Javan Rhino Observation Tour

Javan Rhino Observation Tour is a special interest tour package organized by Ujung Kulon Eco-Tour and supported by Ujung Kulon National Park authority.  Rhinoceros Sondaicus or Javan Rhino is the rarest mammal on earth, and this species has been classified as Critically endangered by IUCN.


There are only around 70 Javan Rhinos left, and there are none in zoos or captive facilities, therefore the only possible means to observe Javan rhinoceros is through direct observation in the natural habitat.

This particular Javan Rhino Observation Tour heads to the far western tip of Java, Indonesia and the forested park of Ujung Kulon. This is the last home of the critically endangered Javan Rhino, which is the rarest large mammal anywhere in the world.

Javan Rhino Expedition David Herman Jaya
Javan Rhino Expedition by David Herman Jaya

The park is very dense and we will hike from the entrance to a little known river deep inside the park. The Javan Rhinos are mostly seen in this river and so most of the wildlife activities will be canoeing silently up and down this river in the early morning and late evening. We head into the park with a team of porters and spend the entire time camping in the forest.

anak badak jawa
Source: Ujung Kulon National Park

Throughout the trip you will be guided by local park rangers and a zoologist guide (where available), and people with an intimate knowledge of the wildlife and habitats you will be visiting. This is a ground breaking tour that is unique in the world, we have negotiated special rates for the scientific permits that are needed to access the core area of the forest.

For anyone who wants a chance of seeing this incredibly rare species you have to get in touch with us and we can provide more information about our Javan Rhino Observation tour.


Day 1: Jakarta – Labuan – Tamanjaya

We have recommended that you arrive in Jakarta the day before the tour is due to start. This makes it easier as we will start to collect all clients (from their hotels) at around 5am.

Once we have collected everyone we will head towards the western tip of the island of Java and the forest park of Ujung Kulon National Park. The drive will take around 3 hours or so to get to Carita, from here we will get into a speed boat and cruise along the coast to the park’s gateway. This boat trip will take round 2.5 hours and we will have lunch on board the boat. We will travel by the boat to Taman Jaya and then land at Laban in the park.

We will then hike south towards Karang Ranjang, searching for signs of the rhinos along the way, we will have the camp close but not too close to where we focus most of our efforts. Todays hike could be around 3 hours long, on arrival at the camp we will set up and settle in with some dinner.

If the light is still good and people still have some energy we can take a little walk around. However we recommend that we are up and ready for the morning canoe along the rivers at dawn (or pre-dawn) so a good nights rest is a good idea tonight.

Rest of the day is free, lunch and dinner will be prepared by our staff. Overnight at Tamanjaya homestay.

Days 2-8: Ujung Kulon National Park

For the next 7 full days we will explore the forest as we search for the Javan rhinos, we will rise early each morning as we aim to find a rhino as they use the river to bath and browse on the semi aquatic vegetation. In the past this has been one of the most fruitful ways to find and see the rhino.

So by using a couple of canoes we will silently paddle up and down stretches of the Cikeusik River (and possibly other rivers nearby) for a while in the hope that we see one. We will come back to the camp for breakfast and then plan the next course of action, we will probably look to cruise the rivers at dawn and dusk and also have the opportunity to set up hides overlooking some of the wallows that the rhinos like to use.

This is an option for anyone wishing to do this and of course we can hike around and try and find fresh evidence of the rhinos as they move through the forest. As mentioned this is just an overview of what is possible and the exact day by day plan will change and be discussed and dictated by the rhino’s movements.

Alongside the rhinos there are many other species in the park, like all tropical forests there are many species of birds, reptiles and amphibians. Mammal wise there are Javan gibbons and ebony lutungs (both endemic to Java) in the trees, various squirrels around, Javan small-toothed palm civets, bantengs and even leopards in the park.

However the leopards have a near mythical status here and the rhinos are seen a lot more often. It is also worth keeping an eye out in the rivers and sea as there are salt-water crocodiles here and so be careful when near the river banks and keep your hands and feet inside the canoe at all times.

We will return to the camp for our meals and of course our tents for each night. We estimate that hiking per day will be around 2-3 hours, however some days maybe longer (~6 hours) and others much shorter. (All of your meals will be prepared and eaten at the camp in between our excursions into the forest.)

Day 9: Handeuleum – Cigenter River

Today’s plan is very flexible, it all depends on where we have been camping, we may head straight from the camp back to Laban and catch the speed boat back to Carita from there, or we may get a boat to Handeleum Island. It all depends on how things have gone and what the rhino movements have dictated.

If we do go to Handeleum we will take a boat for around 2 hours and on arrival there we could have the chance to canoe the Cigenter River. This was widely regarded as the best place to see Javan rhinos for many years, however many tourists came here (because of its proximity to the entry gate) and seemingly disturbed the rhinos that used to use this river a lot. Since then the sightings here have been very low, but if we are here we will give it a go as you never know.

Day 10 : Tamanjaya – Jakarta

Whilst the expedition officially ends today when we reach Jakarta and people can book their return flights home for the evening on this day, we recommend that people do not and instead book their return flights home for tomorrow.

This is because of any possible delays we can suffer in having to use the wooden boat and a vehicle for 1 and 5 hours respectively. Of course if you book your flights for today you will be taken to the airport after we reach Jakarta and if you book your flights for the next day, we will take you to the hotel you have booked for yourself.


Tour package includes:

  1. Airport pickup and transport to Tamanjaya  (and return)
  2. Foods during the overall trip
  3. Canoe rent (when applicable)
  4. Tent and/or sleeping mattress with mosquito net
  5. Park permit/ticket & insurance
  6. Commercial filming / photography
  7. Charge for cameras or other equipments

This Javan Rhino Observation Tour will be conducted in the forest; therefore, outdoor equipment for overnight rest/ sleeping will be provided. Depending on the location, tours can be done with canoe or stay on observation tree house. Upon successful encounter with the Javan rhino, visitor will receive certificate of acknowledgment.

For further information and reservation for Javan Rhino Observation Tour please feel free to Contact Us