WEST COAST OF JAVA: BEACHES KRAKATAU AND UJUNG KULON NATIONAL PARK

BANTEN PROVINCE: JAVA’S GATEWAY TO SUMATRA AND KRAKATAU

Banten is the province west of Jakarta It was once the home of a powerful maritime capital rivaling the vast Javanese Mataram Empire. Today the capital of this empire is a fishing village. The Capital City of Banten Province is Serang. Old Banten is the province’s most well known historical site. It is only 10 kilometers from Serang. At this site, you can find the remains of the Islamic Banten Kingdom, which flourished between the 16th and 18th centuries During the reign of Sultan Agung (1651-1683), Banten experienced its golden era. Unfortunately when Sultan Agung of Banten fell, the Dutch began to take over. Mesjid Agung, a mosque dated to the 16th century, still stands today. It shows the beginning of Islamic architecture.

The westernmost province in Indonesia, Banten extends from Jakarta to Ulung Kulon National Park in the southwestern corner of Java and almost touches Sumatra in the north. Banten covers an area of 9,662.92 square kilometers (3,730.87 square miles) and has a population of about 13 million people, relatively low by Indonesian standards. The local people are Sundanese, regarded as pious Muslims who respect believe in the age old ways and their own language and culture also called Sundanese. Many destination in Banten can also can be reached by car, bus or motorbike from Jakarta. Serang is the capital, main city and transportation hub of the province. Tourism Office: Jalan Syech Nawawi, Palima - Serang Tel. 0254.267060, fax: 0254.267070, E mail: disbudparprovinsibanten@yahoo.co.id, Website: bantenculturetourism.com

Merak (140 kilometers from Jakarta) is where the ferries between Java and Sumatra depart. The ferries run 24 hours a day and depart about every 30 minutes. They carry passengers and vehicles. The bus terminal and train station on Java, which have buses and trains that run to Jakarta, are situated right at the ferry docks.

Baduy Cultural Community

Baduy Cultural Community (in Banten, reached from Rangkasbitung on a rough steep road) is unique closed society which normally can not be visited. During April and May the Baduy people close their village to conduct a ceremony called "Seba." During these ceremony Baduy representatives deliver sacred fruit and vegetables to Indonesian government representatives on foot. Sometimes they walk over 160 kilometers miles to deliver the sacred produce and can not accept a ride in a vehicle. To enter the Baduy area one should obtain written permission from the Rangkasbitung District Office.

Baduy village is located in the hills of Kendeng mountain, about 75 kilometers south of Rangkasbitung, West Java, It is the perfect place to get away from it and live among people that for the most part have totally rejected the modern world. In raditional Baduy homes, Baduy women weaving cloth and go about their daily chores without electricity. The setting is lush and green. Much of the time the only sound you hear are the rustle of the wind amidst the bamboo leaves, the chirping of the birds, and the faint rush of the river. Taking pictures is okay in Outer Baduy Village, but never in Inner Baduy. Outside the village you explore the lush forest.

Accommodation is available in traditional Baduy homes in Cicakal Village. The houses are built of woven bamboos with ijuk leaves and are built well enough that they last for 25 years, with the roof being changed once per five years or so. Baduy people shun technology and don't use electrical goods. There are no restaurants in Baduy, so bring your own food. Sometimes villagers will share their meals with you. To pay them back you purchase some traditional cloths (mostly blue) woven by Baduy women.

Getting There: From Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, take a train to Merak via Rangkasbitung. It will take about 1.5 hours. From Rangkasbitung, use a public transportation (called ELF by locals) to Ciboleger. The trip will take approximately 2.5 hours. The sight of The Farmer’s Family statues in Ciboleger will greet you when you arrive. Follow the footpaths, enjoy the natural landscape around you, to Gajeboh Village. Here you can see Baduy women weaving clothes. Then cross the Ciujung River on bridge made of bamboos tied to one another (no nails0. The bridge may look flimsy but it is quate string and used all the time by locals. After crossing the bridge you arrive at Cicakal Village. Here you can rest and spend the night. The journey on foot from Ciboleger to Cicakal takes about 2 hours. Alternatively, to enter Inner Baduy Village, you can use the Koranji line and arrive at the weekly Kroya Market, which the Baduy people visit this market to exchange their farming goods with whatever they need. From the market they can show you the way to Cikapol Village.

