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Batu Katak

Is a small village and developing eco-tourism place about  18km from Bukit Lawang, where the local community protect and conserve the local environment. Its sits on the Berkail Rivers and its karst forests border the Leuser National Park

Batu Katak

Beautiful  small village bordering the National Park

Batu Katak is a remote quiet village with about 250 inhabitants. It sits besides the Berkail River and is borders the Gunung Leuser National Park.

 

 

Although it is only 18km away from Bukit Lawang, it is virtually unexplored by foreign tourists.

It has a beautiful fragmented forerst which is incredibly diverse and has interesting rocks and cave systems. It is also known as a hotspot for the spectacular Amorphophallus titanium flower, or Titum arum for short. This forest also has a family of White-handed Gibbons, which can often be seen from one of the guesthouses. The National Parkis in this area is home to the famous Rafflesia flower, the largest plant flower in the world.

Although Batu Katak is only 18km from Bukit Lawang, it is still scarce of western tourists. However, it is growing in popularity, with many foreign coming to see a chance of seeing the 'corpse' flowers.

We have partnered with a couple of the local guides in Batu Katak to provide ethical treks which support the local community.  The community already embraces eco-tourism initiatives, like providing bins for the local village and starting a trash bank.

 

By promoting their treks and offering our own unique combi treks which includes trekking at Batu Katak provides vital income for the local guides and community to continue to protect their environement rather than destroy it.

Before Your Trip

Corpe Flower Trek

1 Day Forest Trek & Water Cave

This trek helps to protect the fragmented forest against illegal logging.

 

This forest is home to a family of White-handed Gibbons and sometimes Orangutans and Siamangs can be seen. What is special is that it is a hot-spot for the Titum Arum flowerAmorphophallus titanium.

 

The tour will start from Bukit Lawang via motorbike (or car if there's more than 3 people), passing through villages and stopping to admire the amazing views of the leuser mountains. 

 

The trek involves walking through plantations before entering the forest. The forest has interesting geological features of large limestone cliff faces and rocks. If your lucky a Titum arum will be flowering. The forest is very diverse with many types of plants and insects. The trek will bring you to a water cave with incredible rock formations. It's completely dark inside, again with interesting diverse nature. It takes about an hour to walk through. 

Return by rafting down the river.

two german guests with guides water cave batu katak_edited.jpg

Duration: 8 hours

Start time: 7.30am

Included: Certified and local guide, small water, lunch, fruit, rafting, return motorbike transport

Cost: from IDR 1,350,000

Group Size: 1-4 persons *

Fitness: Average

* it more than 2 people, we suggest to have a car for the day as the costs works out cheaper

Corpse Flower Trek

Half Day or Full Day trek to see the 'corpse flowers'

The tour will start from Bukit Lawang, taking a 50 minute drive to Batu Katak.

 

The trek distance can vary depending on which flower you are going to see. The Titum arums flowers are normally located in the fragmented forest, which can be a short distance if its on the edge of the forest or longer if located deep inside.

 

The Rafflesia flower is generally located in the National Park, again the location can vary. This trek brings you along the Berkail river and there might be chances of seeing Orangutans or other animals on the way.

* please note that the Rafflesia flowers only at certain times of the year, but Titum arum can flower throughout the year 

Closed titum arum flower batuk katak

Duration: 3 - 5 hours

Start time: 8 - 9 am

Included: permit, local guide, certified guide with motobike tranpsort, fruit

Cost: from 600,000 p/p

Group Size: 1-4 persons

Fitness: Average

* it more than 2 people, we suggest to have a car for the day as the costs works out cheaper

1 Day Gibbon Trek

Full day trekking in the Karst Forest searching for Gibbons, Siamangs & Orangutans

The tour will start from Bukit Lawang at 8am.

 

Trekking will start through a oil palm plantation alongside towering limestone cliffs where you might spot a Gibbon or Siamang. You will trek in the forest for about 5 hours searching for gibbons and other wildlife. Clamber up through the forest, through rock formations, passing large trees and rocks.

 

There's a good chance of seeing a wild orangutan during the trek. You will pass through agricultural land as the forest is fragmented. 

 

Your guides will stop frequently for rest breaks and snack on fruits. Lunch will be provided in the forest. After lunch your guides will start the slow trek down to the river, where you can cool off, swim and relax.

karst forest batu katak.JPG

Duration: 6-7 hours

Start time: 8am

Included: guide with motorbike ride, local guide, small water, fruit, lunch 

Cost: from IDR1,250,000 p/p

Group Size: 1-4 (minimum 2) *

Fitness: Average

* it more than 2 people, we suggest to have a car for the day as the costs works out cheaper

Sembeling River Trek

Trek through the amazing karst forest to explore the water cave within limestone cave system, then enjoy the thrill of tubing back

Starting in Batak Katak at 9am, this trek will take you through a palm oil plantation which border towering limestone cliffs with forests. Siamangs and White-handed Gibbons are often seen here.  Trek through this forest for 1.5 - 2 hrs with some up and downhill climbs, hoping to see a wild orangutan. 

