The Gede Pangrango National Park

The Gede Pangrango National Park - The park, covering 15,196 ha, evolved from several already existing conservation areas: Cibodas Nature Reseve (240 ha), gazetted in 1889, was the oldest reserve in Indonesia and in 1925 was extended to 1,040 ha; Cimungkat Nature Reserve (56 ha) gazetted in 1919; situgunung Recreational Park (120 ha) gazetted in 1975; and Mount Gede Pangrango nature Reserve (14,000 ha) gazetted in 1978.

The park is situated between longitudes 106°51'-107°02' East and latitudes 6°41-6°51' South. Administratively, it is shared between the Regencies of Bogor, Cianjur and Sukabumi.

The Gede-Pangrango area has been the centre of much research over the last two centuries, so establishing its worldwide reputation. Sir Thomas Raffles organised the building of a path on the south-eastern slopes in 1811, although the earliest recorded climb of Mount Gede was by C.G.C. Reinwardt in 1819. Other explorations were conducted by F.W. Junghuhn (1839-1861), J.E. Teysmann (1839), A.R. Wallace (1861), S.H. Koorders (1890), M. Treub (1891) and W.M. van Leeuen (1911). C.G.G.J. van Steenis (1920-1952) collected and studied here in preparation for his now famous book: "The Mountain Flora of Java". published in 1972.

Today many Indonesian and foreign scientists carry on the tradition and, as a result, these mountains are one of the most well researched tropical forest systems in the world. Even so, in such a set of complex ecosystems, exact relationships between the myriad of species will keep biologists intrigued for many decades to come. Climate, topography and vegetation all interact.

Gunung Gede-Pangrango, the twin volcanoes of West Java, is one of the first national parks in Indonesia. It covers a total forested area of 15,000 hectares. This area has a special place in the history of both conservation and botanical research in Indonesia. It includes the Cibodas Nature Reserve which has been the scene of numerous botanical and other studies for a period of well over a hundred years by a number of scientists and naturalists, including such eminent figures as Reinwardt, Junghunn and Wallace.

How to Get There ?

The park is within easy reach by road from Jakarta and Bandung, and the main entrance at Cibodas is situated about 120 km, or about 2.5 hours by car from Jakarta and 85 km or about 2 hours by car from Bandung.

It is also accessible from Cipanas and Pacet through Gunung Putri, just east of Cibodas; and from Sukabumi through Selabintana from the south at about 60 km or 1.5 hour by car from Bogor. Another entrance is at Situgunung, which can be reached through Cisaat, just west of Sukabumi. From these entrances (except from Situgunung) there are trails to the summits of Gunung Gede and Pangrango.

What to bring/Where to stay

Cool-weather clothing, rain coat, strong shoes for hiking, and camping equipments are recommended. Visitors have also to bring their own food, especiall for those who want to stay overnight in the park. Accomodation in the park is in simple guesthouses. The park also provides some camping grounds, including one at the Alun-alun Suryakencana, a flat area near the top of Gunung Gede. There are many hotels, villas and bungalows in the Puncak Pass-Cipanas area. This area is quite close to the Headquarters of the park.


Among the mountains in West Java, the twin volcanoes Gede-Pangrango are very famous for hiking and mountain climbing. There are 4 trails to go up to the summits of of the mountains; two trails are from Cibodas, one from Gunung Putri and another one from Selabintana, Sukabumi. Climbing the mountains and watching the sunrise from the top or the crater wall of Gunung Gede are the most exciting attractions for visitors.


A park entry permit is required for each visitor, and is available at the Park Headquarters, Cibodas.

You can enter the park by one of four gates :

- Cibodas Gate (Cianjur) is the main entrance and the site of the park Headquarters. It is located about 100 km from Jakarta/2.5 hour drive; 89 km from Bandung/2 hour drive.

- Gunung Putri Gate (Cianjur) is close to Cibodas and can be reached via Cipanas and Pacet.

- Selabintana Gate (Sukabumi) is 60 km from Bogor/1.5 hour drive, and 90 km from Bandung/2 hour drive.

- Situgunung Gate (Sukabumi) is 15 km from Selabintana in the direction of Bogor.

Except from Situgunung, Mount Gede and Pangrango summits may be reached on clearly marked trails.

Hiking Rules

1. All visitors must buy a ticket when entering the park. Recreational visit tickets can be obtained from ticket hatches at each of the four gates. In addition, mountain climbing permits are required:

- when leaving the main trail from Cibodas gate to Cibeureum Waterfall in order to climb to the hot water stream/Air panas;
- when turning off the trail to Cibeureum waterfall of Selabintana, Selabintana Gate;
- beyond Bobojong camping ground upon entering the National Park proper from Gunung Putri Gate.

2. Should you wish to climb the mountains you must obtain the permit either at the National Park Headquarters, Cibodas or at Selabintana Resort Office.

