The province of Bengkulu has many interesting sights for lovers of natural environments. Most of them are in the Bukit Barisan mountain range and can be reached via the curvy route Bengkulu-Kepahiang-Curup.
In the autumn, most of the times in November, the Rafflesia arnoldii flowers along the water rich areas of the rain forest. The area around Taba Penangjung, Bengkulu's official Rafflesia-reserve along the main road from Bengkulu to Kepahiang, is the best location to see the biggest flower in the world. Who doesn't want to go out on good luck, you can check whether a Rafflesia is currently flowering at the PHPA-office in Bengkulu.
Curup, about 85 kilometers northeast of Bengkulu, is an attractive city, located high in the Bukit Barisan with a market where agricultural products are sold. The most important crops are rice, coffee and vegetables like carrots and cauliflower. A good road connects the city with Bengkulu. This road runs across the forests in Bukit Barisan and offers a splendid view over Bengkulu city and the Indian Ocean. In the Tebong valley around Curup, water powered rice mills can still be found.
The hot water source, Suban Air Panas, a few kilometers outside Curup, is a popular location for short trips. In earlier times it seems to be a religious location, because a low foot stone carries the foot of a statue and a primitive Siwa Linga. A few meters higher on the slopes is a rectangular block of stone, which plays a role in the legend about the princes Puteri Swangka. Another old remain is a big flat stone (Batu Panco), which was probably used by religious people as a place of meditation.
From Curup, a road runs to the north, towards Muara Aman, the center of the gold mining during the colonial time. The route runs along Danau Tes ('Tes Lake'), the biggest lake of Bengkulu and locally famous because of it's beauty.
Bengkulu has two major parks. In the north it's Gunung Bukir Gedang, near Mount Seblat, which is part of the national reserve Kerinci-Seblat. This park, the biggest in Indonesia, is the habitat of rare animals like the Sumatran elephant, rhinoceros and tiger and more common species like several species of deer, birds and monkeys.
In the south it's National Park Bukit Barisan Selatan that consists of Kaur Timur area. Accept elephants, tigers and crocodiles this park also houses the slow lori and the Sumatran mountain goat. In Bengkulu Utara ('North Bengkulu') sub district is the island of Enggano about 114 kilometers off the coast. This island had magnificent coral reefs and beautiful beaches. The coastal area however, is swampy. Also remember that the island (29 x 18 kilometers) can only be explored on foot!