Tangkahan Eco Tourism in North Sumatra

Tangkahan, The Hidden Paradise of North Sumatra is a suitable nickname for this one place. Tangkahan is known as the home of wild elephants and has beautiful rivers which are still clear. Nowadays, Tangkahan is starting to get crowded because of its amazing natural panorama and the freshness of the air.


Ecotourism Tangkahan stand in Mount Leuser National Park, which is located in Langkat Regency, North Sumatra Province. Various kinds of trees that grow and tropical forest vegetation combined with hilly land making Tangkahan Ecotourism not only a tourist spot but also a place to learn about nature, mortal, flora and fauna. Tangkahan has added the nature beauty of Sumatra and it is getting more and more popular.


Previously, Tangkahan is known as a paradise for illegal loggers who logged the Tangkahan forest wealth systematically, relied on arrogance of power and violence. The involvement of many parties who did not want to obey the regulations and did not want to think about the negative impacts in the future, has made the illegal logging of Tangkahan forest assets run smoothly and over a long period of time.


the tangkahan forest

Credit: WeAreSumatra


Luckily in the early 2000s, a group of local idealistic young people, slowly but surely struggled with all the obstacles and challenges from the people who were still complacent about illegal logging, have succeeded in changing the mindset and behavior of the Tangkahan people to concern more on Tangkahan conservation.


The Tangkahan forest is generally very dense where there are rivers, waterfalls, hot springs, valleys and even rare plants like Raflessia, are also in this place. It is no wonder that foreign tourists had started to look at Tangkahan as The Hidden Paradise of North Sumatra and as a favorite tourist destination. If you are not satisfied with just enjoying the natural scenery of Tangkahan, there are many activities you can do such as rafting on the Alas River, visiting the Sumatran orangutan rehabilitation site which was first carried out by WWF and the Frankfurt Zoological Society 1973 in Bukit Lawang.


Tangkahan which has the longest list of bird species in the world, reaching 380 species and 129 species of mammals, provides an opportunity for visitors to observe various biodiversity and fauna found inside the Tangkahan forest. Hill topography with cliffs is suitable for those who like rock climbing, mountain climbing and camping as well.


One unique activity that is rarely found in other tourist area around Indonesia is the opportunity to bathe the elephants. After a tired day, you can try to relax your body by taking a hot shower or bathing in a waterfall. Almost all tourist activities are available here. Those are some tourists attraction that can be carried out while vacationing at Tangkahan. You just need to choose which one suits you best, want to do soft trekking or an adventure tour.


bathing elephant activity for tourists in tangkahan

Credit: SumatraEcoTravel


It is not difficult to reach the Tangkahan location because there are many public transportation such as buses or private vehicles that are ready to take you to your destination. To go to Tangkahan from other provinces in Indonesia, you can go through the Kuala Namu Airport (Deli Serang) – Medan – Tangkahan. Tangkahan area can be reached for 4 to 5 hours by road trip with a distance of approximately 95 km from Medan City. The road condition is relatively good and only around 20 kilometres you will pass bumpy road.


In Tangkahan, there are usually tour guides who are ready to take you to various places you want to visit. For visitors who intend to stay for a few days, there are various lodging places such as Bamboo River Lodge, Green Lodge, Jungle Lodge, and Tangkahan Inn.


cruising the rushing river of tangkahan

Credit: Medium


If you want to go to the ecotourism area, you must first pass through the Batang Serangan River which has a fairly swift current. There are some raft for crossing over the river . Try to stay vigilant when you get on the raft, but don’t be afraid. Enjoy the adventure sensation of being on a raft while cruising the rushing river.