Wakatobi National Park, the Underwater Paradize

Laying in the the heart of world coral triangle centre, Wakatobi National Park offers a stunning and amazing “underwater paradise”.  The name of the park derives from four big islands of Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia dan Binongko which form the park. There is about 25 clusters of coral reefs connected with 600km coastlines. Wakatobi is located just off the south-eastern tip of Sulawesi. In the past, the archipelago was well known as Tukang Besi which is inhabited by Suku Bajau or Suku Laut. The park which is  the second largest marine park in Indonesia after Teluk Cendrawasih in Papua is very rich in biodiversity.

 In a comparison with Caribia which has 100 specimen of underwater species, the Wakatobi is wealthier by means of having 750 species out of 850 species found in Indonesia. A research carried out by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) dan World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2003 revealed that there are 396 coral reef species and 590 fish species live in the reefs including Acropora formosa, A. Hyacinthus, Psammocora profundasafla, Pavona cactus, Leptoseris yabei, Fungia molucensis, Lobophyllia robusta, Merulina ampliata, Platygyra versifora, Euphyllia glabrescens, Tubastraea frondes, Stylophora pistillata, throchelliophorum Sarcophyton, and Sinularia spp. In some places along the reef, there are some underwater caves.For dive lovers, Wakatobi is such an eden for them. The life underneath the Wakatobi marine is so fascinating.

It is just like a giant aquarium where people can see and interact with abundant and colourful fish such as whales (physeter macrocephalus, Globicephala macrorhyncus, Orcinus orca, Feresa attenuata),dolphins (Steno bredenensis, Grampus griseus, Tursiops truncates, Peponocephala electra, Delphinus delphis, Stenella longiotris, Tursiops truncatus), turtles (Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricate, Caretta, Lepidochelys olivacea), Napoleon (Cheilinus undulatus), Dugong dugong,

Tourist attractions : snorkelling, diving, swimming, caving

Best time to visit : April and December

How to get there : Flight to Kendari, take a wooden ship from Kendari to Bau-bau (5 or 12 hours) and followed by another 2 hours drive to Lasalimu. From Lasalimu, take wooden ship or speedboat to Wanci (2,5 hours).

Contact :

Wakatobi National Park Office

Balai Taman Nasional Wakatobi
Jln. Dayanu Ikhsanuddin No.71
Bau-Bau, Sulawesi Tenggara
Telp/Fax : +62 402 2826326

Website : http://wakatobinationalpark.com

e-mail : info@wakatobinationalpark.com

fb : Taman Nasional Wakatobi

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National Park in Indonesia at a glance

INDONESIA, definitely is a beautiful country located within the boundaries of equatorial tropical rain belt. Its tropical climate makes the country very rich in biodiversity. As an archipelago, Indonesia consists of more than 17.508 islands surrounded by seawaters. This geographical position characterizes the country with abundance of rainfall, high temperature and a high humidity spreading across the country. Indonesia has two seasons, the dry season which falls between March until October and the rainy season which falls between September until February. Indonesia is also well known for its richness in volcanoes. Bromo Tengger Semeru, Rinjani, are among the volcanoes most visited by people. The tropical forest of Indonesia is home for some endandered animals such as Sumateran Tigers, Orang Utan, Rhinocheros, the giant lizard of Komodo and Birds of Paradize.

Cultural. Each island has its own uniqueness in term of race, language, food, tradition, etc. Indonesia is very proud of its unity in diversity (Bhineka Tunggal Ika). The differences of historical traditions, customs, languages, cultural, religions, and people, are respected by all Indonesians.

Transportation. Soekarno Hatta International Airport is the biggest airport in Indonesia, located in Banten province, about one hour drive from the capital city of Jakarta. A number of international airport have also been available in some big cities such as Medan (North Sumatera), Balikpapan (East Kalimantan), Denpasar (Bali) and Makasar (South Sulawesi). Air transportation connects the capital city of all provinces in Indonesia. Besides, buses and sea transportation are also commonly used by Indonesia for travelling within the island or going out to another island. But, the railway station is only available within the Java and Sumatera Islands.

