Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dive sites at Komodo National park

Komodo National park
Dive sites

A good variety of hard and soft corals, plenty of fish life and other marine creatures can be found at this site. This site is a pleasant, relatively current-free dive just north of the ranger station where there is a small white sandy beach and a group of low, black rocks sitting on the reef. The entry point is just off the small white beach. The dive continues towards the ranger station with the reef at left.

The Alley
This area is marked with very large giant trevally, sharks, beautiful coral and a high diversity of other invertebrate life in relatively shallow water between 5-20m depth. Sometimes lots of manta rays may be seen feeding between September and January each year. The tiny rocky islands in this southern Komodo bay are great for snorkeling and diving, with even if there are no mantas. Only little damage has been done to the corals in this area and the damaged corals seem to be recovering rapidly. The best diving entry point is on the northeastern side of a rock located near a coral mound that is submerged 3-5m below the surface The temperature of the water can drop to the low 20°C range and this site tends to be current-prone.

German Flag
From September to January high densities of plankton attract many large manta rays that can normally be seen swimming on the surface along the shores and rocks along southern Komodo Island. The nearshore water is quite shallow (5 - 20m deep) and is composed of large rocks and boulders that shelter huge malabar grouper, potato cod, napoleon wrasse, schools of surgeon fishes and red snappers. Cooler water from the upwellings off the south coast provide a nutrient-rich environment in this area. There is usually current at this site and a drift dive is usually the best way to go .

Crinoid Canyon
Many kinds of small invertebrate life can be found here on very colorful walls carpeted in featherstars. This site is located in a small cove just outside the southern entrance of Loh Dasami on the island of Nusa Kode, almost directly opposite Yellow Wall. The diving entry point is just south of the cove then continues along the wall in a counter-clockwise direction. Best to start the dive at 25 m depth and then continue swimming back and forth up along the wall to the surface. This is a easy dive location with no current and is good in the early morning as it catches the morning sun.

Nusa Kode
The south western tip of Kode island is characterized by large, coral-encrusted boulders and huge groupers. Amongst the boulders are some of the largest reef fishes residing in the Park such as gigantic potato cod and malabar grouper. Schools of large red snapper are normally prevalent. Diving entry is west of a small island at this site. Swim down to a depth of about 10 m and follow the ridge, which juts out in a southerly direction. Swim along the crest of the ridge and down to a max of 50 m depth.

Pantai Merah/ Pink Beach
There as a great variety of fishes here and also a good selection of critters such as leaf scorpionfish, blue ribbon eels, crocodile fish, nudibranchs, and more. Visibility varies but is best during falling tide. This is the most frequently visited site in the Park for snorkeling and diving. Snorkeling is excellent from the beach and there is a very good dive around a small area of reef around a steep rocky wall which is visible from the surface of the water at low tide. This site is also a very good night dive and offers excellent macro-photography opportunities. Several mooring buoys are stationed at this site.

Batu Tiga
An excellent “big fish” dive. Large boulders in deeper water to the west offer excellent habitat for grouper and other creatures. Mantas, giant trevally and other pelagic fishes are frequently seen here. Most of the coral growth is stunted as a result of the strong prevailing currents. Batu Tiga is without a doubt one of the most current-effected sites in Komodo and is tricky to dive. A rocky reef is situated southeast of Tanjung Kuning in Linta Strait and extends below the surface up towards Komodo Island. The best diving entry is at the northeastern side of the three rocks. Swim counter-clockwise until reaching some big boulders at 33 m depth. After exploring the area around these boulders turn around and swim back, keeping the reef to your right.

Karang Makasar
This site is for snorkling only, please don’t dive here as it will disturb the manta rays. The reef does not have much in the way of coral or fish life however this location is manta ray aggregation site. The best way to find the mantas is to cruise along the eastern face of the reef until you see them on the surface. The best time is during rising tide. Sometimes there can be between 40 to 50 mantas.

Batu Bolong
The top of the reef is covered in colorful corals, invertebrate life and thousands of brilliant reef fish. Along the steep walls in deeper water many large fishes including sharks, napoleon wrasse, giant trevally, dogtooth tuna, and large schools of rainbow runners can be observed on almost every occasion. Batu Bolong is a tiny rocky outcropping in the strait between Tatawa Kecil and Komodo Island. The reef is undamaged due to strong currents and steep dropoffs, which are difficult conditions for local fishermen to use dynamite or cyanide fishing techniques. This site is one of the top diving locations in the Park but it can only be dived around slack tide when the current is not too strong.

Tatawa Kecil
Rocks, caves and beautiful coral gardens grace the reef on the western side of the islet. Many coral reef fishes including large groupers, snappers, sweetlips, trevally and sharks can be seen. Amazing numbers of anthias swim amongst colorful fields of branching corals. Dugongs have been spotted here and manta rays are often seen on the southern side of the island. This small rocky islet southwest of Tatawa Besar Island is an egret nesting site and a fantastic snorkel and dive site when the current is not too fast. Large or inexperienced groups should only attempt this site around slack tide.

Tatawa Besar
Good reef fish life and an endless field of orange soft corals. Mantas are often seen in this area. A good drift dive starts at the northwest tip of the island and runs along the western side in about 15- 20 m of water. A similar drift dive is also possible along the north coast of the Tatawa Besar from the same entry point. This site is a good dive option if the current is too strong at Tatawa Kecil or Batu Bolong.

Sabolan Kecil
This is another good site within easy reach of Labuanbajo. On the west side of the island there is a small white sandy beach. At the northern most point of the beach where the sand meets the rocks is the best point to enter. The reef slopes down to sand and there is a patch reef isolated from the islands fringing reef . The Water clarity is usually good and so is the dive. Once you have seen the patch reef you can return to the fringing reef slope to finish your dive.

Sebayor Kecil
Large boulders shelter groups of giant trevally, whitetip reef sharks, coral trout, snappers and emperors. The northwestern corner of Sebayor Kecil is one of the better dive sites near Labuanbajo. A small reef extends northwest from the island where it drops off to greater depths along the northern coast of the island. A few hundred meters from the shore there are some large boulders with notable fish life. Currents can be quite strong at this site.

Gililawa Laut
Always a great dive site to see fish but does not have much to show in terms of hard corals. Behind a very large rock on the corner of the reef is a drop-off covered in boulders and many holes in between with hidden animals. Excellent grouper sightings, especially in October and November during spawning aggregations. There are usually many golden trevallies, snappers and sometimes huge napoleon wrasses. The site is located on the northeastern tip of Gililawa Laut. The best time to dive this site is when there is a slight current just before or after slack-tide.

Castle Rock
Curious batfish as well as schooling barracuda, trevally and mackerels swim at 30- 40m depth. At approximately 20m depth there is excellent soft coral growth and numerous seafans that host pygmy seahorses. The top of the rock is a good, calm place to explore during safety stops. This site usually has excellent visibility but is prone to strong currents. The current usually flows eastwards and is much stronger at the surface than in the deeper water. However, the top of the rock, which is approximately 3 to 4m deep, also offers shelter from the current; hence the name “Castle Rock”.Recommended dive entry point is in blue water approximately 50m up-current from the shallowest point of the reef.

Crystal Rock
A very colorful dive with excellent soft coral coverage. Clouds of anthias and schools of yellow-ribbon sweetlips are always encountered while frogfish, moray eels and scorpionfish are commonly seen. There is a small mound northwest of the rock where different species of fish school seasonally, including tuna and mackerel. An excellent dive usually worth doing twice. This name of this site is from the very clear water surrounding it. The top of the site is exposed at low tide. This site is prone to currents, which usually flow eastwards. Best time to dive is during slacktide. Darat Passage North,
More info:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nusa Tenggara

Nusa Tenggara

West-Nusa Tenggara

Die Wallace-Linie, benannt nach dem Naturforscher Alfred Russell Wallace, markiert den Übergang zwischen der Flora und Fauna des Westens und des Ostens Indonesiens und ist gleichzeitig die westliche Grenze von West-Nusa Tenggara. Zu dieser Inselgruppe gehören auch die Inseln Lombok und Sumbawa.
Lombok unterscheidet sich deutlich vom benachbarten Bali. Der nördliche Teil der Insel ist gebirgsreich und üppig bewachsen. Der Süden dagegen ist trocken und gleicht eher einer Savanne. Statt großer asiatischer Säugetiere gibt es hier kleinere Tiere wie Beuteltiere, Eidechsen, Kakadus und Papageien. Weiter im Osten Lomboks wird der Unterschied zu Bali noch offensichtlicher. Hier sind die Trockenzeiten sehr lang. Getreide und Maniok, nicht Reis, sind die Haupterzeugnisse dieser Region.
Als der Islam die Inseln des heutigen West-Nusa-Tenggara erstmals erreichte, koexistierten dort vier Hindu-Königreiche in Frieden miteinander. Lombok wurde zwar stark von Bali beeinflusst, bewahrte jedoch seine eigene Identität. Die Ureinwohner Lomboks, die Sasak, sind überwiegend Muslime und haben wie die Bewohner der Nachbarinsel Sumbawa starke Traditionen.
Mit seinen weiche weißen Sandstränden ist Lombok immer noch ein Geheimtipp. Hier gilt das Motto: “Man kann Bali von Lombok aus sehen, aber Lombok nicht von Bali aus.” Die Insel, die vor allem für ihre handgewebten Ikatstoffe bekannt ist, hat einen außergewöhnlichen Charme und ist zum großen Teil noch relativ unerschlossen. Ausnahme ist der Badeort Senggigi. Mit Linienflügen aus Bali und Surabaya oder per Fähre ist Lombok exzellent mit den anderen Inseln der Provinz und dem Rest Indonesiens verbunden.

