Herping in Bukit Lawang

The Search for Snakes

Herping is the most common activity carried out by our team in Bukit Lawang. To be honest, everything is a game of chance when it’s about looking for snakes. In my 12 years of experience in Bukit Lawang, I’ve discovered many different species. Herping in Bukit Lawang could be done during the day and night. Although most species of snakes are nocturnal, our king cobra stays diurnal, and a spitting cobra is often spotted during the day based on our rescue call time.


Some most wanted species such king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), red-headed krait (Bungarus flaviceps), Sumatran spitting cobra (Naja sumatrana), blue Malayan coral snake (Calliophis bivirgatus) are hard to spot, but definitely, they are found in Bukit Lawang, and sometime around our accommodation. The most commonly found species in Bukit Lawang is Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri). Herping in Bukit Lawang requires our patience; our area is huge and connected to Gunung Leuser National Park, so there must be opportunities out there, but once again, it is about luck.

Snake Conservation in Bukit Lawang

Herping and conservation

SUMECO has rescued hundreds of snakes in and around Bukit Lawang, always putting safety and proper handling first. Our snake rescue program exists solely for the benefit of ecology and human safety. The tourism activity associated with the herpetology study will undoubtedly contribute significantly to our operational efforts on the ground. SUMECO receives numerous calls from villagers who may require our assistance with snake removal. It is critical that we are prepared to respond quickly to the call.


We always offered education to those who needed a basic knowledge of snakes, as the snake has become a strong part to the Gunung Leuser National Park ecosystem, our collected data has shown there are many species of snakes found inside and outside Gunung Leuser National Park as the natural element of its biodiversity.

Boiga dendrophila

Mangrove Cat Snake

Bungarus candidus

Malayan Krait

Ophiophagus hannah

Sumatran King Cobra

Naja sumatrana

Sumatran Spitting Cobra

If you are interested to do herping and nocturnal hikes in Bukit Lawang, feel free to contact me through WhatsApp by clicking the button below. We advise you to frequently check the weather forecast in Bukit Lawang. Bukit Lawang is a village that often experiences sudden rain, so taking a simple raincoat is essential.




Beginner With Snakes? What to Do?

Herping and education

As 99 percent of tourists who come to Bukit Lawang for jungle trekking to see Sumatran orangutans, SUMECO has offered a new opportunity to learn about serpents (snakes). Beginners who wanted to learn about snakes will be assisted by local experts (local herpetologists). Having a basic knowledge of snakes through jungle trekking with us is mainly expected.


Snakes are very important animals for their ecosystems. This is because snakes are predators and prey in the food chain. In the rice field food chain especially in Bukit Lawang, the presence of snakes is necessary to maintain the rat population and to provide food for predators that prey on snakes. If a food chain is imbalanced or interrupted, then one of its ecosystems will become overpopulated or uncontrolled. Snakes are classified as tertiary consumers. In this role, the snake preys on creatures classified as secondary consumers. Secondary consumers, such as mice and frogs, eat herbivorous species (plant eaters).


The snake then becomes prey for predators or consumers, who rise to the top (apex). Snakes are preyed upon by a variety of species, including groups of birds of prey such as owls and eagles. There are also snakes that devour snakes due to their greater level. Furthermore, weasels and mongooses are terrestrial animals that feed on snakes. If these top predators or consumers are overhunted by humans or have an imbalanced population, holes in food chains are probable.

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