Carita Beach

Carita Beach (three hours from Jakarta by road) as well as Anyer and Karang Bolong are home to a number of beach areas with moderately priced guest houses that cater to foreign tourists and weekenders from Jakarta. From many of the white sandy beach lined with coconut trees it is possible to see the islands of Krakatau, the famous exploding volcano. One can catches boats from here to the islands of Krakatau and arrange trips to Ujung Kulon National Park. Not many of the original local people live here. The population that lived here when Krakatau erupted catastrophically in 1883 were wiped out by the tsunami and people from the region have regarded the coast as bad luck ever since.

Carita Beach is situated along a vast stretch of white sandy beach shaded by palm trees and facing the Sunda Straits at the western end of Java Island, in the Pandeglang regency, in the province of Banten, Here nature delights from the majestic sunrise beyond the hills of Mount Aseupan Pandeglang to the romantic sunset on the horizon over the sea. Often plankton in the surface of the sea that glow when disturbed light up the waves at night. Anak Krakatau, the remnant volcano lfet behind by the 1883 eruption often has smoke rising from it and major eruptions are not uncommon. One in December 2018, produced a tsunami that killed around 400 people on the coast of the Sunda Strait.

Usually, the relatively calm seas and small waves in the Carita Beach areas means that most, anyone can enjoy swimming and wading in the sea safely and conveniently. Paddle boards, swim boards, kayaks and jet skis can rented at many spots along the beach. Thrillseekers hold on for dear life as they are thrown about on the banana boat rides. Tourist facilities include extensive parking lots, restrooms, a tourist information center, children playgrounds, shelters, swimming pools, sunbathing area, excellent communication and internet networks, and professional lifeguards. Diving, snorkeling and fishing equipment can rented. Activities that can be enjoyed at Carita Beach offers a wide range of activities. Among them are beach volleyball, beach soccer, building sand castles and soaking up rays.

The land side areas of Carita Beach have their own attractions, namely a forest area with wild animals. Established as a protected forest in 1975, the 95 hectares forest area is a sanctuary to long-tailed monkeys (Macaca fascicularis), the lutung ape (Tachypitechus auratus), giant lizards (Varanus salvator), pythons (Phyton sp), wild boars (Susvitatus), bats, eagles (Falco moluccensis), hawks (Spilornis cheela), and various other bird species. The vegetation found here include teak (Tectona grandis), mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), African Mahogany (Swietenia khaya antoteca), and Bungur (Lagerstromia speciosa).

Accommodation, Restaurants and Getting to Carita Beach

As one of the prime tourist destinations in the province of Banten, Carita Beach comes with a wide selection of accommodation options including hotels, cottages, villas, homestays, and inns. There is also a spacious camping ground inside the conservation forest for those who wish to set up tents.

Hotels and inns available nearby include: 1) Lippo Carita Hotel Address: Jl. Raya Carita Labuan., Tel. +62 253 801919; 2) Mutiara Carita Cottage Address: Jl. Raya Carita kilometers. 7., Tel. +62 253 801069; 3) Resort Pantai Carita Address: Jl. Raya Carita Labuan., Tel. +62 253 801127; 4) Pondok Karisma. Address: Jl. Raya Panimbang., Tel. +62 253 801650; and Guna Sanghyang Address: Jl. Raya Carita Labuan., Tel. +62 253 801285.

