In 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.
Two 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.
The 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 areas:
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
The 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.
Surrounded 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.
The 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, Bukit Barisan.It 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.
However 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 erruptions.The 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
The 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.
The 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
This 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.
WALK AND TRIPS
Cibiuk Hot Springs.
This short walk meadering through Tamanjaya village and paddy fields leads to a hot spring just inside the park just inside the park boundary.
The 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 experience.
Handeuleum Island Trip
West across Welcome Bay by local fishing boat is Handeuleum Island amongst aa group of small island off the Ujung Kulon Peninsula
PEUCANG ISLAND AREA
The 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.
SWIMMING AND DIVING
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
WALK AND TRIPS
Karang Copong Walk
This 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.
Citerjun Teracces Trip
Located 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.
Cidaon Grazing Ground Trips
situated 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
Just to the east of Cidaon the waters of the Ciujungkulon form a canoe able route through overhanging nypa a swampland.
From 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.
there 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.
Tanjung Layar (Via Cidaon)
The 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.
Alter 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.
HANDEULEUM ISLAND AREA
Situated 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.
Walk and Trip
This short forest walk across the island, the home of monkeys and deer, has views of Peninsula coastline and adjacent island.
Cigenter Grazing Ground
There 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
Canoe 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.
Beyond 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.
Cikabeumbeum and Cihandeuleum Rivers trip
South 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.
PANAITAN ISLAND AREA
Panaitan's 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
SURFING AND DIVING
There 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
Gunung Rakasa Walk
From 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
Lagon Sabini Walk
From 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 Teluk Kasuaris.
GUNUNG HONJE AREA
The 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.
WALK AND TRIP
Gunung Honje Walk
The 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
Cegog via Ranacecet
Beyond 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.
For Information, Booking and Reservation :
CV UJUNG KULON EKOWISATA
Jl. Raya Labuan KM 09 Carita Beach 42254 Pandeglang, Banten - Indonesia