Indonesia Ecotourism 1# : Bromo - Tengger - Semeru | b l o g o d r i l

07 April 2009

Indonesia Ecotourism 1# : Bromo - Tengger - Semeru

Bromo‑Tengger‑Semeru receives the highest number of tourists of any Indonesian national park. Bromo‑Semeru massif is a block of volcanic highland averaging 40 km north‑south and 20‑30 km east‑west, covering an area of 50,276 ha with altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 3,676 meters.

The principal features are Mount Semeru, in the southern part of the park, which at 3,676 meters is Java’s highest mountain and one of its most active volcanoes, and the vast Tengger caldera to the north, in the center of which is Mount Bromo.

The middle slopes of Semeru are covered with tropical montane forest, with sub-alpine forest above 2,000 meters. Casuarina (Casuarina sp.) forest is common around the populated areas and results from the burning of vegetation in the past.

Big trees spread over the forest , such as dacrycarpus/jamuju (Dacrycarpus imbricatus).Grasslands cover the base of the Tengger caldera and slopes to the south of the Bromo crater, such as eidelweis (Anaphalis javanica), and grass (Styphelia pungieus).while a desert‑like sandsea of lava (5.250 ha) at 2.100 m a.s.l and ash extends north from Bromo to the caldera wall.
It contains 137 bird species, 22 mammals and 4 reptile [1]:
Bird spesies including mountain eagle (Accipiter virgatus), rangkong (Buceros rhinoceros silvestris), Bido snake eagle (Spilornis cheela bido), black dicrucus bird(Dicrurus macrocercus), and Java eagle / elang-bondol (Haliastur indus). Mammal species including muntjac deer /rusa (Cervus timorensis), wild pig (babi hutan), leopard/macan tutul (Panthera pardus), luwak (Pardofelis marmorata), jungle fowl/ayam hutan merah (Gallus gallus), longtail monkey/ kera ekor panjang (Macaca fascicularis), and wild dog/ajag (Cuon alpinus). However wildlife is surprisingly rare due to high levels of hunting in the past.

The Population

There are numerous villages bordering or contained within the park:
Ngadas lies within an enclave west of the national park and has virtually no tourism;
Ngadisari, in the northeast, is where most tourism takes place; Wonokitri is near the secondary tourism center of Tosari in the northwest, and Mororejo, on the western side between Wonokitri and Ngadas, has no tourism.

The majority of the population is Tenggerese, Janet Cochrane reported that [2]:

This group is the remnants of a Hindu‑Buddhist kingdom which dominated Java until a regime with Muslim affiliations took over in the 15th century. The best‑known cultural manifestation of the Tengger people is the Kasodo festival, which takes place every 270 days, according to the Javanese calendar. It consists of a huge ceremony centered on the crater of Mount Bromo, into which offerings are thrown. During Kasodo it is estimated that an additional 20‑25,000 people enter the park, mainly Hindus from other parts of the Tengger region. The Tenggerese have a strong sense of their separate identity from the lowland Javanese who surround them, and while not antagonistic to outsiders, they are self‑contained and conservative. This caution is evident in the hukum adat (traditional law), which in some areas has been used to great effect to limit the incursion of outsiders into the villages. For instance, in Ngadisari there is a long‑standing village law that prevents non‑Tenggerese from buying land or from renting it for more than a year, a restriction which apparently predates the advent of large‑scale tourism. Similar arrangements have been reached more recently in Ngadas and Ranu Pani.

Tourism to Bromo‑Tengger‑Semeru

The national park is highly valuable to the province of East Java. Bromo is a convenient stopover point for tourists on overland tours of Java and Bali, less than two hours from the main highway. With its dramatic landscape of volcanic craters and the sandsea, combined with the cool mountain air and upland agriculture, the area makes an interesting contrast to the hot climate and rice‑paddy landscape of the lowlands.

