This is the list of the national parks of Indonesia. Of all the national parks, 6 are World Heritage Sites, 6 are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and 3 are wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar convention. A total of 9 parks are largely marine. The first group of five Indonesian national parks were established in 1980. This number increased constantly reaching 41 in 2003. In a major expansion in 2004, nine more new national parks were created, raising the total number to 50.
Gede Pangrango National Park, together with four others, was established under a declaration made by the minister of Agriculture on 6th March, 1980. These first five park had the distinction of launching Indonesia's National Park Programme.
The park, covering 15,196 ha, evolved from several already existing conservation areas: Cibodas Nature Reseve (240 ha), gazetted in 1889, was the oldest reserve in Indonesia and in 1925 was extended to 1,040 ha; Cimungkat Nature Reserve (56 ha) gazetted in 1919; situgunung Recreational Park (120 ha) gazetted in 1975; and Mount Gede Pangrango nature Reserve (14,000 ha) gazetted in 1978.
The Gede-Pangrango area has been the centre of much research over the last two centuries, so establishing its worldwide reputation. Sir Thomas Raffles organised the building of a path on the south-eastern slopes in 1811, although the earliest recorded climb of Mount Gede was by C.G.C. Reinwardt in 1819. Other explorations were conducted by F.W. Junghuhn (1839-1861), J.E. Teysmann (1839), A.R. Wallace (1861), S.H. Koorders (1890), M. Treub (1891) and W.M. van Leeuen (1911). C.G.G.J. van Steenis (1920-1952) collected and studied here in preparation for his now famous book: "The Mountain Flora of Java". published in 1972.
Today many Indonesian and foreign scientists carry on the tradition and, as a result, these mountains are one of the most well researched tropical forest systems in the world. Even so, in such a set of complex ecosystems, exact relationships between the myriad of species will keep biologists intrigued for many decades to come. Climate, topography and vegetation all interact.
Gunung Gede-Pangrango, the twin volcanoes of West Java, is one of the first national parks in Indonesia. It covers a total forested area of 15,000 hectares. This area has a special place in the history of both conservation and botanical research in Indonesia. It includes the Cibodas Nature Reserve which has been the scene of numerous botanical and other studies for a period of well over a hundred years by a number of scientists and naturalists, including such eminent figures as Reinwardt, Junghunn and Wallace.
The park is within easy reach by road from Jakarta and Bandung, and the main entrance at Cibodas is situated about 120 km, or about 2.5 hours by car from Jakarta and 85 km or about 2 hours by car from Bandung.
It is also accessible from Cipanas and Pacet through Gunung Putri, just east of Cibodas; and from Sukabumi through Selabintana from the south at about 60 km or 1.5 hour by car from Bogor. Another entrance is at Situgunung, which can be reached through Cisaat, just west of Sukabumi. From these entrances (except from Situgunung) there are trails to the summits of Gunung Gede and Pangrango.
What to bring/Where to stay
Cool-weather clothing, rain coat, strong shoes for hiking, and camping equipments are recommended. Visitors have also to bring their own food, especiall for those who want to stay overnight in the park. Accomodation in the park is in simple guesthouses. The park also provides some camping grounds, including one at the Alun-alun Suryakencana, a flat area near the top of Gunung Gede. There are many hotels, villas and bungalows in the Puncak Pass-Cipanas area. This area is quite close to the Headquarters of the park.
Among the mountains in West Java, the twin volcanoes Gede-Pangrango are very famous for hiking and mountain climbing. There are 4 trails to go up to the summits of of the mountains; two trails are from Cibodas, one from Gunung Putri and another one from Selabintana, Sukabumi. Climbing the mountains and watching the sunrise from the top or the crater wall of Gunung Gede are the most exciting attractions for visitors.
A park entry permit is required for each visitor, and is available at the Park Headquarters, Cibodas.
You can enter the park by one of four gates:
- Cibodas Gate (Cianjur) is the main entrance and the site of the park Headquarters. It is located about 100 km from Jakarta/2.5 hour drive; 89 km from Bandung/2 hour drive.
- Gunung Putri Gate (Cianjur) is close to Cibodas and can be reached via Cipanas and Pacet.
- Selabintana Gate (Sukabumi) is 60 km from Bogor/1.5 hour drive, and 90 km from Bandung/2 hour drive.
- Situgunung Gate (Sukabumi) is 15 km from Selabintana in the direction of Bogor.
- Except from Situgunung, Mount Gede and Pangrango summits may be reached on clearly marked trails.