Restaurants: There are a number of food and drink stalls on the beach. Among the restaurants are 1) Panineungan, Jl. A Yani, Tel. +62 253 201325; 2) Ibu Eni, Jl. Raya Labuan kilometers. 14, Tel. +62 253 401163; and 3) Carita Krakatau Sea Food, Jl. Raya Carita., Tel. +62 253 803027

Since Carita beach is located on the main road on the northern coast of Java. Frome Jakarta, you can rent a car with a driver or take a bus heading to Labuan. It is a 2½ to 3 hour drive, taking the Anyer toll road and continue on the Carita main road. Alternately you can take these routes: 1) Jakarta-Serang-Anyer- Carita Beach (Approximate distance 170 kilometers); 2) Jakarta-Serang-Palima-Batukuwung- Carita Beach (Approximate distance 160 kilometers); 3) Jakarta-Serang-Pandeglang-Labuan-Carita Beach (Approximate distance 160 kilometers); 4) Bogor-Rangkas Bitung- Pandeglang- Labuan- Carita beach (Approximate distance 150 kilometers)

Karang Bolong Beach

Karang Bolong (near Carita Beach, three hours from Jakarta by road) or Rock Hole beach is named after a rock formation found here that was formed by lava from the Krakatau eruption. It is located on the west coast of Java, facing the Sunda Straits, approximately 50 kilometers from Serang City. Be on the lookout when approaching this natural wonder, as the entrance gate is narrow and rather hidden on a bend in the road. In the area are some nice beaches and coral reefs. It is regarded as quieter and lees touristy than Tanjung Lesung Beach, Carita Beach and Anyer Beach. Still because of its uniqueness it can be popular getaway on weekends and national holidays, at which times it can get quite crowded.

Karang Bolong means "perforated"" or "drilled through" cliff or rock, a fitting name for a cliff with a large hole through the center. The hole forms an archway that is remarkably even and rounded on its underside. Above on the cliff face it rises up as an angular and jagged edge. Geologists say the hole in the rock was caused by erosion due to the waves consistently breaking along the rock over a long period of time. But some say it was created somehow by Krakatau eruption in 1883, which they also say was responsible for carving out the rocks of Karang Bolong into their unusual shapes and sizes. At the top of the cliff there are excellent views both inland and out to sea. Scattered along the length of the beach are many rocks and boulders of various sizes and shapes. Small shelters have also been built by some of the larger stones, providing a shady and fun place to hang out and swim.

Among the activities that people enjoy here are picnics, swimming, sunbathing, relaxing in the shade of the rocks or a beach umbrella, jet skiing, banana boat rides, climbing the cliffs, walking on the beaach, fishing snorkeling. From the top of the cliff you can see Anak Krakatau while breathing in salty air and feeling the cool breeze caressing your skin. Just across the road from Karang Bolong is a small market where inexpensive seafood can be bought. Also for sale here are many different shells and corals, some of which have been shaped into desk-top ornaments, jewelry or other decorative items.

Accommodation and Getting to Karang Bolong

For those who would like to extend your visit and spend the night here, there are many accommodation options available along the coast. Ranging from simple cottages to luxury hotels and resorts: They include: 1) Hotel Mambruk Anyer, Jl. Raya KarangBolong, DesaCikoneng, AnyerKidul, Tel. +62(254) 601602 Fax : +62(254) 601723, E mail: mambruk@mambruk.co.id; 2) The Jayakarta Anyer, Boutique Suite & Spa, Jl. Raya Karang Bolong kilometers. 17/ 135 Anyer - Banten PH: 0254-601781/82, fax: 0254-601783, E mail: anyer@jayakartahotelsresorts.com; 3) Pondok Ciparay( POCI ), Jl. Karang Bolong No. 3 kilometers. 137, Cinangka-Anyer, Tel. 0254-600069, 650423, HP. 085959231607 - 081316995588, http://poci-hotel.blogspot.com; 4) Cjs Hide Way Cottage, Jl. Raya KarangBolong, CinangkaSerang, Tel. (0254)650485; 5) Siyoni Sea Side Cottage, Jl. Raya KarangBolong CinangkaSerang, Tel. (0254)601896 and 6) Sol Elite Marbella Hotel, Jl. Raya KarangBolong, KM 133.5, Anyer, Tel. (0254) 602345

From Jakarta, Karang Bolong is only 140 kilometers away, or 50 kilometers from Serang City. It can be reached by private vehicle or public transportation. To get there one takes the Jakarta-Merak toll road for most of the way, Traveling from Jakarta will pass the Jakarta - Cilegon West - Anyer — Karang Bolong. Pantai gates, Karang Bolong is located on the right side of the Anyer Highway with a path to Pantai Carita from Jakarta. For those who drive private vehicles from Jakarta, you can exit through at the Cilegon Timur toll gate, and then travel south along Jalan Raya Anyer. Pantai Karang Bolong is located on Jl. Karang Bolong kilometers 35. If traveling by public transport the price is Rp 5,000 per person or 250,000 for a bus (60 passengers).

