The Tangkoko Nature Reserve
The Tangkoko Nature Reserve is a flora and fauna conservation area on Mount Tangkoko in the district of Bitung in the province of North Sulawesi, about one hour’s drive from Manado. The reserve is particularly attractive for its unique wildlife that can be observed roaming free in the forest.
The tarsiers, the black macaque monkeys, maleo birds, cuscus and the hornbills make this their habitat.
Tarsiers are the smallest primates in the world – only about a fist size – who make Tangkoko their last refuge and are found only in Sulawesi. Tarsiers (tarsius spectrum) look particularly cute because of their big saucer eyes. Locals know them as: tangkasi . Since these are nocturnal animals they can be observed only at night.
The crested black macaques (macaca nigra), endemic to Sulawesi, usually come in large social groups, and can be seen playing, fighting or grooming themselves. While the cuscus, a pouched animal can be seen among the trees when one is particularly lucky.
Located about an hour’s drive from Manado, you will first pass the Batuputih Nature Park that lies between Batuputih Bawah sub district and the Tangkoko Nature Reserve at Batuangus.
Covering an area of 615 hectares, the Batuputih Nature Park is a savanna suitable for camping, outbound activities and relaxing by the beach. Since Batuputih is mostly visited by tourists, it is therefore also the most well known, although it is only one of four conservation areas at Tangkoko.
In addition to the Batuputih Park, theTangkoko Reserve covers a total area of 3,196 hectares , where the Batuangus Nature Reserve has 635 hectares (located between the Tangkoko Nature Reserve and Pinangunian village), while the Duasaudara Nature Reserve covers 4,299 hectares (which includes Mount Duasaudara and its surrounding areas.
How To Get There
This conservation area for endangered species in Bitung is located some 70 kilometers from Manado. Tourists prefer to visit Batuputih, making it the favourite tourist destination of Tangkoko.
It takes about an hour’s drive from Manado to Bitung and a further 45 minutes from Bitung to Batuputih travelling by winding asphalt roads.
In this conservation area you may travel by car from Post I to Post II. Before reaching Post II, you will find a secondary tropical forest where are trees and pioneer plants such as forest betels, flower wood and binunga.
At Post II, you can park your car and walk to explore the forest. Here are groups of Sulawesi black macaques (Macaca Nigra) and going deeper into the forest, you can hear the singing of birds such as that of the Rangon, the Kingfisher, doves and many more.
From Batu Putih, you are nearing the border of the Tangkoko Nature Reserve. This border is not quite clear but your local guide will tell you when you reach it. Visitors who explore Batuputih or the Tangkoko National Park must be accompanied by a Park guide, except for those who are experienced mountain climbers or are local or foreign researchers.
Upon entering Batuputih, you will see tall trees, particularly at Post I or at its entrance gate. On the left, you can see beautiful beaches and rest areas. Entrance fee to Batuputih and the Tangkoko Nature Reserve, including guide fee is a minimum Rp70.000.
At the second post, you will find temporary shelters for researchers, who are mostly foreigners. When traveling around the forest, you will find them observing animal behavior in Tangkoko such as that of the local black monkey (Macaca Nigra), the Tarsius Spectrum, the smallest monkey in the world and various bird species.