On the north western side of the island of Bali is where Bali Barat National Park is located. The park covers around 770 sq km, approximately 10% of Bali’s total land area. It includes a 1000 meter long beach, amongst a gathering of coral reefs and islets. The national Park has several ecosystems : a savanna, mangrove forest, montane and mixed monsoon forest and coral islands. The centre of the park is dominated by remnants of four volcanic mountains with the highest peak being Gunung Patas at 1412 m.
The National Park is a safe habitat for many birds species such as Banteng, Barn Swallow, Black Bapped Oriole, Black Eacket – tailed Treepie, Crested Serpent – eagle, Java Sparrow, Javan Lutung, Large flying fox, Leopard Cat, Milky Stork , Pacific Swallow, Sacred Kingfisher, Water Monitor, Wild boar. It’s particularly known as home to the last wild population of the fast disappearing Bali Starling. Several endangered flora species are also found in the west Bali National Park.
Standing tall at 3726 meters and the 2nd highest mountain in Indonesia after Mount Kerinci in Sumatra, is mount Rinjani. Apart from the climb itself, visitor easy and take in the sight of its 6 km by 8.5 km oval – shaped caldera which is filled partially by a crater lake known as Segara anak ( child of the sea ). The lake is located some 2000 meters above sea level and is estimated at being around 200 meters deep. Eruption between 1994 and 1995 have also formed a new mountain within the caldera called Mount Bajujari at approximately 2300 meters above sea level.
Forest clad the slopes of Rinjani while in the lowland the land is cultivated yielding rice, soybeans, coffee ,tobacco, cotton, cinnamon, cacao, cloves, cassava, corn, coconuts, copra ,bananas and vanilla.
The volcano and the caldera are protected by Gunung Rinjani national park established in 1997. The park covers an area if 41, 330 hectares in the northern part f Lombok. There are also guided village tours which provide a glimpse of local culture and the opportunity to meet the locals.
On the island of Flores covering an area of 5,000 hectares is Kelimutu national Park. It’s most famous attraction is the three multi – colored crater lakes which lie at an altitude about 1600 meters above sea level, surrounded by mostly secondary forest.
A narrow ridge separates two of the crater lakes, Ata Palo and Ata Muri. The water of Ata Polo has greenish color whereas Ata Muri is turquoise ,the third Ata Mbupu lies a little north and is almost black. The colors of the lakes may change due to variation in the lakes mineral contents, although locals believe each lake is where souls of dead dwell. Souls of sinners will enter the black lake, while Tiwu Ata Polo is the lake of evil, virgins and infants are designated, the blue green lake and Tiwu Ko’o Fai Nuwa – the lake of youth, while souls of the elderly will stay in the brown/burgundy lake, Tiwu Ata Bupu -the lake of the Old.
Komodo and Rinca are the largest of 80 islands that lie between the lesser Sunda Islands of Sumbawa to the west and Flores to the east. Together with an extensive area of the surrounding ocean they form the Komodo National Park. Established 1980 the park was declared a Man and Biosphere Reserve and a World heritage site in 1986. It is also has been made famous by enormous lizards, the endangered Komodo dragon ( Varanus Komodoensis ) which is the biggest reptile in the world today. Called the dragons of the east, Komodo may grow up to 3 meters in length and weigh 150 kg. and dubbed the descendants of dinosaurs, they can lay up to 10 eggs at a time.
A rich marine life thrives in the waters around Komodo, Rinca and the smaller islands where beautifully intact reefs are abundant with coral and fish species. Fierce currents makes for some of the more challenging diving pursuits, and also encounters with big fishes, rays and turtles.
Source : Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Republic of Indonesia