West Borneo Trip Package – Rainforest, Dayak Culture, and Longhouses
Time to return to beautiful West Borneo and spend time in the original forests with the true guardians of the land - the traditional Dayaks.
We will immerse ourselves in the Dayak way of life, as we travel into their spiritual heartland and witness their deep connection with the rivers, forests, and lakes in the Kapuas Hulu area, one of Indonesia's best-kept secrets. The Dayak Iban will host us, and teach us about their culture, spiritual connection with nature, and belief systems formed and developed over thousands of years.
We will attend the Gawai rice harvest festival in the traditional village of Sungai Ulik, on the banks of Indonesia's longest river, the mighty Kapuas. Gawai is a very happy festive time for the Dayaks and we will not only witness traditional dancing, music, and rituals performed by children and elders but be welcome to participate and treated like close friends. This is true Dayak hospitality and is a rare opportunity to experience something very genuine and performed for the ancestors, not for tourism.
Over the 7 nights and 8 days, we will visit a few communities, sleep in the traditional longhouses and experience this unique way of living, travel into the oldest rainforests on the planet with some of the Dayak wisdom keepers, bathe in crystal clear rivers, eat some of the healthiest food on the planet gathered from the forests and farms, and learn about indigenous chemical-free farming. We will meet traditional female weavers, tattooists and learn about this ancient craft, hear stories from the storytellers, listen to the sounds of the beautiful Sape and other traditional music instruments, travel by boat into the beautiful Lake Sentarum National Park, a place of extraordinary beauty, peace and calm, and one of the worlds most biodiverse lake systems. This area has 240 recorded species of fish, 237 different bird species, and 143 mammals.
We will also learn about the story of the Sungai Utik community and their fight for 40 years to protect their traditional 10,000-hectare forest from development, and how they were able to achieve this. You will have plenty of time to hear about how the Dayak people are trying to retain their way of life and the cultural preservation programs such as Sakolah Adat, and how the children are finding ways to retain important aspects of their traditional culture as the modern world encroaches upon their communities and how they can adapt to these changes and not lose their sense of identity.
This will be a very exciting adventure and learning opportunity for those interested in indigenous cultures, climate change, and the environment and we will have a lot of fun over the 8 days with plenty in store.
Date & Time of The Trip
June 24 - 30, 2022 (7 Days 6 Nights)
- Visiting the oldest rainforests on the planet
- Immersing ourselves in the authentic daily lives of the Dayak people
- Sleeping in traditional longhouses
- Witness ancient rituals and the Gawai rice harvest festival
- Learn about the Dayak peoples' deep connection with the rivers and forests
- Eat delicious forest food and learn about the natural medicines from the forest
- Travel by boat to the pristine Sentarum Lake National Park
- Domestic flight from Pontianak to Putusibau return
- 6 nights Accommodation
- All food and drinks
- All ground transport
- National Park fees
- Boats to Sentaram Lake National Park
- Domestic flights to Pontianak return from Bali or Jakarta
This trip will be led by David Metcalf, a professional cultural and travel photographer who has spent the past 11 years traveling and photographing many Dayak communities in different areas of Borneo and has produced a documentary film Long Saan - the journey back.