“What makes an incredible nature photograph?


Is it the person behind the camera?

Or what you choose to photograph?

While we think you can make any moment memorable, there are some moments in time that take your breath away – like seeing a critically endangered Bornean orangutan in the wild. On your orangutan photography trekking tour with Bain, you’ll learn how to navigate the rainforest to capture them in their element, without ever disturbing their peace.

Getting the perfect photograph isn’t easy – especially when we’re taking care not to disturb their fragile habitat. So here’s how to make you photography tour with Orangutan Trekking Tours the experience you and your camera deserve!


Orangutan Photography Tour

Image: Bain photographing a female orangutan in TPNP

Your Orangutan Photography Trekking Tour

We know the photographer in you wants freedom to explore the jungle and spend time chasing the perfect frame or video. So, we designed the experience so that you can control exactly what you capture with your camera. On your photography tour, our founder and accomplished nature photographer, Bain will guide you toward his favourite places to get amazing photos, but he’ll also take you off the trodden trail if there’s a particular shot you want.

While people often come on our trekking tours to see orangutans, there are plenty of other amazing creatures and sights you can chase after. You’ll see:

  • Wild Orangutans
  • Bornean bearded pigs and wild boar
  • Black handed gibbons
  • Proboscis monkey
  • Rehabilitated orangutans at Camp Leakey
  • Incredible plants, flowers and native food growing in the jungle
  • Birds native to Borneo
  • Plenty of rare and colourful insects
  • Crocodiles

Plus there’s all of the usual trekking fun – boarding the klotok, visiting Camp Leakey rehabilitation centre and the local villages. Check out this video for a taste of what’s in store!

Video: Orangutan Trekking Tours

Photographing the orangutan: our advice

Spotting an orangutan can happen straight away, or you might need to be patient. While this is all part of being a nature photographer, it can help to have a few factors go in your favour.

  1. Have a pro photographer and trekking guide showing you the ropes. Have you met Bain?
  2. Be patient. What fun would a photography trek be if you got all the shots you wanted on the first day? We recommend spending 2+ days in the jungle to find your feet, experience the way of the wild and spend time searching for the magic you came here for.
  3. Set up camp! It often happens on our treks – people will fall in love with a shot, but there won’t be any wildlife in it. Take all the time you need waiting for an orangutan or monkey to swing through – it will be worth it.
  4. Experiment with your lenses, aperture and filters. You might not find yourself back in the jungle anytime soon, so make the most of the opportunity and find your perfect picture.
  5. Memory cards. Need we say more?

Don’t worry, your equipment is safe with us!

We know how much your equipment means to you because we have it too! Our klotoks have safe spaces for when your camera isn’t attached to your hand, and we can keep them waterproof, which is helpful when you’re on a river. We have charging facilities but it’s wise to carry a few spare batteries in case. If you’d like to make sure no damage comes to your equipment from the jungle, here’s some great tips on how to protect it from humidity and condensation:

  • In tropical weather, your lens will fog if the camera is cooler than the external climate, so the trick is to keep it warmer than normal
  • Keep your camera against your body when you aren’t shooting to keep its temperature above the outside climate
  • Try not to store it in air conditioned rooms (there aren’t any on the tour, but there might be depending on where you stay before and after)

If you’d like a more detailed explanation of humidity and your camera, there’s some great recommendations here. 

Arbain Borneo Orangutan

Image: Bain in his element, ready to capture the jungle!

We love helping you take incredible photographs. Here’s why:

Leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time and take nothing but pictures.”

Your photography is important to us for many reasons. First and foremost, our founder Bain’s photography has been a key part of growing Orangutan Trekking Tours; it’s everywhere you look on our website, it’s what we use to promote our treks and Bain captures more incredible shots every day he’s in the jungle.

This means every photo you see from OTT is a true reflection of the magical moments you’ll capture on our tours.

Photography is a powerful method of communication. The orangutan’s huge personality and their fluffy orange hairdos make them a captivating and photogenic subject and they’ve become a beloved symbol of the jungle.

When people started to hear their favourite primate had fallen on hard times, it was often photographs of them lost or injured in jungles being burned or cut down that had people outraged all over the world. Sometimes it isn’t easy to see. Orangutans are very expressive and you can tell when they’re depressed or mistreated. There are hundreds of news stories that show photos of orangutans in tiny cages being starved or abused and while it can be distressing to look at, it drives people to make a change. Ranging from emotive to downright distressing, a photo of an orangutan can reach a wide and proactive audience. Do you remember Budi, the rescued baby orangutan whose picture circulated around social media in record time?

Read: The story of Budi the rescued baby orangutan

We use Bain’s photography to promote our treks and save the jungle. His photos are thoughtful, beautiful and help tell people about his personal experience of the jungle. It’s the best way to experience Borneo’s wild without causing harm.


Baby Orangutan Borneo

Image: Up close and personal with a baby orangutan in Borneo


If you’d like to learn more about booking an orangutan photography tour with our team at Orangutan Trekking Tours, head to the Orangutan Photography Tours page for more information and pricing!