Jakarta has many wonderful qualities but sometimes the fact that we can escape from Jakarta is its best feature. Where to go, Gunung Halimun National Park is a cool refreshing spot that connects a weary soul with nature and gives you a chance to rejuvenate. Only 80 km south west of Jakarta this national reserve seems to have an endless supply of things to do and enjoy. During the day you can bask in the hot sun and in the evening you can sit beside a log fire and wrap yourself in a blanket watching the rich tapestry of bright stars.
When you enter the national park you will have to pay an entrance fee and show ID if you are an expatriate. This seems more of a formality and do not be overly concerned, the staff on hand are friendly and keen to see more visitors to the park.
The park itself has prime rain forest that is lush and deep and centered around the two mountains of Halimun, 1929 meters and Kendeng, 1764 meters. The natural geography is wonderful in that it offers waterfalls, hot springs and tranquil babbling streams to let your thoughts drift away in. As you sit and relax it can not be helped that your mind is taken away by the choirs of gibbons in the trees above. The hoots and wails are a wonderful wake up call that echoes through the jungle. These Javan Gibbons seem to rule as kings of the trees and you can catch glimpses of them as they project themselves from treetop to treetop with skill and finesse.
Wildlife is rich and plentiful in the jungles from squirrels who are brazen and will steal your lunch at the slightest turn of your back to Forest Cats and even Leopards who lay concealed in the undergrowth awaiting opportunities to find their next meal. In the skies above, the Javan Hawk eagle reins supreme with its distinctive dark golden brown feathers. Other more exotically colourful birds can be seen such as the scarlet sunbird.
This park is convenient and full of possible activities for the active at heart and for the more restful souls among us. Bird watching, walking, gentle trekking, mountain climbing, camping, mountain biking and of course dipping a toe into a hot spring. Accommodation is available and you will be happy to hear that there are Eco-lodges within the park. These facilities are basic and you will need to bring a lot of your own equipment with you as little luxuries hard to come by in the jungle.
"Photos are copyrighted by their owners."