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.
The forests of the Mount Halimun Salak National Park are the largest tract of true rain forest now remaining on Java. The wide altitudinal range contributes to great habitat diversity. The area's particular importance for wildlife protection was acknowledged on 26 February 1992, when Halimun National Park was established by Ministry of Forestry decree.
Originally, most of the 40,000 ha was classified as protection forest, declared during the period 1924-1934. The area was slightly enlarged in 1979 when its status changed to that of nature reserve. On 26 May 1992, management and responsibility for the setting up of the new National Park was transferred to the Headquarters of Gede Pangrango National Park.
Apart from the primary function of habitat protection, the National Park plays an important role in supporting regional development and opportunities for research, education, eco-tourism and horticultural activities such as orchid growing. With the creation of Mount Halimun National Park, the three West Javan Parks (Gede Pangrango, Halimun and Ujung Kulon), taken together, now provide a range of habitats from sea level to the highest peaks. Such conservation planning will help assure a secure future for the rich wildlife of this densely populated province.
Typical annual rainfall varies between 4,000 - 6,000 mm/year, very high even for West Java! The wet season occurs from October to April, with precipitation around 400-600 mm/month. Even in the so-called "dry season", June to September, rainfall is usually in excess of 200 mm/month. During the day warm air rises over the land and warm, saturated air from over the ocean moves in to take its place. When this humid air reaches the mountains it cools; water condenses into clouds and a deluge of rain follows (orthographic precipitation). Rainfall here is strongly influenced by seasonal changes in wind direction.
Based on geological history, Mount Halimun and neighbouring peaks are sisters of South Sumatra's Barisan Mountains. During the Lower Miocene and Pliocene (10-20 million years ago) the rocks of the whole area were pushed upwards. This uplifting formed the Bayah Dome. Subsequent partial collapse of the structure resulted in the area of lowland, which now forms the Sunda Straits separating Java and Sumatra. The two islands were last linked some 10,000 years ago.
Accompanying early tectonic movements, lava ridges built up along fracture lines in the earth's crust. With dome collapse, a south facing horseshoe formation of volcanoes developed. Over the year weathering has eroded the area, giving a more rounded landscape, but these ancient features remain. Mount Halimun's rocks largerly consist of breccia and andesitic and basalt lavas. There also are few sedimentary areas. Gold and silver ores occur, mining taking place in the west and southwest.
In contrast to the Mount Gede area, Mount Halimun has been comparatively little researched; the still strong conviction thet the mountainis haunted meant that early researchers found it very difficult to obtain guides. The past geological link with South Sumatra is reflected in the vegetational affinity between the two areas. Over half the forest occurs in the altitudinal range 1,000-1,400 m. This can be regarded as sub-montane forest, a type which possesses a greater diversity of plants than higher, cooler areas. Dominant tree species are the huge rasamala (Altingia excelsa), the puspa (Schima walichii), and oaks (Lithocarpus). Smaller laurel trees (Litsea spp.) also make up an important constituent.
Epiphytes are numerous, orchids making a substantial contribution. Woody climbers, termed lianas, are well represented and include the very spiny rattans. The high rainfall gives rise to a rich community of ferns and mosses. Palms, rhododendrons, tree ferns and rare mistletoes all add to the area's high botanical value. In the higher montane forest diversity is less, the dominant trees being conifers (Dacrycarpus imbricatus, Podocarpus blumeii and P. neriifolius). There are fewer herbs than in the sub-montane zone; even so, one investigation, lasting only a week, discovered 75 species of orchid. Many are rare, endangered or are Javan mountain endemics: Bulbophylum binnendykii, B. angustifolium, Coelogyre correa, Cymbidium ensifolium and Dendrochilium raciborski.
Mount Halimun is particularly important for Javan gibbon conservation. The gibbon (Hylobates moloch) lives in primary forest between sea level and 1,250 m. It ic confined to western Java. Since most lowland forest has been lost to agriculture, Halimun National Park offers a much-needed secure home. The Javan leaf monkey (Presbytis comata), our other] West Javan endemic primate, is also endangered. Its future will depend, crucially, on protection in forested National Parks. Halimun is also home to the ebony leaf monkey (Trachypithecus auratus.), which is found only on Java and few of the lesser Sunda Islands. The long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), common and famous throughout South East Asia, is also resident.
A quiet walk in the magnificent forest may yield views of wild pig (Sus scrofa) and barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), the latter preferring secondary forest. These animals form the main diet for the now very rare wild dog (Cuon alpinus). Flocks of bright red and black minivets fly through the canopy. In fact, there are around 130 species of bird, 90 of which are more or less permanently resident. Of the 30 or so "javanese endemics" nine can be seen within the park. At least two are endangered: the spotted crosias (Crosias albonotatus) and the rufous-fronted laughingthrush (Garrulax rufifrons). Other endemics include the pygmytit (Psaltria exilis); only found in West Java, it is the island's smallest bird.
Places of Interest
Besides its ecological and scientific importance, Mount Halimun National Park offers quiet areas for recreation and eco-tourism. Activities include walking, both gentle and strenuous, and observing animals or the rich flora. There is simple opportunity for photography or just simple enjoyment of the natural scenery.
Waterfalls - Eight waterfalls can be explored: the falls of Cimantaja and Cipamulaan near Cikiray village; Piit and Cihanjawar waterfalls in the vicinity of Nirmala; those of Citangkolo and Ciraksamala close to Mekarjaya village and the Ciberang waterfalls near Cisarua village. As the paths are not sign-posted the services of a guide are strongthly recommended.
Camping Sites - There are several camping sites in the park: the main ones are located at Cikaniki and Citalahab.
Candi (temple) Cibedug - The park's splendid mountain scenery contains the small but ancient megalithic temple of Candi Cibedug. It is located on the western side, on a protruding arm of the park, 8 km or 2 hour walk from Citorek village. On the way the visitor can relax by a small lake.
Cadas Belang - This deep ravine lies near the south-east boundary. Again, a guide is necessary.
Additional attractions - On the eastern side near the main gate of Cipeuteuy are several agricultural plantations. Within an enclave of the park is Nirmala Tea Estate. Visitors are welcame here, as they are at nearby Cianten and Pandanarum. After leaving the park a drive of 40-50 km will bring you to the south coast and the tourist area Pelabuhan Ratu. After a short drive you will arrive at quiet coastal settlements.
The park can be reached from Bogor, Sukabumi and Lebak. The main access routes are:
Sukabumi - Parungkuda 20 km/20 minutes by public transport. Parungkuda- Cipeuteuy 30 km/1 hour by public transport.
Bogor-Leuwiliang 20 km/30 minutes by public transport. Leuwiliang-Nanggung 15 km/20 minutes by public transport. Nanggung-Cisangku 15 km/ 1 hour by motorcycle.
Rangkasbitung-Bayah 150 km/2 hours by public transport. Bayah-Ciparay 36 km/2 hours by public transport including motorcycle.
The charm of the park lies in its relative remoteness, enhanced by the surrounding quiet, rural communities. The road from Cipeuteuy to the Nirmala Tea Estate is a bumpy but reliable all-weather, stone-clad road. It passes through attractive, good quality forest. Strong suspension is amust and four wheel drive comes in very useful. While many of the peripheral tracks are readily accessible, trails deep into the park are not well developed or defined. Hiking to the peaks requires careful planning and advice from park staff should be sought.
You must register at the National Park Headquarters, Cibodas (Gede Pangrango National Park) should you wish to climb the mountains: