UJUNG KULON NATIONAL PARK
earlier centuries when the population was small and the forests were
large, the people of the land lived with deep respect for the forest and
its wildlife. Then began a two-century long struggle between humankind
and nature. The
world first became aware of the natural treasures of Ujungkulon in the
1820’s when botanist began venturing onto the peninsula to collect
exotic tropical specimens. This was a time of colonial expansion and
exploration and by the middle of the century; expeditions from the
organization for Scientific Research in the Netherlands Indies drew
attention to its unusual richness and scientific importance.
They wrote ofthe Peucang Island area in 1853: “Beautiful
and safe bays… fertile soil… a wealth of timber for ship and shore… a
splendid situation for commerce… the seed for a newSingapore.”Despite
their recommendation to exploit the park’s resources, and fortunately
for the future generations, nothing came of developing the region.
Thirty years later in August 1883, nature intervened with a force that
was unknown at that time when the nearby volcanicisland ofKrakatau
erupted. It produced tidal waves that devastated the coastal areas
destroying much of Ujungkulon’s vegetation and northern coastlines.
Some insight into the impact of the tidal waves was recorded by a British ship 222 km south of Ujungkulon on that day: “Encountered
carcasses of animals including even those of tigers and about 150 human
corpses…. beside enormous trunks of trees borne along by the current.”However,
the re-growth was rapid and created lush new vegetation on which the
browsing wildlife thrived. The first step toward the region becoming a
national park began at the end of 19th century when the Ujungkulong
peninsula was establishing a reputation as a big game hunting area.
During the following decade, there was no other region in all Java with
as much game and so the trophy shooters came and animals were killed
without limitations. A
group of conservationists and game hunters became concerned about the
declining animal numbers and that some species were nearing
extermination. This led in 1910 to the government’s first decree
protecting some of the fauna, however the hunting continued.
years later, came the formation of the Netherlands Indies Society for
the Protection of Nature. Their efforts had very little effect until
1921 when the society granted 300 sq. kilometres of theUjungkulon
Peninsula as a nature reserve.Panaitan Island was also protected as a
separated reserve.There was however no supervision and during the 1930’s
hunting parties shot numerous animals.
Park's 120,551 hectares are divided into 76,214 ha of land and 44,337
ha of surrounding reefs and sea. It can roughly be separated into three
1. The triangular shaped Ujung Kulon PeninsulaThe Gunung Honje
2. Range to the east of the peninsula's isthmus
3. Theisland ofPanaitan to thenorth west
highest points in the park are the 620 metre Gunung Honje, the Gunung
Payung Range peaks of up to 500 metres and Panaitan Island's Gunung
Raksa at 320 metres. In the central section of the Peninsula is a large
region of wilderness known as the Telanca Plateau which reaches 140
metres above sea level, however most consist of low rolling terrain
seldom morre that 50 metres above sea-level.
by unusually warm warters, seldom varying from between 29o to 30o C.
The coastlines of the park are moulded by the sea around them, battered
by thee Indian Ocean, the long, sandy beaches of the south coast are
backed by dunes, lagoons and forest broken by rocky outcrops - a wild
and windswept shoreline.
events that led to the formation of the land we know as Ujung Kulon
began about 200 million years ago when what is now the Indian continent
broke away from the super-continent of Goandwanaland. It collided with
the Asian continent creating huge ripples acrross the earth's crust
forming the snow-claad Himalayas along withSumatra's mountaain rarnge,
is believed that the Ujung Kulon Peninsula and the Gunung Honje raange
were at that time the southern end off the Bukit Barisan Range as Java
andSumatra were connected by a land-bridge. Then 20,000 to 15,000 years
ago, the land-bridge collapsed to eventually form the Sunda Straits
about 9,500 years ago.
the period when the Straits was fformed is somewhat contradicted by aan
intriguing account in an early Javanese chroniclee The Book of Kings.
