Frequently Asked Questions

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Please email or call Irene Spencer at or 619-574-1371 to determine if there is availability on your desired departure. If so, please fill out the online application with your credit card deposit. No space is held without a deposit.

You must be 15 years of age to participate on the group trips. If you are under 18 you must be accompanied by a adult.

Irene can arrange your air travel if you live in the U.S. or Canada. There is a USD60.00 per person processing fee for air tickets. Tickets can also be arranged if you live elsewhere but the rates may not be as competitive. You need to be in Jakarta on the first day of the trip. It is best to arrive by 6pm in the evening. For maximum enjoyment of your trip, we recommend you come in a day early to get over jet lag and acclimate to the time change. Please ask for the rate for the extra hotel night if you do choose to arrive early.

You must be in good physical condition and be able to walk on flat but uneven surfaces in intervals of 20 -30 minutes in very hot and humid conditions. There are no mountains, hills or long distances to walk. If you are over 75 we may require a doctors letter stating that you are in good health. We are in a remote area and medical facilities are limited.

There are no barriers between you and the orangutans. We ask that you respect them and do not approach them first. It is up to the orangutans if they come over to you. We will monitor the situation and advise accordingly.

Depending on time of year it may be possible to arrange a private trip but you would not have Dr. Galdikas as your naturalist nor would you be able to visit OFI's Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ) facility. Price would depend on length of time spent in Kalimantan and the rest of your chosen itinerary.

In order to visit the orangutan care center you will need to show proof of a tuberculosis test taken within in the past one year showing a negative result.  If you test positive you must provide a doctor's note stating that you have been tested and do not have TB.  

We are not physicians and cannot provide you with specific medical advice. We recommend that you to check with your personal physician who is familiar with your health history. Local travel clinics or the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Heath Organization (WHO) are also good sources. See your doctor at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect!

CDC recommends the following vaccines

• Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)
• Hepatitis B if you might be exposed to blood 'for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months in the region, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11–12 years who did not complete the series as infants.
• Typhoid vaccination is particularly important because of the presence of S. Typhoid strains resistant to multiple antibiotics in this region.
• As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles, and a one-time dose of polio for adults.
• Malarial prophylactics. Most travelers to Asia at risk for malaria should take prescription medication to prevent malaria. Recommended for extended travel outside of metropolitan areas; check with your personal physician

A representative in a yellow uniform from the FM7 hotel will be waiting outside of baggage claim. If for some reason they are not there or if you have trouble please take a taxi. It is 10-15 minutes from the airport.

All clients should be prepared for the unlikely possibility of a travel delay. We cannot be responsible for canceled or delayed flights. Assuming you will do absolutely no shopping, the bare minimum you would need for a one week trip would be about $350.00-500.00 USD. Obviously the sky (and your bank balance) is the limit.

Travelers checks are useless in Borneo. Do not count on a credit card to provide you with the necessary cash for your trip. Visa is more widely accepted than MasterCard or American Express. Credit cards are not accepted at the Rimba Lodge and there are no ATM machines readily available. It is best to change money into Rupiah upon arrival at the ATM at the Jakarta airport. You will not have an opportunity to exchange money once you are in Borneo. U.S. dollars or other foreign currency is not accepted in Borneo.

Important! Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your return date. Your passport must have one blank visa page (the pages in your passport that state “visa” at the top) for each country which requires a visa to enter. At this time Indonesia does not require a visa for citizens the U.S. and most European and Asian countries for stays of up to 30 days. Australia and New Zealand citizens will still need a visa upon arrival. Please check for your individual requirements as things change.

We have arranged custom travel for many participants either before or after OFI trips. See the Custom Travel section of this web site.

The lighter the better; this is a very casual trip in a tropical destination. Quick dry long pants are recommended; not jeans. The newer light-weight quick drying fabrics (not cotton) are the best. Dr.Galdikas does not permit shorts or tank tops on the OFI trips.

At the Rimba Lodge and at the Grande Kecubung there is laundry service.

There is mobile phone service when we are in Pangkalanbun. There is WiFi and internet at the Grande Kecubung. There is no phone service and very limited sporadic ethernet connection in the office at Rimba Lodge. There is no WiFI available at the Rimba.

Yes, but if you have multiple items to charge you are advised to bring an extension cord with extra outlets as the number of outlets locally are limited.

Indonesia uses the two-prong European plug. You do not need a converter unless you are bringing a hair dryer or curling iron which is not dual current or you have very sensitive equipment. If you have very sensitive equipment you may need a surge protector as sometimes there are power surges.

OFI requires that each participant have medical evacuation and supplementary medical insurance. You should have coverage to include at least $50,000 USD medical expenses and $500,000 USD medical evacuation. If you are not from the U.S. please arrange the equivalent amount of insurance in your own country. You will need to provide proof of insurance to go on the trip.