Two waterfalls for the price of one
Published/Last edited or updated: 23rd November, 2016
The road to Pabetilakera Waterfall with views of rolling green hills slashed with red soil paths is worth the trip alone. However it’s not the best of places to try to get to during the wet season.
Found 30 kilometres south of Waitabula, not far from the traditional villages of Manola and Umbu Koba, the walk begins when the gravel road ends at a small group of houses. If you’re travelling with a driver rather than a guide, stop at the last house and ask for Ibu Tina, who will show you the way to the waterfall. She is also the keeper of the guest book, which you will be required to sign when you also make a donation.
The waterfall is split into two cascades, with the top section the most easily reached. The path to the more impressive lower part can only be described as a mudslide in wet season, but is an adventure. Ibu Tina said the waterfall is very popular in the dry season, but only crazy people like Travelfish researchers would venture there in the wet.
The path to the top falls is steep but short and easy, then it requires a bit of bush bashing to see the small but pretty cascade ringed by dense jungle. From here you can’t view the lower section — that involves crossing the river and sliding down the path.
When we visited, the water was waist deep and fast flowing and too close to the edge of the larger cascade for our comfort. The steep slide to the bottom of the second falls is about 30 metres, and we found the best way down was just sliding on our butts — wear tough pants! You will get wet and very muddy.
The view of the falls here is more dramatic, with the curtain wider than higher. We couldn’t reach the bottom pool due to slippery rocks, but it’s a good swimming hole in dry season. From the bottom you are only able to see the bottom cascade, so it’s rather like visiting two smaller waterfalls. We recommend wearing boots for the climb although in wet season they’re not much use.
To get to Pabetilakera Waterfall, take the southern Tena Teke turnoff from the main Waitabula-Waikabubak road. Several nearby traditional villages can be visited on the same trip including Wanno Be’u, Manola and Umbu Koba. — best to do before you get too muddy.
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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