Local Guides and Orangutans

Today we’re heading over to Borneo to join Nikki as she travels the world during the low seasons.

Orangutans are one of the three species of great ape and – along with gorillas and chimpanzees – our closest cousins.  Their plight is such that the Orangutan Foundation International estimates that at current rates they will be extinct in 50 years; pressures from illegal logging and the palm oil industry being their greatest threats.

Despite that, one place where you are almost guaranteed to see them in the wild is Indonesian Borneo – also known as Kalimantan. As ever, tourism provides a vital role in saving these remarkable creatures by both protecting their environment and providing alternative sources of income for local people.

Former BBC journalist, Nikki Morrison, has been travelling the world during the low seasons for us and a highlight of her trip so far has been a four day river cruise with the eco-tourism organisation, Local Guides: It does what it says on the tin, cutting out the middle man and putting you the traveller in direct contact with a community of local experts who promote responsible travel in off-the-beaten-path destinations throughout Indonesia. Guides like Teguh Prakoso, who Nikki spoke to as their journey drew to a close on what also transpired to be his 27th birthday!

And you can learn more about Local Guides by visiting www.local-guides.org/ and you can also find out what they’re up to over on Instagram at instagram.com/localguidesadventures/

Nikki tells us that the High Season is June July August and September, so the low season is effectively the rest of the year from October through to May.

At peak times before the pandemic there could be as many as 100 people at a feeding station to see the orangutans.

The number of klotok (boats) working the river has halved since the pandemic from 100 to 50 so again there’s urgent need to support Borneo tourism regardless of season.

But That’s our show for this week. Thanks as always, for your company, and if you enjoyed this podcast, please do leave us a positive rating and review on your podcast app and also don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to be the first to hear our latest low season stories, articles and guides.

Have a great week wherever you are and remember that travel is always better and fairer for the planet, the local communities and you the travellers, when it’s without the crowds…