Weekly scheduled join-in cruises depart every Saturday for 1 or 2 nights, and our longer mid-week cruises are scheduled from Tuesday to Friday for up to 4 days 3 nights.
Check in is 9am and check out time is after lunch at 2pm.
Private charters may be tailored to your timetable from 1 to 4 nights and for special arrangements. Our itineraries may be changed at short notice due to quickly changing river and weather conditions. A flexible approach is required if you book with us.
Please note that water levels drop during the dry season, which may be during the months of August, September and October.
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Pre Departure Information
About Palangka Raya
Palangka Raya, capital of the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan (Kalteng), is a small frontier city of some 300,000 people. Planned and built by President Sukarno in the 1960’s, with the intention to become the capital of Indonesia, it is a plan embraced by the current President and likely to occur in the next decade. Palangka Raya is the business base for the development of the Province’s wealth of natural resources. Starting point also for the WOW Borneo River cruises, it is the gateway to accessing the natural wonders of this fast developing province.
People & Language & Local customs
Kalteng is home to a multi ethnic mix of Dayak tribes, the indigenous inhabitants of Borneo with their unique culture, languages and religion. Kalteng is also home to Melayu, Javanese, Balinese, and many more cultures, who have migrated here from across Indonesia. Villagers often speak 3 languages. Early Christian missionaries converted many Dayaks, but today the Muslim faith has a majority of adherents.
Bahasa Indonesia is widely spoken. English is little understood. Dress is modest, with shirts having sleeves, no mini skirts, short shorts or tank tops. When meeting people, it is normal to shake hands, and if a group, to shake hands with all the people. Drinking alcohol in public is not accepted and pork is not usually served in restaurants.
The rainy season is November to June, and the remainder of the year has less rainfall and may be dry. Rains are welcome, coming in sudden downpours, often late in the afternoon, cooling the temperature. Temperature is usually 32 – 35 deg C during the rains, normally hotter in the dry season, and dropping to 23 deg C in the early morning. Humidity is 70-80%. August, September and October are usually the driest months. As a result, the river levels fall and we have an alternative route, visiting different villages. We see the Orangutan Islands and BOSF Education Centre with a combination of car and canoes. These months may also be affected by smoke
Indonesian currency is the Rupiah. It is not possible to change money in Palangkaraya, so change all currencies in the Jakarta airport before you arrive in Palangkaraya or use ATM’s to withdraw cash.
Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air operate daily flights to Palangkaraya originating in Jakarta, Surabaya and Balikpapan. These flights are direct and take approximately an hour and a half. There are no international services.
Bring along a basic medical kit which contains at least hydrating powder for drinks, such as Oralit or Hydralit, Norit charcoal tablets for upset stomach, Panadol, insect repellent, sunscreen, and antiseptic cream. Malaria does occur here, however there are not many mosquitoes on the river, in the running water. Treatment for malaria is now effective and fast acting. Check http://www.traveldoctor.co.uk/malaria.htm for information or talk to your doctor. Wearing long sleeve shirts and trousers in the evenings, and using mosquito repellent, is advised.
The sun is very strong here, we are only 2 deg off the equator. Sun stroke is common, so wearing a sun hat is advised, as is drinking plenty of water. All drinking water supplied on the boat is bottled mineral water.
We recommend guests have their own travel insurance, with evacuation cover.
Please inform us of any dietary requirements or other special needs before the cruise begins.
There is a traditional market in Palangkaraya where local handicrafts can be purchased, and some may be available on board. These include woven rattan bags and mats, wood carving, jewelry, rubber miniature boats, swords, blowpipes, beaded purses, some precious stones and simple woven hangings.
Bring with you …
Throw in your sun hat, mossie repellent, long sleeve shirt, long trousers, walking shoes and any specific drugs or cosmetics you need (the range is limited in Palangka Raya).
Alcohol other than beer cannot be obtained in Palangka Raya – our office holds a small selection of wine you are welcome to purchase before embarkation. Please ask for our list of what is available before arrival in Palangka Raya so that it may be on board for your arrival.
WOW Borneo River Cruises currently operates 4 boats.
The Sekonyer, our latest boat in Tanjung Puting National Park, is the first join-in boat with 3 air conditioned ensuite cabins, with all the usual comfort features, comfortable rattan sofas on the large viewing deck, delicious food and great staff.