Register at the National Park Office:

Monday-Thursday 07.30 - 14.30

Friday 07.30 - 11.00

Saturday 07.30 - 13.30

You must submit:

- a photocopy of your valid I.D. Card or a parental permit (passport for foreign visitors)
- a travel statement from your local police (Indonesians)
- a health certificate from a physician (Indonesians)

3. A park guard will inspect your belongings and permit before you enter the park.

4. No domestic animals, including pets, are allowed in the park.

5. Do not bring weapons, such as knives, or hunting equipment into the park.

6. Radios and noisy appliances are not allowed in the park and special permission is required for the use of "walkie-talkies".

7. Do not light camp fires as there is a real risk of forest fire.

8. Do not interfere with, remove, vandalise or damage park property. This includes writing on stones or trees.

9. Do not pick flowers of pull up plants.

10. Hike only along main trails. Short cuts not only damage the forest but also are very dangerous.

11. Do not drop litter. Much time and effort has to be spent picking up bottles and other rubbish. Carry all your rubbish out of the park.

12. Do not pollute or foul rivers and when bathing do not use soap or other pollutants.

13. Report to the park guard when leaving the park and hand in your permit.

14. Alcoholic drinks are not allowed in the park.

Minimum Requirements (for mountain climbers)

Unless climbers are properly equipped they can run into serious trouble.

1. Minimum hiking gear: warm clothes, sleeping bag if staying on the mountain overnight, waterproof clothing, flashlight and medical kit.

2. Carry enough food and drink (non-alcoholic).

3. Do not climb alone: there should be at least three people in your party and preferably you should be guided by someone with a knowledge of the trail.

Climate & Weather

Gede Pangrango is one of the wettest parts of Java with a mean annual rainfall between 3,000 and 4,000 mm and with, even in the four driest consecutive months of the year, still more than 40 rainy days. The wettest season is from October to May, coinciding with the North West moonsoon, with more than 200 mm of rain every month and over 400 mm per month between December and March (the park is usually closed during this period). The best time for visiting this park is during the driest months (June-September), when average monthly rainfall drops below 100 mm. Annual average temperature varies from about 18°C in Cibodas to less than 10°C at the top of Gunung Pangrango while the relative humidity varies between 80% and 90%.

Annual rainfall is high. The average is in the range of 3,000-4,200 mm per annum, making the area one of the wettest parst of java. The rainy season occurs from October to May, the monthly average of 200 mm rising to over 400 mm in the period from December to March. The dry season occurs from June to September, rainfall dropping to below 100 mm per month. Visitors are asked to be especially careful at this time as the vegetation is easily ignited.

Relative humidity is likewise high, espesially in the forest at night. However, during the dry season humidity on the peaks swings from a night- time low of 30% to an afternoom high of over 90%. These variations have a marked effect on plant communities.

Daily temperature at Cibodas averages around 18°C, while on the peaks of Mount Gede and Pangrango the average is a chilly 10°C. Night-time temperature on the peaks may drop below 5°C. Frasts occur regularly so warm clothing is essential to anyone intending to climb to the summit. The National Park is an important hydrological catchment.

Geography & Topography

Gunung Gede and Pangrango are a part of the great belt of volcanoes which extends in an arch through Sumatera, Java and the Lesser Sundas. These volcanoes were formed during the Quarternary period between 3 million years ago and the present time. Pangrango and Gede are thus comparatively new mountains geologically, though the former is the older of the two, no longer displaying any sign of volcanic activity, while Gede is still semi-active with a well-defined crater within which gases escape from fumaroles.

Gunung Gede (2,958 m) and Pangrango (3,019 m) are connected by a high saddle at about 2,500 m. Slopes are very steep and are incised by valleys forming steep-sided ridges between them radiating out towards the flat plains of Bogor-Cianjur and Sukabumi.

Flora & Fauna

Gunung Gede-Pangrango is covered with splendid mountain forest and at present it is one of the last mountain forests of the West Java where the forest is still relatively undisturbed.

The high forest between 1,400 and 2,400 m has a very mixed composition. The canopy is about 30-40 m high with an abundant development of laurels (Litsea spp.), oaks (Lithocarpus spp. and Quercus spp.) and chesnuts (Castanopsis spp.).

Emergents of this forest include the grand rasamala (Altingia excelsa) and the conifers (Podocarpus imbricatus and Podocarpus neriifolius).

The Puspa (Schima walichii) is common in West-Java's rainforest and often conspicuous by its reddish flush that at times colours the whole forest canopy.At the attitude of about Kandang Badak, the saddle at 2,400 m between Gunung Gede and Pangrango, one enters the sub-alpine or elfin forest. This forest has only one stratum of smallish trees and a ground layer. Due to their better resistance against crater gases, Vaccinium varingiaefolium, Rhododendron retusum and Myrsine avenis are more common close to the crater area even a pure Vaccinium varingiaefolium forest has developed. One of the characteristic plants of the top areas of these mountains is the Javanese Edelweiss (Anaphalis javanica).

We can hear everywhere birds singing and see them flying especially in the early morning. There are about 200 species of bird in the area, including the pygmy tit (Psaltris exilis) which is only know from west Java's mountains and the sole representative of an endemic genus. Primate species which occur in the park include the Javan gibbon (Hylobates moloch), Javan leaf monkey (Presbytis aygula), silvered leaf monkey (Presbytis cristata), and the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis). Leopard (Panthera pardus) is still the only large predator of West Java, besides the extremely rare wild dog (Cuon alpinus) which also exists in this park.