Tanjung Lesung

Tanjung Lesung (160 kilometers from Jakarta) is a landmass protruding from the mainland of Java into the Sunda Straits. It is the home of a developing integrated beach resort with recreation facilities and hotels with views of Anak Krakatu and is also a jumping off point for visits to Anak Krakatau, Krakatau Nature Reserve and Ujung Kulon National Park.. Located on Java’s most western coast in the district of Pandeglang in the province of Banten, Tanjung Lesung resembles a lesung, a receptacle for pounding rice in the local Sundanese language.

Tanjung Lesung Resort is huge, covering a 1,500 hectares area, and has been developed by the Banten West Java Tourism Development Corporation (BWJ) since 1996. Patterned after the famed Nusa Dua Resort in Bali, it is envisaged to to contain top range hotels and restaurants, a convention hall, a number of golf courses, marina and theme park. It is said the resort atmosphere is comparable with the resorts on Bali and Lombok but are easier to get to from Jakarta.. Progress in developed the resort has not been as rapid as the developers would have liked.

Tanjung Lesung embraces a 15-kilometer shoreline with a vast stretch of soft white sandy beaches with clear and calm blue waters and gorgeous sunsets over the water. Cape Tanjung Lesung does not directly face the Indian Ocean, and therefore its waters are relatively calm and are perfect for swimming and enjoying water activities such as jet skiing and boating. Coral reefs with colorful fish and seafloor dwellers make this a perfect spot for snorkeling and Diving. There are also many fishing spots on the shore and boats can be hired for fishing trips in the open sea. More Information can be found at http://tanjunglesung.com/

Accommodation and Getting to Tanjung Lesung

There are three main resrot hotels that you can choose from to stay at Tanjung Lesung, they are: 1) Tanjung Lesung Bay Villas Hotels & Resort, Jl. Tanjung lesung kavR 14 A pandeglang, Tel. +62 253 802 900, fax: +62 253 802 891, E mail: resort@tanjunglesungbayvillas.com, Website: tanjunglesungbayvillas.com; 2) Kalicaa Villa, Jl. Tanjung Lesung, Pandeglang, Banten Indonesia, Tel. +62 253 881771, E mail: marketing@kalicaavilla.com, Website: kalicaavilla.com; and 3) Tanjung Lesung Sailing Club and Resort, Tanjung Lesung Kav. C6 Pandeglang 42281 Banten Indonesia, Tel. +62 81385151999, +62 85959 303330, fax: +62253 802291, E-mail : sailing_alfa@yahoo.com, Website: tanjunglesungsailingclub.com

Tanjung Lesung is a three or four hour drive from metropolitan Jakarta and can be reached by rented car, a car with a driver or public bus. The roads are in relatively good condition with beautiful scenic spots along the way. From Jakarta, you can take the Jakarta-Merak Toll Road, getting off at the exit to East Serang. After passing Serang, the road will take you to the towns of Pandeglang and Labuan, and eventually you arrive at Tanjung Lesung. Alternatively you can take the Cilegon exit, then take the road south from the north coast of Banten, passing Anyer and Carita Beach in the direction of Labuan. If you prefer public transport, from Jakarta you can take the bus in to the Labuan Bus Station, then continue your journey by Ojek or Motorbike Taxis to Tanjung Lesung.

Anak Krakatau

Anak Krakatau (50 kilometers west of West Java) is a small, extremely active volcano that rose from the ocean and disappeared five times before it established itself as a permanent island in 1930. Situated in the middle of a huge submerged caldera and approximately 100 meters high, the island was created after Krakatau collapsed during the famous cataclysmic eruption of 1883 that killed over 36,000 people and sent eleven cubic miles of debris flying into the atmosphere.