The majority of visitors drive to Ngadisari, the closest village, and ride a horse or walk to the foot of the Bromo crater. From there, it is a steep climb up steps to the rim, traditionally visited at sunrise.

There is another viewpoint at Mount Penanjakan, which is mainly visited from the secondary tourist center of Tosari/Wonokitr. Many people stay one night in Ngadisari or Tosari, while others drive through the night to arrive in time for dawn, leaving again afterwards. An increasing number of tourists visit Bromo during the day. The great majority of visitors pass through Ngadisari or Wonokitri, with a smaller number staying at Ranu Pani en route to climb Mount Semeru, which takes a minimum of two days.

Ranu Pani, Ngadas and Ngadisari all present an attractive appearance, being neatly set out and surrounded by carefully tended agricultural land. All offer spectacular views over steep, farmed slopes to the forests and high mountains of the national park. At Ranu Pani there are two lakes, Ranu Pani and Ranu Regulo.

Activities of all the tourists centered on riding or walking to the Bromo crater. Foreign tourists were more inclined to do other walks around the mountains or the village.Reasons cited by Indonesian tourists for visiting Bromo were: recreation, relaxation, to see the sunrise, to see the volcano and the view. The most common motivation for foreign tourists was to see an active volcano, followed by enjoyment of the cool air.

Tourism facilities

There are some households in Ngadisari were reported to provide board and lodging for tourists, at which time the majority of tourists stayed with villagers as there was only one hotel. There are some cafes, restaurants and mobile food‑stalls in Cemoro Lawang, around half of which are operated by non‑Tenggerese.

In Ranu Pani most of the Indonesian mountain climbers either stay in one of the two climbing huts provided, or they camp out. A few of the foreign tourists also camp. A few people stay at the PHPA post, although this is dirty and lacks water. Most of the foreigners and a few Indonesians stay at a homestay in Ranu Pani.

There are more than a hundred registered horses in Ngadisari, around one-third of which are owned by people in neighboring villages. The horsemen congregate at Cemoro Lawang before dawn, waiting for riders. In the busy season they may provide two to three rides per day. If a large group is due, the tour operators phone key members of a horse‑owners association so that enough horses will be waiting for the group on arrival. There are also jeep-rentals.

There are plenty of accommodation options around the mountain. Facilities at Cemoro Lawang side of the caldera are rather basic, but there are good hotels in Sukapura and Probolinggo such as Java Banana Bromo, Bromo Cottages,Cemoro Indah [3]:
  • Java Banana Bromo, Wonotoro, tel. +62-335-541193. A cozy boutique hotel with the beautiful landscape of Bromo. It's a lodge, cafe, and gallery.
  • Bromo Cottages, Tosari, tel. +62-31-515253. Despite the name, it's actually an upmarket hotel.
  • Cemoro Indah, Cemoro Lawang +62-335-541019 ( It has a nice view of Mount Bromo and provide hot water. You can sit down in its restaurant and view the Mount Bromo directly.
  • Lava View Lodge, Cemoro Lawang, tel. +62-335-541009. The most upmarket option in Cemoro Lawang, located at the caldera edge some 500m west of the village and price is more up than other hotels.
  • Yoschi's, Ngadisari, tel. +62-335-541018. Cozy guesthouse done up to look like a Balinese temple. Note that the cheapest rooms here don't have hot water.
  • Cafe Lava, Cemoro Lawang. This is the best budget option at 120,000 for an economy room.

Sources :
[1]. Balai Besar Taman Nasional Bromo-Tengger-Semeru
[2]. Cochrane, Janet. Factors Influencing Ecotourism Benefits to Small, Forest‑Reliant Communities: A Case Study of Bromo‑Tengger‑Semeru National Park, East Java; Department of Southeast Asia Studies, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom
[3]. Wikitravel Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park

All images are copyrighted by Balai Besar Taman Nasional Bromo-Tengger-Semeru.

Other site source (gallery): Tumpang, Tenger, Ranupani and Semeru by Jean-Marc Michel

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