Traveling through the Province of East Kalimantan along the mighty Mahakam River is a fascinating and unforgettable adventure. The river carves its way through the jungles and flatlands constantly reshaping and nourishing the land. Wild orchid drip off tress, bekantans (proboscis monkeys’), orangutans, crocodiles, clouded leopards, crab-eating macaques, giant butterflies and the legendary hornbill all live here and some can be found nowhere else. A 5,000 acre orchid reservation close to the village of kersik Luwai in the heart of the province cultivates 27 different species of orchid including the very rare black orchid.

As a major producer of oil and timber, the province of East Kalimantan is at present the most industrially advanced region of the island and the second largest province in Indonesia. It is also the home of the original inhabitants of Kalimantan, the Orang Gunung or “mountain people“. The tribes are collectively called Dayak, although this name is not embraced by many tribes-people themselves, who prefer to be known by their separate tribal names such as Iban, Punan and Banuaq.

The most common starting points for many journeys and adventures inland are Balikpapan and the provincial capital of Samarinda, with regular boat and flight services to Jakarta. In contrast to the meandering Mahakam River, the Meratus Mountains stride straight through the centre of South Kalimantan province, effectively dividing it into two distinct regions. The eastern part being mountainous and lush with dense tropical rain forests, while the south is much flatter, characterized by large, powerful rivers.

The province`s exquisite traditional and commercial handicrafts are all made from local raw materials which include precious and semi-precious stones, gold, silver, brass, iron and a wide variety of woods as South Kalimantan is one of the largest wood producers in Indonesia.