Already an eco-tourism destination, known as the 'Hidden Paradise' of North Sumatra. Located on the border of the Gunung Leuser National Park, its home to a few Sumatran Elephants but offers forest, clean rivers and interesting geological marvels
Tangkahan is an eco-tourism destination located in Batang Seragan Langkat District and known as the 'hidden Paradise' because it sits at the junction of two rivers; the Buluh and Batang Rivers and is surrounded by the Gunung Leuser National Park. Just a 2.5 hour drive along a bumpy stoney road through large-scale oil palm plantations and villages, its the perfect place to relax and admire the natural scenery. Tangkahan is famous for seeing the Sumatra Elephant that have been rescued, trained and are used partly for patrolling the forest, making it a unique destination in North Sumatra. Although many visitors come to see the Sumatra Elephants, Tangkahan has 17,000 hectares of virtually untouched forests with wild orangutans, waterfalls, caves and hot springs to explore.
The small village of Tangkahan was built after local people saw the damage they were causing by actively logging between 1980 - 1990. The community decided to stop illegal logging within the Leuser area and develop the area into a sustainable eco-tourism destination. In 2001, the community decided and agreed on fixed regulations that prohibit illegal logging and the Tangkahan Tourist Institute was established. From this the Conservation Response Unit was formed where troublesome elephants have been rescued, trained and with a group of mahouts patrol and protect the local forests. Visitors can join the elephants for morning and afternoon bathing, but this is something that we do not support, as elephant activity and exploitation in in Asia is under current worldwide scrutiny. Although we do not offer elephant bathing, we do offer a new experience where guests can walk with the elephants in the jungle. However, it is still possible to sometimes see the elephants by the river with their mahout and visitors can see them also in their outdoor pen.
We offer a varity of trekking options to see wild orangutans, waterfalls, caves and offer tubing activities. We are trying to develop more treks as part of our Eco Sustainable Program. By joining these treks, you are supporting the local guides and economy. This continuous support keeps the local people from illegal logging and other illegal activities.
Note: If there is more than 2 people taking any of these activities, we recommend hiring a car for the day, as the cost can be shared and will be cheaper.
Any of these Tangkahan activites can be enjoyed as part of the Orangutan & Elephant Tour, or they can be combined with the Sumatra Eco-Explorer Tour