Ost-Nusa Tenggera

Die Inselgruppe Ost-Nusa Tenggara wurde durch die Kraft und die Gewalt der mächtigen Vulkankette, die nördlich von Sumatra beginnt und sich östlich bis nach Java streckt, geteilt. Die Provinz besteht aus mehr als 500 Inseln. Die drei Hauptinseln sind Flores, Sumba und Timor. Die trockene Landschaft Ost- und Süd-Nusa-Tenggeras ist das Ergebnis der heißen und trockenen Winde, die vor dem australischen Kontinent wehen. In vielen Küstengebieten fallen im Jahr kaum Niederschläge. Der Name Flores ist portugiesisch und bedeutet Blume und beschreibt passend die Schönheit des Ortes. Diese lange Insel zwischen Sumbawa und Timor ist voller Vulkane und Gebirge. Die Insel ist in mehrere Regionen unterteilt, die unterschiedliche Sprachen und Traditionen haben. Wegen dem starken Einfluss Portugals ist der Katholizismus die Hauptreligion. Es gibt sehr viele Beispiele, die das europäische Kulturerbe zeigen, wie z.B. das Osterfest in Larantuka und die königlichen Insignien des früheren Königs in Maumere.
Früher bekannt als die Sandelholzinsel, ist Sumba heutzutage vor allem wegen seiner Pferde und seiner herrlichen Ikatstoffe berühmt. In Westsumba gibt es beeindruckende Megalith-Gräber und Stelzenhäuser. Unglaubliche Rituale gehören hier zum Leben, wie z.B. die “Pasola”, wo hunderte von Reitern sich in einer traditionellen Zeremonie gegenseitig mit Speeren bewerfen. Die meisten Rituale finden zwischen Juli und Oktober statt, so auch der Bau der traditionellen „adat“-Häuser. Für Beerdigungszeremonien werden Hunderte Schweine, Wasserbüffel und Hunde geopfert. Andere Zeremonien sind z.B. die “Pajura”, das traditionelle Boxen, das Lunar-Neujahrfest im Oktober und November, Pferderennen und rituelle Tänze.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Flores, Community based eco-tourism

Waerebo Traditional Village of Manggarai
West Flores

Administratively, Waerebo is within the Todo Forest area, Satarlenda Village, West Satarmese District, Manggarai Region, Flores NTT Province. It is 158 km from Labuan Bajo, the major town of West Manggarai and 88 km from Ruteng, the major town of the Manggarai Region. Add to this another 9 km walk, which can take up to approximately 5 hours.

Tourist Visits
A total of 300 recorded tourists had visited Waerebo Traditional Enclave by 2008 (source: LPW). The majority of these visitors were Dutch and used one of a few travel agents.
Waerebo is the only remaining village in the original style of round houses with straw rooves (mbaru niang) in the whole of Manggarai. Visitors will enjoy an interactive experience while learning about community lifestyle in previous times.

Community Based Tourism Assistance Mode
To establish community based tourism in Waerebo traditional enclave, NGO BirdLife Indonesia implemented a facilitation model designed to increase the capacity of human resources and improve the local economy through environmental conservation. This method involved small groups forming the Waerebo Tourism body with 20 male and 15 female members.

1.Assistance activities include:
Awareness Building and Learning About Tourism
This program includes learning methods for the local community, especially group members, about how to identify potential, plan and develop a product that is appealing to tourists and is based in environmental conservation. Activities are as follows:
Group discussion about tourism and culture
Cleaning up the environment - "No Plastic" campaig
English language training

2.Building Capacity of the Local Community
In developing community based tourism, NGO BirdLife Indonesia also provided hospitality training to groups. Activities included:
Service training
Tourist Guide training
Local Food training
Preparing Homestays and the Home Environment training
Grass Weaving training
Art and Culture training

3.Participative Tourism Facilities Provision
Tourism development requires tourism facilities, as in every tourism activity people need accommodation, food, drink and information. NGO BirdLife Indonesia ensures facilities development involves the community and is carried out in a participative manner. The outcome of this is for the community to maintain the facilities into the future. Facilities include clean water, an eco-tourism trail to Warebo and a billboard advertising the potential of Waerebo at cross-roads in Pela and Dintor.

Lake Sano Nggoang , West Flores Indonesia

•Administrative Site
For administrative purposes, Lake Sano Nggoang is located in Wae Sano village, Sano Nggoang district, West Manggarai. It is 63 kilometres from Labuan Bajo and takes about 3 hours by car or motorbike. Between Labuan Bajo and Werang - the major village of Sano Nggoang district – the road is asphalt, from Werang to Lake Sano Nggoang is is a stone road. However, a current project to asphalt the surface to Lake Sano Nggoang will improve tourist access.

•Tourist visits
The total number of tourist visits to the area of Lake Sano Nggoang in 2008 was just 30 and in 2009 this increased to a total of 175 (source: Lake Sano Nggoang Ecotourism Group). There were 20,634 international visitors to Labuan Bajo in 2007 as well as 11,123 domestic tourists.

Tourism potential of Lake Sano Nggoang Area
Lake Sano Nggoang is located 750m above sea level, south east of Mbeliling Fores in the separate Sesok Forest block. Tourism potential in the area is as follows:

Volcanic Lake
The lake has an area of approximately 513 há, 2.5 and 3 kilometres wide, and a depth of ±600m. The lake has sulphuric content high enough for activites related to skin health, revitalisation and can be circled by horse back. Lake Sano Nggoang is in a still natural area and when viewed from above at a distance of 150 metres its beauty is two-fold.
Hot Springs and Sulphur
Around Lake Sano Nggoang are hot springs up to 100 degrees Farenheit / 37 degrees Celsius with true natural value. The real attraction here is the water being hot enough to cook eggs and bananas in just 3 minutes. Visitors can also experience a Natural Spa in a small pool near the lakes' edge.
Flores Endemic Birds (Flores Crow)
Bird species found in the region of Lake Sano Nggoang include: Teals (Anas superciliosa, Anas gibberifrons); endemic Flores crow species (Corvus florensis); Swamp species (Tesia everetti, Rhipidura diluta, Caridonax fulgidus). Lake Sano Nggoang is attractive as a bird watching location with a high population of birds in the region.
Natural Medicine
In Sesok Forest natural medicine is often used by the local community for fever, flu, malaria, pregnancy and cancer. These medicines can be seen while trekking.
Ecotourism Savanna Peak
Trekking to Savanna Peak is short but steep. From the peak, the lake, Mbeliling Forest and a number of small islands can be seen. It is also possible to enjoy traditional coffee and local food at the peak.

Religious Tourism
There is a picturesque, old wooden church at Lake Sano Nggoang and parish houses. The church has never been renovated and is maintained in its original condition.
Tourism Facilities
Tourism facilities at Lake Sano Nggoang are relatively limited as development of infrastructure will require an environmental impact assessment to ensure the environment is not damanaged in the development process. Facilities in existence are:
Home Stays,Birdwatching equipment,Information board

Community-based Tourism Model
To optimise the potential of tourism in the Lake Sano Nggoang area, NGO BirdLife Indonesia implemented a facilitation model to increase the quality of local community resources through community participation in tourism development that contributes to improving the local economy, conserving the environment and educating community members and tourists about the environment. This work is undertaken with the Lake Sano Nggoang Ecotourism Group made up of 15 people. These members represent Nunang and Lempe communities and work without self-interest for the preservation and sustainability of Lake Sano Nggoang. For the time being BirdLife Indonesia has only implemented ecotourism facilitation with these two communities. These activities started in September 2008 are as follows:

1.Tourism Awareness and Training
This program involves training the community, especially ecotourism gorup members, about how to realise potential, plan, make products and market them to tourists with a basis in the value of environmental conservation. Activities being implemented are:
Group discussions about tourism and culture
Cleaning up the environment - 'No Plastic' campaign
English language training

2.Tourism Management Training
To create community-based tourism, NGO BirdLife Indonesia also give the ecotourism group training in providing satisfactory service to tourists. This training involves:
Local food
Homes tay and room structure
Cane work
Art and culture

3.Participative Tourism Facilities Provision
Tourism development can not be separated from the provision of tourist facilities. In all activities tourists undertake, they require accommodation, refreshments and information. Tourism facilities provision implemented by Burung Indonesia incorporates community involvement for the sake of maintaining/guarding infrastructure. Facilities such as rubbish bins, home stays, tourism awareness board and bird watching equipment (e.g. Binoculars).

