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Central Sulawesi Morowali Nature Reserve Trekking tours

Central Sulawesi  Morowali Nature Reserve Trekking tours


Morowali Natural Reserve tour – Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

The Area
Morowali is a 225,000 ha nature reserve in the eastern part of Central Sulawesi province. The reserve is the only area in Sulawesi where forests on basic or ultra basic rock and limestone, are protected. Morowali comprises several forest types: lowland alluvial forest, mountain forest, swamp forest, mangrove forest, moss forest and some secondary forest. The reserve is dominated by three high mountains: Gunung Tambusisi (2,422 m), Gunung Morowali (2,280 m) and Gunung Tokala (2,630). The mountains are separated by river valleys with steep slopes and are located in the northern part of the reserve. The southern part of the reserve comprises the so called Morowali Plain. This 45,000 ha area includes two lakes, seasonal swamps, peat swamp and some mangrove forest. Most of the area is covered with primary forests.

The People
The Wana are the native people living in the reserve. About 600 families, comprising the Wana Kajurmangka and the Wana Uewaju, still live according to their ancient traditions. The Wana Kajurmangka live in the isolated area around Gunung Rapangusulemana while the Wana Uewaju have their villages in the east of the reserve.
The wana people, a small ethnic group of about 5 000, are living in the Morowali area, which can be entered from Kolonodale. They practice shifting cultivation and are collecting rattan and resin to trade. The Wanas are also skilled hunters and still using blowpipes. By living their traditional lives they are now violating the laws according to the governement, who made Morowali to a nature reserve. The wanas can be moved out from the area in a near future. The organization “Sahabat Morowali” , Friends of Morowali, are figthing for their rigths.
The Wana Kajurmangka live in the isolated area around Gunung Rapangusulemana while the Wana Uewaju have their villages in the east of the reserve.

The Access
The entrance of the reserve is in Kolonodale, which can be reached by bus from Ujung Pandang, Poso, Soroake, Palu en Tentena. Permits, guides and information are available at the KSDA office in Palu and the PHPA office in Kolonodale.

Morowali Nature Reserve
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.
Current Status

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).

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.



Attraction        : Trekking at Morowali nature reserve (Via Manado)
Duration          : 08 days / 07 nights
Tour area        : Morowali Natural reserve
Grade              : Intermediate
Start – end      : Manado – Palu

Day 01. Arrival Services – Hotel in Manado.

  • Meeting our staff and drive you to hotel in Manado city.
  • Lunch at local restaurant. Free at leisure.
  • Overnight at hotel in Manado

Day 02 . Manado – Luwuk – Baturube – Taronggo

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Depart to airport for flights to Luwuk.
  • On arrival drive to Baturube about 05 – 06 hours. Lunch en-route.
  • Afternoon arrival in Baturube , take a motor cyle to Taronggo.
  • Dinner and overnight at guest house.

Day 03. Taronggo – Kayupoli

  • Breakfast at guest house.
  • Full day of trekking through among the rain forest, grassland, crossing stream and river is also make the trip be a perfect.
  • Lunch on the route, afternoon arrival in Kayupoli
  • Overnight stay at the village house.

Day 04. Kayupoli – Rano lake – Kekea

  • Breakfast at guesthouse
  • Depart by paddle canoe through against the raft of Muara stream, to cross a wonderful Rano Lake.
  • Two hours hiking through among the forest.
  • Lunch on the route cooked by guide.
  • Overnight in the guest house in Kekea at the huts of Wana tribe or set up a camp.

Day 05. Kekea (Morowali reserve) – Kolonedale.

  • Breakfast at guest house or tent.
  • Trekking to Tomori bay harbor.
  • Two hours by chartered motor boat crossing Tomori bay .
  • On arrival we will take a car to hotel in Kolonedale.

Day 06. Kolonedale – Tentena

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Depart to Tentena + 6 hours drive 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.
  • Late afternoon arrival in Tentena for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 07. Tentena – Palu

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Short trip to Saluopa waterfalls, then continue to  Palu city.
  • 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
  • Transfer you to airport for flight to Makassar or your next destination.  

Tour price included :

  • Food & Drinks.
  • Accommodation,
  • Transportation
  • Professional  guide.



Attraction        : Trekking Morowali Natural reserve

Duration          : 09 DAYS / 08 NIGHTS
Tour area        : Morowali Natural reserve
Start – end      : Makassar
Grade              : Intermediate


DAY 01 : Makassar arrival.

  • Upon arrival at Hasanuddin airport in Makassar then transfer to hotel.
  • Drive you to on a city tour around Makassar, visiting Fort Rotterdam an old Dutch fortress, Port Paotere, the Buginese harbor. Lunch en-route.
  • Dinner and stay overnight at a hotel.

