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Traveller's Tales


Baluran National Park

Baluran National Park can be reached from Surabaya by following the north coast, direction to the east via Pasuruan, Probolinggo, Situbondo and after Banyputih, to south direction to Banyuwangi. Right before Wongsorejo (S007.920.333-E114.388.017), turn left to the gate of the Baluran Visitor Center (S007.920.333-E114.388.017). Visitors are charged Rp 6.000.- for the vehicle and Rp 2.500.- for each person.
There are two guest houses in the park, one in Bekol (S007.838.217-E114.439.150) and the other is in Bama beach (S007.844.667-E114.459.633).
The road to Bekol is narrow and thinly asphalted, but is still good enough for SUV type of cars. The charges of the guest house in Bekol is Rp 35.000.- per person and the guest house is equiped with very basic facilities: two bed rooms with living room, toilet (non sitting toilet) and kitchen. No kitchen utensils available except 2 rusty cooking pans and a gas cooking apparatus can be provided at Rp 35.000.- per day, including the gas. Be prepared to bring drinking water, tea, coffee and instant foods or some snacks to avoid starvation and equally important, to bring mosquito spray.
I stayed in Bekol guest house and during the visit, apparently the generator was under repaired. Rains were pouring heavily and we were made busy by repositioning our beds, to avoid getting wet from the water leaking from the roof. 
Bama beach known to be one of the best places for surfing, ironically however, the guest house is far from habitable. It is so typical that we have so many beautiful places of interests, but do not have the ability to manage them properly and indeed commercially.
Baluran was originally a savannah, however for the past few years the area was invaded by acacias tress. A project for making Baluran back into savannah is undertaken, by rooting off those acacias tress and other wild bushes.
The temperature in Baluran is steamy, the humidity perhaps 95 and body perspirations running as if we were inside the spa.
The park rangers are very friendly and happily willing to take us anywhere in the park. At dawn, we went to the observation tower, where we could see most of the park and the panorama was fantastic.
In the south stand mount Merapi majestically covered with cloud, in the north the steamy jungle and in the east, peacocks (Pavo Cristatus) displaying their colorful feather and other wild animals playing and resting in the open plains.
The main predator in the park, besides “homo sapiens” or human, are that wild dogs who are responsible for the declining population of the big mammalians, such as Banteng (Bos Javanicus), deer and wild buffalos donated to the park years ago and released into the wild.

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