Written by: Junaidi Arif/Burung Indonesia
While it is famous for its prehistoric reptiles and now one of the 28 Finalists for inclusion as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, Komodo on the island of Flores has a number of other potential tourism attractions of spectacular natural beauty.
One of them is Mbeliling Forest, an area with a unique ecosystem and culture that make its place very worthwhile visiting. It is one of the main natural resources for the inhabitants in and around the Labuan Bajo area.
The exploration usually starts by setting out frorn the village of Liang Ndara as the first stopover and trekking to Mbeliling peak to experience the beauty of waterfalls and birds endemic in the village of Ro’e.
Trekking to the top of Mbeliling is very enjoyable and not so difficult taking only three or four hours. The natural forest with its unique vegetation is there for all to see at a brisk altitude of 1200 metres above sea level.
Birdwatchers will be excited to know that on the trek in the forest they might be lucky enough to see three endemic Flores birds: Kehicap Flores (Monarcha sacerdotum), Hanging parrot Flores (Loriculus flosculus), and Flores Crow (Corvus florensis) which population are getting less and less.
Descending from the peak of Mount Mbeliling, the waterfalls of Cunca Rami readily welcome visitors. Paddy fields with dear streams add to the beauty of the scenery of this region.
One of the cultural highlights of a visit to the region is to experience the culture of Manggarai and its Caci dance attractions.
For the people of Manggarai, the dance is a ritual that cannot be separated from life. The dance, performed by men is a symbol of valor and bravery. Unique also to the area is the tradition of drinking Toak or called “Sopi”, which is a strong alcoholic beverage, obtained from palm trees. This drink is usually used by local communities in cultural events or simply as a means of entertainment and relaxation in daily life.
The highlight of any touris Lake Sano Nggoang, the final point for experiencing Mbeliling.
This clear green lake has beautiful scenery and is a great natural habitat for invertebrate communities (macro-invertebrate). The lake is approximately 513 hectares, with diameter 2,5 – 3 km and depth of 600 m. It is going to be the most unforgettable moment spending time at the Sano Nggoang area by riding horse around the lake. So many visitors going there for refreshing and just enjoying time with family.
Sano Nggoang lake is not only famous for being the largest volcanic lake in the East Indonesia Region but is also well known for the friendliness of the people in the Kampung Nunang area with their traditional culture making all visitors extremely welcome as honored guests
Accommodation and getting there
Getting to the Mbeliling area is not difficult. Rights from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo, the main gateway to Flores and The Komodo island, are available every day. Labuan Bajo has an attractive range of accommodation possibilities ranging from star-rated properties to budget priced bungalows.
Generally accommodation packages on offer range from Rp 150.000,- to Rp 700.000,- booking hotels by Internet information services are also available. Mean while if you decide to stay over night in Sano Nggoang, home-stay prices in this area are around Rp 300.000,- /night.
Broadly speaking, viewing www.floresecotourism.com about destination to forest Mbeliling. Will provide useful information about the area. A visit to Mbeliling located very far from the beaten track, is an experience remembered long after you have arrived home with memories of a spectacularly beautiful region only equaled friendliness of the people.