Monday, November 30, 2015

Lake Tambing in Central Sulawesi becomes favorite tourist destination

An increasing number of tourists are visiting the Lake Tambing ecotourism destination in Lore Lindu National Park (LLNP) in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi.

Situated at an altitude of 1.7 thousand meters above sea level and some 80 kilometers from the provincial city of Palu, the lake is the ideal choice for bird lovers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts.

The beautiful lake is part of the LLNP, which is flanked by the districts of Donggala, Poso, and Sigi in Central Sulawesi.

The scenic views around the lake coupled with the melodious songs of the birds greet and mesmerize the visitors, making them feel at home and are no longer keen to return to their lodgings.

LLNP Head Sudaryatna stated in Palu on Monday that the number of tourists visiting Lake Tambing continued to increase in the recent months.

"Over the past three months, the number of domestic and foreign tourist arrivals at the lake continued to rise," Sudaryatna said, adding that several months earlier, there were no tourists due to security breach in the District of Lore and the coastal area of Poso.

However, he noted that currently, an average of 100-200 domestic and foreign tourists from the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United States visit Lake Tambing on Saturdays and Sundays.

He noted that foreign tourists are mostly bird lovers and researchers as the area is home to around 77 bird species, 60 percent of which are endemic to Sulawesi Island.

"In addition to the beautiful lake as a tourist attraction, the visitors can get a firsthand glimpse of the variety of birds in varied colors, which live and breed in the surrounding forest area," he affirmed.

Sudaryatna explained that until the end of November 2015, around three thousand foreign and domestic tourists had visited the Lake Tambing ecotourism destination.

Further, he added that the LLNP had received a budget of around Rp600 million in 2015 to improve the existing facilities at the ecotourism destination of Lake Tambing.

Sudaryatna stated on Monday that the funds from the state budget for the Ministry of Forestry and Environment will be channeled to build and improve the infrastructure and facilities at the Lake Tambing ecotourism destination.

He noted that the infrastructure and facilities being built include a road connecting to the tourist attraction at the lakeside, a home generator to anticipate power failure, electrical installations, procurement of a motorcycle to transport garbage, a parking lot that can accommodate up to 50 cars and motorcycles, a mosque, and an information center.

On arrival, the existing officers at the information center will offer a briefing to the visitors about the lake and the variety of other attractions at the national park.

Sudaryatna noted that in future, the LLNP will also build other facilities, such as a pavilion, cottages, outbound areas, and a bird observation tower near Lake Tambing.

He remarked that a tracking line, orchid breeding garden, and gallery will also be built for the visitors, so that they can enjoy their visit to Lake Tambing and the national park.

"These improvements are urgently needed to attract more domestic and foreign tourists to visit the ecotourism area at the lake and park," he added.

LLNP Head of the Technical Subdivision Ahmad Yani stated in Palu early this month that the national park is a habitat to almost all of Sulawesis endangered animal species, such as the mountain anoa, a dwarf buffalo once common but now rarely seen; babirusa, an animal resembling both a pig and hippopotamus; tarsier, the worlds smallest primate; tonkean macaque; and marsupial cuscus.

The tourists visiting Central Sulawesi can plan a visit to the LLNP for trekking to see the prehistoric relics from the megalithic stone culture in the valleys of Bada, Besoa, and Napu.

Yani remarked in the Central Sulawesi provincial city of Palu that infrastructure and supporting facilities at the park are being improved to draw more domestic and foreign tourists.

"We are performing maintenance work on several facilities at the national park in order to attract as many foreign tourists as possible," Achmad said in Palu recently.

He noted that the park was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and was formed through the unification of three existing reserves: the Lore Kalamanta Nature Reserve, the Lake Lindu Recreation and Protection Forest, and the Lore Lindu Wildlife Reserve.

The park, which is located south of the town of Palu, covers a 2,180-square-kilometer area, with altitudes ranging between 200 and 2.3 thousand meters above sea level.

Achmad noted that the maintenance work on several facilities in the park is part of its preparations for an anticipated increase in tourist arrivals in Central Sulawesi province.

He said the LLNP is also home to the maleo (macrocephalon maleo) breeding site that will continue to be developed into an interesting tourism attraction in the province.

Maleo, well known as the iconic bird in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, is found nowhere else in the world.

The birds have been fully protected under Indonesian law since 1972 when it was formally recognized that their population was threatened due to overharvesting of their enormous eggs coupled with the loss and fragmentation of their native forest habitat. (Antara)

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