Strolling around a Mangrove Forest in North Jakarta...
Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) in North Jakarta is already famous as a luxurious residential area by the sea and a culinary haven. But there is more to PIK than meets the eye. PIK presents an ecotourism spot which is also a conservation area that has become one of the most favorite natural destinations in town.
The number of green spaces for a short getaway in town have grown in the last three years. However, Mangrove Ecotourism Park at PIK offers a different experience that makes me long to come back. This ecotourism park is only one hour away from the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport which is perfect for those who only have short time to visit Jakarta. You can get there by a car, a TransJakarta bus or a public mini-van.
The mangrove conservation in PIK may not be as big as that of in Bali. It covers 99.82 hectares of land with the view of the Jakarta bay. Like other mangrove forests in Indonesia, the one at PIK has successfully attracted the attention of the outdoor adventurers. And if it wasn’t for this ecotourism park, who would’ve thought that Jakarta has a lush mangrove forest worth visiting with family and friends? The area is open for public every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Plant the Seeds
To help protect the land and the ecosystem in the Jakarta bay, this conservation park invites guests to plant some mangrove seeds as well. This initiative aims to protect the shorelines from storms, hurricane winds, waves and floods, and many corporates have joined this activity as a part of their social responsibility program. Mangroves also help to prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems. They maintain water quality and clarity, filter pollution and trap sediments originating from land.
This park is the perfect place if you want to avoid Jakarta’s hustle and bustle. Strolling around the park and looking at the mangrove trees, I could feel that the view helps ease my mind. Another way to enjoy the area is by renting a motor boat that can accommodate up to eight people to cruise around the bay. A staff will drive the boat and explain more about the site and the ecosystem at the conservation. This activity is recommended if you come with family and friends. Smaller boats and canoes are also available for smaller groups.
This PIK mangrove forest is also a wonderful place for photography enthusiasts. You can take many photographs during your walk as the area has so many picturesque spots to capture. Many couples have also done their pre-wedding photoshoot at the wooden bridge, on a small boat at the river, or around the cottages. A little note, there is an additional charge if you bring a professional camera.
See the Fauna
While cruising the mangrove forest, you can expect to see various wild animals. During my recent visit, I enjoyed watching several wild birds standing on wooden poles among the trees, which is best seen from a wooden bridge connecting one mangrove zone to another. And if you arrive earlier in the morning, you can also see some biawak (lizards) swimming in the river. Strolling around this mangrove park makes you feel more in a forest rather than in a capital city.
The park also has an avian nursery that can be reached by bike. And when it is close to sunset, the 20-meter tower near the cottage area is the best place to be. From the tower, you can see almost the whole area of the mangrove forest and Jakarta’s skyline.
If one-day trip is not enough for you, you can spend a night at one of the wooden cottages. Nestled between the mangrove and the river, these cottages are perfect to enjoy the view of lush trees and a calm river overnight.
Contributor : Edna Tarigan
Magazine issue > Capital Corner