Ujung Kulon National Park : Home Of The Javanese Rhinos
In Banten, not too far away from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta lies the last home of the Javanese Rhinos. As you move through the dense rain forest you might be lucky enough to sight one of these extremely rare animals. They are solitary in their movements and only number slightly over 40 in the park. So if you do spot one you have indeed been a witness to a precious wonder. Another rare find will be one of Ujung Kulon’s Leopards. Just don’t go wandering into the jungle late at night, as that is when they are out hunting for their prey.
On your trip around this set of islands and Peninsula you will find many wild pigs, Rusa deer and long tailed Macaques to mention a few. The coastal vegetation is a perfect feeding ground for insects and then those that feed upon the insects with the chain continuing. Keep an eye out for the wonderful Fairy Bluebird, which resembles a punk blackbird. There are also many types of Bulbul, Kingfisher, Heron and Broadbills to be spotted with their strong colours. Yet the one that stands out from this amazing crowd is the Asian Paradise Flycatcher.
The beaches are beautiful with golden sand and a hidden treat is in store if you wade into the waters at night, the bioluminescent plankton becomes disturbed with your steps and springs into life creating an orchestra of colour swirling with the gentle lapping of the waves.
You will find nice guesthouses on the Island of Peucang with air conditioning and more basic accommodation on the Island of Handeleum and Taman Jaya (the main entry point into the park). It is relatively simple and easy to hire a Park Ranger to be your guide and it is well worth the extra cost. The dry season is the best time to visit and you can reach the area by road down the west coast of Java and then take the sea crossing to some of the smaller islands. A word to the wise is take lots of insect repellent.
Hikes can vary from gentle strolls along well trodden paths and not needing much in the way of equipment to real treks where your guides will lead you deep into the jungle. Both are rewarding in that there are so many types of wildlife spread throughout the park.
You are able to enjoy the park both on foot and in the water so make sure to bring with you some mosquito repellent and a snorkel as you will want both.
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