• Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

Loading content - please wait...

Category Archives: Terrestial Treasures

Jungle trekking in Gorontalo leads to hot spring caves

Jungle trekking in Gorontalo is a great addition to a diving holiday. Any easy-to-access half day trip leads through primary jungle to caves formed by hot springs.

Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park

Gorontalo and North Sulawesi provinces contain a significant national park. Its new name is Bogani Nani Wartabone. Previously, its name was Dumoga Bone National Park. Nani Wartabone was a native Gorontalo freedom fighter. He led the successful resistance against the Imperial Japanese occupation during the Second World War. Visitors to the Gorontalo side of this park can visit a house museum dedicated to him.

The park comprises over 2,800 square kilometers. According to conservationists, this national park is the most important conservation area on Sulawesi. The park provides refuge for many of Sulawesi’s endemic species. A Maleo hatchery is located a couple hours’ hike into the park.

Caves and Hot Springs

Jungle trekking into Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park gives visitors access to two small caves. Seepage from underground hot springs formed both caves. These caves are in their natural state with no human development.

Sauna cave Gorontalo
Ceiling of the Sauna Cave

One tiny cave is called the Sauna cave. Only the slim and agile trekker can climb into it. Inside it indeed feels like a sauna, complete with steam and dripping hot water. Flow stones and dramatic stalactites grow from its ceiling. High on a cliff is the Fairy cave. Locals call it Goa Bidadari. Access to this cave requires scrambling up a steep and barren slope where mineral waters leach over the surface. Only fit and agile trekkers should attempt the brief ascent. They do so at their own risk without any recommendation from Miguel’s Diving. These caves are located in the Hungayono area.

Jungle Trekking to Waterfalls and the one River

jungle trekking to water fall
Newly-formed waterfall

Jungle trekking in the national park can lead to two waterfalls. One falls dropping one hundred meters is accessed via Lombongo Hot Springs. Another falls formed during the COVID-19 pandemic after an earthquake. This waterfall is in the Hungayono area near to the Maleo hatchery. Its waters descend into the Bone River, which flows through the national park. These two falls cannot be accessed on the same trip. So, those seeking jungle trekking to a waterfall must choose. Be warned that scalding hot, underground water pours into the Bone River.

Wildlife Sightings

Trekkers should be on the lookout for various wildlife. Officially, the national park has identified 125 bird species, 24 mammals, 23 amphibians and reptiles. Moreover, tree species number 289. Often, trekkers can see or hear the endemic Gorontalo macque (Macaca nigrescens). This is actually a different species from the Sulawesi macaque (Macaca nigra) found in North Sulawesi’s Tangkoko Reserve. Neither of these primates are monkeys because they lack tails.

Mostly likely, trekkers will glimpse endemic kingfishers. The Green-backed kingfisher (Actenoides monachus) sports a brilliant blue head and orange beak. They live only in north and central Sulawesi. Additionally, lucky visitors can see the Sulawesi dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx fallax), which is distinctly red and found only on Sulawesi.

Other Sulawesi endemic birds include the Grey-sided flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum) with its brilliant red breast or the Sulawesi scops owl (Otus manadensis). Watch for green parrots with red heads. These are endemic Sulawesi hanging parrots (Loriculus stigmatus). Other endemics include hornbills, woodpeckers, rails, goshawks, pigeons, other parrots.  

If you would like a jungle trek on a free day or after a short diving day, please let us know when you make dive reservations.

Zosterops chloris nests at Miguel’s Diving dive center

Zosterops chloris is a small lemon colored bird with a beautiful ring of tiny white feathers around its eyes. Commonly called Lemon-bellied white-eye, it is endemic to Indonesia. Here its name is burung katamata laut.

Regular Nesters in Miguel’s Diving Green Zone

Lemon-bellied white-eye
Lemon-bellied white-eye, an endemic

At our dive center, we seek to maintain green zones, even though our property is small. In front we maintain a grassy area edged in flowers. In the back are clusters of bamboo and trees. These are commonly used as green fencing locally. Also, we have climbing, flowering vines.

With branches towering far above the ground, a pair of Zosterops chloris have built their nest for several years in a row. After raising their young, all the birds leave until next nesting time. As of this blog posting, they are nesting again and sing twice a day.

Rescuing Fallen Juvenile Birds

Zosterops chloris juveniles
Rescued juvenile White-eyes

One year when the juvenile birds were learning to fly, both fell to the ground. Fortunately, our dive staff were working on the speed boats that day. Boka, a dive master, noticed a large rat quietly approaching the helpless birds. He quickly scared the rat away and picked up the baby birds. Then, he placed each one on a low branch.

The parent birds quickly flew down. They made much chirping sounds to encourage their babies to try to fly up the tree in a series of short flights. One baby made a return to the nest high in the tree. Its sibling was too afraid to try. So, one parent bird perched next to it and they both slept there through the night.

Naturally, our dive staff stayed away from the baby and parent. We only checked on them occasionally during the night. However, by dawn both were gone. In the following days, we saw all four birds. After that incident, the adults seem to know Boca and start chirping if he is working at the dock.

Zosterops chloris, Exclusive to Indonesia

Zosterops chloris is found from the Sunda Strait west to the Aru Islands. However, it is said to be missing from the Indonesian archipelago’s large islands of Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and Timor. Based on small color variations, research in 2017 states that there are five sub-species. We are not sure which one of those nests on our property. The geographic complexity of Indonesia has created genetically isolated populations.

This small bird measures about 11 centimeters. It has a lovely, high-pitched song. Dive staff hear the nesting pair sing in the early morning. Also, they sing in the late afternoon. Recordings of their song are available at this link.

For your chance to see one of these delightful birds while waiting to board one of our speed boats, please make your dive reservations with us.

mgd-logo-block
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On YoutubeCheck Our Feed