DAY 02 : Makassar – Soroako

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Depart to Soroako by car for about 12 hours trip.
  • On the way we enjoy the view along the Buginese villages with their typical houses.
  • Lunch will be served in seafood restaurant in Palopo
  • Photo-stops en route is available on this trip.
  • Dinner and stay overnight at a hotel in Soroako. (B)

Day 03 : Soroako – Beteleme – Kolonedae

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Continue the trip by crossing Matano lake with our car on a wooden boat (Big Katinting) to Nahu village
  • On arrival drive straight to Beteleme where we will have lunch.
  • Proceed to the old Kolonedale harbor city.
  • Stay overnight at homestay, Kolonedale. (B,L)

Day 04 : Kolonedale – Kekea – Marisa

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • With speed boat we sail across Tomori bay to Morowali nature reserve.
  • Entering Morowali nature reserve area by walking through Morowali river estuary.
  • Continue the trip by walking through the mangrove and rattan forest, also crossing over several tributaries.
  • We stop by at Kekea, take a rest for a while and have lunch before continue the trip to Marissa village.
  • Overnight at a hut of Wana tribe. (B,L,D)

Day 05 : Marisa – Kayupoli – Rano bae

  • Breakfast at guesthouse.
  • Trek along Tandonga tributary where Wana tribe moor their boat.
  • Trip continue to Rano Bae (Big lake) by a small boat to go around the lake.
  • Take a rest and lunch will be served at a hut by the side of Rano Bae.
  • Continue trekking to Kayu Poli valley one of highland area at Morowali.
  • Explore Kayu Poli area
  • Return to Rano Bae, for overnight at the hut. (B,L,D)

Day 06 : Rano Bae – Marisa

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Start the returning trip from Rano Bae then go along Tandonga tributary by boat to Marissa Village.
  • The rest of the day will be fulfilled with exploring Marissa village and get in touch with Wana tribe community.
  • Take a rest and stay overnight at the Marissa village. (B,L,D)

Day 07 : Marisa – Kolonedale – Beteleme – Soroako.

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Proceed to Morowali lake estuary, then sail across Tomori bay by wooden boat (Big Ketinting) and leave for Kolonedale city to Beteleme.
  • Continued by car to get to Beteleme where we will have lunch.
  • Continue the trip to Soroako through Matano lake.
  • Stay overnight at a hotel at Soroako. (B,L)

Day 08 : Soroako – Palopo – Makassar

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Depart to Makassar via Palopo.
  • Take about 12 hours land trip with several breaks for a rest.
  • We stay overnight at Makassar. (B)

Day 09 : Makassar departure

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Transfer to airport to catch the flight for your next destination. (B)

Included :
• Airport transfers in Makassar include all land transporttation

• Accommodations based on twin/double share at hotels in Makassar dan Kolonedale
• Accommodation at guest house with basic facility
• Charter wooden boat
• English speaking guide and cook
• Porters during trekking (villagers)
• Full board meals (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)
• Permits and donations
• All activities mentioned on the above program

Excluded :  
• Travel insurance
• Airport taxes and extra baggage charges
• Personal expenses such as phone calls, laundry, beverages etc
• All expenses incurred due to the flight cancellations or due other causes beyond our  control


Attraction            : Trekking Morowali Natural reserve
Duration              : 06 days / 05 Nights
Tour area            : Tentena – Morowali – Kekea- Rano Lake – Kayupoli – Taronggo – Baturube – Luwuk
Grade                  : Easy – Intermediate
Start – end          : Makassar – Luwuk.


Day 01. Hasanudin Airport Makassar – Check in hotel (Makassar).

  • On your arrival at Makassar international airport, our staff will meet you than proceed to hotel in Makassar.
  • Check in. Free at leisure.
  • Dinner. Overnight.

Day 02. Makassar – Palu – Tentena

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Depart to airport for flights to Palu
  • On arrival meet the driver & staff, drive for 06 hours to Tentena. Take a tour in Tentena.
  • Overnight at hotel in Tentena

Day 03 : Tentena – Kolonedale

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Depart for Kolonedale + 6 hours drive 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.
  • Late afternoon arrival in Kolonedale for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 04 : Kolonedale – Morowali Reserve

  • After breakfast depart to the starting point of the hiking.
  •  Two hours by chartered motor boat crossing Tomori bay .
  • Then continue the trip by trekking to reach Kekea where the Wana tribe people settles through the tropical rain forest.
  • Lunch prepared on the way by the guide.
  • Stay overnight at simple huts with Wana people or set up camp.

Day 05 : Kekea – Rano Lake – Kayupoli

  • After breakfast depart by paddle canoe through against the raft of Muara stream, to cross a wonderful Rano Lake.
  • Two hours hiking through among the forest.
  • Lunch on the route cooked by guide.
  • Overnight in the huts of Wana tribe or set up a camp at Kayupoli riverside.

Day 06 : Kayupoli – Taronggo

  • Breakfast at camp.
  • Full day of trekking through among the rain forest, grassland, crossing stream and river is also make the trip be a perfect.
  • Lunch en route, late afternoon arrival in Taronggo and overnight stay at the village house.

Day 07 : Taronggo – Baturube – Luwuk

  • Breakfast at Guest house.
  • Depart by motor-cycle ( Ojek ) to Terminal Baturube.
  • Drive to Luwuk (5-6 hours)  the coast line and mountain view as a panorama.
  • Lunch en route at local restaurant.
  • Late afternoon arrival in Luwuk. Check-in a hotel and overnight.

Day 08 : Luwuk – Next Destination

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • At your own leisure.
  • Transfer to the airport for your next destination.

Tour price included :

  • Food & Drinks.
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Professional  guide.

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