Sebangau National Park, Pristine Tropical Forest
Let’s go to The Sebangau National Park in Central Borneo. The Sebangau National Park in Central Kalimantan is one of the last remaining peat swamp forests in Borneo. The vast national park covering approximately 568,700 hectare is home to over 6,000 orangutans, forming one of the world’s largest populations in the wild.
Amidst the peat swamp forests, the National Park also offers beautiful scenery of pristine hills. From the top of Bukit Batu or Rock Hill, one overlooks the Sebangau National Park and all its fascinating scenery.
A long and challenging trek is available at Bukit Bulan or the Moon Hill. As trekkers make their way up the hill, they will be presented with refreshing trails along the Sungai Bulan, or Moon River. A unique ecosystem of peat swamp and granite rocks is observable at Bukit Kaki or Foot Hill. The granite rocks cause a dry environment, and thus the trees are different from those in the surrounding environment.
In the Sebangau National park are also crystal clear, refreshing, fresh water lakes. These lakes are also habitat to various species of fish and other distinct flora and fauna, and are the best place to watch nature‘s process at its finest. These magnificent lakes are known as Bulat Lake (Round Lake), Punggualas Lake, Jalan Pangen Lake, and Panjang Lake (Long Lake).
Sabangau National Park established in 2004. Between 1980 and 1995 the site was a massive logging concessions area. After 1995, the park became a site for illegal logging, which resulted in up to 85 percent of the 568,700-hectare total park area being destroyed. By 2012, less than 1 percent of the park’s total area has been reforested and several centuries is needed to restore it to its pre-logged state.
The national park is centered on Sabangau River, a blackwater. It flows through the Kelompok Hutan Kahayan or Sabangau peat swamp forest (5,300 km2), between the Katingan and Kahayan Rivers. The peat swamp forest is a dual ecosystem, with diverse tropical trees standing on a 10m – 12m layer of peat – partly decayed and waterlogged plant material – which in turn covers relatively infertile soil.
The forest is home to the world’s largest orangutan population, estimated at 6,910 individuals in 2003, and other rare or unique species. The total agile gibbon population in the Sabangau catchment is estimated to be in the tens of thousands, but isdeclining fast.
Vulnerable bird species include the large green pigeon (Treron capellei) and possibly storm’s stork (Ciconia stormi) and lesser adjutant (Leptoptilus javanicus).
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