Gunung Rinjani National Park lies within a major bio-geographical transition zone (Wallace), where the flora and fauna of South East Asia meets that of Australasia. The National Park, one of over 40 throughout Indonesia, was established in 1997.
For the people of Lombok, Sasak and Balinese alike, Mt. Rinjani is revered as a sacred place and abode of deities. The crater lake is a pilgrimage destination for tens of thousand each year. Pilgrims place offering in the water and bathe away ailments in the hot springs.
The people of Lombok believe that the peak of Mt. Rinjani is where Dewi Anjani, the queen spirit and ruler of Mt. Rinjani lives. To the Camp by the lake side, enjoying dinner followed by the night sound assouth-east from the peak in a sea of dust called Segara Muncar is the invisible palace of the queen Dewi Anjani and her followers.
Gunung Baru is the name of the new volcano which emerged in the center of Segara Anak Lake. People believe that Gunung Baru is the navel of Mt. Rinjani. That is why if Gunung Baru erupted it will not harm the people of Lombok unless the eruption is from the peak of Mt. Rinjani.
Mount Rinjani was made a world legacy award winner in 2004 by Conservation International and National Geographic Traveler magazine.
For visitors, the three-day Rinjani trek route from Senaru to the crater rim, down to the Crater Lake then on to Sembalun Lawang, is considered one of the best treks in South East Asia. Trekkers that are more adventurous aim for the suLocal porters are ready to bring your needs while trekkingmmit, it best reached from Sembalun Lawang returning after four days to Senaru.
To assist with conservation and ensure that communities on the boundary of the National Park benefit from tourism revenues, the Rinjani Trek is managed by a partnership of National Park officials, the public and private sectors of the Lombok tourism industry and community representatives. Community run cooperatives coordinate the Trek at the Rinjani Trek Center (RTC) in Senaru and the Rinjani Information Center (RIC) in Sembalun Lawang. Each has roster system for guides and porters, village tour activities and handicraft sales.
The RTC can manage the transport to Senaru or Sembalun Lawang. These two village can be reached by private and charter vehicle, or by public bus. From the west, catch a bemo to Anyar, from where bemos travel to Senaru about every 20 minutes until 4 pm. If you are coming from, or going to, eastern Lombok, get off at the junction near Bayan (your driver will know it), from where bemos go to Senaru. To Sembalun Lawang and Sembalun Bumbun, from Kali Putih to the north, a few bemos run along the rough road to both villages, usually only in the morning.The RTC team
Revenue of tourism activities and entry fees are used for conservation, training, management and assisting the National Park with maintenance of the Rinjani Trek, thus ensuring sustainability.
Overseeing and supporting these activities is the Rinjani Trek Management Board, combining the authority of the central government (National Park) and local government (tourism office), with the voices of Lombok tourisms private sector, and the boundary communities. This institutional model is unique in Indonesia and considered an example for practical implementation of the ideals of eco tourism.
Well, should you visit this maginificent mount, consider this as supporting the local in gaining livehood income as well 😉