Indonesia tips

Hello There !

Would really appreciate any advice on Indoniesia, heading over there in May for a wedding in Jakarta a couple days then off to Bali for a week of “beach and chill”.

Will probably be able to squeeze an exra week of holiday in after that but no longer. Will be flying back via Jakarta.

What are the must see places in Indonesia for wildlife ( prefferably close to Bali and Jakarta, Huge country!) ?

Anywhere I could go for a reasonable rate (I camp and sleep in cars  a lot so that wouldnt be an issue) where I could see a good variaty of stuff within one week or less?

Any help or advice would be hugely appreciated !





  • Curtis Hart


    For Java, you could try Baluran NP, which is about an hour north of the Java/Bali ferry on Java. I saw Dhole(I was lucky), Rusa, Langurs, a few Leopard Cats, and Javan Mongoose. Bantang are possible, but difficult these days. Gunung Gede and Halimun are both good options on Java.

    A quick kayak search for random dates in May show you can fly to Manado from Bali and then back to Jakarta for under $200. You could easily visit Tangkoko (Bear Cuscus, Spectral Tarsier, and Crested Macaque), and if you’re willing to pay for the convenience (a lot by Indonesian standards), you could visit Nantu forest for Babirusa, Heck’s Macaque, Sulawesi Warty Pig, and with some luck an Anoa.

    Another option would be to fly into Sorong ($284 for those random dates). Ferry to Waigeo and you have good odds at a couple Cuscus, Suger Gliders, interesting bats, and although it is frowned upon to mention here, some nice birds. Oh, and the snorkeling/diving is pretty nice.

    Although poor for mammals, Komodo is an easy trip from Bali.

    Writing this is making me want to go back to Indonesia!

    Good luck,


  • Manuel Ruedi

    Hi Curtis
    The extreme eastern parts of Java have two superbe national parks supporting many large animals: Baluran and Alas Purwo. The second is more difficult to accès and you need to bring your own food as it is remote but there is a watchtower near a forest opening were large herds of bantengs gather and sambars fight. We also saw leopard footprints and many smaller mammals like 12 species of bats squirrels etc.
    Baluran was wonderful at night with 3 sightings of leopard cats in two hours night walk civets a colony of lesser false vampir bats in a watchtower.
    I was there with family in July 2005.

  • Maurice Tijm

    Alas Purwo NP is a great site for Banteng. There is a large herd that visits the grazing ground together with Rusa Deer and Green Peafowl. Alas Purwo has good forest and coastline leopards, primates and good birds like banded pitta and javan hawk eagle. If you stay in the northwest of Bali near Gilimanuk (Bali Barat NP) you can visit Alas Purwo in a day trip. You can ask your resort to arrange a driver on the Java side. You resort can bring you very early to the ferry. At the other side you meet with your drive and travel to Alas Purwo to be at the grazing ground early morning.

    I wouldn’t make time to fit in Gunung Gede NP below Bogor in West Java. It is a crowded place and seeing all the stuff that Jon saw when he was there isn’t easy. Halimun NP is a fine site, I really enjoyed this forest but you need at least 5 days total in West Java to visit it.

    Have a great trip and wedding.

    Maurice Tijm

  • john

    Thanks a lot for your advice guys!

    I might head to Borneo as I hear that the place to go as its just so massively bio diverse. Will probably check out a national park in Java on the way back for a couple of days.

  • john

    Hello Again,

    I am soon to embark on my journey and as it turns out I will have around 9 days to explore the country after going to Bali, so far I am planning to go to Balarun and Alas Purwo on the East of java, will try to get there from Bali as it would logistically be on the way back to jakarta (kind of). From there I will make my way west towards jakarta and my flight back to europe.
    How long would you reccomend I stay in each of the two parks? also is Balarun naturally so savanahh like or is this the result of deforestation or grazing? Im not too keen on visiting any fake or manmade environments which is why I ask.
    Are the any further parks or sites in Java that are really worth having a look at?

  • Vladimir Dinets

    My understanding is that the savanna patches in Baluran are natural. That said, pretty much all habitats today are man-made to some extent, due to man-caused megafaunal extinctions, climate changes, fires, fire suppression, alien species introductions, etc., etc.

  • john

    Ok thanks for the Info, thats very true and is something that I guess you can not always get around.
    Does anybody know how easy it is to get from banyuwangi (near Balarun NP) back to denpansor or surabaya? I would ideally like to fly back to Jakarta from one of those two airports but am not sure which one would be quicker to get to as my flight from Jakarta leaves in the late evening. I tried google maps but im not sure how reliable it is concerning the public transport time.

    thanks a million


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