Friday, November 5, 2010


Die Region um den indonesischen Vulkan Merapi kommt nicht zur Ruhe. Beim schwersten Ausbruch seit 100 Jahren gab es zahlreiche Opfer.
Der Ausbruch des Vulkans Merapi

Foto: AFP Bei der bislang schwersten Eruption hat der Merapi Asche bis zu zehn kilometerweit geschleudert.
Bei dem bislang schwersten Ausbruch des Vulkans Merapi auf der indonesischen Insel Java sind am Freitag nach Krankenhausangaben mindestens 49 Menschen ums Leben gekommen. Wie ein Sprecher des Sarjito-Krankenhauses in der Stadt Yogyakarta sagte, wurden zudem 66 Menschen wegen Verbrennungen und Atemproblemen behandelt. Insgesamt starben seit vergangener Woche mehr als 90 Menschen durch die Ausbrüche des Merapi.
Nach Behördenangaben verbrannte die heiße Vulkanasche umliegende Dörfer bis in 18 Kilometer Entfernung. Rettungskräfte vermuteten, dass unter den Opfern viele Kinder aus dem 18 Kilometer vom Vulkan entfernten Argomulyo waren. „Das Dorf Argomolyo brannte vollständig nieder“, sagte der Polizeiarzt Teguh Dwi Santosa. „Viele Kinder starben dort. Als ich in dem Dorf war, war der Boden noch heiß.“

Merapi bricht erneut gewaltig aus
Der schwere Ausbruch mitten in der Nacht habe Panik unter den Anwohnern des Merapi ausgelöst, sagte der Koordinator der Rettungsmaßnahmen, Widi Sutikno. „Alle zur Verfügung stehenden Verkehrsmittel wurden genutzt, um die Menschen in Sicherheit zu bringen.“
Das Sperrgebiet wurde nach dem erneuten Ausbruch am Freitag von 15 auf 20 Kilometer erweitert. Die Anwohner in einem Umkreis von 20 Kilometern um den Merapi mussten ihre Häuser verlassen. Erst am Mittwoch war die Sperrzone wegen der erhöhten Aktivität des Vulkans von zehn auf 15 Kilometer vergrößert worden. Seitdem stieg die Zahl der in Notunterkünften untergebrachten Menschen von 75.000 auf 100.000. „Die Notunterkünfte sind jetzt überfüllt“, sagte Sutikno.
Vulkanausbrüche in der Geschichte
Seit Jahrhunderten bringen Vulkanausbrüche Flutwellen, Ascheregen, Brände und Flüchtlingselend über die Menschen. Jährlich werden rund 50 Vulkane in unberechenbarem Rhythmus tätig. Beispiele für folgenschwere Vulkanausbrüche: ...
Dezember 2009 Mayon, Philippinen
Bei einem Ausbruch sterben mindestens vier Menschen, Tausende sind auf der Flucht. Bereits 2000 und 2001 mussten bis zu 61 000 Menschen vor den Aktivitäten des Feuerbergs in Sicherheit gebracht werden.
2008 Tungurahua, Ecuador
Bei einem Ausbruch sterben zehn Menschen. Seit 1999 stößt der Vulkan immer wieder Lava und Asche aus.
2002 Nyiragongo, Kongo
Etwa 89 Menschen kommen ums Leben, als Lavamassen die Stadt Goma und angrenzende Dörfer zerstören.
2000 Popocatepetl, Mexiko
Nach dem schwersten Ausbruch des Vulkans seit 500 Jahren werden zehntausende Menschen in Sicherheit gebracht.
1997 Soufrière, Montserrat
Die Hauptstadt der Karibikinsel, Plymouth, wird zerstört, Dutzende Einwohner sterben.
1994 Merapi, Indonesien
Die meisten der fast 70 Todesopfer sterben durch glühend heiße Gaswolken.
1991 Pinatubo, Philippinen
Einer der schwersten Ausbrüche des Jahrhunderts fordert bis zu 1000 Menschenleben.
1986 Nios, Kamerun
Eine Giftgaswolke aus dem Kratersee tötet nahezu 1800 Anwohner.
1985 Nevado del Ruiz, Kolumbien
Bis zu 25 000 Menschen sterben in Schlammlawinen.
1980 St. Helens, USA
Bei einem Ausbruch wird die Gipfelspitze weggesprengt, 57 Menschen sterben. Eine riesige Aschewolke umkreist die Erde.
1902 Montagne Pelee, Martinique
Bis zu 30 000 Menschen werden durch Auswurf und eine Glutwolke getötet.
1883 Krakatau, Indonesien
Rund 70 000 Tote sind zu beklagen, Aschewolken verdunkeln weite Teile der Erde.
1815 Tambora, Indonesien
Bei dem folgenschwersten Vulkanausbruch der Geschichte werden mehr als 100 Kubikkilometer Gestein ausgeworfen. Etwa 10.000 Menschen sterben gleich, weitere 80 000 später an Hungersnöten und Krankheiten.
1792 Unzen, Japan
Der Ausbruch zieht Erdbeben und eine Flutwelle nach sich, rund 15 000 Menschen sterben.
1669 Ätna, Italien
Lava und Erdbeben töten etwa 20 000 Menschen.
1631 und 79 n. Chr., Italien

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lake Kelimutu Flores Indonesia

Kelimutu is a volcano, close to the town of Moni in central Flores Island of Indonesia containing three summit crater lakes of varying colors. Tiwu Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People) is usually blue and is the westernmost of the three lakes. The other two lakes, Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched or Enchanted Lake) are separated by a shared crater wall and are typically green or red in color, respectively. The lake colors do vary on a periodic basis. Subaqueous fumaroles are the probable cause of active upwelling that occurs at the two eastern lakes.[1]
The lake have been a source of minor phreatic eruptions in historical time. The summit of the compound 1639-m-high Kelimutu volcano is elongated two km in a WNW-ESE direction; the older cones of Kelido and Kelibara are located respectively three km to the north and two km to the south. The scenic lakes are a popular tourist destination. Keli Mutu is also of interest to geologists because the three lakes are different colors yet reside at the crest of the same volcano [2].
The closest airports are Maumere, and Ende. There are regular flights to Maumere from Bali.
The drive from Maumere to Moni, the town at the base of Keli Mutu, takes about 3 hours.