All visitors must buy a ticket when entering the park. Recreational visit tickets can be obtained from ticket hatches at each of the four gates. In addition, mountain climbing permits are required:
- when living the main trail from Cibodas gate to Cibeureum Waterfall in order to climb to the hot water stream/Air panas;
- When turning off the trail to Cibeureum waterfall of Selabintana, Selabintana Gate;
- beyond Bobojong camping ground upon entering the National Park proper from Gunung Putri Gate.
- Should you wish to climb the mountains you must obtain the permit either at the National Park Headquarters, Cibodas or at Selabintana Resort Office.
Register at the National Park Office:
- Monday-Thursday 07.30 - 14.30
- Friday 07.30 - 11.00
- Saturday 07.30 - 13.30
Gede Pangrango is one of the wettest parts of Java with a mean annual rainfall between 3,000 and 4,000 mm and with, even in the four driest consecutive months of the year, still more than 40 rainy days. The wettest season is from October to May, coinciding with the North West moonsoon, with more than 200 mm of rain every month and over 400 mm per month between December and March (the park is usually closed during this period). The best time for visiting this park is during the driest months (June-September), when average monthly rainfall drops below 100 mm. Annual average temperature varies from about 18°C in Cibodas to less than 10°C at the top of Gunung Pangrango while the relative humidity varies between 80% and 90%.
Annual rainfall is high. The average is in the range of 3,000-4,200 mm per annum, making the area one of the wettest parst of java. The rainy season occurs from October to May, the monthly average of 200 mm rising to over 400 mm in the period from December to March. The dry season occurs from June to September, rainfall dropping to below 100 mm per month. Visitors are asked to be especially careful at this time as the vegetation is easily ignited.
Relative humidity is likewise high, espesially in the forest at night. However, during the dry season humidity on the peaks swings from a night- time low of 30% to an afternoom high of over 90%. These variations have a marked effect on plant communities. Daily temperature at Cibodas averages around 18°C, while on the peaks of Mount Gede and Pangrango the average is a chilly 10°C. Night-time temperature on the peaks may drop below 5°C. Frasts occur regularly so warm clothing is essential to anyone intending to climb to the summit. The National Park is an important hydrological catchment.
Gunung Gede and Pangrango are a part of the great belt of volcanoes which extends in an arch through Sumatera, Java and the Lesser Sundas. These volcanoes were formed during the Quarternary period between 3 million years ago and the present time. Pangrango and Gede are thus comparatively new mountains geologically, though the former is the older of the two, no longer displaying any sign of volcanic activity, while Gede is still semi-active with a well-defined crater within which gases escape from fumaroles. Flora
Gunung Gede-Pangrango is covered with splendid mountain forest and at present it is one of the last mountain forests of the West Java where the forest is still relatively undisturbed. The park is situated between approximately 1,000 m and 3,019 m and it include sub-montane (1,000-1,500 m), montane (1,500-2,400 m) and sub-alpine (above 2,400 m) vegetation.
The high forest between 1,400 and 2,400 m has a very mixed composition. The canopy is about 30-40 m high with an abundant development of laurels (Litsea spp.), oaks (Lithocarpus spp. and Quercus spp.) and chesnuts (Castanopsis spp.). Emergents of this forest include the grand rasamala (Altingia excelsa) and the conifers (Podocarpus imbricatus and Podocarpus neriifolius).
The Puspa (Schima walichii) is common in West-Java's rainforest and often conspicuous by its reddish flush that at times colours the whole forest canopy.At the attitude of about Kandang Badak, the saddle at 2,400 m between Gunung Gede and Pangrango, one enters the sub-alpine or elfin forest. This forest has only one stratum of smallish trees and a ground layer. Due to their better resistance against crater gases, Vaccinium varingiaefolium, Rhododendron retusum and Myrsine avenis are more common close to the crater area even a pure Vaccinium varingiaefolium forest has developed. One of the characteristic plants of the top areas of these mountains is the Javanese Edelweiss (Anaphalis javanica).
Besides a rich ground flora containing begonias and ferns, many species of epiphyte are found growing non-parasitically on twigs and branches: predominantly orchids, lianas and herbs. One of the most easy to indentify is the bird's nest fern (Asplenium nidus) : perched on trees its rosette of long ribbon-like leaves can easily exceed 2 m in diameter.
Montane forest has a lower diversity of plants with noticeably fewer herb species than the sub-montane zone. Common trees include pupsa (Schima walichii) which frequently gives a subtle red hue to the forest. Also very noticeable are the conifers Dacrycarpus imbricatus and Podacarpus neriifolius. Mosses take over as the dominant epiphytes, being favoured by the cooler conditions of these cloud forests.
