Located near the border of the Park, Tangkahan Village is becoming an exemplary site of community-based ecotourism. Within this pilot project, former illegal loggers have learned to become trekking guides. Gaining their livelihood from the beauty of the forest, they are now the best guardians of its natural wonders.
The Leuser National Park in North Sumatra is a hidden paradise, one of the last places you can experience the rainforest at its best. Majestic trees, thick lush tropical vegetation interspersed with beautiful rivers, waterfalls, caves and hot springs combine to make this one of the most beautiful places on earth. This is also home for many endangered animals such as the Sumatran orangutan, the Sumatran tiger and the Sumatran elephant, to name but a few.
It is also the only place in Indonesia where you can venture into the jungle on the back of your own elephant, exploring parts of the rainforest that would be difficult to reach otherwise. This is the place to come if you want a truly exclusive and unique experience combining rainforest exploration with camping and above all with riding elephants.
Tangkahan, located in the area of the Leuser National Park. The two villages framed the Tangkahan area Namo Sialang and Sei Serdang village, with the estimated population of 7,433. Livelihood of the villagers are mostly by farming, oil palm, nature rubber, sweet oranges and limes are some of the main local corps commodity.
It sometimes mentioned as the HIDDEN PARADISE IN SUMATRA. It is definitely hidden and for many a paradise. It is the perfect place to get off the beaten track, but still have access to nice food and comfortable bungalows. Tangkahan is an interesting place in many ways. Interesting for what it has to offer and an interesting background. The elephants, the jungle, and the clean rivers are obvious attractions.
Lembaga Pariwisata Tangkahan (LPT) is a local organization formed with the purpose to develop eco-tourism as a new form of lively hood and in this way prevent illegal logging. The idea was successful and illegal logging was effectively stopped in 2001. Indecon helped establish LPT and gave training in guiding, handicraft, etc.
The Community Response Unit (CRU) was formed by Fauna & Flora International and elephants were brought in to Tangkahan from Aceh. In some areas where humans and elephants often come in conflict over land use, elephants have been removed to a few “elephant schools”. One of these is in Saree, south of Banda Aceh. In Tangkahan the elephants were given a new dual function:
- They directly help the rangers to patrol the forest of the national park against illegal logging.
- As an eco-tourism attraction they improve the livelihood of the local communities and in this way indirectly prevent illegal logging.
Riding elephants are arranged jointly by local communities, the national park authorities, and local and International NGO’s. All profits are used for community development, social programs and nature conservation. The elephants originate from areas where human encroachment on elephant land has caused conflicts, causing the wild elephants to loose their habitat and forcing the authorities to round them up and move them to government camps. The elephants are among the few to have been tIn the year of 1994, this very area was one of the illegal logging exit points out of national park. The robbing was done in view of the matters that the price of lumber were soaring high by that time. Along with the illegal logging incident, local visitor were starting to realize the beauty of this yet another Indonesian paradise. It’s beautiful scenery with it’s virgin forest and crystal river are the Batang serangan River and Buluh River.
Unexpectedly, the crowds of visitor have given yet other alternative incomes for the local people. Thus, has succeeded in broadening people’s perception and knowledge about the forest itself. Apparently, the forest ( the national park ) can give far more valuable earning that illegal logging action.
What makes Tangkahan different is that it is a good example on how community based eco-tourism can stop illegal logging, improve livelihood, and develop a sense of pride amongst the locals. This development on the border of Leuser National Park where the bigger river Batang Serangan meets the smaller river Sungai Musam is the hidden paradise of Tangkahan.rained to carry people. They are not just used for tourists but do a valuable job patrolling and protecting their own remaining habitat.