The Angke Mangrove Natural Park in Kapuk Jakarta is the last mangrove forest in Jakarta. Located in Pantai Indah Kapuk area in North Jakarta, the park is developed purposely for mangrove conservation and preservation.
Natalia (my Indo friend) and I have been planning to explore the mangrove forest in Jakarta, Indonesia. Natalia who is an Indonesian hasn’t been here so it’s actually our first time to visit the place. Since she is living in Tangerang and I in Kebon Jeruk, we decided to just meet at the park’s entrance.
The night before our visit, I browsed about the park’s reviews and pictures. There were not a lot of pictures really the reviews said it wasn’t worth the fee especially for the tourists/foreigners. The entrance fee was a huge 250,000 IDR for tourists!!! Wow! That is more than ten times the fee for the locals which only cost 20,000 IDR. Natalia said I will pay for the tourist since I am not Indonesian (which is not really obvious; Indonesians always mistaken me as their own!) Looking at the pictures didn’t really impress me at all. What will I get from my so expensive entrance fee then? But then, I learned that if you show your KITAS (working permit) you won’t pay as a tourist. Or just don’t talk while paying the entrance fee!!!
Plus, professional cameras will cost me a million rupiah! Wow, men! Yes, they only allow cameras from your hand phones and iPad. There are respective fees for other types of camera, which I think is not a very tourist-friendly policy. I knew now why most of the reviews from the foreigners we’re not good.
At first, I had doubts of whether we pursue the plan or not. However, since I am tired of just going to the malls on the weekends, I decided to take the other route and that is to visit the Angke Mangrove Natural Park. To my surprise, I wasn’t disappointed!
The park was not I thought it was; I mean according to the reviews. Probably, the reviews were when it was newly opened to the public. I could see there is still construction and renovation going on which is a good thing.
We walked through the mangrove trails and explore each area. The sun was scorching hot that day but we were thankful they have a resting cottage at the end of each trail. How lovely it was to see the aerial roots and the thick fleshy leaves of the mangrove trees. It was so relaxing.
Although wildlife is not abundant in the area, we saw monkeys (sadly, they were caged) and different species of birds. We also saw a few monitor lizards swimming in the water and a couple of them on land as we were about to leave the area. Sadly, we didn’t capture it! When they noticed us approaching, they immediately run away and went back into the water!
We also enjoyed the hanging bridge and the bird’s observatory deck. The highlight of our visit was the boat ride around the area. It was a wonderful adventure zigzagging through the forest and passing under the boardwalk bridges, as if we’re exploring the Amazon River. Although it also lasted only for around 15-20 minutes, the ride was worth it. The boat ride cost us 300 000 IDR for 6 people.
Food is not allowed inside but they have a café and a restaurant (they call it canteen) where you can enjoy a good meal drinks. Just don’t expect a really delicious meal. For us, we ordered the what we call “default Indonesian food” – the nasi goreng. If you want to stay for the night, you can rent a villa.
If you are visiting with children, they will surely enjoy the children’s playground and recreational area. They also have mosque.
The downside of the park however is the poor maintenance of the area. There is no garbage disposal management. It’s very obvious as there are a lot of plastic all over the place. The area to the bird’s observatory deck is much polluted. Garbage is everywhere and the water turned black already. Plus, the public toilets were kind of dirty and door locks were broken. They should do something about it.
I would recommend Angke Mangrove Natural Park to all who would like to enjoy a calm and relaxing weekend away from the bustling city of Jakarta. I also recommend wearing a hat and comfortable tees, shoes and sun protection since it can be very hot walking and exploring the area.
And if you ask me how much did I pay for the entrance fee? I told you I look like an Indonesian. (* – *)
*photos are captured using IpadMini and LG G3 cam only. 🙂