A World Heritage Site: Ujung Kulon National Park

May 6, 2007 at 11:43 pm Leave a comment

Ujung Kulon National Park is the first national park, founded in Indonesia. The park (80,000 ha) lies on a peninsula in south-west Java and includes the islands Pulau Peucang, Pulau Panaitan and the Krakatau archipelago. On 1 February, 1992, the Proposed Ujung Kulon National Park complex and the Krakatau Islands Nature Reserve were declared a World Heritage Site. The borders on the north, south and west side of Ujung Kulon are made up by the Indian Ocean. The Honje mountain range, including the highest point of the park Gunung Honje (620 m), forms the eastern border. The Indian Ocean is the main access route.
Single-horned RhinocerousHabitats in the park consists of lowland rainforest, swamp, mangrove and beach forest. Vegetation on Pulau Panaitan consists of dry-beach forest, mangrove forest and lowland rain forest which is characterized by an abudance of palms. On Anak Krakatau, the island that came into existence after the Krakatau exploded, flora and fauna are still young. Small animals and birds gradually colonize the lava island. The principal flora consists of grasslands, beach forest, lowland rain forest and moss forests at the higher altitudes. The most important reason to declare Ujung Kulon a National Park is the existence of the almost-extinct Javan Rhinoceroses in the area. The population of these extremely endangered animals in Ujung Kulon is estimated to be 50-60.

Getting There
Ujung Kulon National Park is accessible by boat (5-6 hour) from Labuan. You can get to Labuan by minibus from Jakarta (3-4 hour) or Bogor. An other possibility is to take a bus with destination Merak from Kalideres bus station in Jakarta. Get out in Cilegon and from there catch a bus to Labuan.The boat from Labuan leaves for Pulau Peucang or Tamanjaya.
The beach of Ujung KulonComing from Sumatra by ferry, your journey will end in Merak. From Merak, take the bus to Jakarta, jump off in Cilegon and from there see above. There may be minibuses going all the way from Merak to Labuan. A cheaper alternative to access the park runs over land. From Labuan you may take the HM minibus (from Serang bus station) or a taxi to Tamanjaya (about Rp. 25,000, 3,5 hrs). In Tamanjaya you’ll be able to arrange a boat to Pulau Peucang (Rp. 700,000), Pulau Handeleum (Rp. 200,000) or Pulau Panaitan (Rp. 900,000); mooring and boat entry permits are not included. Krakatau is best visited from Labuan.

Where to Stay
Permits, local guides speaking only bahasa Indonesia (about Rp. 30,000/day, excluding meals and cigarettes), English-speaking guides (Rp. 100,000/day, excluding meals and cigarettes) and accommodation can be arranged at the PHPA office in Labuan, or at Kagum in Jakarta. You can also find accomodation in Ujung Kulon. But it’s always best to plan ahead.

Moving Around
Navigate around the park on foot. If it’s your first time here, you may want to consider hiring an English-speaking guide.
Dining Guide
Although you can order meals at places of accomodation, you should bring your own food for the trip.
Souvenir Tips
Unfortunately, not much to hope for. There may be some rhinoceros figures for sale, but you’ll have to keep a keen eye on the quality. Ask your guide for keepsake recommendation, things that you’re allowed to pick up along the way and will remind you for this pleasant experience.
Other Things to See or Do
Round Pulau Peucang and Pulau Panaitan you’ll be able to snorkel and dive among beautiful coral reefs.

Travel Tips
The best time to visit the park is April to August, when the sea is calm, so you won’t get seasick.
Use the menu Traveler’s Tools–>Currency Calculator to estimate the costs mentioned above in your own currency.

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