Are you looking to check an item off your bucket list? Or perhaps you are looking for a way to create a short weekend gateway near Jakarta? As with any popular destination, Ujung Kulon National Park has more to see than you’ll have time for on your vacation.
Ujung Kulon National Park covers an area of 122,000 hectares. It’s a huge expanse of land and the chance of seeing a rhino is pretty small (it’s roughly 2,000 hectares per rhino).
What pops into your head when you heard someone says Ujung Kulon? Rhino I guess? Yep, you’re right. Ujung Kulon is believed to sustain the last viable natural population to the critically endangered Rhino. There are approximately 60 Javan Rhinos left in an area of 122,000 hectares. Thus creating this National Park a very important ecosystem in an attempt to conserve the Javan Rhino. In addition to that, it is also a magnet for tourist due to its biodiversity. Because of its unique given characteristics, on 1991, UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site. Though Javan Rhinos are the superstars of Ujung Kulon National Park, there are a lot of other animals too like deer, bull, peacocks, wild boar, and monkeys that inhabit the area. (Source: http://discoveryourindonesia.com/ujung-kulon-javan-rhinos/)
How To Get There
Other things to have in mind when deciding when to go are crowds and weather. Banten has very moody and unpredictable weather year-round, but the best weather can be found between June and August. There are two ways to enter Ujung Kulon National Park, first option is by charter a boat from Carita Beach and second option is getting there overland by car via Labuan to Tamanjaya or Sumur. Prepare yourself because you may experience some bad traffic on the weekend. Take a deep breath and just enjoy the ride.
From Jakarta, you need to take a car/bus/train to Serang, Banten then continue with a minibus/elf to Tamanjaya. For groups of more than 10 people, its better to rent a minibus in which is more affordable. As you arrived in Tamanjaya, meet the rangers in the Taman Jaya post to apply the permission, registration and pay the entrance tickets. To enter the National Park you have to be accompanied by a guide from the rangers.
Where To Stay
Most people who visit Ujung Kulon National Park will either stay on Handeuleum or Peucang island. But don’t set your hopes too high, both islands are small villages with few standard accommodations, providing cheap homestay options to travelers.
Where To Go
Where to go in Ujung Kulon National Park depends on the amount of time you have. Our recommendation is to have at least 2 days there to have enough time to go around the touristy spots. There are some range of activities to choose from including boat tours to trekking, or even get a chance to see Javan Rhinos (if you’re lucky).
Exploring Cigenter River
The locals recognize it as little Amazon. No wonder, it features wild animals along the river. You may expect some crocodiles, and snakes on the branches as well. This river is located in Handeleum Island. One thing you really need to do is a river exploration. But you should talk to the keeper/ranger to get the permission. Once you have received their permission, you are ready to go.
This island is known as the best surfing spot in Ujung Kulon National Park. Panaitan Island lies off the western tip of Java in the Sunda Strait, the sea that links Java and Sumatra and is part of the World Heritage-listed Ujung Kulon National Park. Panaitan Island is as abundant in wildlife as it is in the world class waves that surround its reefs. There are few surfing camp that can provide and customize your surf trip such as Indo Surf Camp, you can contact them for further information here .
Its an open grassy land and home to several plants and animals, too. The best attraction is the wild bulls. They often come to the location for grazing. The island is situated near the Peucang Island. The best time to come is in the morning where you can witness wild bulls, or any other animals like wild chickens and peacocks. Before exploring the savanna, you must have obtained permission from the guard first because it is a primary requirement.
Just a little bit of an information; There was a sight of the Javan Tiger that was long thought to be extinct this year (2017) walking across the prairie. So if you happen to spot one, consider yourself very lucky as this species was believed to be extinct since a long time ago.
Peucang Island is the most visited island in Ujung Kulon National Park. This island provides a standard accommodation and supporting facilities for visitors. As part of Ujung Kulon Nasional Park, Peucang Island is accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with Panaitan island and Handeuleum Island. The visitors that come to Peucang Island can enjoy the white sandy beach, snorkelling, swimming, and witness the endemic fauna that live around the forest.