Betung Kerihun National Park was determined by the Ministry of Forestry as a national park on September 1995. This Park is located in Putussibau and Embalih district, Kapuas Hulu regency, West Kalimantan. The park covers a total area of 800,000 hectares, or approximately 5,5% of the total area of West Kalimantan.The species diversity of flora and fauna in this Park is interesting. The indigenous inhabitants of this region are also including a variety of Dayak tribal groups, namely, Dayak Iban, Tamabaloh, Taman Sibau, Kantu, Kayan Mendalam, Bukat Mendalam, Bukat Mateluani, and Punan Hovongan.Many interesting tourist attractions are found in this national park. Along with a high biodiversity of flora and fauna and the ,beautiful tropical landscape this park is made attractive by the vibrant cultural richness of the community living inside as well as outside the park boundaries.
There are three broad zones of the park suggested for ecotourism development. These are Embaloh (educational tourism), Sibau (eco-community based tourism) and Bungan (adventure tourism).
Betung Kerihun National Park as a mega-diversity area numerous sites and activities of interest, including :
For the Botanically inclined.....Admist the dense jungles of Betung Kerihun National Park, many new plant species have been discovered, including Musa Lawitiensis and Pinaga bifidovariegata mogea. The Park is also home to the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia, as well as the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus). These alone as well as the potential for more discoveries, have become attractions for plant researchers and other botanical enthusiasts.
For the animal lovers........The diversity of fauna in Betung Kerihun National Park offers ample opportunities for observing birds, fish, primates and other large mammals in their natural habitat. Mineral springs which the local people call sepan, are strategic spots for watching and photographing wild animals. Especially during the dry season, various animals, such as pigs, deers and bears, routinely visit these springs in search of the mineral rich water. These locations have already been mapped with digitized system for convenience visitors who wish to reach these spots.
Local indigenous knowledge in managing their natural resources and forests is reflected in cultural attraction with a distinct flavor of Dayak tribal traditions.
Traditional Ceremonies and Ritual
A traditional ceremony after rice harvest for local Dayak tribes is called gawai. Gawai Naik Dangi for the Dayak Kayan Mendalam people is one such festival, which is alwalys held once every year.
Local Music and Art.
A diverse collection of traditional art from the 7 ethnic Dayak tribes around the Betung Kerihun National Park always accompanies ceremonies and rituals, such as gawai, guest receptions and weddings.
Handicrafts in the Making
Local people still use traditional tools in their everyday lives, such as mandau (machete), sumpit (blowgun), baskets, mats and other woven crafts. Witness the making of these and other ethnic-flavored art creations with your own eyes.
Experience the Daily Life of Local Communities
Hunting, fishing, shifting cultivation and gathering forest products may be parts of a daily routine for the local people, but taking part in these activities may become interesting lessons in traditional values in management of forests and naturals resources for the visitors.
Borneo adventure is a unique experience for the interpid. The pristine tropical rainforest will provide a majestic backdrop for any activity in this park.
Trekking into the jungle. Various trail options to hike through the primary forests or up to the tops of mountains, such as Mount Lawit (1767 m) and Mount Kerihun (1790 m), will be sure to satisfy the tastes of any rugged outdoor lovers in the tropical forests of Kalimantan. Mount Kerihun is one of the 19 mountains in the world that sit on the Equator and will provide a new challenge for ardent mountain climbers.
Braving the Rapids
The upper reaches of the Kapuas River, which is the longest in Indonesia and the fifth longest in the world, are filled with ranging rapids. Hardy souls can test their whitewater rafting skills on numerous rapids, including the Lapan rapids which sparns a distance of approximately one kilometer, is rated at class III-IV in the difficulty, with a climax at the class V+ Matahari rapids.
Exploring the Caves
The largest and longest limestone caves are located in the eastern parts of the Betung Kerihun National Park. Just to give e few examples : the archeologically important Diang Kaung cave with its 5,000 year old cave paintings, the active Diang Arong cave with growing stalagmites and stalactites, and the Tolo cave, which possesses a vertical cave with a depth of more than 120 meters. These caves entice you to admire these formidable natural creations, shaped in the innards of the Earth.