Babukung Mask Festival, Dayak Tribes & Orangutans
From Pangkalan Bun, To Lamandau. Dayak Village, Babukung Festival, Kumai, Camp Leakey, Sekonyer River, Tanjung Puting National Park, - 5 Nights
- Departing from:
- Pangkalan Bun,
- Lamandau. Dayak Village, Babukung Festival, Kumai, Camp Leakey, Sekonyer River, Tanjung Puting National Park,
- 5 Nights
- Contact our office to discuss full details and options of this tour.
- Tour Operator:
- Orangutan Sister Tour
- Reference Code:
- Sister Babakung
This special Babukung Mask Festival, Dayak Tribes & Orangutans tour is offered each year. The Babukung Festival involves hundreds of Dayak villagers from around Central Kalimantan and draws others from the regions throughout Indonesia. You will travel through the magnificent jungles and mountains with stunning views to stay in a local village and experience daily life there. Stroll around the village, swim in the Deland River, enjoy rafting or river tubing, trekking to the primary rainforests or maybe join your host to the farming fields during harvest time. Of course, you will also visit the amazing orangutans and explore Tanjung Puting National Park along the Sekonyer River.
DAY 1: PANGKALAN BUN – CITY TOUR. (L, D)
When you arrive in Pangkalan Bun, our guide from Sister Tour will meet you at Iskandar Airport Pangkalan Bun.
We make a 2hour road trip to Nanga Bulik, the capital of Lamandau regency where we have lunch at a warung (local cafe). Then continued to Riam Tinggi, a Dayak Village. On arrival we are welcomed by the mantir adat (people in charge for common law – village elders) with a simple ceremony for all people who come to their Village for the first time. That ceremony is known as Betopus Arai. See the unique ways of life of the Dayak, surrounded by the pristine rainforest.
Dinner will be at a homestay in the village – with towels, bed and pillows provided. In the evening, after dinner join another welcome ceremony, mantir adat, held in the long house (rumah betang/panjang) by the leader of the Village together with the local people. We call this ceremony ‘Bagondang’ which involves traditional Dayak dancing. Before we start the ceremony, the elders will tie a bracelet named ‘ikat tongang’ made from root and leaves that is believed for safety, health and happiness. (PS: don’t take that bracelets off until it slips off by itself).
DAY 2: RAINFOREST TREKKING – EXPLORE DAYAK VILLAGE – (B, L, D)
Wake up at 4.15am and prepare for sunrise climb to the hill ‘Bukit Lubang Kilat’ about 1 km away. Simple snacks are served on the top. Afterwards we return to the homestay for breakfast and prepare for day trekking and overnight into the jungle. Activities will include fishing, hunting, cooking and having dinner together.
Borneo rainforest, along with the Amazon in South America and the Daintree in Australia, are three oldest tropical rainforests in the world.
Alternatively, with your local guide and crew, explore the livelihood of the Dayak, making traps for boars and deers, crossing stony rivers, and learn the ability to survive in the forest. Your lunch will be served in authentic traditional ways, rice and vegetables cooked in bamboo, with plates made from leaves. Your experience of this day is completed by relaxing at a waterfall found in the forest. Back to the village before the sunset. If there is still enough time, your local guide will offer you the experience of river tubing or rafting*. Dinner with Dayak families at the long house and share the culture tales and melting into togetherness. Overnight at the long house/homestay
DAY 3: BABUKUNG FESTIVAL
Breakfast at the camp or village with a local menu from the jungle. Return trek back to the Village if you are up jungle and travel by car to Lamandau.
Lamandau is the town where the Babukung Festival will be held. We have lunch at a local warung.
Babukung Festival: A Bukung is a person wearing a mask, called luha in Dayak Tomun language, worn during the Tiwah Ceremony. This ritual is a symbol of happiness and togetherness where bukung dancers will dance with distinctive rhythms and sounds that are made using bamboo sticks as a means to entertain grieving families. Hundreds of dancers will participate at the festival representing villages from all over Kalimantan and throughout Indonesia.
The Babukung Festival is now held annually around October in Nanga Bulik, the capital city of Lamandau District.
There are eight districts in Lamandau and every year the districts go in for a lottery. Depending on the luck of the draw, each community is assigned a specific mask. They then have to get to work carving the masks, making the costumes and learning a dance to perform at the festival. There are 15 different categories of mask used: bird, dragon, crocodile, bat, hornbill, peacock, dog, devil, butterfly and the white face mask called sadap, which represents a Dutchman with a long nose. The Luha Mask, for an example, is an integral part of the Dayak Tomun funeral ceremony. The mask itself is carved by master craftsmen from pulai, a tropical timber. Only natural dyes obtained from materials found in the forest are used to decorate the mask. The red colour is from the kesumba fruit, and the black is from charcoal. The pure white colour is from chalk.