Indonesian setting
Indonesia is one of the world's most geologically active countries. Given its combination of active volcanism and tropical climate, it is home to several volcanoes which exemplify the type of dynamic interactions between the forces of the endosphere and exosphere that are characteristic of volcanic lake environments. Of all the volcanos in Indonesia, Keli Mutu on the island of Flores appears to have the most exotic lakes. In fact, its lakes are so brightly colored that they are featured on the 5,000 rupiah bill and thought of as a national treasure by the people of Indonesia.
Located between Malaysia and Australia, the islands comprising the approximately 3,000 mile long latitudinal axis of Indonesia are the physical expression of the subduction of the Indo-Australian plate to the south beneath the Eurasian plate to the north. Typical features of such "island arcs" are andesitic stratovolcanoes. These volcanoes may either be 1) well-developed lofty cones (e.g. Merapi in central Java) or 2) complex structures featuring mutiple craters and irregular moonscape summits sculpted by alternate periods of building up and destruction (e.g. Una-Una in Celebes) (Umbgrove, 1949). The active stratovolcanoes of Indonesia are particularly well known for their highly explosive eruptions, devastating lahars (mud-flows), and associated tsunami waves. Currently there are more than 200 active and many more extinct volcanoes present in Indonesia.
Because Indonesia straddles the equator it does not have temperature-defined seasons. The year-round average monthly temperature is ~80 deg F and the average rainfall is ~3 m/year (Ulack & Pauer, 1989). Those islands that deviate to the north or south of the equator may experience monsoons, while those that are closer to Australia are subject to a more pronounced dry season. Where present, the dry season spans from August through part of October and is immediately followed by a wet season that eventually winds down in March. Striking seasonal variations in precipitation along the latitudinal axis of Indonesia were first described by the naturalist George Wallace (co-founder of the theory of evolution by natural selection) in the mid 1800's.
Keli Mutu Setting
Keli Mutu is a passively degassing stratovolcano (Fig.1) capped by three crater lakes (Fig. 2) containing exotic fluids and whose physico-chemical expressions have changed dramatically through the years. The volcano is located on Flores, an island along the Lesser Sunda islands chain of Indonesia. An early description of Keli Mutu was provided by the French naturalist LeRoux, who mentions it in his travel log of eastern Indonesia in 1896. A more comprehensive geologic and topographic survey was performed in the 1920's by the Dutch colonial geologist Kemmerling, who traveled through Flores on horseback and early motor vehicle. Since 1929 no publicly reported systematic survey of Flores has been done using modern techniques. A map of Flores (TPC N-12BG) was published in 1972 as part of the World Aeronautical Chart (WAC) series, but the topographic information is sketchy.
Keli Mutu Crater Lakes
Three crater lakes are located on the eastern summit of Keli Mutu. Each of the lakes has a distinctive physical structure, a unique geochemical and hydrothermal regime, and a particular historical sequence of color changes controlled by changes in physico-chemical conditions.
Tiwu Ata Polo (TAP), the "enchanted lake", lies on the southeastern side of the volcanic peak (Fig.3). A thermal plume in the northwest part of the lake indicates underlying subaerial fumarolic or hydrothermal activity. A white froth is present on the lake's surface around the plume when the convective activity momentarily increases. Rock debris is often carried into TAP during rainstorms by water draining the volcano summit around the lake. Two peaks abutting the crater rim help stabilize the east and northeast crater wall, while further around to the southeast a dip suggests a possible one-time overflow outlet. Such an outlet would have fed the river Ria Mbuli, whose upland source is in that area.
Tiwu Nua Muri Koohi Fah (TiN), the "lake of young men and maidens", is adjacent to TAP and is the deepest lake (Fig.4). A sizable tear in the western wall was the location of a pre-1929 breaching and overflow event. Visible fumarolic activity above the shoreline of TiN was reported by Kemmerling, but this activity has declined and is no longer present. Subaerial fumarolic or hydrothermal activity is implied by a large thermal plume in the center of the lake which slowly convects the water. A fresh supply of yellow froth (probably the same type of elemental sulfur found in the "cool acid-brine" crater lake at Kawa Ijen) is brought up by the plume and pushed out toward the crater wall. A particularly large cover of this froth has accumulated at the base of the north wall (Fig.4). During rainstorms the froth is scattered by inflowing water and landslides, though some of it may be disappearing altogether.
TAP and TiN are only separated by a steep parabolic partition that arcs down to a minimum height of ~35m above the surface level of the lakes (Fig.3). According to Kemmerling this separating wall was as high as the surrounding crater rim 70 years before his survey, but it had subsequently eroded down by the time of his visit (Kemmerling, 1929). Recent unconfirmed reports (1996) state that the partition has crumbled and the lakes are now mingled. A directory of volcanoes published by the Smithsonain Institute lists moderate "hydrothermal blasts" of TiN that occured in 1938 and again in 1965. Each of these events was reported to have lasted longer than a month but was small and confined to the crater (Simkin et al, 1981).
Tiwu Ata Mbupu (TAM), the "lake of elders", is the western-most lake (Fig. 5). TAM is structurally different from the other two in that the pit crater it is in is itself located in the center of a larger crater. Kemmerling reported both aerial and subaerial fumarolic activity for the TAM crater, but none was observed in 1992. Small landslides constantly add to the steep rubble slopes along the lake's shore, and large boulders periodically drop into the lake. TAM's shoreline is coated with a film colored in different shades of red, orange, and yellow depending on how thick it is. Gypsum crystals grow in the cracks of the crater wall in the first few meters above the prosent water surface.
Research at Keli Mutu
Geochemical surveys and subsequent analyses of the lakes on Keli Mutu have been carried out recently by scientists from Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT, USA). Results have been published in
Pasternack, G.B. (1993) Acid-brine crater lakes: a case study. Undergraduate senior thesis, Wesleyan University, 160 pp.
Pasternack, G.B. and Varekamp, J.C. (1994) The geochemistry of the Keli Mutu crater lakes, Flores, Indonesia, Geochemical Journal 28:243-262.
reprint requests to:
The work involved describing the chemistry of each lake, interpreting the chemistries in terms of water-rock interactions and volcanic fluxes, and deriving a physical lake model that delineates the parameter-window for volcanic crater lake existence.
Geochemical investigation of the vertical and lateral compositions of the lakes on Keli Mutu required the use of a remote sampling system. Lake temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen content were determined in the field, while the analytical chemistries of lake fluids and sediments were determined in the months after the expedition to Keli Mutu. To reconstruct the in situ chemistries of the lakes' aqueous systems, a solution equilibrium modeling program (SOLVEQ) was applied.
The primary conclusion of the work at Keli Mutu is that the three Keli Mutu lakes are all fed by a similar volcanic gas source, but as a result of the mediated subaqueous transport of that gas it yields different chemical "expressions" in each crater lake. Specific findings include the following:
• Tiwu Ata Polo (TAP) is an intermediate "acid-saline" volcanic crater lake whose frequent color changes are probably the direct result of changes in the oxidation state of the lake's water. TAP is intermediate in volcanic activity relative to the other Keli Mutu lakes.
• Tiwu Nua Moori Koohi Fah (TiN) is a "cool acid-brine" volcanic crater lake that contains exotic sulfur compounds and probably a host of copper-rich minerals in the sediments. Of the three Keli Mutu lakes, TiN is presently experiencing the greatest fumarolic input, which may include a flux of ~85 tonnes of sulfur dioxide per day (~55MW energy output).
• Tiwu Ata Mbupu (TAM) is an "acid-sulfate" volcanic crater lake whose gaseous input is presently very small relative to those for the other Keli Mutu lakes. In the 1970s it appears that TAM was much more active than it presently is.
• Comparison of the individual lakes with their respective historic chemistries demonstrates that they are all approaching chemical steady state.
• Several seepage outlets exist on and around Keli Mutu. The river Watu Gana bears a strong TAP fluid signature, but other hydrothermal waters show no crater lake signature at all.
Info for Keli Mutu Tourists
Many Indonesian guidebooks describe the vibrant colors of the Keli Mutu lakes as resulting from the minerals in the lakes. While this is partly correct, the most important determinant of color in the lakes is oxygen. Just like your blood, when the lake waters lack oxygen they look green (look at your wrist). Conversely, when they are rich in oxygen, they are a deep red to black. Obviously this is oversimplifying matters a little, but the point is that you should not be misled... Contrary to guidebook authors claims (which aim to increase drama, mystery, suspense, etc), scientists do in fact understand why the lakes looks like they do.
Back to Volcanic Lakes or Greg Pasternack's Research

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Liang Bua A Prehistorie Habitation Cave -Flores - Indonesia

Liang Bua is a limestone cave in the Manggarai Regency of which Ruteng is the administrative centre. Although much of the regency comprises infertile limestones,some part of very suitable for paddy field cultivation and the area generally is known as “The rice bowl” of flores region.

As well as having rich natural resources,Manggarai regency also has a wealth of archeological sites. These include Liang Bua (Meaning,”Cold Cave” in the manggarai Languange), Which is located 14 km Nordwest of Ruteng, about 500 m Above sea level.
Liang Bua is ideal for human occupation, it is 50 m long, 40 m wide, and 15 m high at the dripline.The Wae (river)Racang and wae mulu rivers are about 200 m to the north ,and both contain stone artifacts and raw materials suitable for stone artefact manufacture, including silicified tuff, chalcdony, and chert.

The first scientific work at Liang Bua was undertaken in 1965 by father Theodorus Verhoeven, a catholic missionary based at the Mataloko seminary. He first visited the cave when it was being used as a local elementary school. His excavations yielded high concertrations of stone artefacts, burials and pottery, which proved the archeological potential ot the site.

After Verhoeven, the next excavation were undertaken by prof.R.P.Soejono from the indonesian National Research centre for Archaeology (now National research and development centre for Archaeology) between 1978 and 1989.
This showed that the site contained stratified cultural deposits spanning the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic,Neolithic, and Palaeo-Metallic periods.Radiocarbon dates from 3 metres depth also showed that the site was occupied by modern humans from at least 10.000 years ago.

The most recent excavation were undertaken as collaboration between Prof.R.P.Sujono and Prof.Mike Morwood (University of new England, Australia) between 2001 and 2004.
The field coordinator undertaken by Thomas Sutikna, Jatmiko and Wahyu Saptomo. This was an inter-disciplinary study that included specialist input from geology, geomorphology, palaeontology and palynology. It aimed to investigate the earliest occupation levels, and to obtain information on the site and its context.

These archaeological excavations reached a maximum depth of 10.7 metres without encountering bedrock. Beneath a layer of tuffaceous silts from a volcanic eruption around 11.000 years ago. The researchers found high concentrations of stone artefacts and hearths with the butcherred remains of Stegodon (an extintct type of elephant), Komodo dragon, tortoise, varanus rat and bird etc.

This evidence dates from 95.000 to 12.000 years ago and is associated with a new species of human : Homo Floresiensis . In fact , a skeleton found at 6 metres depth and dated to around 18.000 years ago, is the type specimen for this species. It was of an adult women aged 30, who stood about 106 ch high with a brain only 380 cc in size-compared with the modern adult average of 1200 cc.
This site therefore has great scientific significance for indonesian and world archaeology. It is a valuable educational and economic resource for local people.