Anak Krakatau means “Child of Krakatau.” It has been very active since 1972 but tourist boats will take you there. In the late 1980s I talked to a group of travelers who went there and walked up to the crater which, at the time, was quiet. While they were standing there the mountain started to erupt and the they had to dash for their boats while fist-size volcanic bombs plummeted around them.

In the 1980s, most trips to Anak Krakatau were arranged from Carita and sometimes from Bandar Lampung or the small port of Kalianda. The advantage of Carita was that more travelers went there and you were more likely to rustle up enough people to charter a boat at a reasonable price. There were organized tours from Carita but often they didn’t get enough people so travelers had to charter a boat. Boats of all kinds could be charters but it was in your self interest to get one that was seaworthy. The seas off Krakatau can be quite rough and many travelers have got stuck in boats whose engines conked out at sea.

Now things are stricter and more organized. Anak Krakatau lies in a nature reserve (See Below), which permission is needed to enter. Visits to Krakatau Anak are generally put together by resorts, hotels or tour agencies. Some time may be needed to process the paperwork, which may mean you need to start making arrangements before you arrive in Indonesia.

The crater areas is generally regarded as too dangerous to visit. Travelers to Anak Krakatau generally climb a few hundred meters up the mountain but not ascend all the way to the crater and then visit some nearby islands. Setting foot on an active volcano is certainly a one of a kind sensation, and if fortunate or enough, visitors can watch as the Anak Krakatau volcano presents its active side. “Born” in 1927, the young volcano still frequently ejects smoke, lava and other volcanic materials as it continues to grow higher. The marine environment around the island offers its own attraction as it holds no less than 50 species of fish that live among its unspoilt coral reefs.

Visitors who set foot on the beach of Anak Krakatau say black volcanic sands is hot. Along the slopes and even around the crater of the new volcano you can now find fresh vegetation that has started to grow on this once barren land. The unique collection of flora found within Anak Krakatau Nature Reserve consists of: 206 kinds of Fungi, 13 kinds of Lichenes, 61 Pteridophyta and about 257 kinds of Spermatophyta. You may also come across some of the animals that inhabit the harsh terrain of the volcanic islands including various snakes, lizards, sea turtles, bats and others.

On nearby Sertung Island, visitors can swim, dive, and surf on its water. On Rakata (Krakatau Besar) Island visitors can enjoy rock climbing as an addition to the varying water activities. On the southwest side of Panjang (Krakatau Kecil) Island you can find an unspoiled coral reef along with its beautiful collection of fishes and other marine life.

Ujung Kulon National Park

Ujung Kulon National Park (southwest tip of West Java) is a wildlife reserve of 760 square kilometers (294 square miles) that encompasses the Ujung Kulon peninsula and the nearby islands of Panaitan and Peucang. The dense forests — a tangle of parasitic vines, exotic fruits and exposed roots — are best explored by boat. On foot you have to negotiate swamps with knee-deep mud and thick stands of rattan, a kind of palm tree with fish-hook like thorns.

The last sanctuary of the Javan rhinoceros, the Ujung Kulon National Park is the triangular peninsula situated at the south western-most tip of Java. Ujung Kulon is Indonesia’s first national Park, designated as such in 1921. Occupying the largest remaining lowland tropical rainforest ecosystem in West Java, it and Krakatau were declared a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991 Even it is rough going in swamps and tangled forest that occupy most of the park, visitor can still enjoy fast flowing rivers, waterfalls, white sandy beaches, thermal springs, and beautiful sea gardens The most accessible place to observe animals is at Handeuleum Island. From here one can explore rivers and mangrove forests by boat. Peucang Island is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, diving and fishing. It has clear blue water, white sand beaches and coral reefs.

