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The Lore Lindu National Park is a huge forested protected area in the districts of Donggala and Poso in Central Sulawesi, declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1978.
The Park, located south of the town of Palu, covers an area of 2,180 square km with altitudes ranging from 200 to 2,300 meters above sea-level (asl) and harbours lush forests filled with spectacular wildlife. The vast range of altitudes gives way to the existence of multiple ecosystems, including lowland tropical forest, sub-montane forest, montane forest, and sub-alpine forests at altitudes over 2,000 meters above sea level.
This nature reserve provides habitat to almost every species of mammal and birds on the island, over 50% of which are endemic to Sulawesi, including the Babirusa: a bizarre pig-like creature with 4 huge tusks, the Mountain Anoa: a dwarf buffalo, and the Pygmy Tarsier: the world’s smallest primate, barely the size of a rat.
Aside from its rich wildlife and picturesque landscapes, the Lore Lindu National Park contains over 400 granite megaliths in the Bada Valley, varying in size from just a few centimeters to 4.5 meters tall, the largest found in Indonesia. Various archaeological studies have dated the monuments from between 3000 BC to 1300 AD.
The park’s boundaries are marked by the Palolo Valley in the north, the Napu Valley to the east, and the Bada Valley to the South. The western boundary is defined by a row of narrow valleys, collectively known as the Kulawi Valley. The Pololo, Napu, Lindu and Besoa valleys were once lakes, but are now only partially filled with sediment. Lake Lindu is the only large lake still remaining today. There are 117 villages in and around the park, belonging to the Kaili, Kulavi and Lore ethnic groups.
Lore Lindu was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978, and was formed through the unification of three existing reserves: The Lore Kalamanta Nature Reserve, the Lake Lindu Recreation and Protection Forest, and the Lore Lindu Wildlife Reserve.
Deforestation of the park is still a problem as a result of illegal logging and land encroachment for agricultural activities, and poses a large threat to Lore Lindu. Management is still working on improving law enforcement of the areaandraising awareness of the importance of forest preservation.
The nearest air transport hubs are Makassar in South Sulawesi and Manado in North Sulawesi, both of which have domestic flights to the towns of Palu, Poso and Luwuk in Central Sulawesi, from Jakarta and all the major cities around Indonesia, and a few International flights. There are international flights to Manado from Singapore and Davao in The Philippines, and from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Makassar.
Both of the airports listed above have flights to Palu, a small city in Central Sulawesi. Mutiara Airport in Palu is a domestic only airport with flights available from Jakarta, Surabaya, Balikpapan, Manado and Makassar.
From 15 June 2012 Batavia Air flies Jakarta-Palu daily, leaving Jakarta at 02.45 am West Indonesia Time, arriving Palu at 06.25 Central Indonesia Time. The return flight leaves Palu at 07.0 am and arrives Jakarta 08.40 local time. (For bookings click www.batavia-air.com)
Starting 11 August 2012, Lion Air flies Jakarta - Poso v.v. three times weekly via Makassar, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (for information and booking click www.lionair.co.id)
From Palu, you can hire a car or jeep to take you to the park which is about 50 kilometers away. The drive will take approximately 2 ½ hours. It may also be a good idea to get a local guide that specializes in birding tours. Many of them have excellent knowledge of the various species of birds and wildlife, with years of experience and knowledge in how to spot key species in order to make the most of your trip to Lore Lindu.
Lore Lindu is a national park, and as such, you will need official permission to enter. If you are arranging your trip through a local agent or guide, they will sort this out for you. If you are on your own, you will have to visit :
The National Park Head office in Palu.
Jalan Mawar No. 10, Palu, Sulawesi Tengah. Tel/Fax: +62 0451 423608
Due to heavy rainfall of up to 4,000mm a year in the southern part of Lore Lindu, the best time to visit would be during the dry season which is between July and September. The heaviest rain period occurs during the monsoon season which lasts from November to April.