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Kanabu Wulang

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Kanabu Wulang, often referred to as Dampak Meteor (meteor impact), is an interesting meteor crater lake a short but steep and thorny walk from the road near Lewa, within Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park.

Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park covers an extensive 87,984 hectares over three regencies in Sumba. Lowland monsoon forest rises to steep limestone slopes and harbours all of Sumba’s endemic bird species, butterflies and a plethora of other endangered birds and plants.

See the trail? Photo taken in or around Kanabu Wulang, Lewa, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

See the trail? Photo: Sally Arnold

You must be accompanied by a national park ranger to visit. Entry fee is 150,000 rupiah per person, and a ranger is 150,000 rupiah per day, or a two-day deal for 200,000 rupiah for groups up to four. You’ll need your passport for the ticket. Birdwatching is the main attraction here, and there are several areas close to Lewa where the guides can take you for short or longer walks.

As the park was closed, Mama Riwu Homestay helped us contact Samuel Umbu Duka (Sam), a young, friendly and knowledgeable ranger who guided us on the walk to Kanabu Wulang. Six and a half kilometres northwest along the main Waingapu-Waikabubak road we arrived at an unmarked, nondescript and unremarkable side of the road and began our walk though thick thorny bushes. Protective long pants, long sleeves, and boots are recommended for this walk. After a short 500 metres, the landscape becomes more jungly, with wild flowering gingers and tall trees. It’s then a steep, rocky and slippery decent to the crater. Limestone rocks and tree roots give you something to grab onto along the sheer descent.

A friendly guide makes all the difference. Photo taken in or around Kanabu Wulang, Lewa, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

A friendly guide makes all the difference. Photo: Sally Arnold

The crater covers an area of about one hectare and is 70-80 metres deep. In the wet season, the lake is full, and you can do no more than climb to the bottom edge. In dry season, it’s a small pond that you can easily explore more of, including a limestone cave on one side. Above the cave, a section of the crater wall was damaged in an earthquake in February 2016, and a large area of red rock is now exposed, but the cave seems undamaged. We would wait until the rangers have deemed it safe ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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