Merauke is the gateway to one of the great savannas of Indonesia. This is where we begin to understand that Australia is not just merely a close neighbor but a long lost brother. The similarities are astounding from the landscape to the animals that call this area home and Wasur National Park is this spectacular home. To get to the park you can go by car from Merauke or be more adventurous and go up the Maru River. Ask people in your guest house for transportation. The real adventurer will be opting for the up river trip paddling in a canoe while at the same time imagining Conrad’s heart of Darkness.
Wide-open spaces and good tree coverage allow for a wide variety of indigenous animals to prosper and also allows the observer to get up close. You can see over 400 bird species, Wallabies, Deer, Wild Pigs, Possums, Geese and Kangaroos to name but a few. So bring your camera and binoculars, as you will be in for a treat. Getting around the park is relatively easy and you can rent a 4×4 jeep, yet this is rather costly. A more recommended way to travel is by horse, there are a lot of local guides who can take your group pony trekking and you get a greater feeling of the expanse of the savanna. Just make sure you do not put up your tent beside a termite mound, they are hard to miss.
The best time to visit is in the dry season as during the rainy season the swamp area expands greatly to cover a huge percentage of the reserve. All year round there is the Rawa Biru, Blue Swamp, which is actually a great deal more alluring than the name suggests. It is possible to hire canoes and small rowboats to venture into the wreaths and escape to a distant world.
This world is also home to 2 main tribes the Marind and the Kanum who have called this area home for generations. They live simple lives and share the beauty of their backyard to those who show interest and respect.
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