Source: The National Research and Development centre for Archaeology,

Komodo Dragon

“The Komodo dragon, as befits any creature evoking a mythological beast, has many names. It is also the Komodo monitor, being a member of the monitor lizard family, Varanidae, which today has one genus, Varanus. Residents of the island of Komodo call it the ora. Among some on Komodo and the islands of Rinca and Flores, it is buaya darat (land crocodile), a name that is descriptive but inaccurate; monitors are not crocodilians. Others call it biawak raksasa (giant monitor), which is quite correct; it ranks as the largest of the monitor lizards, a necessary logical consequence of its standing as the largest lizard of any kind now living on the earth…. Within the scientific community, the dragon is Varanus komodoensis. And most everyone calls it simply the Komodo.” Claudio Ciofi
The Komodo dragon is an ancient species whose ancestors date back over 100 million years. The varanid genus originated between 25 and 40 million years ago in Asia. The Komodo descended from this species and evolved to its present form over four million years ago.
The Komodo is long lived (as are most of the larger reptilian species) with an estimated life expectancy of over 50 years in the wild. In keeping with its longevity, the Komodo matures late in life, becoming sexually viable at five to seven years, and achieving maximum body density in fifteen years. Komodos are sexually dimorphous, which means males are bigger than females. The largest recorded specimen was 3.13 meters in length and was undoubtedly a male. Females rarely exceed 2.5 meters in length. What is perhaps more important, is that the characteristic bulk is achieved by older dominant males in clearly delineated territorial areas. As an adult Komodo can consume up to 80% of its body weight in one gorging, weight is a highly variable factor, and is largely dependent on the most recent feeding. A typical weight for an adult Komodo in the wild is 70 kilograms.
Komodo dragons are first and foremost opportunistic carnivores, and predators second. Although the Komodo can sprint briefly at 20 kilometers an hour, it does not chase down game as do the larger mammalian predators. The Komodo is a stealth predator, which lies motionless and camoflouged alongside game trails for the unwary, which tend to be the very young, the old and the infirm. In an attack, the Komodo lunges at its victim with blinding speed and clasps it with the serrated teeth of the jaw. Prey are rarely downed in the initial attack unless the neck is broken or caratoid artery severed. The more likely outcome is escape, followed by death a few hours or days later from septicemia introduced by the virulent strains of bacteria found in the saliva of the Komodo dragon (the Komodo survive primarily on carrion and ingest the bacteria when feeding).
The Komodo has two highly developed sensory organs – the olefactory and the Jacobson’s - which allow the dragon to detect rotting carcasses from distances as great as 10 kilometers. The yellow forked tongue is
constantly being flicked in and out of the mouth, “tasting the air”, and inserted into the Jacobson’s organ located in the roof of the mouth. The individual tips are highly sensitive and are capable of discriminating odors in the magnitude of millionths of a part. Using the information garnered, the dragon wends in a seemingly random, winding path which becomes straighter the closer it approaches to the carrion. The Komodo is typically a communal feeder and any number of dragons might arrive at the site of the carcass.
Socialization occurs during feeding at carrion sites, as does mating. The abdomen is slashed first and the intestines and stomach contents scattered. Young juveniles roll in the fecal matter to mask their scent from aggressive adults, which attack and sometimes kill juveniles during feeding. The dominant male feeds until sated, followed by other dragons in order of size. While the dominant male is gulping down hindquarters and ribcages, the braver dragons chance foraging a few scraps. Virtually the entire carcass is consumed in the process– head, fur, hooves and bones. After feeding, the Komodos become quiescent and approachable while their digestive tracts are converting the food into fat energy stored in the tail.
Between the months of May and August, mating occurs at and around feeding sites. As males outnumber females in a ratio of nearly four to one, the dominant male must fend off other suitors before mating. Males will engage in slashing, biting and bipedular rearing onto the tail, until the dominant male is acknowledged by displays of subservience and the vanquished flees. The female is forced into a prone position while the male tongue flicks her body, and in particular, the fold between the torso and the rear leg close to the cloaca. With Komodos, the male hemipenes are located here as are the female genetalia. Once prone, the male mounts onto the back of the female and inserts one of the two hemipenes into her cloaca , depending on which side he is perched. The month of September is when a clutch of 15-30 eggs is buried in a nest dug with the powerful claws of the female dragon. A typical nesting site is in the composting vegetative mounds of the maleo birds which are indigenous to Komodo.
The gestation period for the eggs is eight to nine months. Hatchlings, which average 40 centimeters in length and weigh 100 grams, emerge from the nest in April and immediately scramble up the nearest tree to avoid being eaten by the adults. There are plenty of small lizards, insects and mammals in the canopy after the brief rainy season in January and February to sustain the juveniles until they descend to the forest floor roughly a year later. This period of change between an arboreal and a terrestial habitat, when the juveniles are a meter in length, is a time fraught with danger. The juvenile Komodo is just too bulky to safely ascend many trees, and not big enough to outrun a ravenous and determined adult. Cannibalism is a fact of life for this species, and perhaps is an evolutionary response to the harsh, arid climate of Komodo.
Prey species for the dragon on Komodo island include deer, boar, wild buffalo, the maleo bird, snakes, reptiles and small mammals. On Rinca, the monkeys and wild horses found there are also constitute prey, as do the goats raised by the local people. On the odd occasion people are also attacked by the Komodo dragon. There have been eight recorded instances of attacks on humans since Komodo has become a national park, almost all of which occurred on Rinca.
Park Facilities
The Komodo National Park administrative offices are located in Labuanbajo in west Flores. An information center and travel agents where transportation to and from the Park can be arranged are also found in Labuanbajo. The majority of tourists to the Park pass through the Loh Liang ranger station nestled in the sweeping arc of Slawi Bay on Komodo island. This is the largest facility in Komodo National Park with bungalows and rooms, a restaurant and a dormatory for the park rangers. The most popular tourist activity is a hike to the Banugulung viewing area, a two-hour roundtrip level walk that originates from Loh Liang. Hikes to other areas of Komodo are also possible, and vary from one to two days: Gunung Ara, Poreng, Loh Sebita, Gunung Sata libo, Soro Masangga. On longer walks overnight accommodation can be arranged at ranger posts at Loh Sebita and Loh Genggo. For certified divers there is a compressor and diving equipment available for hire at Loh Liang as well as masks and fins for snorkellers. Handicrafts made in the nearby village of Komodo are for sale at the arrival jetty.
The entrance ticket to Komodo National Park costs Rp 20,000 and is valid for three days. It is easily renewable, so a prolonged stay in the park is possible. There are two ranger stations which provide spartan accommodation for tourists: Loh Liang on Komodo and Loh Buaya on Rinca. The charges are minimal and start at Rp 30,000 per room. Be advised that everything is basic, including beds, communal toilets and food availability. Fortunately most travellers are not deterred by the limited facilities, accepting this as a part of the Komodo experience. Advance booking for accommodation are not accepted.
The hiking on Rinca is less strenuous than that on Komodo, and has the added attraction of viewing the wild horses and monkeys which are not found on Komodo. On Rinca wild buffalo are more common and easily seen as well. On the north side of the island, behind Rinca village, is a large cave with a resident bat colony. Rangers at both Loh Liang and Loh Buaya are readily available to lead walks, and are knowledgeable about the local fauna and birdlife.

Komodo dragon
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Varanidae
Genus: Varanus
Species: V. komodoensis
Binomial name:Varanus komodoensis
Ouwens, 1912

Riung Marine park - Flores - Indonesia

Natural Park Seventeen Riung Island is a group of large and small islands of Pau, Borong, Ontoloe, Dua, Kolong, Lainjawa, Besar, Halima, Patta, Rutong, Meja, Bampa (Tampa or Tembang island), Tiga (Panjang island), Tembaga, Taor, Sui and Wire island. The whole island is uninhabited by humans. This park is located on the mainland island of Flores in public administration including the District of Riung, Regency of Ngada. This area is about 70 km next Bajawa City, the capital Ngada. Area Natural Park is an island Seventeen types of dry forest with a mixture of vegetation types Ketapang (Terminalia catappa), hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliacus), hazelnut (Aleuritis molucana), pandan (Pandanus tectorius), teak (Tectona grandis), bulging ( Sterculia foetida), kesambi (Schleichera oleosa), sandalwood (Santalum album), cinnamon (Mangivera indica), tamarind (Tamarindus indica), sea sengon (Albizia sp), johar (Cassia siamea), Calophyllum inophyllum (Calophyllum inophykum) and Ampupu ( Eucalyptus urophylla). Almost the entire coastal area of the island group was overgrown with mangrove forests that are still intact with dominant species Rhizophora sp, Bruquiera gymnoriza, and Sonneratia sp. Various types of fauna that live in this area include the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), Timor deer (Cervus timorensis), hedgehogs (Zaglossus sp), monkeys (Macaca sp), ferrets (Paradoxurus haemaproditus), timor monitor lizard (Varanus timorensis), Kuskus ( Phalanger sp), partridges (Gallus sp), crocodile (Crododulus porosus), and various species of birds such as eagles (Elanus sp), bluwok or white heron (Egretta Sacra), clothing glawe or black stork (Ciconia episcopus), Lorikeet bird chest yellow (Trichoglosus haemotodus), parrot (Lorius domicella), Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis), bird or birds singed wontong (Megapodius Reinwadrtii) and bats (Pteropsus veropirus). In addition, the area is also rich Seventeen Island coral reef ecosystems and the types of marine biota. There are about 27 species of corals such as Montipora sp, Acropora sp, sp Lobophylla, Platygyra sp, sp Galaxea, Pavites sp, Stylopora sp, Pavona sp, sp and Echynopora Echynophylla sp. The types of biota living waters include marine mammals such as dugongs (Dugong dugon), dolphins and whales (Physister catodon) as well as a variety of ornamental fish that live in coral reefs. Natural Park Area Seventeen Island has rich biological resources, whether living on land or in waters, as well as panoramic and beautiful natural phenomena, which all high potential for recreational activities and nature tourism. Seventeen Island is a natural potential that was quite interesting for a variety of tourism activities, both land and water tour Some attractions within and outside the region . Some of the old tourist activities that can be done in this area include cross-shore and underwater scenery and marine tourism.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Liang Bua
A Prehistorie Habitation Cave

Liang Bua is a limestone cave in the Manggarai Regency of which Ruteng is the administrative centre. Although much of the regency comprises infertile limestones,some part of very suitable for paddy field cultivation and the area generally is known as “The rice bowl” of flores region.

