A green escape in North Jakarta

A green escape in North Jakarta
PHOTO: Edna Tarigan

An ecotourism excursion might not be something you thought of when making plans to explore the capital city of Indonesia.

Actually though, Jakarta is home to a lush mangrove forest worth visiting with family and friends who seek a unique experience while touring the hectic metropolis. Situated in Pantai Indah Kapuk in North Jakarta, the Angke Kapuk natural tourism park covers an area of 99.82 hectares overlooking the Jakarta bay.

With an entrance fee of Rp 25,000 (S$2.54) per person for adults and Rp 10,000 for children, the place offers river cruising on a motorboat as well as walking and cycling around the forest through bamboo and wooden paths. A six-seat motorboat can be rented for Rp 350,000 per boat. A bigger size, which can accommodate up to eight people, is available for Rp 400,000.

Fauna watching is one of the perks that visitors can expect to enjoy while cruising the mangrove forest. During our recent visit, several wild birds were standing at wooden poles scattered among the trees.

"If you arrive earlier in the morning, you can also see some biawak [lizards] swimming in the river," said our boatman, Agus.

In addition to a bird watching area, which is best seen from a wooden bridge connecting one mangrove zone to another, there is also an avian nursery reachable by bike.

When it is close to sunset, visitors can be found lingering at and around a 20-meter tower near the cottage area. Made entirely from wood, the accommodation options are perfect for those seeking to enjoy the lush trees and calm river overnight.

How to get there

If you get there by car, go through the toll road leading to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Sedyatmo toll road) and exit at Pantai Indah Kapuk. From the exit ramp, turn right at the Grand Cengkareng intersection and turn right again at the next intersection. The Angke Kapuk natural tourism park will be at the right side of the road.

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