As we have explained on the previous article, Betung Kerihun National Park is a vast protected area consists of diverse ecosystem where many species of flora and fauna lives. This park is a perfect destination for adventurers as you can do many activities there. The mountainous topography allows you to have a great trekking and climbing experience.
There are also several rivers and waterfalls waiting to be explored. You can also observe and learn about numerous species of unique plants and animals. Last, you can enjoy the primitive live of Dayak Tribe on their traditional villages.
With that much choices of attractions, the management of Betung Kerihun National Park decided to divide the area into four regions. Each region offers different experience and form of nature. This way, tourists and researchers would find it easier to get the attraction they are interested at. Now, let us talk about each region one by one so you could get which one interests you the most. To complete all the series of Betung Kerihun National Park, today we would explain about the last region remaining; the Kapuas Watershed.
Kapuas Watershed is the most challenging region for adventure lovers. Most of the attractions include extreme sports and adventurous activities such as white water rafting, kayaking, trekking, cave expeditions, etc. The region also features a cultural journey to the unique sub-ethnic of Dayak Punan Hovongan.
If you like white water rafting, then Bungan River is the perfect site to challenge your skill. The river has the rapids ranging from Grade III to Grade VI of difficulty. Located at the eastern side of the park, this river has two rafting tracks with different level of difficulty.
The first track has the route of Matahari Rapids – Bungan – Nanga Lapung. This track includes the challenging Matahari Rapids and Lapan Rapids. Matahari Rapid is graded V in difficulty. On this rapid, there will be great whirlpool that could damage your boat if you are not skilled enough in rafting. Meanwhile, Lapan Rapid has eight levels of rapids, ranging from grade III to VI of difficulties.
The second track is less difficult than that, although the difficulties are still ranging between Grade III to Grade V. The route is Bakang – Homotop – Hororoy. This track includes three levels of rapid. Each rapid is about 7 kilometers long.
Keriau River Adventure
For adventurous soul, Keriau River might be the best site to visit as this object has a complete package of challenging activity. Keriau River is a tributary of Kapuas River and Pawan River. This river has unique reddish color which occurs naturally due to turfs and swamps.
Surrounding the river is a wonderful formation of nature that includes plenty of limestone mountains and cliffs. The dynamic contours of the mountain give wonderful scenery to see or to photograph. For adventurers, you can try rock climbing on the cliff wall. To do that, make sure to bring your own equipment.
The limestone formation also includes plenty of caves and holes which are various in size, shape, and characteristics. These caves are perfect for the researchers to learn about speleology and for the adventurers to do some cave expeditions. Some of the caves are occupied by the swallows as their nesting site. In total, there are about 55 caves waiting to be explored.
Cross Borneo Trek
Other choice of attraction for the adventurers is the Cross Borneo Trek which will take you from the province of West Kalimantan to East Kalimantan. It is also popular by the name Kapuas – Mahakam Expedition. This journey starts in Kapuas River, the longest river in Kalimantan Island. It then will take you through Muller Mountain, a wonderful mountain that naturally marks the borderline between West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan. After the Muller Mountain, you will have to climb back down to the upper course of Mahakam River.
This route was first taken by a scientist, Dr Neuwenhuis, in 1894 when he did a research on the nature condition of this area. If you want to try this adventure, you need to make sure that you are strong enough to get this through as the journey will take at least seven days to finish. During the journey, you will have the chance to encounter about 40 species of mammals.
Dayak Punan Hovongan
Having a tour in Betung Kerihun National Park would not be complete without exploring the unique culture of Dayak, the native tribe of Kalimantan. At this national park, there are about eight sub-tribes of them. In the region of Kapuas Watershed, the sub-tribe you will meet is the Dayak Punan Hovongan. This sub-tribe lives on the Bungan Village and Tanjung Longkang Village.
Both of the villages can be accessed directly from Putussibau by using long boat through the dynamic Kapuas River. It will take four hours to get to the Bungan River. Meanwhile, to reach Tanjung Longkang Village, the duration may vary between 3 to 5 hours, depending on the rapid conditions.
While most Dayak people live communally on a huge longhouse called Rumah Betang, this sub-tribe has other traditional house which is as unique. They also has many kinds of artistic performance and ceremonies.
That is all. We have already explained everything about Betung Kerihun National Park, including the attractions you could get from each region of watershed. Now, the last thing we would tell you is the tips of best time to visit. As there are many kinds of attractions, you might want to set the perfect date to get the ultimate experience of your tour interest.
Best Time to Visit
The condition of the nature is changing from time to time. For adventurers, all time is good for nature exploration as each time would have different challenge. But if you wish for a maximum challenge and fun, here are the best times to visit the site:
- Ecotourism Adventure : During the dry season (June – August)
- White-water Rafting : January to March
- Cultural Village at Embaloh : During the festival period (April to May)
- Biodiversity Observation : During the fruiting/breeding season (November to January)
- Don’t forget to get your SIMAKSI permit first before entering the park. Information regarding SIMAKSI permit has been explained on our first article about Betung Kerihun National Park.
- While on the boat, you must always wear the safety vest as the rapids might flip your boat unexpectedly.
- Always plan your adventure carefully so you could measure how much supply of water and foods you need to bring.
- Hire a professional guide or instructor everytime you explore the park to avoid you from getting lost and other difficult circumstance. You can ask the management to help you getting one.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages while on the national park as it might get you in a dangerous situation.
- Wear appropriate and comfortable outfit and footwear.
- Always make sure your health condition is on the optimal level as the journey could be very tiring and tricky.
- Don’t remove or harm any plants in the park, even the non-protected species. Hunting down the animal is not allowed as well.
All set. Now you are ready to make your plan to visit Betung Kerihun National Park, a wonderful wildlife sanctuary in the heart of Borneo Island.