It states that in thee year 416 A.D. the mountain Kapi (Krakatau) "burst
into pieces aand sunk into the deepest of the earth' and the seas
flooded the land from Gunung Gede nearBogor to the mountain Raja Basa in
southern Sumatraa. The chronicle concludes:- "After the waters subsided
the mountain Kapi and the surrounding land becaame sea and theisland
ofJava was divided into two parts".It
is curious fact that no sea straits betweenSumatra and Java wa known
before the 1100's by the far-ranging Chinese and Arabian traders and
later European explorers.Beneath
the mountains andforest ofUjung Kulon, carved by the thousand of
centuries of rain, wind and sea, are the foundations of the land - a
young mountain system formed over the older strata of the Sunda Shelf. Geoligacally,
the Ujung Kulon Peninsula, Gunung Honje and Panaitan Island are al part
of this young Tertiary mountain system whilee the central part of Ujung
Kulon is of older limestone formations wwhich have been covered by
alluvial deposits in the north aand sand-stone in the south.Much
of the underlying rocks and early soils of the park are covered by
volcanic ash, in places up to 1 metre deep, a legacy from theKrakatau
mountain ranges were all formed by the same folding event in the
Mioocene period creating beneath the forest of the Gunung Honje Range an
eastward tilting mountain block.A
reminder of this activity is a geological fault line situated off the
Tamanjaya coastline. It bisects the park beneath the isthmus as it
passes through the Sunda Straits connecting the volcanicisland
ofKrakatau to a major tectonic fault line to the south ofIndonesia
tree entrance points for visitors to Ujung Kulon National are Taman
Jaya, Peucang Island and Handeuluem Island. Two less visited
regions, Panaitan Island and Gunung Honje Range, can be reached from these entrance
Points or direct fromLabuan.
village of Tamanjaya, where the road down the coast line ends, is just side the
park boundary. This is the main entry point for trekking into the park and
visiting Handeuleum Island
pleasant village provide into kampong life and offers both short and long walks
in Gunung Honje area and the south coast. Boat trips to Handeuleum
and Peucang Island can be made from Tamanjaya.
short walk meadering through Tamanjaya village and paddy fields leads to a hot
spring just inside the park just inside the park boundary.
trail to Kalajetan passes through forest holding a variety of wildlife
including pigs, squirrels and monkeys. at the south coast the camping area and
guard post overlook the wave swept sandy shores of Kalejetan and bateng grazing
grounds. crocodiles are also found in nearby lagoon and rhino are occasionally
sighted in this region. this very pleasant walk provides both forest and shores
Handeuleum Island Trip
across Welcome Bay by local fishing boat is Handeuleum Island amongst aa group of small island off the Ujung Kulon Peninsula
unique and delightful island of Peucang lies in cleasr blu waters off the north
western coastline of Ujung Kulon Peninsula.
Itswhite sand beaches and coral reff shores hold a fascinating world of marine
life while Peucang's impressive forest shelters an abundance of wildlife, some
of which graze and play around the lodges. Opposite Peucang Island across a 800 meters cannel is
the Ujng Kulon Peninsula with a wide variety of attractions.
Peucang Island 's beach is superb for swimming and
shallow snorkeling reefs are also found all along the shore, for deeper
snorkeling there are coral reefs to the east, midway between the island and
mainland. Scuba diving areas are also found to the west and at several other
locations off Peucang Island
pleasant walk north on peucang Island passes through
towering forest to a rock archway beyond which are the reef pools of Karang
Copong. The trail leads to the top of a bluff overlooking the reef from where
spectacular tropical sunset can be seen. From this point an alternative trail
return to the lodges.
to the north esast on the mainland peninsula is calcified terraces and
stalactites created by the waters the citerjun. These are remnants of the once
spectacular formations recorded by early mariners that were destroyed by Krakatau tidal waves of 1883.
Grazing Ground Trips
on Peninsula opposite Pucang Island , this large
grassland with an observation tower is grazing ground for banteng, pigs,
monkey, peafowl and on very rate occasions Java Rinoceros. Early morning or
evening are the best times to visit.
Ciujung River Trip
to the east of Cidaon the waters of the Ciujungkulon form a canoe able route
through overhanging nypa a swampland.
Cidaon the trail south through magnificent rain forest, crosses a low saddle,
join the river Cibunar the continues to clearing and rock ramps on the south
coast. just western ward are the cibunar river mouth and the park guard post.