As well as having rich natural resources,Manggarai regency also has a wealth of archeological sites. These include Liang Bua (Meaning,”Cold Cave” in the manggarai Languange), Which is located 14 km Nordwest of Ruteng, about 500 m Above sea level.
Liang Bua is ideal for human occupation, it is 50 m long, 40 m wide, and 15 m high at the dripline.The Wae (river)Racang and wae mulu rivers are about 200 m to the north ,and both contain stone artifacts and raw materials suitable for stone artefact manufacture, including silicified tuff, chalcdony, and chert.

The first scientific work at Liang Bua was undertaken in 1965 by father Theodorus Verhoeven, a catholic missionary based at the Mataloko seminary. He first visited the cave when it was being used as a local elementary school. His excavations yielded high concertrations of stone artefacts, burials and pottery, which proved the archeological potential ot the site.

After Verhoeven, the next excavation were undertaken by prof.R.P.Soejono from the indonesian National Research centre for Archaeology (now National research and development centre for Archaeology) between 1978 and 1989.
This showed that the site contained stratified cultural deposits spanning the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic,Neolithic, and Palaeo-Metallic periods.Radiocarbon dates from 3 metres depth also showed that the site was occupied by modern humans from at least 10.000 years ago.

The most recent excavation were undertaken as collaboration between Prof.R.P.Sujono and Prof.Mike Morwood (University of new England, Australia) between 2001 and 2004.
The field coordinator undertaken by Thomas Sutikna, Jatmiko and Wahyu Saptomo. This was an inter-disciplinary study that included specialist input from geology, geomorphology, palaeontology and palynology. It aimed to investigate the earliest occupation levels, and to obtain information on the site and its context.

These archaeological excavations reached a maximum depth of 10.7 metres without encountering bedrock. Beneath a layer of tuffaceous silts from a volcanic eruption around 11.000 years ago. The researchers found high concentrations of stone artefacts and hearths with the butcherred remains of Stegodon (an extintct type of elephant), Komodo dragon, tortoise, varanus rat and bird etc.

This evidence dates from 95.000 to 12.000 years ago and is associated with a new species of human : Homo Floresiensis . In fact , a skeleton found at 6 metres depth and dated to around 18.000 years ago, is the type specimen for this species. It was of an adult women aged 30, who stood about 106 ch high with a brain only 380 cc in size-compared with the modern adult average of 1200 cc.
This site therefore has great scientific significance for indonesian and world archaeology. It is a valuable educational and economic resource for local people.

Source: The National Research and Development centre for Archaeology

Flores Tourist Attraction

A little town inhabited by fishermen, lies at the extreme western part of Flores Island. The town serves as a jumping off point for the trip to Komodo Island. It is a beautiful area for water skiing, wind surfing, fishing and many other marine activities.
Batu Cermin Cave is five kilometers from the town of Labuanbajo. It can be reached partly by car, and partly on foot. The grotto is 75 by 75 meters large, and contains stalactites and stalagmites. Some tunnels are narrow and dark but in others sunlight falls.
Mbeliling Conservation area: Mbeliling is one of Flores nature conservation area, here life some of Flores endemic birds ie: Flores Hanging-parrot Loriculus flosculus and Flores Crow Corvus florensis, and many other birds, nature pure and rain forest
Lake Sano Nggoang:
Located approximately 35 km east of Labuan Bajo, Thought to be one of the deepest volcanic crater lakes in the world, with recorded depths of 500 meter. Its waters are sulfuric and fed by numerous hot springs . Surroundings: Rural. Agricultural society. Traditional villages, rich in local culture.

Tado Community Eco-tourism: Tado is located approximately 45 km east of Labuan Bajo .Two closely –connected traditional West Manggarai villages, rich in local culture and traditions. Community-based ecotourism villages.
Wae Rebo Traditional Village: the Authentic Housing of Manggarai, located about 1000m above sea level , in the middle of mountain. All are traditional houses, with really high roofs and they are on 5 levels - the top four are mainly used for storage and all the living areas are on the bottom. We will stay in a house with 8 families. Here you have chance to keep in touch with the people and learnt by seeing, asking, and feeling their culture, life and activities.

Ruteng is the capital of Manggarai Regency that was once ruled by the kings of Bima. The influences of Bima. The influences of Bima and Goa are evident in prevailing titles, such as Karaeng, and in the manner of dress. The shape of the roofs with the buffalo horn symbol, may be an element inherited from the Minangkabau. The cool town of Ruteng lies at the foot of a mountain. It can be reached by air from Kupang or Denpasar via Bima, or by ferry from Bima via Labuanbajo, or from eastern part via Ende and Bajawa. Beside the fame Komodo lizards, the area has many attractions to offer the tourists, such as the caci dance, a wildlife reserve, and archeological caves
Cancar ;Golo Cara; the unique lingko rice fields, circular terraces arranged like a spider web.
Liang Bua: the place where Homo Floresiensis was founded by the archeopathology of new England university of Australia and from Indonesia. The tiny skeleton called Hobbit was discovered during a three-month excavation inside Liang Bua, Scientists believe it may represent a new human species, Homo floresiensis, The species existed alongside modern humans as recently as 13,000 years ago, yet may descend from Homo erectus, which arose some two million years ago.
The capital of Ngada is Bajawa, which lies in the middle of the cool highlands. It is a pleasant little town such as is seldom found elsewhere in Flores. About 135 kilometers from Ruteng all about 5 to 7 hour - driving distance by car, Bajawa can also be reahed from Kupang by air-craft, and from Ende by car.
Abulobo and Inerie are between mountains with sharp peaks known locally as the "sky pillars", and popular among mountaineers. They are located near coast and have wonderful scannery.
Bena is prototype of an ancient Ngada village. Such villages are found in rather great numbers in the area and can be reached by car from bajawa in about one and half hours. The way of life of the people is unique, and so are the houses and the traditional ceremonies.
Riung is now wellknown for its seventeen isles that makes the sea surrounding a paradise for marine lovers. Here one can dive, snorkel, and swim.
The beach is a sea-side resort with clear and calm water. There is a beautiful coral reef just off the shore.
Ende was the site of a kingdom that existed around the end of the 1 8th century. The name today refers to the capital of the Ende regency, which includes the two autonomous territories of Lio and Ende. The people of the area therefore known as Lio Ende people. This town has for many decades been a center of government trade, education and political activity. Rebellion against the Dutch, led by a certain Nipa Do - known as the Wars of Watu Api and Mari Longa - decurred here in 1916 - 1917. And in 1934, the traditionalist leader Soekarno, who was later to become Indonesia's first president, was exiled to Ende by the Dutch colonial government.
The town Ende lies at the foot of mountains lye, lpi, Meja and Wongge. The beautiful bays of Ende, lpi, and Mbuu are favorite sites for beach-site recreation. Ende can be reached by aircraft from Kupang. And also from Denpasar via Bima, or by from Surabaya or Kupang.
The Bung Karno Museum is the old house occupied by Soekarno during his years of exile in Ende. Most of for the old furnishings are still there.
While in exile in Ende, Soekarno wrote and staged few plays, together with the Tonel Kelimutu theatre troupe. Among those plays were Rendorua Ola Nggera Nusa (Rendo That Stirred the Archipelago) and Doctor Satan, a revision on the story of Dr. Frankenstein.
Near the football field in Ende stands an old, big breadfruit tree. Under it, Soekarno often sat, working on political ideas to lead Indonesia towards independence. Those reflections presumably contributed to the opening of the Pancasila concept, which is now the state philosophy of the Indonesian Republic. Just from here was the Pancasila idea born. Today, the Pancasila Birth Monument stand on this precise spot.

