Manusela National Park in Maluku is made up of coastal forest, swamp forest, lowland rain forest, and montane rain forest ecosystem types, with a range of associated vegetation types including mangrove, riparian, and sub-alpine.
Among the plants that grow in this Park are tancang (Bruguiera sexangula), mangrove (Rhizophora acuminata), api-api (Avicennia sp.), lime (Dryobalanops sp.), pulai (Alstonia scholaris), ketapang (Terminalia catappa), pandan (Pandanus sp.), meranti (Shorea selanica), benuang (Octomeles sumatrana), matoa/kasai (Pometia pinnata), cajuput (Melaleuca leucadendron), and various species of orchid.
There are about 117 species of bird, 14 of them endemic, like the eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus roratus), purple-naped lory (Lorius domicella), salmon-crested cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis), lazuli kingfisher (Halcyon lazuli), sacred kingfisher (H. sancta), Seram friarbird (Philemon subcorniculatus), and Moluccan king parrot (Alisterus amboinensis). The population of the endemic salmon-crested cockatoo is now gravely threatened due to hunting and the destruction of its habitat.
Other animals include the Timor deer (Cervus timorensis moluccensis), common cuscus (Phalanger orientalis orientalis), water-hagedis dragon (Hydrosaurus amboinensis), wild pig (Sus celebensis), marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata), giant skink (Tiliqua gigas gigas), dugong (Dugong dugon), common green turtle (Chelonia mydas), and various species of butterfly.
Steep, fast-flowing rivers traverse the Park. Mount Binaya, at ” 3,027 m asl, is the highest of the Park’s six mountains.
Four villages-Manusela, Ilena Maraina, Selumena and Kanike-form an enclave in the Park. The local people
who live there believe that the mountains within the Park area give them their spirit and protect them from harm. This belief implies that the local people take care to protect and conserve the balance of nature that surrounds them.
Interesting locations and attractions:
Tepi Merkele, Tepi Kabipoto, Wae Kawa: exploring the forest, climbing and observing animals and plants.
Pasahari: observing deer and birds.
Wai Isal: camping, exploring the forest, observing animals and plants.
Pilana: observing butterflies and exploring the forest.
Mt. Binaya: climbing, waterfalls, and exploring the forest.
Cultural attractions outside the Park: the Masohi Festival in November, kora-kora (rowing) races in April, and the Darwin Ambon International Yacht race in July, in Ambon.
Location: Maluku Regency, in Maluku Province
The Park can be reached either by the north coast (Sawai and Wahai), or the south coast (Tehoru and Moso). The route from Moso is preferred by those like climbing, since it has a slope of about 30%. From Ambon to Saka by bus and ferry (daily), about 8 hours, then proceed to Wahai by speedboat, about 2 hours. Alternatively, from Ambon to Wahai by ship, about 24 hours (3 times a week). There is a flight from Ambon to Wahai once a week. Or, from Ambon to Tehoru by motor boat (about 9 hours), then to Moso and Saunulu village.
Best time of year to visit: May to October
Temperature: 25° – 35° C
Rainfall: 1,500 – 2,000 mm/year
Altitude: 0 – 3,027 m asl.
Geographical location: 129°06′ – 129°46′ E; 2°48′ – 3°18′ S
Source: The Ministry of Forestry, Republic Indonesia