Travel and Tour Guide to Destination Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park

Tour and Travel in Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park (Sugiarto, 2015)

Tour and Travel in Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park (Sugiarto, 2015)

Are you a tourist or a visitor who plan holidays to Sulawesi, Indonesia ? Do you need information about the natural and original Sulawesi land, The Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park ? Do you want to know how to reach it, the beautifull places, accommodation or recommended activities there ? OK. I ‘ ll help you by this short guide based on my small survey and experiences. All prices in this guide were held in November 2015. They may be changed on the future influenced by rupiah inflation, suplay-demand or market change.

A Glance of the site

Selfie at Hoki-hokio Hills

Selfie at Hoki-hokio Hills

Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park is one of recommended beautifull places at South East Sulawesi besides Wakatobi National Park and Moramo waterfall based on their ecological richness. If you want to see the magical under water, we encourage you to visit Wakatobi. If you want Sulawesi waterfall, its ok to see Moramo. However, if you want to see waterbirds and beautifull hills, Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park is good idea and the place suggested. Rawa Aopa Watumohai NP has 104,194 ha, spreads into 5 districts, South Konawe, Konawe, Bombana, Kolaka and East Kolaka. All of them can be reached easly by car from Kendari, the South East Sulawesi Capital, because almost all of roads between the site to Kendari and between its districts are good condition. They connected also almost all small villages near the national park boundaries.

Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park View in The Past

Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park View in The Past

Before 2000, This place was well known as home for thousand deer (Cervus timorensis). Unfortunately, their population have been decreasing now. However, there are other many interesting places or phenomena beside them. Popularity of the site supported by waterbirds, Sulawesi peat swamp, unity of different ecosystems, and unique species that live naturally there. Endemic species lived in the place like Mountain Anoa (Buballus quarlessi), Low land Anoa (Buballus depressicornis), Sulawesi eagle, maleo (Macrocephalon maleo), Tarsius (Tarcius spectrum), black monkey (Macaca ochreata) etc. It has also several beautifull place like mangrove, savanna, swamp, and beautifull hill.

How to get there ?

Flight to Destination Kendari - Rawa Aopa Watumohai NP

Flight to Destination Kendari – Rawa Aopa Watumohai NP

From Jakarta there were some flighs to Kendari. We recommended these flighs for you and you could choose morning or evening flight :

  • Garuda : Morning flight 05.20 – 10.30, 09.40 – 15.15 (1 transit Makassar)
  • Lion Air : Morning flight 06.00 – 09.55, Afternoon flight 11.20 – 16.25 (1 transit Makassar), Evening flight 15.10 – 19.05,
  • Sriwijaya Air : Morning flight 09.20 – 15.00 (1 transit Makassar)

From Denpasar, Bali to Kendari, we suggest you take flight Lion Air :

  • Lion Air : Morning 06.10 – 12.05 (1 transit Makassar); Afternoon flight 11.10 – 16.25 (1 transit Makassar), 11.10 – 17.30 (1 transit Makassar)

The morning flight got you travel directly to Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park. However, you could choose evening attendance flight if you wanted to see Kendari firstly and take hotel there before going to Rawa Aopa Watumohai NP on the next morning. From Haluoleo airport kendari to the town is 30 minutes by car or taxy which cost of Rp 130.000,- ($ US 10).

Tour Attraction Map in Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park (Sugiarto, 2015)

Tour Attraction Map in Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park (Sugiarto, 2015)

Visitor who wanted to go to the National Park from Haluoleo Airport, approximately 120 km in length, could rent a private car, Toyota Avanza, which tariff of Rp 350.000,- ($ US 30 ) per day. It included only rental car and driver honor and not covered gasoline and driver food that must be paid by visitor. You could pay it when the car get to SPBU Pertamina (gasoline seller) at Konda or Punggaluku. The cost depended on how far your trip. For 120 km in length, you could spend Rp 130.000,- ($ US 10). The route was Haluoleo Airport – Konda – Pungaluku – Andoolo – Tinanggea – Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park office. It was average 2,5 hours by car. With private car rental, you’ll get comfortable and pleasure trip because you could manage the vehicle wherever you want and stop anywhere.

