Renah Kemumu Forest Trek

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This is a long and moderately challenging trip through the jungle to the forest enclave of Renah Kemumu, an ancient community of about 100 homes completely within the boundaries of the Kerinci Seblat National Park. You’ll camp one night in the rainforest on the way there, stay two nights with a local family in the village, and two more nights in the forest on the return. As you trek and camp along this traditional forest path, you’ll experience Sumatran wildlife and culture up close, enjoy relaxing in a natural hot tub by some active hot springs, and swim and dive with the fishes in a refreshing, spring-fed swimming hole whose azure-blue color has to be seen to be believed. There’s even a fair chance you’ll come across signs of tigers and bears along the way.



Day 1 – Into the Wild
From Sungaipenuh, get up early and travel one hour south to Lempur. Meet your guide there, and begin the trek to Renah Kemumu. As you keep an eye out for wildlife and their tracks, the guides will point out edible forest fruits and greens, and offer a few survival skill tips. Make camp along a cool mountain stream in the middle of the rainforest as the evening begins to creep in. Other options if arranged ahead of time could be to take our trail camera to set up along the trail and take a night walk with flashlights.

Day 2 – Arrival in Renah Kemumu
After an early breakfast, pack up camp in the cool of the morning, and set off for the village. If your using the camera trap and set it up the night before, pick it up on the way (or, leave it a few nights for pick up when you return). Continue your trek to the village. After your arrival, spend what’s left of the day checking out the village, fields, or maybe playing football with the kids. Spend the night in a local family’s home in Renah Kemumu.

Day 3 -Enjoying Nature’s Hot Tub and Village Life
Spend the day in Renah Kemumu exploring the surrounding area and/or involving yourself in village life. An impressive hot spring is located about 1.5-2 hours outside of the village, and is an idyllic place to spend a few hours refreshing from the long hike of the previous day. The boiling hot water from the hot spring mixes with the cool mountain water of a passing river, creating a kind of warm hot tub in the middle of the rainforest, perfect for resting your aching bones while you consider that you are now, very very likely, further off the beaten path than any other traveler on Sumatra. 
Also near the village are remnants of older, abandoned villages, grave sites, an ancient, carved, megalithic stone, and even their mini hydroelectric generator. Additionally you could hang out with your host family around the village, optionally visit the local school, participate in agricultural work or other village tasks, prep and cook traditional dishes, and learn about the history and culture of this unique community.

Day 4 – Back to the Forest
Say good bye to the village and head back into the rainforest early in the morning for your return trek. The goal is to make it back to the jungle stream where you camped the first night.

Day 5 – Lake Kaco – Coolest Swimming Hole in the World
From the jungle stream, continue hiking to Lake Kaco, the brilliantly blue swimming hole and natural aquarium deep in the forest, arriving in the afternoon. Jump off the tree hanging over the crystal clear waters, and swim around with the abundant fish. The refreshingly cool, spring-fed natural pool makes for a rejuvenating break after so many days of trekking. Set up camp in the forests by the lake.

Day 6 – Out of the Wilderness
Wake up next to Lake Kaco and enjoy a leisurely morning swimming and relaxing in the lake. Eventually, pull yourself away and continue roughly three hours along forest trails looking for birds, wildlife and signs of other animals as you make your way back to civilization. Don’t forget to stop by a little waterfall on the way out. You’ll arrive back in Lempur generally by late afternoon or early evening. Stay in a homestay in Lempur, or continue an hour’s drive back to Sungai Penuh to a hotel.
Optionally you could cut out Day 3 and Day 5 activities and make this a 4 day trek. However you will not have time to visit the hot springs or rest up in the village, nor visit Lake Kaco. So on the 3rd day you leave the village heading back to the forest and the campsite of the first night. On Day 4 you would exit the forest and do a homestay in Lempur or travel back to Sungai Penuh for the night.
Cut out one of the two days above to make it a five day trek, deciding to visit just the hot springs or just lake Kaco. FYI, cutting out the hot springs and extra day in the village increases the difficulty of the trek significantly.



Summary
Difficulty: Challenging
Activities: Hiking, Camping, Bird Watching, Wildlife, Cultural 
Terrain: Forest, Village, Hot Springs, Swimming Hole
Duration: 6 day/5 nights, 5 days/4 nights or 4 days/3 nights
Months of Operation: Year Round
Travel
Location: Renah Kemumu
Nearest Town: Lempur

Cost
Total Cost: Total for two people:
10,600,000 IDR 6-day option. 
9,300,000 IDR for 5-day option. 
8,000,000 IDR for 4-day option.
Price per-person decreases with more people.

Conditions: 
No comfy accommodations here! You’ll be sleeping rough in tents under the forest canopy for three nights, and two nights with a local family in an extremely remote Sumatran rainforest community – expect a thin mat on the floor of a very basic room, and a cold bucket of cold water to bathe with (if you’re not bathing in the river with locals)! But you’ll be having an experience of a lifetime.

Also, as it is a rainforest, expect and prepare for rain at some point during your trek, no matter what season you’re travelling in.
Price includes a local guide and porters, transport within Kerinci to and from the trail head, all food while you’re on the trek, tents and sleeping bags, homestays for you and the guides in the village, National Park ranger fees and permits, a donation to the Renah Kemumu village fund, and a donation to Pencagura (Nature Lovers of Gunung Raya Sub-district) to support their garbage collection and forest/wildlife protection activities in the area. Price per person reduced with more than two travelers, but usually limited to a max of six people to lessen the impact on the environment and village.


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