Deep in the heart of Borneo Island, there is a vast Wildlife Sanctuary named Betung Kerihun National Park. Various types of ecosystems are coloring this area, providing comfortable homes for many exotic species. Completed with challenging topography, this object is perfect for adventurers. To enhance the experience, you can also observe and join the cultural life of Dayak Tribe, native tribe of Borneo who live inside the park.
How to Get There
Located deep in the heart of Borneo Island, Betung Kerihun National Park is not easy to access. It is situated at the town of Putussibau, Province of West Kalimantan (West Borneo). This town is most easy to access from Pontianak city, the capital city of West Kalimantan.
To get to Pontianak, you get a flight to Pontianak International Airport. The flights available are from Singapore, Kuching (Malaysia), Jakarta City, Yogyakarta, Pekanbaru, Semarang, Batam, and other cities. From Pontianak, you can continue your trip to Putussibau with several choices.
The first option is by taking a long trip through land. You can charter a taxi or get on a public bus. This is a one-way trip that will take you straight to the national park without needing to transfer to other transportation. But the trip will take a very long time. It could take about 12 to 15 hours. This trip is most easy to get as there are several taxi and bus companies that serve the trip from Pontianak to Putussibau daily. Some of them are:
- Win-Win Taxi
- Location : Jalan Sutoyo No. 69, Putussibau
- Phone : +62 813 52065619
- Kapuas Taxi
- Location : Jalan Merdeka No. 36, Putussibau
- Phone : +62 813 5259888
- Perintis Bus
- Location : Jalan Kapt. Marsam, Komp. Kapuas Indah Blok A No. 1-2, Pontianak
- Phone : +62 561 767886
- Valenty Bus
- Location : Jalan S. Parman – Putussibau
- Phone : +62 561 56721902
Other choice takes less time and is more interesting. But it will cost more and is not available daily. There is a small flight available only twice a week using Cessna plane that serves the route of Pontianak – Putussibau and vice versa. The flight is only 2.5 hours. From Putussibau Airport, you need to continue your trip to the national park through the rivers of Kapuas, Sibau, or Mendalam. If you use a longboat, the trip will take about five hours. If you want to be faster, take the speedboat for 3 hours.
Where to Stay
The wildlife of Betung Kerihun offers you an ultimate camping experience in the forest wild. You can also get a homestay at traditional houses of Dayak Tribe. But all of those are available inside the area of the national park. Before and after you visit the object, you might need a comfortable hotel room to spare you from exhaustion. To that, you can make a reservation to one of the hotels available in Putussibau or Pontianak, such as:
- Hotel Gajahmada
- Location : Jalan Gajahmada No. 277-183, Pontianak
- Phone : +62 562 761598
- Hotel Kini
- Location : Jalan Nusa Indah 111, Pontianak
- Phone : +62 561 732223
- Hotel Sanjaya
- Location : Jalan Kom. Yos Sudarso, Putussibau
- Phone : +62 567 21653
- Hotel Merpati Indah
- Location : Jalan KS Tubun 26, Putussibau
- Phone : +62 567 22317
- Hotel Aman Sentosa
- Location : Jalan Diponegoro 14, Putussibau
- Phone : +62 567 21691
- Mess Pemda
- Location : Jalan Merdeka 11, Putussibau
- Phone : +62 567 21010
Entering the Park
Betung Kerihun National Park is classified as protected area. Thus, you need a legal permit to enter this. The permit is called SIMAKSI and it is not difficult to get one. You only need to visit the management office of the national park which is located at the entrance gate of the national park. There, you need to report your itinerary, your purpose of visit (tour or research etc.), how many people are there in your group, which objects you would like to visit, and such simple stuffs. To make it easier, you can register your permit online through the management’s website on http://betungkerihun.dephut.go.id/simaksi_online.html. After you got the permit, you just need to reconfirm to the office once you are already at the park.
Entering the area of the national park also demands you to pay for the entrance ticket. The fees are ranging, depending on your purpose and duration of your visit. Here is the list of entrance fees:
- Foreign : $1.2
- Local : $0.1
- The fee is determined by the duration of visit (from one day to more than a year)
- Foreign : $6 to $150
- Local : $2 to $15
- Foreign : $1.5 per night
- Local : $1.2 per night
- Water Vehicle
- Below 40 PK : $2
- 41 to 80 PK : $4
- Above 80 PK : $6
- Commercial Film Shooting
- Foreign : $187
- Local : $112
- Commercial Video Shooting
- Foreign : $150
- Local : $75
- Foreign : $9.5
- Local : $9.5
- Foreign : $2.25
- Local : $2.25
Nature and Culture Condition
The topography of Betung Kerihun National Park is dominated with hills and mountains with about 179 peaks are scattered all over the place. The highest peak is Mount Kerihun with 1,790 meters high above the sea level. The contours are mostly steep slopes. Only less 25% of the land has slight slope.
Betung Kerihun National Park also has high biodiversity. This tropical rainforest area consists of eight ecosystems such as low land dipterocarp forest, alluvial forest, swamp forest, old secondary forest, hill dipterocarp forest, limestone forest, sub-montane forest, and montane forest. All the ecosystems are still natural and untouched.
This gives many advantages for tourists and researchers who wish to see and learn about the natural formation of the ecosystem. Besides that, this condition also cause the local climate to stay unchanged. According to the statistic and research, the climatic condition of this park and around has not been really changed for the last 100 years.
With diverse and pristine ecosystems, the wildlife surely provides nice sanctuary for many species of flora and fauna. There are about 695 species of solid trees are standing at this wide forest with about 50 of them are endemic species. For plants and bushes, there are about 267 species are noted to live at the area. Besides those floras, there are also about 90 species of herbs usually used for traditional medical treatment.
The fauna is also high in biodiversity. According to the latest data, the forest accommodate the lives of about 48 species of mammals, 112 species of fishes, 7 species of primates, 301 species of birds, 170 species of insects, and 103 species of reptiles. Some of the unique species of animal are Leptobrachella myorbergi (tiny frog with less than one centimeter of body length), semah fish, orangutan, pooh bear, golden deer, and much more.
Around the area of Betung Kerihun National Park is home for 8 sub-ethnics of Dayak Tribe; Dayak Iban, Tamambaloh, Taman Sibau, Kantu’, Kayan Mendalam, Bukat Mendalam, Bukat Metelunai, and Punan Hovongan. Only the Punan Hovongan sub-tribe lives within the area of the national park. The rest of the sub-tribes live around the forest. But all of them still uphold their traditions and cultures on their daily lives.
The area of Betung Kerihun National Park is very wide. It covers up to 8,000 square kilometers. It also has a wide range of attractions. To make it easier for tourists to get the attraction they wish to visit, the management has divided the area into four regions of watershed. Each region has different characteristic of lands and choices of attraction to offer. To have full information regarding those regions and what they have to offer, please read our next articles.