If you are looking for an exotic destination in Asia that can give you a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience, look no further than the verdant and animated jungles of Sumatra. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004, Sumatra’s lush Tropical Rainforest Heritage is truly one of the country’s biggest and most captivating tourist draws.
Rugged and wild, this celebrated heritage site is made up of a trio of opulent Indonesian national parks, namely the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park, and Gunung Leuser National Park. Known for its outstanding natural scenic beauty, this Indonesian tourist magnet is a true epitome of an idyllic tropical wildlife sanctuary. The tropical forests of Sumatra are truly filled with interesting life forms.
Gunung Lesuer National Park
The Gunung Lesuer National Park may have slipped under the radar of many avid nature lovers due to the burgeoning tourism of its over-hyped neighbor, Bukit Lawang. Nevertheless, it is an intriguing destination that you should swing by during your trip to the island of Sumatra. As a tourist in this lush national park, you get a rare opportunity to experience the essence of a true Indonesian jungle. After all, it is a world heritage site, and one of the most biologically diverse and important conservation areas on the face of the earth. As a matter of fact, it is often viewed as the ultimate ecosystem laboratory, thanks to its range of species types and forest.
Gunung Lesuer National Park
As a wildlife sanctuary, the park is home to some of the most exotic and endangered species on the planet, such as elephants, rhinoceros and tigers. While your chances of seeing these notable animals are pretty slim, the park has a plethora of orangutans and other primates that can keep you entertained for a number of hours. As a bonus, you will be able to take pictures of over 200 species in the park, including woodpeckers, helmeted hornbill, and odd rhinoceros hornbill.
Kerinci Seblat National Park
Spanning four provinces on the island of Sumatra, the Kerinci Seblat National Park is the undisputed largest national park in the country. Home to a diverse collection flora, this national park has more than 4,000 plant species on its healthy soils, including the Raffelsia aronlodi, the largest flower in the world. Named by Global Tiger Initiative as one of the world’s important tiger conservation areas, this national is also a turf to the feisty and critically endangered Sumatran tiger. What’s more, this park is a great place to watch endemic Sumatran birds like the Sumatran Cochoa, Savladore’s pheasant and Scneider’s Pitta.
Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park
Ranked as one of the planet’s most outstanding biological habitants by WWF (World Wide Fund), this national park serves as host to a handful of endangered species, including the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran Rhino, Sumatran Striped Rabbit, and Sumatran Elephant. Plus, the park has been a sanctuary to several other rare animals like the lesser mouse-deer, sun bear, Sumatran surili, siamang, and Malayan tapir. As for the flora, the park has a dazzling array of large flowers and plants including the Rafflesia arnoldi, Amorphophallus titanium, Shorea, Pandanus, Sonneratia, Nipa palm, Anisoptera curtisii, and a whole lot more.
The Tropical Forest Heritage of Sumatra is, hands down, one of the brightest and most precious jewels of Southeast Asia. Here, you get to feast your eyes on the spectacular masterpieces of Mother Nature, such as its kaleidoscopic plants and rare animals. Sadly, these jungles remain at risk, despite the efforts of WWF and other global wildlife and flora conservation organizations, due to the threats from the palm oil and logging industry. But, on the bright side, there are a lot of people who are making great strides in keeping these forests a safe haven for nature’s creations.
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