you never have tried jungle trekking before, don't miss it now. It is nothing
strange, dangerous or difficult. You don't have to be young and adventurous to
do it. You only need interest in and curiosity for nature. If you don't have
that, you will probably catch it. However, you must be fit enough. In the
vicinity of Ujung Kulon a new form of trekking has developed. You go with
former guerilla soldiers in the forest where they once took cover from the
first time visitor can sometimes be disappointed on how few animals are
normally seen. One reason for this is the natural shyness of animals. Even
though the animals are not seen, they are often nearby as they hide in the
under-story or in the canopy overhead. Nevertheless, a patient observer will
see the animals and take their photos as well.
Develop an eye for what is always there, but often difficult to see: the
primates and the reptiles. The best way is to choose a comfortable spot and
just quietly wait.
Search for things that are all around, but often go unnoticed: butterflies,
termites, insects, frogs, etc.
Learn to recognize the sounds of the forest.
Learn to identify the tracks and other animal signs that are left on game
trails, for example tracks of Rhino, Crocodile and ungulates.
classic sight is when tourists meet up with the local guide for their trek. The
tourists carry heavy and full backpacks and dressed in latest wildlife fashion.
The local guide comes with a plastic bag in his hand and flip-flops on his
feet. Some equipment is recommended though:
Light clothes, long trousers and long sleeved shirt.
Comfortable walking shoes.
Leech socks or 2 layers of ordinary socks (nylon socks are better barriers for
leeches than cotton socks).
Hat and rain cape (material that breathes is best, because of the humidity;
sometimes an umbrella is most comfortable but on tracks through bushes
sometimes difficult to keep up).
Sleeping bag for higher altitudes.
Personal medication, antihistamines (for bee stings), malaria pills.
Sun lotion (for river rafting), insect repellent.
Camera. A macro lens is often more useful.
Binoculars are recommended.
Plastic or waterproof bag for sensitive equipment.
Food for all participants, including the guides.
Tent or plastic sheeting for camps.
TO BE HAVE
Even though most snakes are not poisonous, one should be careful and not
disturb snakes. If you get bitten, very unusual though, put a pressure bandage
above and below the wound in order to slow down the spread of poison. Contact a
doctor as soon as possible.
Don't cut rattans and vines, they are essential for the ecosystem.
Don't leave rubbish behind. Tins and plastic don't rot.
If a fire is being lit, use only dead wood and clean the spot before leaving.
Crossing rivers can be dangerous, especially after rains. Most accidents happen
in rivers. It is better to wait and try later when the water level drops.
"Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints".
Chose your guide carefully. Small groups are usually nicer than bigger ones.
of currents and rip tides. Sunda strait doesn't have the same
dangerous currents as along the south coast of Java though. Be careful
with open wounds especially from coral reefs. They heal slow
and get easily infected due to the tropical climate and the mobile
tourist keeps. Clean and disinfect. Betadine is recommended for your
the oceans are many sharks, but the most dangerous ones, for example the Great
White shark, prefers a bit cooler water. It is extremely rare in Indonesian
waters. Common reef sharks are not considered dangerous. Sharks that feel
threatened can attack. Always stay calm and leave the area. The barracuda is
less dangerous than the shark, but can be attracted by flashy jewelry and
speared fish. The Indonesian barracudas are not aggressive as their relatives
in the Atlantic though. Sea snakes are the
most poisonous of all snakes, but not aggressive. Their teeth are very short
and placed far in and can only bite small objects. The saltwater crocodile is
an aggressive creature. They live normally in murky estuaries and not at coral
reefs and moving waters. Crocodiles are extinct in most rivers or afraid of
humans, however common in the Alas River near Singkil.
Crocodiles are probably the most dangerous animals in Indonesia, with
the exception of the mosquito, when looking at statistics.
and scorpion fish should be taken seriously. The stingrays often hide in sandy
areas near the shore. They normally flee when a human is coming, but sting if
they are suddenly stepped upon. Using flip-flops doesn’t protect. The sting is
rarely fatal for an adult, but causes much pain and fever. Get the victim to
the beach and remove any spine still left. Wash and slightly bleed the
punctured area. Immerse the wound in hot water, up to 50 degrees or put on hot
compresses. See a doctor. If you are too far from a doctor, consult a local
healer. They are often experienced with these kinds of problems. Scorpion fish
and Stonefish are poisonous and camouflage themselves. The stonefish can be
deadly. Sea Urchins, especially the black ones, are better avoided. Be careful
when you walk over the reef. They can be painful to step on. The spines can be
dissolved by urine. Jellyfish are not a problem in Indonesia