East Nusa Tenggara's natural wonder and one of Indonesia's most mysterious and dramatic sights that can be found on top this mountain, some 66 kilometers from Ende, or 83 kilometers from Maumere. It has a unique and spectacular view on its three crater lakes with their respective colors. The colors, however, have changed continually since the eruption of Mount /ye in Ende in 1969.
The mountain is located at the back of Mount Kelibara, in the Wolowaru District in the Ende, Regency of Central Flores. Keli means mountain and Mutu means boiling. In short, it means volcano. To the local people, this mountain is holy, and a token of God's blessings. It provides fertility to the surrounding lands. It is both heaven and the hell to the people of Lio Ende. Many travelers and scientists, have written about Kelimutu since it was discovered by Van Suchtelen, a Ducth government officer,
in 1915
Father Bouman published an article in 1929, which made the name Kelimutu known all over the world. Since then, many researchers and tourits have come, as well as the Governor General of Batavia (Jakarta). To get to the lakes, one follows the road, from Moni, then proceed to the crater's top. Near the crater rim was a bungalow, which has now been dismantled.
The presence of the white men, or Ata Bara, was regarded disturbing to the peace of the ancestral spirits. As a result the spirits of Kelimutu disappeared. Earth quakes began rocking the land. Smoke is often released from the crater.
The eruption of 1928 caused many victims and much damage. In 1938 there was another eruption, coming from Tiwu Ata Koo Fai Noo, Ata Nuwa Muri (the Lake of Youth). The biggest took place in 1968, in which the water in the lakes was shot 10 kilometers high into the sky. The peak of Kelimutu itself is 1,690 meters high, and its lake crater I ,410. Other geological data are as follows: Tiwu Ata Polo (the Lake of Evil) has a slopping wall, 150 meters high. The lake is 380 by 280 meters large and 64 meters deep. The volume of the water is about 446,000 cubic meters.
Tiwu Ata Koo Fai Noo and Ata Nawa Muri (the Lake of Youth) has walls 128 meters high. The lake is 430 by 300 square large and 127 meters deep with a water content of about 500.000 cubic meters.
Timu Ata Bupo (the Lake of the old) has twi layers of walls, 240 meters high. The lake covers a surface of 300 by 280 meters high. The water is 67 meters deep and 345,000 cubic meters in volume. The total water content of the three lakes amounts to 1,3 million cubic meters.
In the last three ti five years, the lakes of Kelimutu have changed in color, a phenomenon caused by the geological and chemical processes in the bottom and walls of take lakes. It could also have resulted from changes in the bacteria and micro organism populations due to changes in temperature.
Another theory proposed by village elders, is that there has actually been no change at all, but that the effect is due to optical illusions. To reach Kelimutu can be done by flying to Ende or Maumere, then going by car to Kelimutu
The surrounding villages are good places serving as bases for visits to Kelimutu, particularly those who wish to have a more leisurely pace and enjoy the views along the road between Ende and maumere, or spend more time in Kelimutu. Those title villages are also known for their excellent weaving all hand made, still use natural dyes.
A port town on the northeastern coast of Flores and stopover on the way to Ende or to Denpasar, and Ujungpandang, and noted for its good beaches. The bay of Maumere, Waiara, is considered the best diving spot (Flores Marine Resort) as it promise extremely rich marine life.
The resort is a paradise for all divers, underwater photographers, and for everyone interested in marone biology.
It has a beautiful sea garden filled with corals and fish. So does Koka, nearby. Accommodation and facilities for recreation are available.
Ledalero Museum at the outskirts of Maumere has an interesting collection of ethnological objects for the region. Visitors are welcome but advanced arrangements should be made. Ledalero is also a name of a major Catholic Seminary from many of Florinese priest originated. (More info:

Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park lies in the Wallacea Region of Indonesia, identified by WWF and Conservation International as a global conservation priority area. The Park is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores at the border of the Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTP) provinces. It includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller islands together totaling 603 km2 of land. The total size of Komodo National Park is presently 1,817 km2. Proposed extensions of 25 km2 of land (Banta Island) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total surface area up to 2,321 km2
Komodo National Park was established in 1980 and was declared a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986. The park was initially established to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), first discovered by the scientific world in 1911 by J.K.H. Van Steyn. Since then conservation goals have expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity, both marine and terrestrial.
The majority of the people in and around the Park are fishermen originally from Bima (Sumbawa), Manggarai, South Flores, and South Sulawesi. Those from South Sulawesi are from the Suku Bajau or Bugis ethnic groups. The Suku Bajau were originally nomadic and moved from location to location in the region of Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara and Maluku, to make their livelihoods. Descendents of the original people of Komodo, the Ata Modo, still live in Komodo, but there are no pure blood people left and their culture and language is slowly being integrated with the recent migrants.
Little is known of the early history of the Komodo islanders. They were subjects of the Sultanate of Bima, although the island’s remoteness from Bima meant its affairs were probably little troubled by the Sultanate other than by occasional demand for tribute.
There are presently almost 4,000 inhabitants living within the park spread out over four settlements (Komodo, Rinca, Kerora, and Papagaran). All villages existed prior to 1980 before the area was declared a national park. In 1928 there were only 30 people living in Komodo Village, and approximately 250 people on Rinca Island in 1930. The population increased rapidly, and by 1999, there were 281 families numbering 1,169 people on Komodo, meaning that the local population had increased exponentially. Komodo Village has had the highest population increase of the villages within the Park, mostly due to migration by people from Sape, Manggarai, Madura, and South Sulawesi. The number of buildings in Kampung Komodo has increased rapidly from 30 houses in 1958, to 194 houses in 1994, and 270 houses in 2000. Papagaran village is similar in size, with 258 families totaling 1,078 people. As of 1999, Rinca’s population was 835, and Kerora's population was 185 people. The total population currently living in the Park is 3,267 people, while 16,816 people live in the area immediately surrounding the Park.
The average level of education in the villages of Komodo National Park is grade four of elementary school. There is an elementary school located in each of the villages, but new students are not recruited each year. On average, each village has four classes and four teachers. Most of the children from the small islands in the Kecamatan Komodo (Komodo, Rinca, Kerora, Papagaran, Mesa) do not finish elementary school. Less than 10% of those which do graduate from elementary school will continue to high school since the major economic opportunity (fishing) does not require further education. Children must be sent to Labuan Bajo to attend high school, but this is rarely done in fishermen’s families.
Most of the villages located in and around the Park have few fresh water facilities available, if any, particularly during the dry season. Water quality declines during this time period and many people become ill. Malaria and diarrhea are rampant in the area. On Mesa island, with a population of around 1,500 people, there is no fresh water available. Fresh water is brought by boat in jerrycans from Labuan Bajo. Each family needs an average of Rp 100,000.- per month to buy fresh water (2000). Almost every village has a local medical facility with staff, and at least a paramedic. The quality of medical care facilities is low.
Traditional Customs: Traditional communities in Komodo, Flores and Sumbawa have been subjected to outside influences and the influence of traditional customs is dwindling. Television, radio, and increased mobility have all played a part in accelerating the rate of change. There has been a steady influx of migrants into the area. At the moment nearly all villages consist of more than one ethnic group.
Religion: The majority of fishermen living in the villages in the vicinity of the Park are Muslims. Hajis have a strong influence in the dynamics of community development. Fishermen hailing from South Sulawesi (Bajau, Bugis) and Bima are mostly Moslems.
The community from Manggarai are mostly Christians. Anthropology and Language: There are several cultural sites within the Park, particularly on Komodo Island. These sites are not well documented, however, and there are many questions concerning the history of human inhabitance on the island. Outside the Park, in Warloka village on Flores, there is a Chinese trading post remnant of some interest. Archeological finds from this site have been looted in the recent past. Most communities in and around the Park can speak Bahasa Indonesia. Bajo language is the language used for daily communication in most communities.
Topography: The topography is varied, with slopes from 0 – 80%. There is little flat ground, and that is generally located near the beach. The altitude varies from sea level to 735 m above sea level. The highest peak is Gunung Satalibo on Komodo Island.
Geology: The islands in Komodo National Park are volcanic in origin. The area is at the juncture of two continental plates: Sahul and Sunda. The friction of these two plates has led to large volcanic eruptions and caused the up-thrusting of coral reefs. Although there are no active volcanoes in the park, tremors from Gili Banta (last eruption 1957) and Gunung Sangeang Api (last eruption 1996) are common. West Komodo probably formed during the Jurasic era approximately 130 million years ago. East Komodo, Rinca, and Padar probably formed approximately 49 million years ago during the Eocene era.
Climate: Komodo National Park has little or no rainfall for approximately 8 months of the year, and is strongly impacted by monsoonal rains. High humidity levels year round are only found in the quasi-cloud forests on mountain tops and ridges. Temperatures generally range from 170C to 340C, with an average humidity level of 36%. From November through March the wind is from the west and causes large waves that hit the entire length of Komodo island’s west beach. From April through October the wind is dry and large waves hit the south beaches of Rinca and Komodo islands.
The terrestrial ecosystems are strongly affected by the climate: a lengthy dry season with high temperatures and low rainfall, and seasonal monsoon rains. The Park is situated in a transition zone between Australian and Asian flora and fauna. Terrestrial ecosystems include open grass-woodland savanna, tropical deciduous (monsoon) forest, and quasi cloud forest.
Due to the dry climate, terrestrial plant species richness is relatively low. The majority of terrestrial species are xerophytic and have specific adaptations to help them obtain and retain water. Past fires have selected for species that are fire-adapted, such as some grass species and shrubs. Terrestrial plants found in Komodo National Park include grasses, shrubs, orchids, and trees. Important food tree species for the local fauna include Jatropha curkas, Zizyphus sp., Opuntia sp., Tamarindus indicus, Borassus flabellifer, Sterculia foetida, Ficus sp., Cicus sp., ‘Kedongdong hutan’ (Saruga floribunda), and ‘Kesambi’ (Schleichera oleosa).
The terrestrial fauna is of rather poor diversity in comparison to the marine fauna. The number of terrestrial animal species found in the Park is not high, but the area is important from a conservation perspective as some species are endemic.. Many of the mammals are Asiatic in origin (e.g., deer, pig, macaques, civet). Several of the reptiles and birds are Australian in origin. These include the orange-footed scrubfowl, the lesser sulpher-crested cockatoo and the nosy friarbird.
Reptiles: The most famous of Komodo National Park's reptiles is the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis). It is among the world's largest reptiles and can reach 3 meters or more in length and weigh over 70kg. Click: the komodo dragon
Other than the Komodo Dragon twelve terrestrial snake species are found on the island. including the cobra (Naja naja sputatrix), Russel’s pit viper (Vipera russeli), and the green tree vipers (Trimeresurus albolabris). Lizards include 9 skink species (Scinidae), geckos (Gekkonidae), limbless lizards (Dibamidae), and, of course, the monitor lizards (Varanidae). Frogs include the Asian Bullfrog (Kaloula baleata), Oreophyne jeffersoniana and Oreophyne darewskyi. They are typically found at higher, moister altitudes.
Mammals: Mammals include the Timor deer (Cervus timorensis), the main prey of the Komodo dragon, horses (Equus sp.), water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), wild boar (Sus scrofa vittatus), long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus lehmanni), the endemic Rinca rat (Rattus rintjanus), and fruit bats. One can also find goats, dogs and domestic cats.
Birds: One of the main bird species is the orange-footed scrub fowl (Megapodius reinwardti), a ground dwelling bird. In areas of savanna, 27 species were observed. Geopelia striata and Streptopelia chinensis were the most common species. In mixed deciduous habitat, 28 bird species were observed, and Philemon buceroides, Ducula aenea, and Zosterops chloris were the most common.

