Staying in Bekol, Trekking to Bama for wild animals watching

Baluran National Park Travel Blog

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twin tower

Arriving at Bekol station after 50 minutes riding the bus, we were greeted by many wild Macacas and dramatic morning ray of lights. Bekol was the BNP tourism-research center. It had enough facilities such resorts (3 type of pesanggrahan here), mosque, clean water and lavatory, information center, musholla, gathering hall and more. You just need to order first to stay since the rooms not always available.

The Pesanggrahan/ resort was fairly nice, comfy and clean enough; but be careful to the macacas that could get into the house. Make sure you lock the door/window/room and put foods in safe place. Also there was a 6 meters watching tower placed in a peak next to our resort, where we could widely see the BNP area, from the forests, savannah, mountain to the sea.

Sterculia foetida

Unloading all our stuff, bathing, cooking our very late breakfast (since none kept in mind to bring gases out from the bus that leaving us), we had muuuch break time for narscis “futu2” time; also fun experimental shooting with the lomo fisheyes!! (plz wait for a while when it is printed. I’ll add them later). This trip was easy and very loose! No many destinations as we used to have for a trip. I dunno why but seem the time went so slowly during this trip. Umm…. Doesn’t good thing swiftly pass?

Visiting BNP meant we had chances for wildlife watching; from wild buffalos, wild bulls, deers, antelopes, wild boars, panthers, mangrove and wild cats, to 147 species of birds, such uli-uli, peacocks, and jungle fowls.

morning greeting from Baluran
But seem we were not that lucky to see those all!! :p At 03.40 p.m., we were going to do what we were there for (messy wording! Bingung ga, loe! :p); trekking and snorkeling! The group was divided into two teams; some just head to Bama beach (2,8 kilometers from Bekol) by bus for snorkeling and sunset while the rest did trekking for animals watching with a longer distance.

I chose trekking for sure! Since watching animal was my mission and my biggest interest *even I had to defy Paketu, hehehe peace! v(^ - ^) v mas yudi!* but for sure better to obey! It was just about proper outfit to do trekking in BNP. Pak Henry, our knowledgeable and kind guide, advised us to wear proper outfits such long shirt, trousers, shoes (even I had only “sandal gunung” and 7/8 trousers), and hat! Those were to keep you safe from thorny vegetations, kutu babi/louse, and probably snakes!

The trekking was relatively easy; sloping path easily noticed from Bekol station to Acasia forest (watch your step to avoid the thorns).

3 gals sitting on tree
The problem was just about time, thorns, and a naughty bunch of photographers. I was next to Pak Henry always in frontline, so I got a lot of new knowledge about the plants and animals, but then… as I stepped out from the tight Acasia forest to a bare land whose dramatic scenes suddenly bumped to my eyes, I was getting behind and more. Just a few minutes Pak Henry and other trekkers were swallowed by the tall grass of savannah, disappeared from my sight. WOW! I got lost!!

The bare area was Acasia arabica killing field. This plant was introduced into BNP in 1964 as fire barricading medium. Getting widen quite quickly and disrupting the savannah ecosystem, BNP tries to control its growth.

Back to the lost me.

Roni and the ancestor
. I was not alone! :p Roni, Harum, Yadi, Sony, Didiek, Putu, Vero, Tyo, and Andri were engaged taking pictures, too. LOL. The scenes were too precious to just leave behind. The coming sunset brought warm nuance to the blue sky, emphasized the beautiful shape of the clouds and perfectly matched with the vast yellow savannah. About 1 hours trekking without a guide, we still had a lot fun!! kept laughing but taking care each other, too. But yep! We lost a chance to see wild animals as the sun set down. Dark already but we knew we were on the right track. Later, we met Pak Henry not far from main road to Bama beach and other ones in Bama.

Going back to Bekol by bus, we passed a big group of wild deer. Too bad it was already dark to clearly see or to take pictures. But… (to be continue)

harumaniss says:
keke...rajin nulis inggris-an hihihi...kok gw jadi males nulis yah :p
Posted on: Oct 14, 2007
bodhyy says:
Non Keke,
Great Photos!
(aku nyolong tuh beberapa, buat WallP. piracy is a crime..hehehe.)
Itu red-shirt emang seragamnya gitu?
catching bgt kalo di shot.

Bravo, bodhy
Posted on: Jul 31, 2007
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an ugly creature named Puzi, my buddy.

I won’t be surprised now whether people called Baluran National Park the little Africa in Java Island. The next destination after Sempu gave me many similar sights as I used to see in TV or book about Africa and its savannah.

The Baluran National Park is located in Desa Wonorojo, Banyu Putih district, Situbondo, East Java. It occupies about 25 hectares including monsoon forest, ever-green forest, natural savannah desert, thick mangrove forest and sea (did saw those kind of forest and their significant difference) . Baluran mountain (1,247 metres high) is now non-active, but public isn’t allowed to hike to.

To reach Baluran National Park (BNP) was quite easy. Batangan, the entrance gate is located just in the left side of pantura big road to Banyuwangi. Bringing no car, you could book BTP’s truck/ jeep to pass 12 kilometers “poor” road to Bekol station (but by prior confirmation). We arrived at 02.30 a.m. and had to wait a few hours in Batangan since we gave no prior booking/coming confirmation to the officer :p but it was ok! There one or two 24 hours warung for a cup of coffee or sleep a while near the entrance gate. Regular bus would be too big to pass the low down trees, but our mini bus was allowed heading to Bekol station.

twin tower
twin tower
Sterculia foetida
Sterculia foetida
morning greeting from Baluran
morning greeting from Baluran
3 gals sitting on tree
3 gals sitting on tree
Roni and the ancestor
Roni and the ancestor
an ugly creature named Puzi, my bu…
an ugly creature named Puzi, my b…
trekking
trekking
haunted trekker
haunted trekker
Harum, I, JUMP!
Harum, I, JUMP!
the tree, the cloud, the savannah
the tree, the cloud, the savannah
Lost in Savannah
Lost in Savannah
Acasia arabica grave yard
Acasia arabica grave yard
asking direction while getting lost
asking direction while getting lost
happy even lost
happy even lost
Sunset in savannah
Sunset in savannah
not the green green grass..
not the green green grass..
Baluran National Park
photo by: inikeke