MOROWALI TREKKING TOURS
Located on the eastern arm of Central Sulawesi, Morowali Nature Reserve consists of a 225,000 ha protected area containing almost completely intact primary forest. The north of the reserve is dominated by steep mountains reaching over 2600 m in height, but the terrain in the south is much less rugged and terminates in a wide coastal plain with natural lakes and swamp forest.
This region, together with much of eastern Central Sulawesi, comprises some of the most extensive formations of ultrabasic rock in the world. This results in soils which have a severe deficiency of important plant nutrients and instead contain toxic concentrations of certain heavy metals. Consequently, ultrabasic forest areas have largely been spared from intensive agriculture and logging due to the poor conditions for planting and lack of valuable timber trees.
The indigenous Wana people live throughout the reserve and consist of about 600 families that follow a traditional lifestyle. Their subsistence is based on swidden and shifting agriculture, hunting, and harvesting of forest products such as rattan and damar.
This nature reserve was first established in March 1980, but although it is a completely protected area there are no currently maintained facilities or management staff. It is possible that in the near future Morowali may become a national park, which would lead to funding for proper management but also probably result in the majority of lowland areas being subsequently zoned for logging. Due to the relatively intact indigenous culture of the Wana people, Morowali has recently been proposed as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
How to get there
The reserve is reachable from several directions, and the easiest ways is take 2-hour boat ride from Kolonodale to Tambayoli, which is a settlement at the western end of the park. It is possible to charter your own boat to access other parts of the park, but this is much more expensive.
From Manado there are several flights per week to Luwuk, but travellers with more time can take the overland route to Gorontalo and then board a ferry to Pagimana.
From Luwuk it is a 6-hour bus ride to Baturube from which it is possible either to take a boat to Kolonodale or enter the eastern end of the park near the Tokala Mountains.
The best time to visit is in the dry season (September to November). During the rainy season (May to June) the Tambayoli valley is sometimes prone to flooding, and the rivers are more difficult to cross.
What to See
Despite having a great diversity of wildlife which includes all the larger endemic mammals such as Babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa), Anoa (Bubalus quarlesi), and Sulawesi Civet (Macrogalidia musschenbroekii), spotting animals in the forest is relatively difficult. Most species are very wary of people due to continuous hunting pressure from the local inhabitants.
Over 170 bird species have been recorded from Morowali, including many endemics. Notable species include the Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo), Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea), Ornate Lory (Trichoglossus ornatus), all five endemic kingfishers, and 18 species of forest pigeons and doves. The Tambayoli valley is a pleasant and easy place to spot numerous raptors, water birds including the Wooly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus), and nightjars at dusk.
Reptiles include the bizarre Sail-fin Lizard (Hydrosaurus amboinensis), and huge 9 meter-long Reticulated Pythons (Python reticulatus).
A wealth of fascinating plants can also be seen in the reserve, ranging from massive Agathis (damar) trees to rare orchids and seven species of pitcher plants (Nepenthes).
Despite the great potential for nature tourism, Morowali sees few foreign visitors and there are currently no developed facilities available. Guides can be found in Kolonodale, Tambayoli, or Morowali village, but you must be well-versed in Bahasa Indonesia as few of them speak English. Simple accomodation can be obtained at any village or town, usually by making arrangements with the kepala desa (head of the town).
What to do
Hiking is generally very pleasant if one follows the well-established trails used by the Wana, but can get strenuous on the mountains. When trekking it is most convenient to stay in Wana huts or jungle shelters, but tents must be carried when attempting some of the more remote peaks. Leeches can only be found on some of the wetter mountains. Malaria is a small problem in the Tambayoli area. If you are concerned, you might want to consider prophylactics.
*MOROWALI NATURAL RESERVE EXPLORATION*
Attraction : Trekking at Morowali nature reserve (Via Luwuk)
Duration : 08 days / 07 nights
Tour area : Morowali Natural reserve
Grade : Intermediate
Start – end : Manado – Palu
DAY 01. MAKASSAR - LUWUK.
We meet you at the airport and drive wait for the conecting flights to Luwuk. Lunch at local restaurant. The flights take about one hours and twenty minutes and about fourth times a day. On arrival we are check in the hotel in town. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight.
DAY 02 . LUWUK – BATURUBE – TARONGGO
- Breakfast at hotel. We are going in to the jungle by the car to Baturube village about 05 – 06 hours. Lunch en-route. Upon arrival in Baturube, we are change the transfer with a motor cyle to Taronggo village. On arrival check in at guesthouse in the village. Free at leisure. Dinner at the guest house.
DAY 03. TARONGGO – KAYUPOLI
- Breakfast at guest house and after that we began the full day of trekking through among the rain forest, grassland, crossing stream and river is also made the trip be a perfect. Lunch en route, afternoon arrival in Kayupoli Overnight stay at the villagers house.
DAY 04. KAYUPOLI – RANO LAKE – KEKEA
- Breakfast at guesthouse and we depart by paddle canoe through against the raft of Muara stream, to cross a wonderful Rano Lake. After that we are continue by two hours hiking through among the forest. Lunch en route cooked by our team. Tonight we will sleep overnight in Kekea at the huts of Wana tribe houses or set up a camp.
DAY 05. KEKEA (MOROWALI RESERVE) – KOLONEDALE.
- Breakfast at guest house or tent. And today we will continue the trekking to Tomori bay harbor. We will crossing the bay for two hours to reach the Tomori harbor, by chartered motor boat. On arrival we will take a car to the hotel in Kolonedale.
DAY 06. KOLONEDALE – TENTENA
- Breakfast at hotel. And we are going to drive for Tentena + 6 hours by car crossing a beautiful landscape of mountainous tropical forest. This area is inhabited by several Mori tribe people who settled in small villages all over the eastern part of Central Sulawesi. Afternoon arrival in Tentena. Check in at hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 07. TENTENA – PALU
- Breakfast at hotel. We are going to visit and enjoy the water rapids in twelve step waterfalls of Saluopa, we can swim in the natural pool at the falls. After tha we are continue to Palu city through the coffee plantations. Take about 08 hours driving Lunch en – route. Afterno arrivals in Palu. Dinner overnight stay in hotel.
DAY 08. PALU – CHECK OUT.
- Breakfast at hotel. Free at leisure until your departure time. We will transfer you to airport for flight to Makassar or your next destination.