These masks are linked with Dayak animist beliefs and some masks hold magical powers. Some are an embodiment of the ancestral spirits, some enable communication with ancestors, and some ward off evil spirits from a home, a person or crops. Ceremonial masks have specific functions, such as capturing souls at funerals. In the old days, masks also were used to intimidate enemies. At the festival you will see some beautiful traditional dancing. What you will see on display there at the festival is a true celebration of who they are as Dayak people.
After the main parade we travel back from Lamandau to Kumai Port near Pangkalan Bun and continue by houseboat into the national parks for 3 days 2 nights klotok (houseboat) cruise. This evening we cruise across the harbour and up to Sekonyer River. Dinner will be served on board and comfortable bed awaits on the boat.
DAY 4: KUMAI – SEKONYER RIVER – PONDOK TANGGUY – CAMP LEAKEY . (B, L, D)
Breakfast is served on the boat while cruising up river to the morning Camp, named Pondok Tangguy. Feeding time is at 9 am for the orangutans however you are sure to see the odd one along the river as well as plenty of other birds and wildlife along the way.
Back to the boat for lunch and snacks as we cruise further into the jungle. Our next stop is at Camp Leakey, the famous orangutan rehabilitation and research centre. You will have plenty of time to wander around the centre and take a short walk to the feeding platforms. This is the first site of Orangutan research in the world established by one of the legendary Leakey’s trimates, Prof. Birute Mary Galdikas. Your adventure adrenaline will be overwhelmed with the excitement of getting so close with the only big ape of Asia – The Orangutans – in their biggest wild residence. Journey back in time to 1971 when Prof. Galdikas started her lifetime devotion on this “Reflection of Eden” rainforest, each minute of time in Camp Leakey is nothing but precious.
Back to the klotok and enjoy some afternoon drinks and snacks. As the Klotok cruises upriver, enjoy the serene afternoon sunset moment in the presence of the monkeys and other wildlife along the riverside. Your first day ends with a sumptuous dinner and overnight onboard. You can join in a guided night trek before or after your dinner (depending on the location). Stay overnight on the boat. Dinner and overnight onboard around the “Fireflies” area, amid the mystical rainforest under the sky full of stars.
DAY 5: HOUSEBOAT – CAMP PONDOK TANGGUI – FIREFLIES AREA. (B, L, D)
Breakfast onboard while cruising 1,5 hours down river again to the second camp of Tanjung Puting National Park – Camp Pondok Tanggui. You will have the chance to see wild animals, primates, and birds from the boat, and smell the morning fresh air of the Borneo rainforest. Our activities here include some easy day trekking into jungle area, discovering the wildlife and tree planting. You will also see the hornbill conservation held by the FNPF (Friend of National Park Foundation).
Back to the Klotok for lunch and cruise down to Kumai Port. Our team will escort you to the Kecubung Hotel for dinner and your overnight stay. Enjoy your time at the hotel and maybe take a short evening stroll around town.
DAY 6: PANGKALAN BUN – AIRPORT (B, L)
Breakfast is served at the hotel. Depending you flight schedule, we will pick you up 2 hours before your flight time for transfer to the airport.
Please note this itinerary is subject to change. We take expressions of interest prior to the Festival date being confirmed each year when a final itinerary will be discussed with individual options.
OUR TOUR PACKAGE INCLUDES:
⁃ Transfer in-out from airport or hotel in Pangkalan Bun.
⁃ transport by airconditioned car.
⁃ English speaking guide.
⁃ Meals as mentioned in the itinerary. (Please let us know if you have any food allergies or special dietary).
⁃ Homestay at Dayak Village.
⁃ Dayak activities.
⁃ Houseboat (klotok) with full-board service
⁃ Entrance fee to the national park.
⁃ Fuel and clean water during the tour.
⁃ Raincoat, flashlight, mosquito repellent.
⁃ 1 night Kecubung Hotel.
⁃ Contribution to local kids education and women community (we allocate 5% of the tour price for this program).
⁃ Flight tickets.
⁃ Travel insurance.
⁃ Souvenir and other personal expenses, please bring Indonesian Rupiah with you.
- Tipping is mandatory, and it is normally given between 10 – 20 percent of your total tour price, proportionally shared for your crew based on their duty level.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: Local government has BANNED all alcoholic beverages for sale over the last few years due to many accidents and problems with the local indigenous people.
INTERNET AND PHONE COVERAGE: There is NO Internet and Phone Coverage in most of the National Park Area. There is reception in Pangkalan Bun and some other local areas.
WEATHER: Because its proximity to equator, Kalimantan has tropical climate. Generally the weather is hot and humid (28-33 degree Celsius) during the day, and wet in the evening.
MONETARY ISSUES: Money changers and ATM’s are available in Pangkalan Bun at other big cities in Indonesia.