The marine area constitutes 67% of the Park. The open waters in the Park are between 100 and 200 m deep. The straits between Rinca and Flores and between Padar and Rinca, are relatively shallow (30 to 70 m deep), with strong tidal currents. The combination of strong currents, coral reefs and islets make navigation around the islands in Komodo National Park difficult and dangerous. Sheltered deep anchorage is available at the bay of Loh Liang on Komodo’s east coast, the South East coast of Padar, and the bays of Loh Kima and Loh Dasami on Rinca.
In the North of the Park water temperature ranges between 25 – 29°C. In the middle, the temperature ranges between 24 and 28°C. The temperatures are lowest in the South, ranging from 22 – 28°C. Water salinity is about 34 ppt and the water is quite clear, although the waters closer to the islands are relatively more turbid.
Indonesia is the only equatorial region in the world where there is an exchange of marine flora and fauna between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Passages in Nusa Tenggara (formerly the Lesser Sunda Islands) between the Sunda and Sahul shelves allow movement between the Pacific and Indian oceans. The three main ecosystems in Komodo National Park are seagrass beds, coral reefs, and mangrove forests. The Park is probably a regular cetacean migration route.
The three major coastal marine plants are algae, seagrasses and mangrove trees. Algae are primitive plants, which do not have true roots, leaves or stems. An important reef-building algae is the red coralline algae, which actually secretes a hard limestone skeleton that can encrust and cement dead coral together. Seagrasses are modern plants that produce flowers, fruits and seeds for reproduction. As their name suggests, they generally look like large blades of grass growing underwater in sand near the shore. Thallasia sp. and Zastera spp. are the common species found in the Park. Mangroves trees can live in salty soil or water, and are found throughout the Park. An assessment of mangrove resources identified at least 19 species of true mangroves and several more species of mangrove associates within the Park's borders.

Komodo National Park includes one of the world's richest marine environments. It consists of forams, cnidaria (includes over 260 species of reef building coral), sponges (70 species), ascidians, marine worms, mollusks, echinoderms, crustaceans, cartilaginous and bony fishes (over 1,000 species), marine reptiles, and marine mammals (dolphins, whales, and dugongs). Some notable species with high commercial value include sea cucumbers (Holothuria), Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), and groupers.

Internet Sources:
•Komodo National Park :
•Komodo foundation :
•Sandiegozoo :
•Wikipedia :
•Wildlife organisation :
•Community Website :
•Komodo island

Flores Island


Flores island, the exotic place least visited by the foreigner. It is worth to visit the destination.
It has strong ethnic touch with typical tribal work of civilization, more people still influenced by the animistic beliefs. The nature settings are so beautiful, there are soaring volcanoes, colored crater lakes, forests, beautiful sea gardens with white sands beaches, and prehistoric Giant animals too.
Flores is a big, rugged remarkably beautiful island .Dominated by a string of volcanes, the long impenetrable terrain has divided the island into many distinct ethnic groups. There are interesting cultures here, with layers of traditional beliefs beneath the prevalent Christianity.

Flores owes its name to the Portuguese, who called its eastern most Cape Cabo Das Flores, meaning Cape of Flowers. The island diverse cultures have enough similarities to suggest that they developed from common ancestry, differentialed by geographical isolation and varying influence of outsiders. Long before Europeans arrived in the 16 century, much of coastal Flores was firmly in the hands of the Makasarnese and Bugis from southern Celebes ( Sulawesi ).
As early 1512, Flores was sighted by the Portuguese navigator Antonio de Abreu and Europeans had probably landed by 1550. The Portuguese involved in the lucrative Sandalwood trade with Timor, built Fortresses on Pulau Solor ( Solor island ) eastern of flores island .and at Pulau Ende ( Ende island ) south coast of central of Flores. In 1561 Dominican Priests established a mission on Pulau Solor. Christianity was a successful import and today a church is the centerpiece of almost every village.In the 17 century, the Dutch kicked the Portuguese out of flores. Ternate and Gowa ( a part of Molluceas island ) also ceded all their rights on Solor, Flores and eastern Sumbawa to the Dutch, giving them nominal control, but it was too complex and isolated to rule effectively. Around 1850 the Dutch purchased Portugal’s remaining enclaves in the area, including Larantuka , Sikka and Paga. Even into the first decade of the 20th century, the Dutch were constantly confronted with rebellions and inter – tribal wars. Unrest continued until a major military campaign in 1907 subdued most of the tribes of central and western Flores. Missionaries moved into the isolated western hills in the 1920’s.
Flores is holding its breath for provincial statues . This will be a huge development for the island, as it is currently under the jurisdiction of Kupang and the Nusa Tenggara Timor ( NTT ) government and has only limited control over its affairs.

The island’s turbulent volcanic past has left a complicated relief of V – shaped valleys, knife edged ridges, and a collection of active and extinct volcanoes.
One of the finest volcanoes is the caldera of Kelimutu in Central Flores, with its three colored lakes. There are 14 active volcanoes in Flores. Only Java and Sumatera have more. The central mountains slope gently to the volcanoes plunge steeply into the sea.
In the island is part of one of the worlds most geologically unstable zones, and earthquakes and tremors hit every year. In December 1992 an earthquake measuring 6,8 on the Richter scale, and then massive tidal wave that followed it, killed around 3000 people in eastern Flores and Flattened much of Maumere.The rugged terrain makes road construction difficult, although Flores is only about 375 km long, its main east – west roads winds, twists, ascends and descends for nearly 710 km – that is almost 2 – for – 1.

The rainy season ( November to March ) is more intense in western Flores, which receives the brunt of the north – Flores highest peak ( The 2400mGunung Ranaka ), gets an average of 3350mm of rain every year. But Ende , Maumere, have only 1140mm and Larantuka recevest 770mm.

Batu Cermin Cave is five kilometers from the town of Labuanbajo. It can be reached partly by car, and partly on foot. The grotto is 75 by 75 meters large, and contains stalactites and stalagmites. Some tunnels are narrow and dark but in others sunlight falls.

Around 85% of the people are Catholic but in rural areas particularly, Christianity is divided onto traditional beliefs. Animistic rituals are still important here for a variety of Occasions, ranging from birth, marriage, and death to the building of new houses, or to mark important points in the agricultural cycle. Even educated, English – speaking Florinese still admit to the odd chicken, pig ,or buffalo sacrifice to keep their ancestors happy when rice is planted or a new field opened up. In former times, it took more then animal blood to keep the Gods and spirits friendly, there are persistent tales of children or virgin girls being sacrificed. Muslims tend to congregate in the coastal towns such as Ende where they make up half population.

Flores is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province. The island is split into eight regencies (local government districts); from west to east these are: West Manggarai,Manggarai,east Manggarai, Ngada, Nagekeo, Ende, Sikka and Flores Timur.

The most famous tourist attraction in Flores is Kelimutu; three coloured lakes in the district of Ende. These coloured lakes change colours on a regular basis. The latest colours (late 2004) were said to be turquoise, brown and black.
There is good snorkelling and diving on several locations along the north coast of Flores, most notably Maumere and Riung. However, due to the destructive practice of local fishermen using bombs to fish, and locals selling shells to tourists, the reefs are slowly being destroyed.
West Flores is also the best place for eco tours, trekking, hiking, and birds watching.
(More info and tours Package)

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