• Camp Leakey
  • Mahakam
  • Neusapen Mahakam
  • Kalimantan
  • Derawan
  • Turtle Derawan
  • Manta
  • Whaleshark Kalimantan

Tour module 8 days Mighty Mahakam river cruise

The Mahakam river is one of the economic arteries of east Kalimantan. Besides discovering life on and along the river, this cruise brings you to unspoilt wildlife in the jungle and you become familiar with the Dayak culture.
During this 8-day river cruise you stay on a 'houseboat', a solid boat with a simple but clean and neat accommodation.

For this trip you need to be in reasonable physical condition and have a good adaptability.

From and to Balikpapan

Balikpapan is easy to reach by plane from Jakarta. Garuda for example flies 8 times a day with direct flights from and to Jakarta. Between Balikpapan and Makassar (Sulawesi) Garuda has two daily direct flights. CitiLink, subsidiary of Garuda, has a few days per week also a direct flight from and to Bali.
Merapi can arrange your domestic flights.

Target prices

€ 1.350 p.p. based on 2 participants
€ 1.045 p.p. based on 4 participants
•Transfers from and to airport and harbour
•Simple overnight stays on houseboat
•Simple overnight stays in Local Guesthouses
•Entrance fees and donations
•All meals on board and underway at Guesthouses (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
•Water, coffee and tea
•English speaking guide

Not included:
•Intercontinental and domestic flights
•Other drinks
•Tips and personal expenses
•Travel and cancellation insurance
•Booking fee and contribution Calamiteitenfonds €30 per booking
•SGR contribution € 5 per person
•CO2 compensation € 22 per person

Day 1 Arrival Balikpapan

You pick up your luggage from the carousel and walk out of the Arrivals hall. Your driver is waiting outside to drive you to Loa Janan, close to Samarinda, where you get on board of your own houseboat for the next few days. It is a simple river-boat but clean and neat. Downstairs you find the kitchen and dining-room, your bedroom with AC is upstairs. Simple but clean sanitary facilities. You’ve got your own cook on the boat and your meals are prepared on board with fresh produce. The Mahakam river is very wide near Loa Janan. You see many big ships, especially with logs and coal. The further away from Loa Janan we get, the calmer the traffic on the river and the sparser the buildings on the river banks. The boat also moves on during the night.

Day 2 Muara Muntai, Mancong, Tanjung Isuy, Muara Pahu

The boat moors and you walk through the village on stilts on the river Muara Muntai. Here live the Kutai. There are no streets but over beams of ironwood you walk along the market and the (little) school. You then step into a motorised canoe and sail to Jempang Lake and Ohong Creek. The village Jantar is built on the water. In Ohong Creek there are lots of long nosed proboscis monkeys and birds such as kingfishers and birds of prey. Today you also visit the Dayaks, who welcome you in Mancong. In Dayak Nenuaq you visit one of the oldest longhouses of East Kalimantan. You will see beautiful wood-carved statues here. In the late afternoon you get into the canoe again and sail back to your houseboat which takes you to Muara Pahu.

Day 3 Muara Pahu, long nosed proboscis monkeys and dolphins of the Bolowan river

Today you will go out again with the motorized canoe and sail up the Bolowan River. This is the area of ​​the Kutai Dayak. Previously, many freshwater dolphins could be encountered here, but they are now becoming rare. What you will see are proboscis (nose ape) monkeys, many species of birds and macaques. In the afternoon you sail upstream to Melak. You sleep on board in the harbor of this lively city. You can take a walk through the city.

Day 4 Dayaks, black orchid and waterfall

With a 4-wheel drive jeep or car (depending on the weather) you drive to the National park Kersik Luway today. The black orchid is still growing here. You drive through kilometres long rubber plantations along the area of the Baduaq and Tunjung Dayaks. In dessa Eheng you visit the old longhouse. Then you continue to the Ombau Asa waterfall , a very nice place to swim. In the late afternoon back to your houseboat that’ll bring you further upstream to Data Bilang. If the water level is too low for the houseboat we ensure alternative transport upstream.

Day 5 Rukun Damai dayaks and Data Bilang

Further upstream to Rukun Damai. This is the farthest stop for your houseboat, that’s to say if it gets that far, because the water level must be high enough. On the way several stops again at traditional Dayak villages. Possible overnight stay in local homestay in Data Bilang.

Day 6 To the rapids or downstream to Data Bilang

If the water level is fine (to be determined and paid on the spot) you continue by speedboat to the rapids. If it's possible to go there you return afterwards to the houseboat and sail in the evening and during the night back to Data Bilang. If you don’t go to the rapids, you slowly sail downstream to Data Bilang and visit the Dayak village which has a beautiful longhouse.

Day 7 Back to Tenggorang

Today a very relaxing day on the houseboat. You sail downstream to the capital city of the province of Kutai: Tenggorang.

Day 8 Tenggarong, Balikpapan

In Tenggarong you visit the palace of the sultan of Kutai Kertanegara. You can admire his collection related to the Dayaks. After a short walk you go back to the houseboat and sail to Samarinda. Here you say goodbye to your houseboat and the crew and your driver will drive you to your hotel in Balikpapan.

Mahakam houseboat

During your river cruise on the Mahakam river you will spend some days on your private 'houseboat'. It is a very simple accommodation with reasonable sanitary facilities. The boat has one or more air-conditioned cabins. During the cruise you have your own cook who will, as far as possible, fulfill your eating wishes. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

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