Tamborasi : The World’s Shortest River

If Africa has the Nile as the longest river in the world, one may probably wonder where the world’s shortest river lies. The answer can be found at Tamborasi Village, Wolo District, Kolaka Regency, Southeast Sulawesi Province, where lies the Tamborasi River. Stretching for only 20 meters, the Tamborasi River is shorter than the 30 meters Ombla River in Croatia which is recorded by Wikipedia as the shortest river, or the Roe River in USA which is recorded as the world’s shortest river by Guinness Book of World Records.

With its extremely short stream and width of about 15 meters, Tamborasi may look more like a lake than a river. However,  it’s flowing stream confirms that Tamborasi is indeed a river. The water of Tamborasi River is greenish clear and calmly flows directly to the sea.

The Tamborasi River, Kolaka
The Tamborasi River, Kolaka (Source : pinterest.com/goindonesia)

Situated at the Bay of Bone, the Tamborasi Village is pinned by the hills of the Tamborasi Mountain Range which higlights the river with amazing landscapes. The beautiful scenery is also decorated with rows of sheltering trees on its banks. Directly flowing to the sea, the river is bordered by soft white sandy beach. Here, you are given two options for swimming, in the Tamborasi River or off the Tamborasi Beach. Uniquely, the two swimming areas have different characteristics. The water in Tamborasi River is relatively colder, while at the beach the water is warmer.

At low tide, coral reefs are visible from  shore. If you are fortunate enough you may also see some endemic animals to the area such as the gold fur monkeys and a number of different birds around the river.

The Tamborasi river and Tamborasi beach
The Tamborasi river and Tamborasi beach (Source : indonesia-tourism.com)

There is a myth shrouding the river that suggests that if one ties a rope around the roots of the trees at the river banks, those who have yet to find their soulmate will shortly find one, while couples will be granted with long and harmonious relationships.


One of the distinct dishes  you can try is Sinoggi which is made from sago and is served with various side dishes. One of the restaurants that serves the menu is “Rumah Makan Berkah” at jalan Ahmad Mustin No.10 Km 3, Kolaka. Other special treat from Kolaka is Itik Rekko, which is duck seasoned with black pepper. To try this you should go to Balandete area in Kolaka.

Facilities available around the Tamborasi River are limited only to gazebo, bathrooms, and changing rooms. If you wish to find a place to stay, you must go to Kolaka Town. Here are some accommodation facilities available in Kolaka:

  • Sutan Raja Kolaka Hotel, Jalan Khairil Anwar
  • Hotel Nabila, Jalan Ahmad Mustin No.99
  • Rahman Hotel, Jalan Kadue 8 Kolakasi

This is the perfect place to get rid of all the stresses of  daily life and just relax in the indulging arms of Mother Nature. The combination of rocky hills, river, beach, and the open sea is truly exceptional. For a full experience, you may want to set up camp and spend the night in the area.

For photography enthusiasts Tamborasi River truly presents some of the best settings for those dramatic pictures.


To Reach Kolaka Regency, you can use land, air, or sea transportations. The airline that serves flights to Kolaka is Wings Air with routes between Hasanuddin Airport in Makassar and Sangia Nibandera Airport in Kolaka. The flight will take about 50 minutes.

If you want to take the land route, from Kendari, the capital of Southeast Sulawesi, the trip will take approximately 3-4 hours. Roads are relatively in good condition. If you wish to rent a car, you can contact tour and travel agents which charges about IDR 600,000 per car. If you wish to try public transportation, you can take the bus of CV Ujung Cahaya that takes the route Kendari-Makassar, then get down in Kolaka.

If you wish to take the sea route, there are also ships from the port of Makassar to Bajo Port in Bone Regency. The trip will take about 3 hours. From Bajo Port you can continue to Kolaka Port with a ferry which will take approximately 8 hours.

From the center of Kolaka Regency, it is another 1-2 hours trip or about 90 km north before you reach Tamborasi River.

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