Ujung Kulon: UNESCO World Heritage Site

According to UNESCO: “This national park, located in the extreme south-western tip of Java on the Sunda shelf, includes the Ujung Kulon peninsula and several offshore islands and encompasses the natural reserve of Krakatau. In addition to its natural beauty and geological interest — particularly for the study of inland volcanoes — it contains the largest remaining area of lowland rainforests in the Java plain. Several species of endangered plants and animals can be found there, the Javan rhinoceros being the most seriously under threat. [Source: UNESCO]

“Ujung Kulon is a triangular peninsula protruding from the south-west extremity of mainland Java, to which it is joined by a low isthmus some 1-2 kilometers wide. The topography is dominated in the south-west by the three north-south aligned ridges of the Gunung Payung massif, with the peaks of Gunung Payung, Gunung Guhabendang and Gunung Cikuja forming the highest points on the peninsula. To the north-east, the relief attenuates to the low rolling hills and plains of the Telanca Plateau, and ultimately to the low-lying swamps in the region of the isthmus. To the east, the Gunung Honje massif forms the mainland component of the park. Coastal formations include a number of raised coral islands and their associated fringing reefs which lie off the northern coast of the peninsula, the largest of these being Pulau Handeuleum. To the south, the coastline is characterized by sand dune formations, areas of raised coral reef, and further west a long stretch of undermined and shattered sandstone slabs. Extensive coral reefs and spectacular volcanic formations occur along the exposed and broken west coast.

“Geologically, Ujung Kulon, Gunung Honje and Pulau Panaitan are part of a young Tertiary mountain system, which overlies the pre-Tertiary strata of the Sunda Shelf. Lying on the edge of the tectonically active Sunda Shelf, Krakatau Nature Reserve comprises the central island of Anak Krakatau (child of Krakatau), and the peripheral islands of Rakata, Payang and Sertung with their surrounding coral reefs. These peripheral islands form the remnants of a single volcano ('Ancient Krakatau') which exploded and collapsed some 1,500 years ago leaving three remnant cones.

“Vegetation has been subject to a number of anthropogenic and natural modifications, of which the most notable is the Krakatau eruption of 1883. As a result, primary lowland rainforest, the natural vegetation cover, now occupies only 50 percent of the total area, being largely confined to the Gunung Payung and Honje massifs.

“A tall closed canopy forest occurs on Gunung Payung, on Pulau Peucang; vegetation of the Telanca Plateau and central lowlands is a more open secondary forest. Occurring along the northern promontory of Ujung Kulon near Tanjung, alang-alang is a seasonally inundated freshwater swamp forest. Mangrove forest occurs in a broad belt along the northern side of the isthmus, extending northwards as far as the Cikalong River, as well as to the north of Pulau Handeuleum and on the north-east coast of Pulau Panaitan. Beach forest occurs on nutrient-poor sandy ridges on the north and north-west coasts of Ujung Kulon.

“Pulau Panaitan has a Ganesha statue on the summit of Mount Raksa, an early Hindu archaeological relic from the 1st century AD, and the island is thought to have been an important staging post for sailing ships passing through the Sunda Straits. Captain James Cook is known to have anchored HMS Endeavour on the south-eastern side of Panaitan Island from 6-16 January 1771.”

Animals in Ujung Kulon National Park

Ujung Kulon is the last refuge of the one horned Java rhinoceros (badak to locals) of which only about 60 survive today, making them one the world's rarest and most endangered species. One was found a few years ago in Vietnam but was quickly dispatched by a poacher. Your chances of seeing a Javan rhino in Ujung Kulon are near zero. They are shy and are traceable only at night. Scientists and professional photographers have spent months in the reserve tracking the animal almost everyday without ever seeing one.

Leopards also live in the forest but they are even harder to find. Another species which the reserve was designed to protect is the banteng wild oxen. About 400 of these remain. Theses animals look like skinny water buffalos. The Javanese tiger which also used to roam the park, unfortunately is now extinct. Other animals which can be seen in the reserve include snakes, gibbons, leaf monkeys, long tailed macaques, muntjaks, mouse deer, wild dog (dhole), leopard cat, fishing cat, Javan mongoose, several kinds of civets. squirrels, sambar deer, large monitor lizards, crocodiles and swarms of flying foxes with wingspans of over five feet. Among the colorful birds in the park are blue-throated bee-eaters, Asian fairy bluebirds and scarlet-headed flowerpeckers.

