Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park comprises sub-montane rain forest, mangrove forest, coastal forest, savanna, and freshwater swamp forest ecosystems.
The savanna vegetation of this Park is unique, being a combination of grassy plains with fan palms, thorny bamboo, bushes and other plants growing along the rivers that flow through the savanna.
There is a remarkable variety of plants in this Park. It has been recorded that there are at least 89 families, 257 genera, and 323 species of plant such as lara (Metrosideros petiolata), sisio (Cratoxylum formosum), kalapi (Callicarpa celebica), tongke (Bruguiera gimnorrhiza), fan palm (Borassus flabellifer), and lotus (Victoria sp.).
Various species of bird also inhabit the Park: 155 species have been recorded, of which 32 are endangered and 37 are endemic. Those 155 bird species include the maleo fowl (Macrocephalon maleo), lesser adjutant stork (Leptoptilos javanicus), woolly-necked stork (Ciconia episcopus episcopus), collared kingfisher (Halcyon chloris chloris), sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita triton), vinous-breasted sparrowhawk (Accipiter rhodogaster rhodogaster), Sulawesi black pigeon (Turacoena manadensis), and Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica).
The eastern tarsier (Tarsius spectrum spectrum) and black-crested macaque (Macaca nigra nigra) are among the primate species to be found here. Endangered and protected animals in the Park include lowland anoa (Bubalus depressicornis), mountain anoa (B. quarlesi), water-hagedis dragon (Hydrosaurus amboinensis), small cuscus (Strigocuscus celebensis celebensis), Timor deer (Cervus timorensis djonga), Sulawesi palm civets (Macrogalidia musschenbroekii musschenbroekii), and babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa celebensis).
Interesting locations and attractions:
Pulau Harapan II: located in the centre of Rawa Aopa, a good place for viewing the natural panorama of the swamp and watching water fowl spy on fish, and boating.
Lanuwulu Beach: travelling downriver by boat to the beach, mangrove forest, swimming and marine tours.
Mt. Watumohai: climbing and camping. On the slopes of the mountain, there is a savanna plain where hundreds of deer can be seen grazing, along with other animals and birds.
A cultural attraction outside the Park is the Tolaki Festival, held in Kendari in December.
Location: Kendari Regency, Buton Regency, Kolaka Regency (in the Province of Southeast Sulawesi)
- From Kendari to Lambuya then to Aopa, then to Lanowulu by car, 4 hours ( 145 km);
- Or from Kendari to Punggaluku then to Tinanggea, then to Lanowulu by car, 2.5 hours ( 120 km);
- Or from Kendari to Motaha then to Tinanggea, then to Lanowulu by car, 3 hours ( 130 km)
Best time of year to visit: June to October
Temperature: 23° – 30° C
Rainfall: 1,500 – 2,000 mm/year
Altitude: 0 – 981 m asl.
Geographical location: 121°46′ – 122°09′ E; 4°00′ – 4°36′ S
Source: The Ministry of Forestry, Republic Indonesia