Kerinci Seblat National Park is the largest national park in Sumatra Indonesia. It has a total area of 13,791 km2, and spans four provinces: West Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu and South Sumatra. It is located between 100°31’18″E – 102°44’01″E and 1°07’13″S – 3°26’14″S. The Park area includes a large part of the Barisan mountain range, including the highest peak in Sumatra, Mount Kerinci (3,805 m). The park includes hot springs, rivers with rapids, caves, scenic waterfalls and the highest caldera lake in Southeast Asia ( Lake Gunung Tujuh).
The park is home to diversity of flora and fauna. Over 4,000 plant species grow in the park area, including the world’s largest flower, Rafflesia arnoldi, and the plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence, the titan arum. The fauna include Sumatran Tigers, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sumatran elephants, Bornean Clouded Leopard, Malayan Tapir, Malay Sun Bear and 370 bird species including the Schneiders Pitta and Sumatran Cochoa, both considered extinct for much of the 20th century.
There is a belief society that in the area of Kerinci Seblat National Park while forest edge farmers continue to report occasional sightings of the mysterious orangpendek, a large, bipedal primate resembling an orangutan (which are not recorded in Kerinci Seblat).
Most visitors arrive from Padang’s Minangkabau International Airport which offers quickest access for the Kerinci area of the national park (278 km or about seven hours). You may want to call your hotel or homestay in advance to arrange for personal transport (you can hire a car, van, or bus) for your trip, however there are good ‘Travel’ minibus and Share Taxi services from Padang to district capitals which border the park. Padang to Kerinci (Sungaipenuh) is a six-seven hour bus drive.
It is also possible to take public buses or local angkot minibuses , although the ride may be uncomfortable as public buses are often crowded, may not have space if you are carrying a bulky backpack or luggage and make frequent stops.
1. Climbing the vulcano Kerinci and jungle tracking
The national park offers superb trekking and climbing opportunities for both novices and the more experienced as well as bird and wildlife watching
Climb Mt Kerinci(3805 m asl): the popular trek up to either Camp 2 or 3 usually takes 2 days and 1 night, including the descent, Avoid rainy season months and weekends. Climb up to Lake Gunung Tujuh – one day return or camp over night by the lake. Avoid weekends. Trek (2 days, one night) to forests of Mt Kunyit (Kerinci area) to see sulphur pits and hot springs. More adventurous forest treks for the experienced include Lempur-Sungai Ipuh (in Bengkulu) five days; Lempur to Rantau Kermas via the ancient enclave village of Renah Kemumu (4 days) or stay in forest villages in Muara Siau, Merangin like Durian Rambun or Lubuk Bira. Tiger watching- unlike India it is difficult to see wild Sumatran tigers but national park officers will advise on areas where tigers are present and suggest experienced guides.
The Muara Imat area on the Kerinci-Merangin district borders is one of the best places to hope to see wild tigers, ask at the national park offices.
2. visit tea plantations
Tea plantations at Mt Kerinci – you can tour after getting permission from the locals. Hot springs at Mt Kunyit, Talang Kemuning, Kerinci or at Semerup, Kerinci. Traditional dance ceremonies and maybe a Tiger calling ceremony by a Kerinci shaman Lake Kerinci. The view of the Kerinci valley and Lake Kerinci from Bukit Kayangan (above Sungaipenuh) The elephant sanctuary at Seblat, Bengkulu (ask permission from KSDA Bengkulu first). Remote, rarely visited traditional forest-edge villages in Jangkat and Sungai Tenang and Muara Siau areas of Merangin district. Megaliths in the Kerinci valley and at isolated Renah Kemumu village in Merangin district. Lake Gunung Tujuh – South East Asia’s highest crater lake and still surrounded by pristine forests.
It is more advisable to camp with a guide, as there have been rare cases of people who disappeared while attempting to climb Mt Kerinci alone and you should always do forest treks with an experienced guide and will find it more rewarding. You can ask your local accommodation to arrange for a guide for you or request advice from national park officers. The national park’s tiger protection rangers can be asked to act as guides during their leave periods (25-2 of each month) A highly recommended guide is Pak Ahmad, with around 30 years of experience bringing people up Mt Kerinci, Sahar, is another excellent trekking guide in the Mt Kerinci Gunung Tujuh area. He can be contacted through Homestay Pak Subandi. The homestays also provide equipment rental, and your guide, or porters if you choose to hire any, will bring his own (basic) equipment and tent.
The basic fee for a guide is about Rp 100,000 Rupiah per day.
source: wikipedia and wikitravel
West Sumatera Tourism