Other alternative vehicle is public transportation. From Haluoleo Airport, you had to go to Baruga Terminal by taxy. It was approximately 20 minutes and costs of Rp 70.000,- ($ US 6). You could find public transport which route Bombana in that terminal. Unfortunately, you had to wait the car until full, 6 passengers, before going on. It could be long time and boring. Benefically, it was just cheaper than private car rental. You just only paid Rp 70.000,- ($ US 6) to get Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park office. Talked to the driver that your stop is “PPA Palang I Lanowulu”, other name for Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park office.

How to get private car rental ?

You could get car rental in Airport or Kendari Town. They were dozens and easy to be found. Near the park, also available car rental in Lapoa, 10 minutes from national park office.

How about procedure and permission ?

In the office, you would see visitor service who offers national park information. You just only paid ticket to entry the national park for tourism. Research aim, however, you as foreign nation must get permission from Sekretaris Direktorat Jenderal KSDAE, at Gd. Manggala Wanabhakti Jl. Gatot Subroto, Senayan, Central Jakarta. After getting permission and view it to visitor service, Its Ok you may come into the park.

How about guide ?

Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park Staff

Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park Lovers

There were local people who prepared to guide visitors wherever they went in the park. They had also motorbikes that could be used to carry you at reachable location. Some locations needed water transportation, boat, so that you had to rent it to get those like inside swamp or mangrove.

Their Salary and motorbike rental were not expensive. You just paid Rp 150.000,- ($ US 12) per day to get them. It was not included gasoline and food, because gasoline needed depending on how far your trip.

Tour attraction

Tour activities held in the national park according to kinds of attraction :

Flora and Fauna Attraction

Waterbird in Rawa Aopa Sulawesi

Waterbird in Rawa Aopa Sulawesi

You could get waterbirds attraction in the Rawa Aopa and mangrove ecosystem. Rawa Aopa is the main habitats of them. There are many endemic species and migrans live there. You could also see raptors that stay on the died tree or branch above waterbody. Aroweli (Mycteria ceneria) or some people named bluwok was one of birds that almost waterbird lovers wanted to see in the park. It took Rawa Aopa route as migration spot. You could also get high number lotuses on the wide swamp that waterbirs often used them as playing area. Rawa Aopa position is on border between Konawe and South Konawe. From the office, you had reached it for 2 hours by car and you could rent a sitting boat there. It was 6 people capacity and you would see all of waterbirds inside and their attractions.

Going with a Sitting Boat called Katinting

Going with a Sitting Boat called Katinting

Waterbirds, some of them seabirds, become also an interesting tour attraction objects at mangrove ecosystem, 20 minutes from office by motorbike or car. They would be often seen Roraya river, Labasi and Lanowulu coastal. You could see them with a boat rent from Lanowulu coastal people whose small boat 6 people capacity. Local people named it “Katinting” , the main water transportation in the mangrove. They usually use it to harvest seaweed, capture fish, and trap crabs. You could rent it to explore around mangrove site by Rp 300.000,- ($ US 24) per day. It was not included gasoline and food yet. You could also fishing in the kampong Lanowulu coastal and let your fish cooked. As local fishermen, People in the kampong sold fresh and cooked fish, shrimps and crabs. They were still fresh captured and had high nutrients for you.

In the mangrove especially on Roraya river, you could also watch crocodiles. They could be found on the night from 10 p.m. to 12 p.m. They could be known because their couple eyes reflect light when receive flash light. They were like cat eyes on the night.

Beautifull Hill

Bukit Pampaea di Taman Nasional Rawa Aopa Watumohai (Sugiarto 2014)

Pampaea Hill in Rawa Aopa Watumohai NP (Sugiarto 2014)

For advanture interests, there are 2 beautifull hills that amaze and preserve real Sulawesi landform. We encourage you to visit them. The first ones is Pampaea Hill. It is the first hill you can see from “Palang 2” by motorbike. Palang 2 is the main road area where the national park branch office built. In the dry season, it could be reached by car, but to get advanture senses on the wide savanna it was better you choose motorbike. You could continue your trip to higher hills named “Hoki-hokio Hills”. These hills have highest tops named “Bukit Modus”.

