Taman Nasional Bukit Barisan Selatan (Southern Bukit Barisan National Park) is a national park aimed to conserve the tropical rain forest of Sumatera and its biodiversity. This park is dabbed a world heritage by UNESCO. While Bukit Barisan Selatan (Southern Mountain Range) is dabbed a Wildlife Reserve in 1935, but it has become a National Park only since 1982.
Taman Nasional Bukit Barisan Selatan (TNBBS) is very rich in biodiversity and is the habitat of three big mammalians that is on danger of extinction: Sumatran tiger (less than 2,000 still alive today), Sumatran rhinos (globally 300 individuals and keep on dwindling), and Sumatran tiger (global population is about 400).
TNBBS is located in west part of south Sumatera. Seventy percent of this park is located in Lampung Barat and Tanggamus district. When you are in Krui, you can see this park when you are in your way to Liwa from Krui. It is about 25 km from Krui town.
From Krui, you can take a motorbike or a car to the base camp, where you can start your journey into this national park. But I am afraid you cannot just go venturing your way through the jungle by yourselves, you should report to the forest guards and have them guide you into the forest, just like Marek Obtulovic (28) and Mai Lan Chi from Brno, Czech Republic, did the other day.
Marek and Mai started from Krui early in the morning of August 18, 2012. They took a bike taxi from the hotel where they stayed in Krui to the base camp, and started their journey from the base camp into the jungle at about 8 o’clock. They were guided by two forest guards with whom they made an appointment before. The forest guards manage everything for them, including their meals (three times a day), hammock, and guidance.
After walking about two hours through the thick forest, they arrived at a small creek where they built the hammocks for sleeping at night. And after taking a rest by the creek for sometime, they continue walking around the jungle for about two hours. They left their belongings at the camp by the creek. The water in the creek was so clean that you can drink it straight but Marek and his girlfriend didn’t drink the water from the creek. They were drinking bottle water instead.
In their journey knocking around the jungles they saw some tree animals like monkeys, gibbon, squirrel, and hornbill, but they fail to see four-legs-animals like tiger or rhinos. Instead of seeing the actual animals they saw some footprints of tiger, tapir, elephant, and deer on the ground. And the thing that amazed Marek so much was some scratches of tiger claws that left on a trunk of a tree.
But one thing that sucked them so much were the bloodsuckers. Both Marek and Mai Lan got a lot of bloodsuckers stuck on their legs. And Mai Lan even brought some bloodsuckers on her body back to her hotel in town. And for your information, it was dry season, and bloodsuckers will be more on rainy season.
Having enough walk, they came back to the camp where they have the hammocks hanging on the trees and spend the night there. But, however, both Marek and Mai Lan couldn’t sleep the night. Even though they had mosquito nets, but still they got a lot of mosquito bites.
In the morning, they had breakfast at 7.00 and continue walking the jungle at 8:15. And after walking for about two hours, they walked home and arrived at the base camp at about 12:00.
Both Marek and Mai Lan enjoyed their being in the forest very much and hoping that they could stay for one more day, but the guides declined because it was Idul Fitri, the biggest Moslem festival after Ramadan, the time for family gathering for Moslem people. And if you would like to come into this jungle, don’t come on Idul Fitri days.
Wondering if you can follow the path of Marek and Mai Lan? Well, you can make your own journey into this jungle, but nothing is for free.
For a two days and one night trip like Marek and Mai Lan’s you’ll have to pay 1.200.000 Rupiah (for two people). The price included two guides, hammocks (for sleeping), meals (three meals a day), and permission for taking photographs. All the equipment and the meals will be provided by the guides.
Photos by Marek Oblutovic
Photos by Marek Oblutovic