As one Climbs up into sub-alpine vegetation, diversity continues to decline. The zone is characterized by smaller trees, the dominant species of which is Vaccinium varingiaefolium. Vegetation and rocks are profusely covered with "beardmoss", actually, not a moss at all but the lichen Usnea. Unique to this area is a grassland habitat dominated by the tiny highland grass Isachne pangrangensis (named after the area), moss tussocks and clumps of the Javanese eidelweiss (Anaphalis javanica).
The eidelweiss is testament to the surprising fact that many of the region's high altitude plants have a close affinity with those of the northern hemisphere. These plant used the cooler conditions of the Eurasian mountain chains to spread south-eastwards. Other plants which may give Europeans a feeling of deja vu are types of oak, buttercup, violet, strawberry and primrose.
In general the fauna of the montane forest is rather poor and even though observation of animals is very difficult because of the dense forest, on a bright morning it seems the forest becomes alive. We can hear everywhere birds singing and see them flying. There are about 200 species of bird in the area, including the pygmy tit (Psaltris exilis) which is only know from west Java's mountains and the sole representative of an endemic genus.
Primate species which occur in the park include the Javan gibbon (Hylobates moloch), Javan leaf monkey (Presbytis aygula), silvered leaf monkey (Presbytis cristata), and the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis). Leopard (Panthera pardus) is still the only large predator of West Java, besides the extremely rare wild dog (Cuon alpinus) which also exists in this park. Other species of mammals are the wild pigs (Sus scrofa), the Javanese/stink badger (Mydaus javanensis), the leopard cat (Felis bengalensis) and the yellow-throated martin (Mustela flavigula).
The park is home to manyspecies of mammal. These include the stink badger (Mydaus javanensis), flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), lesser mousr-deer (Tragulus javanicus) and two species of wild pig (Sus scrofa and S.verrucosus). Four species of primate live here and are all frequently seen : Javan gibbon (Hylobates moloch). Javan leaf monkey (Presbytis comata), ebony leaf monkey (trachythecus auratus), and long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis). The two Javanese endemics are currently listed as endangered.
Other rare mammals include leopard (panthera pardus), leopard cat (Felis bengalensis) and wild dog (Cuon alpinus javanicus). Junghuhn's observations of 1839 tell us that Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) once roamed the erea; regrettably no recent records exist. Many different kinds of bird inhabit the park; more than 251 species from the Javan list of 450 have been recorded. Scaece or beautiful birds, such as the Javan hawk-eagle (Spizaetus bartelsi), the blue-tailed trogon (Harpactes reinwardteii)(Otus angelinae) attract bird-watchers from all over the world.
In 1889 the primary forest above the Cibodas Botanical Gardens (established in 1830) was included in the gardens, in order to protect it is an example of the Javanese mountain flora and to facilitate research under the management of the Director of the Botanical Gardens. The area was approximately 240 ha. extending as far as the hot water springs, at 2,150 m. In 1919 a part of the protection forest on the southern slopes of Gunung Pangrango was declared as the Strict Nature Reserve Cimungkat (56 ha).
In 1925 the decree of 1889 was revoked and an area extending to the summits of G. Gede, Gemuruh and Pangrango, between the Ciwalen and Cibodas rivers, was declared as the Cibodas-Gunung Gede Nature Reserve (1,040 ha). In 1975 the lake Situgunung on the southern slopes of G. Pangrango and just east of Cimungkat together with a large area of secondary vegetation was declared as a Forest Recreation Area (120 ha). On March 6, 1980; all the reserves and the surrounding protection forests were joined and declared as a national park. Then Gunung Gede Pangrango became one of the first national parks in Indonesia.
Little is known of the early history of the area. Until the 19th century the whole mountain complex was inaccessible to man and covered with dense primary forest. But most probably the trail connecting Cianjur and Cipanas with Cisarua and Bogor was an important route for travellers. From earliest times, Junghuhn (1843) reported that a few years before his visit the Puncak Pass area was still unsettled. The face of the area however, changed completely with the introduction of tea to Java and the real progress was made after the introduction of Assam tea variety from India in 1878.
In 1886 the first leases were granted for opening large areas of forest for the Goalpara estate, which were planted between 1901 and 1910. Gradually other estates on the lower slopes were also opened and planted, of which the last was the Gunung Mas estate in 1921. The whole aspect of the region was thus changed from a dark dense tropical rainforest to fertile tea gardens.
Location map of Gunung Gede Pranggano
Last revised on January 06, 2011
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