We believe strongly that ecotourism can help safeguard the still-untouched forests deep within the Kerinci Seblat National Park. With a growing population within a valley completely surrounded by protected land, and a severe lack of reliable employment opportunities, ecotourism goes a long way in giving people alternate means of income without further encroaching into the National Park. Protecting the rainforest is not just about wildlife and the environment – over 7 million people (about 15% of the total population of Sumatra) and 10 million hectares of agricultural land rely directly on waters that these forests provide, including the cities of Padang, Palembang, Jambi, and Bengkulu. Primary forests help to reduce flooding in the rainy season and reduce drought in the dry season – vitally important for people who live and work so closely with the land. They also capture millions of tons of carbon every year, and likewise produce oxygen, helping to slow the effects of climate change and giving us all a breath of fresh air.
We are proud that 5% of the total cost of our trips goes directly to 21st Century Tiger in support of wild tiger conservation projects in the Kerinci Seblat National Park and other areas of Sumatra. After all, a healthy tiger population means a healthy forest.
Until now, there has been very little quality information available online to make traveling here accessible — even for the adventurous. There is also very little infrastructure and few English speakers ready on the ground. This has made travel, especially to the most wild places of Kerinci, challenging without prior planning and connections. We know it’s popular among backpackers and independent travelers to try to do everything on their own for a more “authentic” experience, and many believe that they’ll see more if they strike out on their own. However, in our time here, we’ve seen many visitors come through Sumatra with this idea, only to do basically the same things that everyone else does, because that’s what ends up being easiest. If they do get off the beaten path, often they end up frustrated that things didn’t go smoothly, or that they weren’t able to find that hidden gem that they’d heard about. Don’t underestimate the importance of a cultural insider! For the people of Kerinci, despite their eagerness to show the world their piece of heaven, they often lack the skill sets (and internet) to do this. Since we live and work in Kerinci 24/7, we know the area and the people here on the ground on a personal level, and are able to connect them to visitors interested in really exploring Sumatra, trying new experiences, making friends, and escaping the tired tourist trail. And in doing so, it is creating a fine alternative means of income to support Kerinci families and protect these beautiful forests.
With more than 20 years experience living and traveling throughout Southeast Asia, our founders understand the interests and needs of travelers, how to help them engage with the local culture, and how to make their trip as exciting and meaningful as possible. We have the passion, connections, knowledge, and a sustainable ethic that will set your mind at ease as you plan your next adventure. The Kerinci region is one of the best kept secrets in Asia – come discover it with us!