The survival of animals in Ujung Kulon Reserve owes a lot to Krakatau's explosion in 1883 which killed many animals and wiped settlements along the coast. The animals returned but the people who often hunted them didn't. Malaria in the park region also keeps people away.

Animals that visitors are most likely to see are wild deer, boars and wild buffaloes that roam free in the park. Some of the wild oxen graze in large herds. In the seas an estuaries of the park are great clams, clown fish, angel fish, parrot fish, mudskippers which can climb trees, and archer fish, which spit water up to a height of more than two meters to catch insects. Green turtles lay eggs on some beaches. Ujung Kulon Park is also rich in plant life. It has 700 species of plants that fall into 57 categorized. Endangered species, include some rare varieties of orchids.

According to UNESCO: The park “is globally significant as the last and most important natural habitat of the critically endangered, endemic, single-horned Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) along with several other species of endangered plants and animals. Ujung Kulon is believed to sustain the last viable natural population of this species, estimated at approximately 60 individuals. It is not known how this compares to historical densities, but is a critically low figure from the point of view of species survival and viable genetic diversity. [Source: UNESCO]

“The “Javan tiger was locally extirpated about 40 years ago...Of the primates, the endemic species Javan gibbon and Javan leaf monkey occur locally along with the endemic silvered leaf monkey, while crab-eating macaque is found throughout the park. Several ungulates range within the park, of which the largest and most abundant is banteng. A rich avifauna is present with over 270 species recorded. Terrestrial reptiles and amphibians include two species of python, as well as two crocodiles and numerous frogs and toads. Green turtle is known to nest within the park. The rich coral reefs of the Ujung Kulon coast are dominated by a small number of species that make up some 90 percent of the coral mass; the marine areas of Ujung Kulon support some of the richest fish fauna in the archipelago, with both deep water and reef species well represented. [Source: UNESCO]

The species listed here represent a small sample of iconic and/or IUCN Red Listed animals and plants found in the property. 1) Aonyx cinerea (Oriental small-clawed otter: 2) Arctictis binturong (Binturong); 3) Bos javanicus (Banteng); 4) Centropus nigrorufus (Sunda coucal); 5) Cervus timorensis (Rusa deer); 6) Crocodylus porosus (Estuarine crocodile); 7) Cuon alpinus (Wild dog or dhole); 8) Herpestes javanicus (Javan mongoose); 9) Hylobates moloch (Java gibbon); and 10) Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus (Grey-headed Fish-eagle).

Visiting and Getting to Ujung Kulon National Park

The Best time to visit the Ujung Kulon Park is between April and September, the drier months. Accommodation is available on Peucang Island and at Handeuleum. A number of tour companies in Jakarta organize visits to Krakatau and Ujung Kulon. To enter Ujung Kulon Park you need a permit, which is obtainable from the Forestry and Nature Protection office in Labuan. For information and Permit contact the Office at, Jalan Perintis Kemerdekaan no. 51, Labuan Pandeglang 42264, Tel. 82-253-801731; Fax: 61-253-804651, E mail: btnuk[at]cilegon.wasantara.net.id

The reserve is accessible by road from Labuan and Tamanjaya and by boat from Pulau Peucang. Visitors can stay at lodging on the buffer zone of the park, where viewing towers have also been erected. Some people bring their own tents and supplies, hire a guide and do a three day trek in the forest between Tamanjaya and Pulau Peucang. There is good diving in the coral reefs but scuba diving facilities on Peucang and Panaitan islands are limited.

To reach to Ujong Kulon from Jakarta, you drive to Serang (Banten Province) via highway, then continue to Labuan, which will take approximately 1.5 hours. Ujung Kulon can be reached by chartered speedboat from Labuan to Pulau Peucang, which takes about 5 hours. Or you can travel for 3.5 hours by car from Labuan to Tamanjaya,where the excursion into the park usually starts.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Indonesia Tourism website ( indonesia.travel ), Indonesia government websites, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Japan News, Yomiuri Shimbun, Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Updated in August 2020

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