Are you tired of the typical vacation where you only have time to snap a picture of the ‘must-see sights’ before moving on to the next location? Do you wish you could learn something on your trip that will affect you for years to come? These are some of the reasons that Kevin Kienast and his partner, Sekar Istianingrum, are leading group trips focusing on Ecotourism in Indonesia.
How Kevin Started Leading Group Trips
For Kevin, everything started on a group trip to Uganda in 2008. This trip was organized by IFIL (Initiative for Intercultural Learning), a Swiss student organization which focuses on non-profit study trips. One year later, one of the organizers asked him if he’d like to lead a group trip of his own with IFIL to Colombia. Kevin was doing an exchange semester in Columbia at the time. Kevin organized the program, his friend enlisted a group of people, and the first trip was a go.
After meeting his partner, Sekar, they traveled often to her home country of Indonesia. Since she knew the language, it was easy for them to plan group trips to the area. One of the most important aspects of organizing a group trip is having someone in your leadership who knows the language, says Kevin. It makes all the difference when you’re trying to put together a program including local tours, accommodation and transportation.
On their trip with IFIL to Indonesia, Kevin and Sekar took a group, primarily made up of students, to Java. They got to experience the local Indonesian culture, but they wanted to see the wildlife that Indonesia is famous for. That’s why, for this upcoming trip, they decided to explore Ecotourism in Indonesia: specifically on the island of Sumatra.
Explore Ecotourism in Indonesia
Working with an organization called PanEco, Kevin, Sekar and their group of curious travelers will make their way to Sumatra. On this Indonesian island, they will get a true taste of Ecotourism in Indonesia. This group will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to trek with orangutans, an endangered species, in their natural habitat. Through these orangutans, travelers will have a better understanding of what we may lose if we don’t conserve our environment. Kevin believes that once you see these majestic animals in the wild, you will have a personal attachment to environmental causes.
After meeting the orangutans, the trip continues with education on environmental issues. This trip specifically focuses on palm oil plantations. Palm oil plantations are the biggest threat to orangutan survival at the moment. Trip participants will learn from extremely knowledgeable scientists and professionals about how they can make a difference.
Putting the Tourism in Ecotourism
A trip with Kevin and Sekar isn’t only about being a student, though. Their group trips also focus on incredible sights wherever they are in the world. For instance, in Sumatra travelers will get to hike one of its’ many volcanoes. They will also visit Lake Toba, the second deepest lake in the world. One thing’s for sure: you’re guaranteed to be truly immersed in the Indonesian culture.
After your trip with Kevin and Sekar is over, they encourage you to stay longer and see more of the country for yourself. You may make some friends on your trip, and continue to explore Indonesia together. Either way, don’t miss out on the opportunity to get to know the country in a deeper way. You’ve already booked a flight, most likely from a far-away place, to get there. Why not stay a bit longer and expand on some of the things you learned on your trip? When you experience Ecotourism in Indonesia with Kevin and Sekar, it may inspire you to get more involved in the conservation process. Perhaps this trip will change your life!