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Hiking Up Mount Dua Saudara

Upon arrival in the town of Bitung in North Sulawesi,  you will be greeted by a beautiful mountain with a twin peak called Mt. Dua Sudara (often also written Mt. Dua Saudara), meaning : the two brothers. This extinct volcano is located some 12 km from Bitung, east of Mt. Klabat and faces the Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve at Madidir Unet in the subdistrict of Madidir.

The twin peaks of Mt. Dua Sudara provides a perfect panoramic photo shoot especially when taken from the coast of the Lembeh Strait. Although the volcano is impressive, yet until today not many have ventured the climb to its peak that stands at 1,351 meters above sea level.

Mt. Dua Sudara or Gunung Dua Saudara
Mt. Dua Sudara or Gunung Dua Saudara (Source : trover.com)

The foothills of Gunung Dua Sudara are dense with sugar palm trees that were planted here on purpose by the Bitung government for the conservation of the environment, since according to the Wallace Theory, the Tangkoko reserve and Mt.Dua Sudara are regularly blown by the hot airstream that flows from south to north. When left unhampered the hot wind will blow straight to the North Pole, accelerating the melting of glaciers there.

In addition to sugar palm trees, the population have planted here their gardens of maize, sweet potatoes, coconuts and bananas, that prettily decorate the slopes of this mountain. The remainder of the slopes are filled with rattan vegetation, banyan trees, teak forests and ilalang. Sulawesi’s endemic animals like the tarsiers, kuskus and the maleo bird have made these their habitat.

ACTIVITIES

Although Mt. Dua Sudara is not as wellknown when compared to other more famous volcanoes in Indonesia but its presence is a boon for local climbers. The only route to reach the top is through the city of Bitung. It normally takes about 4 hours to the peak, which is quite a laborious hike since climbers must sometimes wade through muddy areas.

Mount Dua Saudara from Bitung harbour
Mount Dua Saudara from Bitung harbour (Source : jalanjalanyuk.com)

There is no special permit needed, but hikers must pay an entrance fee of Rp 85,000 for international tourists, and Rp 75,000 for domestic visitors. Payment is made at Post no. 1 located at the Tangkoko-Dua Sudara Nature Reserve in the village of Batu Putih.

Along the way you will meet a moss forest, denoting that you have almost reached the top. On the peak is an abandoned campsite formerly used for military training.

GET THERE

The distance from Manado, capital of North Sulawesi to the town of Bitung is around 44 km. If you do not wish to take a private car, you can take the public bus that starts from the Paal Dua or the Karombasan Bus Terminal.

Non airconditioned buses charge Rp 7,500 for the trip while the fare for airconditioned buses  is Rp 8, 500, for the two hours ride.

A taxi will cost you around Rp 200,000.

To call a taxi you can contact the following companies: Blue BirdTrust Taxi and Celebrity Taxi.

You can also rent a car in Manado with varying costs starting from Rp 300,000.

From the town of Bitung to Desa Batu Putih, you can take the small bus, called mikrolet to the Girian terminal. The fare for the 10 minutes ride is  Rp 2,500. You can also take the motorbike taxi or ojek which charges Rp 5,000.

Tips

Hikers must be prepared to bring their own navigation equipment like compass, GPS, or map, since this mountain does not have a fixed hiking trail. Also, carry plenty of your own drinking water supply since there are no springs or rivers on this mountain.

If you plan to camp overnight make sure not to keep your tent closed at all times to protect the interior from the swarms of insects found around here.

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