Danau Sentarum National Park is located deep in the heart of Borneo, just inside Indonesia’s border with Malaysia, about 600km east of Pontianak. The park comprises of a series of interconnecting and seasonally flooded lakes fed by the Kapuas River, islands and vast tracts of freshwater swamp and peat swamp forests. It is regarded as one of the most bio-diverse lake systems in the world. As well as 240 aquatic species, an array of rare and endemic birds and animals have been recorded here including the orangutan, clouded leopard, proboscis monkeys, siamese crocodile, false gavial and woolly-necked stork.
About 3,000 people live in about 20 village enclaves within the park boundaries including several Dayak villages with well -preserved longhouses. Most notably, the Iban longhouse community of Sungal Sedik or Pelaik which offers traditional longhouse homestays. For a small cost you can fish with the locals at Meliau or collect wild honey with the villagers at Semangit. And for the price of a relatively easy hike to the top of Tekenang Hill, witness a truly sublime sunrise over the lakes.
Entry to the park is via boat from Semitau on the Kapuas River or from Lanjak or Embaloh, both near Putussibau, these latter options requires a short overland trip by bus or private car to the waterways. You need to register with the park office at either town where they’ll be able to assist you with chartering a boat with a guide (highly recommended). Danau Sentarum is best combined with a Kapuas River trip but allow at least 2-3 days in the park to get the most out of your visit.