommended you seek advance from the Indonesian embassy or consulate in your home country for more information.
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit Indonesia, but it is recommended to be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A as well as taking a form of malaria prophylactics (although this is not mandatory). Please consult your doctor about your individual requirements for visiting Indonesia as soon as you have decided on this trip.
Mr. Andy Holman - USA
Paula Holman - USA
Dr. Philip DuCros - Australia
Dr. Cobie Brinkman - Canberra, Australia
Steve Morgan, England, UK
Peter Wheeler - The Wirral, England
Toby Nowland - Bristol, UK