WATCH: Tickle your green toes over at this Indonesian park where you can see orangutans in the wild

2018-09-18 21:00 - Saara Mowlana
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Plan your next ecotourism escape to Leuser National Park in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

Leuser National Park in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, is the last place on Earth that rhinos, orangutans, elephants and tigers live side-by-side. But in the depths of the Sumatran jungle, Jo Raj from World Nomads discovers an ugly truth.

While the area is protected by the government, much like many of our own SA natural parks and conservation zones, the animals still face the threat of poachers. The park itself also faces the threat of vast palm oil plantations in the region.

There is a growing community of local people who are working hard to raise awareness through the green industry of ecotourism.

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If you visit this park, you want to be sure to get a local guide who truly embodies the jungle and its wonders. 

You'll be taken on a hike trekking through the jungle while learning about the creatures that lurk within - from ants to tree monkeys. You might even learn about the strange magic of elephant poo mushrooms.

If you're looking to spot an orangutan, your best bet is to get there very early in the morning and to carefully watch the tall tree branches for their nests.

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However, the home of these stunning creatures is under threat from land clearing for mining, logging and palm oil production. While these are good for the economy it runs the risk of altering the climate and damaging the ecosystem. Palm trees also chug up a large amount of water - around 30 litres per day. 

Despite the devastating environmental damage, palm oil plantations keep growing in the region. But there could be a solution that helps boost the local economy and protects its ecosystem and wildlife - encouraging more ecotourism.

Many locals rely on ecotourism to earn a living, but if tourists don't swing on by it hinders their business, which leads to more desperate acts of poaching and hunting for money. A growing demand for ecotourism in the beautiful region could help prevent that outcome.

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