Standard Time. Indonesia has three time zones. Western Indonesia Standard Time (WIB) equals GMT plus 7 hours covering Sumatera, Java, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan. Central Indonesia Standard Time (WIT) equals GMT plus 8 hours covering South Kalimantan, all provinces in Sulawesi, Bali, West and East Nusa Tenggara. Eastern Indonesia Standard Time (WITA) equals GMT plus 9 hours covering provinces of Maluku and Papua.

Conservation area. The Protected area in Indonesia which comprises both terrestrial and marine area covers 27,190,992.91 hectares of the forest area. These areas is designated based on its characteristics and functions into some categories namely National Park (50 units), Nature Recreational Park (118 Units), Grand Forest Park (22 units), Strict Nature Reserve (248 Unit), Wildlife Sanctuary Reserve (75 Unit), Hunting Park (14 Unit).  These protected areas are declared to conserve living resources through the management whose wise utilization will ensure their maintaining and improving their value and variety.  Conservation of living resources and their ecosystems shall be brought through the following activities, that are : protection of life supporting systems, preservation of plant and animal species diversity and their ecosystems, and sustainable utilization of living resources and their ecosystems.  This managed protected area is to conserve of living organisms for mainly intended to maintain ecological processes which support continued existence of living organisms for enhancing human welfare and the quality of human life.

National Park. Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia and straddles the Equator between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Indonesia is endowed with some of the most extensive and biologically diverse tropical forests in the world. The tropical forest of Indonesia which covers approximately 60% of the country constitutes of different type of ecosystems and is a home for 29 375 vascular plant species , 1,604 birds, 667 mammals, 511 reptiles and 300 amphibians. Flagship species such as elephant, tiger , orangutan , rhinoceros or leopard live in this country, although there are endangered. The biodiversity richness makes the country well known as mega-biodiversity country, the highest level of biodiversity (after Brazil).

As an archipelago, Indonesia comprises of 13,466 islands and around 6,000 islands are inhabited.  The coastline of Indonesia is surrounded by tropical seas that contribute to the country’s high level of biodiversity. Indonesia has a range of sea and coastal ecosystems, including beaches, sand dunes, estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass beds, coastal mudflats, tidal flats, algal beds, and small island ecosystem. Indonesia is one of Coral Triangle countries with the world’s greatest diversity of coral reef fish with more than 1,650 species in eastern Indonesia only.

The strategies for conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity have comprised providing special status and protection to biodiversity-rich areas by declaring them as conservation areas including national park, nature recreational park, wildlife sanctuaries, hunting park, grand forest park and strict nature reserve.

Indonesia has 50 national parks which are spread from western to the eastern part of Indonesia. Each national park has its own uniqueness in term of ecosystem, flora, fauna as well as the social and cultural live of people surrounding the park.  These uniqueness are very attractive for tourist to come and leads to a number of national park have been well known world -wide and have become major tourist destinations. The examples are Bromo Tengger Semeru and Rinjani National Parks which are well known for their uniqueness, Bunaken and Takabonerate National Parks which have beautiful marine park, Ujung Kulon and Komodo National Parks which are well known as a home for endangered animal of rhinoceros and komodo subsequently. Additionally, Tanjung Puting National Park is home for orang utan and Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park is well known as the Kingdom of butterfly. Each national park has its own characteristic and uniqueness.

Marine National Park. For diving lovers, the marine park of Indonesia is considered as the world’s best country for sea life which has more marine diversity anywhere on earth, hence it is so called as “The garden of Eden”. Indonesia has 20% of the world’s coral reefs, over 3,000 different species of fish and 600 coral species, deep water trenches, volcanic sea mounts, World War II wrecks, and an endless variety of macro life, scuba diving in Indonesia is both excellent and considered as inexpensive. Some well known dive sites are the marine park of Bunaken Marine National Park, Taka Bonerate Marine National Park and Komodo National Park. Besides, Wakatobi and Teluk Cendrawasih Marine National Park are also undoubtly amazing.

So…you will not regret to spend your leisure time to enjoy the beauty of Indonesian National Park.