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National parks

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.

Lore Lindu
Through the western highlands

Lore Lindu National Park is a forested protected area on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, in the province of Central Sulawesi. The area of the national park is 2,180 km covering both lowland and montane forests. It provides habitat to numerous rare species, including 77 bird species endemic to Sulawesi. The national park is designated as part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. In addition to its rich wildlife, the park also contains megaliths dating from before 1300 AD.

The boundaries of the park are defined by the Palolo Valley to the north, Napu Valley to the east and Bada Valley to the south. The western boundary is formed by a series of narrow valleys, known collectively as the Kulawi Valley. The Palolo, Napu, Lindu and Besoa Valleys were once lakes, now partially filled with sediment. Lake Lindu (Danau Lindu) is the only large lake remaining today. The altitude ranges from 200 to 2,355 m above sea-level.

The climate is tropical with high humidity. Temperatures vary only a few degrees over the course of the year, between 26C32C in lowland areas. The temperature drops in the highland areas about 6C with every 1,100 meters rise in altitude. The heaviest rain period occurs during the monsoon which lasts from November to April.
Lore Lindu National Park stretches over multiple ecosystem types, including lowland tropical forest, sub-montane forest, montane forest, as well as sub-alpine forest at altitudes over 2,000 metres . Plant species include Eucalyptus deglupta, Pterospermum celebicum, Cananga odorata, Gnetum gnemon, Castanopsis argentea, Agathis philippinensis, Phyllocladus hypophyllus, medicinal plants, and rattans.

Endemic mammals include the Tonkean Macaque (Macaca tonkeana tonkeana), North Sulawesi babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa celebensis), Pygmy Tarsier (Tarsius pumilus), Dian's Tarsier (Tarsius dianae), Sulawesi Bear Cuscus (Ailurops ursinus furvus), Sulawesi Dwarf Cuscus (Strigocuscus celebensis callenfelsi) and Sulawesi rat (Rattus celebensis). Endemic birds include the Maleo fowl (Macrocephalon maleo), Sulawesi Palm Civet (Macrogalidia musschenbroekii musschenbroekii). Reptiles and amphibians include the gold snake (Elaphe erythrura and E. janseni) and Sulawesian Toad (Bufo celebensis). The Xenopoecilus sarasinorum fish is endemic to Lake Lindu.


There are over 400 granite megaliths in the area, of which about 30 represent human forms. They vary in size from a few centimetres to ca. 4.5 metres. The original purpose of the megaliths is unknown. Other megaliths are in form of large pots (Kalamba) and stone plates (Tutu'na). Various archaeological studies have dated the carvings from between 3000 BC to 1300 AD.
Surrounding the park there are 117 villages, from which 62 are located on the borders of the park and one is within the park. The local population belongs to the Kaili, Kulavi and Lore ethnic groups. There are also migrants from South Sulawesi, Java and Bali.

Conservation and threats

Lore Lindu has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978.[3] The national park was formed through the amalgamation of three existing reserves: the Lore Kalamanta Nature Reserve, the Lake Lindu Recreation and Protection Forest, and the Lore Lindu Wildlife Reserve. While in 1982 an area of 2,310 km has been "declared" for the national park, when the park has been officially designated in 1999, its size was reduced to 2,180 km.
Deforestation as result of illegal logging and land encroachment for agricultural activities is one of the main threats to the park. Management challenges include lack of awareness of the importance of forest preservation and lack of law enforcement. Since 2000, the Indonesian-German Collaborative Research Center "STORMA" (Stability of the Rainforest Margin in Indonesia) is intensively investigating Lore Lindu National Park and its buffer zone. STORMA's analysis of the effect of environmental protection on the level of deforestation in the park, suggests a reduction of the deforestation rate of around 9% as result of the protected areas status of the park. This estimate was based on a methodology involving propensity score matching rather than the conventional satellite image comparison.

Adventure in Lore Lindu

The village of Wuasa is located at the eastern side of Lore Lindu national park, about 100 kilometers southeast of Palu, just over three hours when you have a good bus. Hiking paths from here bring you towards the west towards the Lindu plain or Toro, east of Kulawi. These paths are not often used and it's not always easy to find a guide for the two or three days that you will need to cross the park.

The park is better accessible from the western side from Toro, just southeast of Kulawi along the main road, about 80 kilometers south of Palu. The PHPA office in the village can help you find a guide for one-day trips or for the trip to Wuasa or to the Besoa valley. The central part of the reserve, which can be reached from Toro, is the most densely populated area and it's mountainous as well.
Picture: Fisherman
Another entrance to Lore Lindo even startes before Kulawi in Sidaunta, about 70 kilometers south of Palu. Every day caravans of horses climb the mountains towards the Lindu plain to supply the stalls of the four villages around the lake. Travellers can walk along and give their luggage to one of the horses for a small fee, or rent a horse yourself if you want. This can be dangerous however; every month, a horse is lost in the valley.

Caravans usually take just over four hours but the exhausted hiker can be travelling over seven hours to do the 20 kilometers to Tomado, at the other side of the lake. Spending the night among local people can be arranged with the village heads of Tomado, Langko or Anca. Sometimes there is some space in the laboratory Le Petit Soleil at the edge of Tomado.

On foot or by horse through three valleys

Three highland valleys around Lore - from north to south: Napu, Besoa and Bada - are ideal to explore on foot or by horse. There are scattered megalithical remains from unknown origin. Wuasa in the Napu valley can be reached by minibus; Besoa can only be reached on foot or by jeep from Wasa - or by plane. From the end of the road near Gimpu, there is a much used trail towards the east through the southern parts of Lore Lindo park to Hangirah in the Besoa valley. It's a heavy trip of about one day. After getting permission from KSDA/PHPA in Toro you can use the shelter with raised floor in Ranorano.

Who travels with the caravan from Gimpu, can reach Moa in the southern Pipikoro area in one day. After spending the night the next long trip goes through a magnificent piece of forest in the most southern tip of the park to the grassy plains which announce the Bada valley. Upon arrival you can arrange accomodation in Tuare or Kageroa, or with the camat of Gintu, the main place of Lore Selatan. Regularly the traveller will meet groups of local people which are walking to the highlands; it's possible to join them. There are no facilities along the road; you depend on negotiation with the local people for a place to sleep.

Location map of Lore Lindu

Last revised on January 06, 2011
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