Other species of mammals are the wild pigs (Sus scrofa), the Javanese/stink badger (Mydaus javanensis), the leopard cat (Felis bengalensis) and the yellow-throated martin (Mustela flavigula).

The park is home to manyspecies of mammal. These include the stink badger (Mydaus javanensis), flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), lesser mousr-deer (Tragulus javanicus) and two species of wild pig (Sus scrofa and S.verrucosus).

Four species of primate live here and are all frequently seen : Javan gibbon (Hylobates moloch). Javan leaf monkey (Presbytis comata), ebony leaf monkey (trachythecus auratus), and long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis). The two Javanese endemics are currently listed as endangered.

Other rare mammals include leopard (panthera pardus), leopard cat (Felis bengalensis) and wild dog (Cuon alpinus javanicus). Junghuhn's observations of 1839 tell us that Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) once roamed the erea; regrettably no recent records exist.

Many different kinds of bird inhabit the park; more than 251 species from the Javan list of 450 have been recorded. Scaece or beautiful birds, such as the Javan hawk-eagle (Spizaetus bartelsi), the blue-tailed trogon (Harpactes reinwardteii)(Otus angelinae) attract bird-watchers from all over the world.

Places of Interest

Even though famous as an historic biological/ecological research site, the park also has an important role to play in recreation and ecotourism. Many activities, besides mountain climbing/hiking, can be enjoyed. Popular pursuits include taking in the natural scenery, observing wildlife, photography and camping.

1. Telaga Biru/The Blue Lake (1,575 m a.s.1.)

Location: 1.5 km/15 minute walk from Cibodas Gate. The name derives from the presence of blue-green algae which colour the water. The observant visitor might weel be rewarded with views of the white-crowned forktail (Enicurus leschenaulti), a striking pied bird which methodically searches streams and lake margins for food. The surrounding area is transitional from sub-montane to montane vegetation.

2. Cibeureum Waterfall (1,625 m a.s.1.)

Location: 2.8 km/1 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. Not one but three waterfalls, formed from the Cikundul, Cidendeng, and Cibeureum rivers, cascade over a dramatic cliff. A red moss (Sphagnum gedeanum), endemic to the mountains of West Java, can be seen growing on the rocky outcrops. Many of the bast seen flying atound come the nearby bat cave of Gua Lalay.

3. Hot Water Stream (2,150 m a.s.1.)

Location: 5.3 km/2 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. The water temperature here can be as high as 75°C butdrops during times of rain. An algae, remarkably adapted both to hot water and to high sulphur levels, grows in the stream bed.

4. Kandang Batu/Rocky Area (2,220 m a.s.l.)

Location: 5.6 km/2.5 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. As a result of the Gede eruptions rocks and boulders litter the area. Many fresh springs emerge here providing a good source of drinking water.

5. Kandang Badak/Rhino "Home" (2,400 m a.s.l.)

Location: 7.8 km/3.5 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. The area is relatively flat, consisting of a saddle connecting the peaks of Mount Gede and Mount Pangrango. The vegetation is transitional from montane to sub-alpine.

6. Summit and Crater of Mount Gede (2,958 m a.s.l.)

Location: 9.7 km/5 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. Three semi-active craters are grouped together: Lanang (male), Ratu (queen) and Wadon (female). Acid rocks, sulphur-rich gas emissions and an inhospitable climate create "tough" adverse conditions. In response, a fascinating plant community has developed including the fern (Selliguea feei), the ericaceous Vaccinium varingiaefolium and two species of rhododendron (Rhododendron retusum and R.javanicum).

7. Suryakencana Meadow (2,750 m. a.s.l.)

Location: 11.8 km/6 hour walk from Cibodas Gate; 6.9 km/3.5 hour from Gunung Putri and 9 km/5 hour walk from Selabintana. The meadow, 50 ha in area, is situated between Mounts Gede and Gumuruh and is one of several well known sites within the park for the Javanese eidelweiss or "eternal flower".

8. Mount Pangrango Summit (3,019 m a.s.l.)

Location: 3 km/3 hour walk from Kandang Badak; 11 km/7 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. Mount Pangrango is less visited than Gede; the climb is much steeper and the summit more wooded. The peak, the tallest in the park, overlooks the small, 5 ha, high altitude Mandalawangi meadow.

9. Cibeureum Waterfall of Selabintana (900 m a.s.l)

Location: 2.4 km/45 minute walk from Selabintana Gate. The waterfall is 35 m high, making it the highest waterfall in the National Park.

10. Sawer Waterfall (1,200 m a.s.l.)

Location: 2 km/20 minute walk from Situgunung Gate. Fed by a large stream, this waterfall is notable as the one with the greatest flow and largest volume of water.

11. Camping Sites

Two camping sites are available in the park: Gunung putri Site with room for 100 campers; Selabintana Site with room for 150 campers.
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