The Rahai’i Pangun, flag ship of the fleet, has 6 cabins, air conditioning or fan cooled and is famous for its wide, open viewing deck and fabulous food.
The Spirit of Kalimantan is available for private charter , fitted with 3 air conditioned cabins, hot and cold water, comfortable enclosed seating area and steamer chairs on the front deck.
The Ruhui Rahayu, our latest addition, is a small, private charter vessel, ideal for couples or small families, up to 5 people. It has a single double cabin on deck, closed off at night and fan cooled. Remaining sleeping spaces are on convertible beds on the deck.
Get ready to leave the city behind …
Once in board, we leave the city and pass only occasional small villages along the river course. Generators power the boat 24 hours a day, which allows you to re-charge your phone, cameras and computers. Cabins are all fitted with mosquito wire and fans. Meals are all cooked freshly and served on deck.
The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF)protects 3 islands along the course of the Rungan River to accommodate approximately 100 orangutans in the natural forests of the islands. These rehabilitated orangutans are in a re-wilding process in preparation to be reintroduced to the wild.
When watching orangutans along the route, it is recommended by the foundation that observation time is minimized, to prevent disturbing their re-adaptation to the wild.Therefore, our visit to the islands is of 15 minutes duration, and the canoes maintain a distance of 20-25 meters from the island. Guests are asked not to feed or attract the attention of the orangutans, wear bright clothing or encourage the boats to go closer to the islands. Small cameras are fine, but the foundation requests not to use professional cameras with telephoto lenses to photograph the orangutans.
KTD makes a donation to BOSF for each guest on board our cruises, Guests are also encouraged to give further donations and to consider adopting an orangutan through BOSF programs accessed via their website http://donation.orangutan.or.id
Any guests wishing to make professional documentaries, articles for publication, books etc about the BOSF islands, need to seek permission from BOSF and with the relevant government authorities. KTD can assist with the process.
Relax and enjoy your cruise!
EXCITING TRIP TO WOW BORNEO
Last week WOW Borneo (KTD) arranged our trip and accompanied by our wonderful Dayak guide Dodi (and ’trainee’ guide Jonathan) we travelled upto see the long house (*betang*) at a little village called Tumbang Gagu, right up in the headwaters of the Sampit (or Mentaya) River.
KATHY AND JACQUES, SWITZERLAND
We had a wonderful 3 days and 2 nights on the beautiful Rahai’i Pangun. The whole crew looked after us every minute with great food, cool drinks and all the comforts to make our trip memorable. Thanks to Lorna, Sayful, Suryadi, Patirwin, Anto, Ujeng and Ready!
NAKASHIMA FAMILY, JAPAN
This Jungle River Cruise gave us a great present! The river and time pass slowly on the boat. Not only orangutans and jungle but also the people, especially the children of the village moved us so much. I was impressed!
To all on the Rahai’i Pangun, thank you for introducing me to the wonders of Central Kalimantan over a fantastic few days. Loved the boat, loved the concept, loved the food – and the company was pretty great too!
It was the trip of a lifetime!
MARDIAH GLEESON, USA
It was so moving to visit the two villages. Kanarakhan and Gaung Baru were memorable in their exchange of culture with us.
METTLIJS BORTE, HOLLAND
Thank you very much for an unforgettable jungle experience. The long boat journey through the flooded jungle was great. The food was excellent as well.
SUE & WERNER EBERT (AUSTRALIA)
The river cruise was beyond awesome. We had a great crowd on the boat. We had fantastic food and nothing was seen as too hard to do for us from all the crew.
RENEE DUGAN (AMERICA)
Thank you again for taking such great care of all of us during our recent visit to Kalimantan. You and the crew were so professional, kind, generous and fun. Our group really enjoyed getting to know you, eating the delicious food presented to us each day, and relaxing on your boat.
SUE HEWETT (21-24 DECEMBER 2012)
This cruise was everything we’d dreamed and more. The boat is very comfortable, the crew efficient and courteous and the food delicious! The guide couldn’t have been better – fun, passionate, thoughtful, knowledgeable and great company!
J.J WALLIA – SAN FRANSISCO, CALFIORNIA
This tour was one of the best vacation and wildlife experiences I have had (and I have seen pretty much everything in Africa). Despite all it has to offer, Kalimantan is a tough place to vacation in so I was not expecting much. However, I was blown away by this trip.