Monkey, bantemg, pigs and the track of rhino are often seen on this trail and
it provides a excellent profile of the park's vegetation.
are two ways of reaching Tanjung Layar. From those choosing the shorter walk.
the boat travels 3 km west to Peninsula shore
a Cibom. At Cibom are remains of a proposed naval port that was begun in 1808
and than abandoned because of hardships and political un heavily, and nearby
shelter contains information about they region. The trail followers the
coastline west passing the currecnt lighthouse. from this tower are spectacular
views of the rugged headlands and island below( permission must be obtained
from lighthouse staff to enter the property and to clip the lighthouse tower.
The route continues to the ruins of early building from where a stairway climbs
40 m bluff to Tanjung Layar Historical Site where two previous lighthouses and
staff quarters were constructed in 1800's.
Layar (Via Cidaon)
longer walk to Tanjung Layar involves a short boat ride to Cidaon river
opposite Peucang Island. The trail follows the shores
westward through coastal rain forest to Cibom and continues along the coast to
the historical site.
taking a boat to Cibom the direct route to Ciramea travel thought the forest to
a shelters at the south and follow the shore through rocky inletts and coastal
forest to the northern end af ciramea bach. Either of these routes can be used
for a return trip.
among a group of small islands just off the north eastern coast of the Ujung Kulon Peninsula, the Handeuleum
island area offers river experiences with a variety of forest, wildlife and
wetland in peace full location away from the main tourist routes.
short forest walk across the island, the home of monkeys and deer, has views of
Peninsula coastline and adjacent island.
several ways of reaching the grazing grounds and the most direct is by boats to
a jetty near the Cigenter river mouth although alternatives routes through the
forrest can be more interesting. The grazing ground's wildlife include banteng,
pigs, deer, peafowl and tunneling birds .
Cigenter River Trip
trips up the Cigenter River are somewhat
influenced by tides and trees across the river and if conditions are right the
canoes can travel deep into the forest. The cigenter's waters meander thought
dense overhanging rain forest, the habitat of pythons and hornbills where
crocodiles and rhinos may also de seen on rare occasions. The charm of this
river lies in its tranquile, primeval beauty.
the grazing grounds are dry season routes through the forest in the region
between the Cigenter and Cikembeumbeum rivers. The attractions include a
massive fig tree, popular with wild life, which extend over a wide area. Animal
treks in the stream beds and wetlands of this region record wildlife activity
and rhino and leopard tracks are often seen.
and Cihandeuleum Rivers trip
east of Handeuleum Island are three
enchanting river outlets and their lower reaches can be explored by boat an
high tide. From these forest of the sea come strange cloning sounds created by
crabs and beyond are the silent inner waters.
hill rise from pristine forest with wildlife of deer, pig, monkey, crocodiles,
monitor lizards large pythons and a wide variety of bird life on the ancient
Hindu statues on the summits of gunung Raksa. Panaitan Island's
rugged coastline and wide sandy beaches shelters several scuba diving reef and
created exceptional surfing waves
several good scuba diving location off Panaitan island's northern and eastern
shores including the reef of Batu Pitak near Lagon Butun but diving around Panaitan Island is not recommended for beginners
Citambuyung the trail climb to Hindu statue of ganesha and lingam symbol of
Shiva on the summit of Gunung Raksa. These statue date from the pre-Islamic
period in Indonesia n
history and the ganesh statue is of particular interest as it is unlike others
found in Indonesia
Lagoon B Butun the trail crosses north west the Lagoon Bajo an a beach rout
continues to white sandy beach, reefs and swamp of Lagoon Sabini at the head of
slopes of this range are the habitats of endangered Java gibbon and variety of
Animal and birdlife. The villages in this region are seldom visited by tourist
and provide insights into traditional Sudanese life.
climb of Mt. Honje begins near Tamanjaya at Cimenteng and accent through the forest to the summit
with views of Welcomes Bay ant the Ujung Kulon Peninsula
Cibadak the road becomes a motorbike or walking track passing through several
kamung to the remote coastal village on Rancecet an Cegog at the south eastern
corner of Ujung Kulon.