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Lorentz National Park, Papua

16 June 2011 3,023 views No Comment

Lorentz National Park is a complete example and representative of ecosystem and biodiversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. This area is also one of the three regions in the world that have glaciers in the tropics.

Stretching from the snow-covered mountain peak (5030 meters above sea level), out to the coastal with mangrove forests and the borders the Arafura Sea. In this stretch, there are magnificent ecological spectrum of alpine vegetation, sub-alpine, montane, sub-montane, lowland, and wetlands.

There are as many as 34 types of vegetation such as swamp forests, riverside forests, sago forest, peat forests, coral sand beaches, rain forest flat/slope, rain forest on the hill, heath forest, mountain forest, grasslands, and lichens.

The types of vegetation in this park include Nipah (Nypa fruticans), mangrove (Rhizophora apiculata), Pandanus julianettii, Colocasia esculenta, Avicennia marina, Podocarpus pilgeri, and Nauclea coadunata.

There are about 630 species of birds that have been identified in Lorentz National Park, (± 70% of the bird in Papua) and 123 species of mammals. The type of bird that has been the characteristic of this national park are two types of cassowary, four megapoda, 31 types of pigeons / doves, 30 species of parrots, 13 species of shrimp, 29 species of honey birds, and 20 endemic species such as long-tailed bird of cendrawasih (Paradigalla caruneulata) and Quail snow (Anurophasis monorthonyx).

The mammals including long snout spines pig (Zaglossus bruijnii), short snout spines pig (Tachyglossus aculeatus), 4 types of possum, wallaby, wild cats, and tree kangaroos.

Lorentz National Park had been declared as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO and Natural Heritage of ASEAN by the ASEAN countries.

This national park has a high biological diversity supported by the remarkable cultural diversity. The culture is estimated to be 30,000 years old and is the residence of the tribe Asmat, Western Dani, Amungme, Sempan and Nduga. There is still possibility that there’s more remote communities who live in this jungle that haven’t entered into a relationship with modern humans.

Asmat tribe is famous for their statue carving skills. According to their belief, the tribe is identical to the forest or the trees. The trunk is represented as the human body, the branches as arms, and its fruit as a human head. The tree is considered as a place where their ancestors spirits live on. Their respects to the tree also applies to rivers, mountains and others.

Lorentz was designated as a national park in 1997, so the facilities for the convenience of visitors is still very limited, not even all objects and natural tourist attraction in this park have been identified and developed.

The best visiting season: August to December each year.

How to reach the location:

From the town of Timika to the northern part of the region using the pioneer flight and then to the southern part by ship from the Port of Sawa Erma, followed by the foot path to several locations.

Don’t even think about cars!.

And here’s the location:

View Lorentz National Park in a larger map

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