Tangkahan Ecotourism Site
Tangkahan is sometimes mentioned as the HIDDEN PARADISE
IN SUMATRA. It is definitely hidden and for many a paradise. It is the perfect
place to get off the beaten track, but still have access to nice food and
Tangkahan is an interesting place in many ways. Interesting
for what it has to offer and an interesting background. The elephants, the
jungle, and the clean rivers are obvious attractions. What makes Tangkahan
different is that it is a good example on how community based eco-tourism can
stop illegal logging, improve livelihood, and develop a sense of pride amongst
the locals. This development on the border of Leuser National Park where the
bigger river Batang Serangan meets the smaller river Sungai Musam is the hidden
paradise of Tangkahan.
Join the forest rangers on their elephants when they patrol
Float down the clear river!
Go jungle trekking!
Soak yourself in hot springs!
Lembaga Pariwisata Tangkahan (LPT) is a local
organization formed with the purpose to develop eco-tourism as a new form of
lively hood and in this way prevent illegal logging. The idea was successful
and illegal logging was effectively stopped in 2001. Indecon helped
establish LPT and gave training in guiding, handicraft, etc.
The Community Response Unit (CRU) was formed by Fauna & Flora International and
elephants were brought in to Tangkahan from Aceh. In some areas where humans
and elephants often come in conflict over land use, elephants have been removed
to a few "elephant schools". One of these is in Saree, south of Banda
Aceh. In Tangkahan the elephants were given a new dual function:
They directly help the rangers to patrol the forest of the
national park against illegal logging.
As an eco-tourism attraction they improve the livelihood of
the local communities and in this way indirectly prevent illegal logging.