Luke grew up in SE Asia, but in the huge mega city of Manila. From the moment he moved to his passport country of the US, he always yearned to return to Asia – but to a more natural, wild setting. For him, Kerinci fits the bill – you certainly can’t get much more natural than an isolated valley completely surrounded on all sides by one the largest protected areas in Asia where tigers, bears, and gibbons still roam. Besides helping connect visitors with local guides, other projects Luke is working on include assisting English teachers and working with farmers to help them export coffee in a more direct, fair way. Luke absolutely loves living in Kerinci, and hopes that in some small way Wild Sumatra can contribute to the conservation of the enchanting and magnificent forests in the area, and to the prosperity of the wonderful Kerinci people. Connect with his personal account on Facebook here, and see his photos taken around Kerinci on his Flickr page here.
Born near Philadelphia, Joshua’s family moved to a beach town when he was young. Growing up in the southwest USA, Joshua had a love for the outdoors and adventure. During college, he discovered his love for backpacking. This, along with a love of SE Asia, was further confirmed when Joshua attended a study-abroad program in West Papua, Indonesia where he enjoyed mountain biking, snorkeling amazing reefs, bushwhacking through jungles, and extreme adventure that marked the trip. Now, having lived in Indonesia for a decade, Joshua delights in introducing foreigners to the natural and cultural beauty in Indonesia, especially Indonesia’s great treasure, her people. He lives in Bengkulu with his wife and 4 children.
For over 20 years, Pak Subandi has been guiding visitors throughout the forests of the Kerinci Seblat National Park. From the village of Kersik Tuo, at the base of Mt. Kerinci, he and his wife have opened a small guesthouse in their home where they are happy to host road weary travelers. Pak Subandi has worked closely with FFI and the WWF, and has trained a number of the guides currently operating in the park. His specialty is bird watching, and still gets excited to see rare birds and animals even after all of these years.
Also from the village of Kersik Tuo, Pak E’en has been guiding visitors for over 13 years. An avid birdwatcher, Endatno Een’s favorite treks are to the Ladeh Panjang Wetlands and to the peak of Mt. Kerinci.
Pak Pani hails from the village of Pelompek, at the foot of the enchanting Gunung Tujuh. He enjoys taking trips to the Pauh Tinggi waterfalls near his village, the Goa Kasah caves, and up to the top of the mighty Mt. Kerinci. He has been guiding for ten years.
Zacky is a leader in the local nature lovers club “Pencinta Alam.” From the village of Lempur in southern Kerinci, his favorite treks are to the many lakes surrounding Lempur, especially the lovely blue Lake Kaco, and to the active volcano Gunung Kunyit that towers over his village. Members of the Pencinta Alam club actively patrol the forests in their areas in their free time, looking to discourage bird hunters and clean up any rubbish that they may come across. Very knowledgeable about the forest, but fairly new to guiding, Pencinta Alam members are looking forward to showing visitors their piece of heaven.