 

Walk alongside agricultural land before walking up a small river to the cave. Here it is so peaceful and beautiful with a small river and rocks. You will rest at the entrance of the cave before entering. There's a small entrance to the cave, but once inside complete blackness hits you....time to switch on your head torch.

 

Walk through the cave with stalactites, rock deposites and rock formations. Watch out for water crickets, spiders, maybe a snake or a turtle. Deeper in the cave, hear the clicks of bats. Explore for 1 - 1.5 hours walking through ankle-deep water before exiting through a narrow opening to an agro-forest.

 

Trek for another 1/2 hours towards the main river. Here you will jump in a rubber tube raft and enjoy the relaxing trip back down the river. 

Guest trekking small river batu katak.jpg

Duration: 7 hours

Start time: 9am

Included: certified guide with motorbike ride, local guide, fruit, lunch, tubing, head tourch

Cost: from 800,000 p/p

Group Size: 1-4 persons

Fitness: Average

What to bring: rucksack with water bottle, flipflops, camera, insect repellant, suncream, clothes for tubing

* it more than 2 people, we suggest to have a car for the day as the costs works out cheaper

Book Now
Sembeling River Foest Trek
1 Day Gibbon Forest Trek
1 Day Trek & Water Cave
About Corpse Flowers

Corpse Flowers

Rafflesia-Arnoldii

Rafflesia arnoldii Photo by Rendra Regen Rais. Taken from www.rafflesiaflower.com

Louise-sitting-with-rafflesia-arnoldii-flower-batu-katak

Rafflesia arnoldii

The Rafflesia flower, is commonly known as the 'Corpse Lily/flower' because it gives off an unpleasant, pungent odour of rotting flesh. Rafflesia is in the genus of parasitic flowering plants, only found in Southeast Asia, but Rafflesia Arnoldii is endemic to Sumatra.

 

It is noted for producing the largest individual flower in the world! The flower can grow up to 1 meter in diameter and can weigh up to 11kg. The Rafflesia begins its life parasitising on only 1 type of vine, feeding from its host for several years. Once its finished feeding it will burst out of the vine as a flower bud which will grow in size over several months, eventually blooming into a flower. However, the flower only blooms for a few days, during which it has to be pollinated.

The flowers are so rare that it's a wonder that a nearby flower is of the opposite sex and that insects, attracted by the rotting flesh odour, can cross-pollinate it!

The Rafflesia flower has no leaves, no stem or no roots. It is one of the rarest plants on earth, growing only in certain pockets of Sumatra. Like many of the animals in North Sumatra, it is on the verge of extinction. The vines that the Rafflesia depend on to grow, are threatened by deforestation. If the vines disappear from the forests then so do the Rafflesia flowers!

 

We're lucky that it grows in a few places near to Bukit Lawang..... but Batu Katak is one of the best places to see this magnificent flower.

Read more about this amazing flower on the Rafflesia Flower website

Amorphophallus titanum

Amorphophallus titanum is commonly known as Titum arum. It is also referred to as the 'corpse flower' like the Rafflesia flower due to the rotting flesh odour that it gives off. Titum arum is native to western Sumatra and Java, and it grows here in the rainforests of North Sumatra.

 

Batuk Katak is a great place to see it as it grows near to the village as well as in the jungle. Over 2000 specimens have been recorded in the area surrounding Batu Katak. Titum arum is another giant plant, with one of the largest flowering structures in the world, called inflorescence  which can grow over 3 metres. The inflorescence consists of an inner spike which is surrounded by a petal-leaf structure, which rises from a tuber below the ground. This tuber, a swollen stem modified for storing food, can weigh up to 75kg and is the largest structure of this type in the world. 

This flower requires 7-10 years of growth before it first blooms. The spathe, a petal-leaf that surrounds the inflorescence, will open up over 12 hours but then it starts to wilt. However, they can stay open for up to 48 hours, depending on the weather. During this time, flies and beetles are attacted to the rotting flesh odour and will pollinate the plant. The plant will then not produce another flower for another 7 - 10 years, making it an extremely special flower to see.

The titum arum is classified as 'Vulnerable' because the areas where it grows are under threat from deforestation. By joining an eco-trek to see this amazing beautiful flower, visitors are supporting the local community to protect the vulnerable forests where the titum arum grows outside the national park. Seeing the titum arum is certainly a 'once in a lifetime experience'!

Read more about this amazing flower on the Live Science website.

closed-titum-arum-batu-katak
open-titum-arum-batu katak.jpg

The Rafflesia flower blooms only once a year for just a few days. The best time to see them is between August to December. The Titum arum however can be seen throughout the year but only if its time for it to bloom. However, we have a team in Batu Katak looking out for these flowers and the possible times they will bloom so we can give out guests the best possible chance of seeing them 

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