Hoki-hokio Hills in Rawa Aopa Watumohai NP (Moersidi, 2015)

Hoki-hokio Hills in Rawa Aopa Watumohai NP (Moersidi, 2015)

Pampaea hill was average 30 minutes motorbike trip from Palang 2 (main road). You would spend the same time to get Hoki-hokio hills from Pampaea. Different to Pampaea hill, Hoki-hokio hills couldn’t be passed by car. Motorbike was only a proper vehicle to be driven over several top hills trails. Driving on the highland ways was extraordinary experience. From the top, the hills like giant animals sleeping on the green ground. When you saw around, You would feel standing on the top of the world. You were the highest. It was amazing and truely wonders.

Camping

We recommend 2 locations if you would spend overnight in the forest. Educational forest of Tatangge is approximately 200 m in length from nearest settlements, one of recommended camping grounds for visitor. Its position near from villages, food sellers, shops, wells and any facilities makes it enjoyable. Some people, however, need camping ground location far from settlements to get natural senses. For them, we suggest Mandu-mandula camping ground. There are small river behind ground, wide savanna views, mountain views and no noises make it good place for camping. It was approximately 15 minutes from office location by motorbike or car.

Other beautifull place

There are other various natural attractions that interesting to be visited in the national park like Penanggootu waterfall, Mempaho, Mount Watu Api, Kampong Lanowulu Coastal, and savanna Lanowulu. They can be listed in your trip planning.

How about accomadation ?

Hotel

There are some alternatives to overnight and take a rest. You could choose camping in the national park, “Wisma Panggung” (the national park office facillities), or hotels. Small Hotel could be found in Lapoa (10 minutes from the office), Tinanggea (20 minutes from the office), and Unaaha (1 hour from Rawa Aopa). Wisma Panggung had just only 3 rooms with double beds. Based on room capasities it could be ordered for 6 people. Because of these limited rooms, its better you had had reservations for those before you arrived.

No matter how many your groups, there are alternatives beside Wisma Panggung. Hotels in Tinanggea were enough to accomodate many people. There were many rooms each hotels with Air Conditioner facilities and food.

Restaurant

There are dozens restaurants near the national park. You could buy food in Tatangge (near the office), Lanowulu (5 minutes from the office), Lapoa (10 minutes from the office) and Tinanggea (20 minutes from the office). More complete menus could be prepared food seller in Lapoa and Tinanggea. They sell cheap food, average Rp 25.000,- ($ US 2) per portion for fried chicken, vegetables and rice. A cup of coffee costs of Rp 6.000,- ($ US 0.5). It needed small budget.

Holiday season

Flying photography at Rawa Aopa Watumohai NP (Moersidi, 2015)

Flying photography at Rawa Aopa Watumohai NP (Moersidi, 2015)

Dry season that is well traveled and well marked. In the park, they are are often easily accessible by several kinds transportation. No special equipment is necessary. But, on the rainy season, you have to prepare more equipment and specific vehicle for some tour attractions like trip to Hoki-hokio and Pampaea hill. You need trail motorbike or car with double gardan to pass mud trails. The best time is between July-October. Other attraction don’t need specific season, like mangrove dan Rawa Aopa advantures. No matter when daytime you arrive, all season is nice for travelling.

Link to other trips

After finished up your holidays at Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park, You can continue your trip to Moramo waterfall. You just return to Kendari and continue your trip to Moramo. From Kendari, it spent approximately 3 hours on the way by car to Moramo. Other alternative tour is Wakatobi, one of the world triangle corals that very famous for tourists from many different countries. There is flight from Kendari to Wakatobi. You could buy Wings Air tickets for faster transportation than water mass transport transited to Bau-bau. Its depature on 11.35 a.m and arrived to Wakatobi on 12.20 a.m.

More information

Schedule your planning for efficient travelling. Please not hesitate to call us for more information about Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park. You can contact by sending message to my email dwiputrosugi@gmail.com or call directly the national park agencies on +62 (0401) 3128138. Please call between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

OK, we wish you’ll get nice trip…!!

 

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