Project Description

The Ladeh Panjang Wetlands, at the western foot of Mt. Kerinci and deep within the Kerinci Seblat National Park, is the highest wetlands in Southeast Asia, at over 2000 meters in elevation. The trail there takes about 6 hours or less of fairly easy hiking, with four of those hours through primary rainforest of the Kerinci Seblat National Park. Two lakes can be found within the 150 hectares of wetlands, Danau Singkarak and Danau Sakti, the latter of which takes a further three hours to reach. The marshlands and the primary forest surrounding it are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including barking deer, tapir, and tigers.
Meet your guide in Kersik Tuo, and continue on to where the road ends in the village of Buntu. Walk through the lovely farmlands in the rolling foothills of Mt. Kerinci, on the way into the forest. Be prepared to cross a few small streams in the jungle before you come across a small sulfur vent called Gunung Belarang. Explore the area for any tiger or other wildlife pug marks before heading on to the campsite on the edge of the marsh.
After setting up camp, rest or explore the area. Don’t miss the sunset over the marshlands in the late afternoon. Take a night walk with flashlights after dinner to try to spot any nocturnal creatures that might be around, and set up the trail camera if available. When you’re ready, turn in for the night.
In the morning, head to Danau Singkarak. If you think you want to spend the day around the lake, make sure you bring your lunch with you. Be prepared to get your feet wet walking through the marshes and swamp forest for about 20 minutes before returning to the solid ground of the primary forest. The hike from the camp to the lake takes about 1.5 hours. Make sure to remind your guide to show you any orchids and Nepenthes pitcher plants along the way, and keep an eye (and ear) out for singing Siamang gibbons, which usually start their calls between 8am and 9am.
Explore the area around the lake once you arrive. Be on the lookout for any wildlife cooling off with a swim or taking a drink.
For the rest of the day, it’s your choice whether you explore around the lake, continue on to Danau Sakti (another 3 hours one way), or return to the forest and marshlands closer to camp. You could also make an attempt to reach the ridge trail at Gunung Kapur to the west. Make sure to pack enough food and flashlights in case you don’t make it back to camp before dark.
In the evening, take another night walk before heading to bed.
After breakfast and a bit more exploration, pack up camp and make the six hour journey out of the forest and on to your next destination.
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Difficulty: Moderate. While the terrain doesn’t get too steep, six hours is a long hike. Also be prepared to cross a number of streams and cross through the marsh, where it’s easy to get your feet wet.

Activities: Hiking, Camping, Bird Watching, Wildlife

Terrain: Wetlands, Jungle, Mountains, Old Sulfur Vents, Lakes, Highland farms

Nearest Village: Buntu, Kayu Aro Subdistrict, Kerinci regency, Jambi province, Indonesia

Months of Operation: Year Round, but it’s usually somewhat drier from May – September

  • A quality pair of hiking shoes – preferably waterproof – are essential.
  • Comfortable trekking socks – with the various wetlands and streams you’ll be crossing, your feet will definitely get wet, even with good shoes. Good hiking socks can help prevent blistering.
  • Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Preferably made from quick-dry material.
  • A headlamp, especially if you want to take any night walks.
  • A waterproof jacket in case it rains, and to keep you warm in the chilly evenings and mornings.
  • Sunscreen. Being so close to the equator, it’s easy to burn quickly-especially when the air is so deceptively cool.

No comfy accommodations here! You’ll be sleeping rough in tents under the forest canopy for two nights.

Also, as it is a rainforest, expect and prepare for rain at some point during your trek, no matter what season you’re travelling in. Be prepared to cross a number of streams and cross through the marsh, where it’s easy to get your feet wet.

Leeches are occasionally abundant here. While the ick factor might be high, they’re actually harmless (and the green arboreal ones are quite pretty, believe it or not).

Due to the high elevation (above 2000m) evenings and mornings can be quite chilly, so make sure you have a jacket, and long sleeves and pants.

Like all of our trips, you travel at your own risk. Keep in mind that you are visiting a wild and extremely remote area of rural Sumatra, far from quality medical care. It’s your responsibility to make sure you are covered with valid travel and medical insurance.

We are proud that 5% of the total cost of this trip goes directly to 21st Century Tiger in support of forest rangers and wild tiger conservation projects in the Kerinci Seblat National Park and other areas of Sumatra.

As always, we use only local guides and porters from nearby communities, who are paid a fair, ethical wage above the standard local price.

Come discover Kerinci for yourself! Learn about the region, visit our itineraries page, or view additional points of interest around Kerinci to create your own custom trip. Be sure to check out our travel tips when you’re ready to start planning.

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