Danau Sentarum National Park, the Richest Lake Ecosystem on Earth

You must know that Indonesia has high biodiversity on earth. Hence, you can prove it by coming to Danau Sentarum National Park, a lake in West Kalimantan. The place is at the heart of a jungle and close to the Indonesia-Malaysia border with 132 thousand hectares.

It is located in Kapuas Hulu Regency, West Kalimantan; specifically in Nanga Leboyan, Danau Sentarum. From Pontianak, the province’s capital, the lake will be around 600 km toward the east side. The park got its national title in 1999, due to the rich biodiversity of the lake ecosystem.

How to Get There and the Entrance Fee

To get to the Danau Sentarum National Park, there are several transportation options that you can choose. Here they are:

  • If you come from Pontianak and choose a car drive, then you have to head toward the Pontianak-Sintang-Semitau route. For this road, the journey will be 11 hours. Then, after that, you have to continue by boat from Semitau.
  • You can also opt for a river course by boat from Sintang to Semitau. This boat trip is estimated to take 7 hours. Then, from Semitau you still have to continue the boat ride to the National Park.
  • The last option is by taking a flight from Pontianak to Putussibau. Although the aircraft will be the shortest route, you still have to continue by boat. From Putussibau, you have to reach Danau Sentarum by boat for approximately 7 hours.

To get to Danau Sentarum, most budget allocation will go to transport and accommodation. Because the entrance fee will be only 15 to 25 thousand rupiahs. Meanwhile, the transport and accommodation would depend on what you choose. For illustration, the speedboat from Semitau to the lake will cost you 250 to 300 thousand. 

What to Expect

So, why bother to come to Danau Sentarum? What makes it different from any other lake out there? Here are the reasons that make this lake is a natural unique place that worth visiting:

1. Seasonal Lake

Different from any other lake, Danau Sentarum is a seasonally flooded lake. Because each year, it is like your typical lake out there for 10 months. Then, in the other 2 months, the water will recede up to 80% of its usual volume. 

2. The Biodiversity

We mentioned several times before that the lake’s biodiversity is not without reason. We repeatedly repeat that information because you will find different creatures while the lake is in its full lake mode and when the water recedes. 

Thus, it will be almost impossible to find the same creature when you come twice but at different seasons. In total, this lake is home to 240 aquatic species as well as rare and endemic animals and birds. 

3. Dayak Life

There are about 20 Dayak villages residing around the lake with more or less 3 thousand people. Dayak is the name of the real Kalimantan tribe. Usually, the tribes preserve their housing tradition of the longhouses.

The name comes from the house’s long shape which may reach 200 meters. Although the house may vary depending on the religion, it is almost the same. The long corridor is the public space, while each family unit is the private part of each family.

The unique life in Danau Sentarum National Park, for both the natural and cultural, is something that is worth witnessing. Thus, if you happen to have the time, why do not plan to come to this place and learn?

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