Taka Bonerate National Park is home to the third biggest atoll in the world after Kwajifein in the Marshall Isles and Suvadiva in the Moldiva Isles. The total area of the atoll is about 220,000 hectares with coral reefs spreading over 500 km².
The topography of the Park is unique. The atoll consists of a chain of islands of dry coral and a large flat sunken reef, forming a large number of islands. The coral islands are interspersed by narrow, deep, sheer-walled straits. On the coral flats there are small, deep pools surrounded by coral reefs. At low tide, dry land is clearly visible, dotted by water flooding into the small pools.
The plant species inhabiting the coastal areas are dominated by coconut tree (Cocos nucifera), pandan laut (Pandanus sp.), cemara laut (Casuarina equisetifolia), and ketapang (Terminalia catappa).
Among the more than 261 identified species of coral are Pocillopora eydouxi, Montipora danae, Acropora palifera, Porites cylindrica, Pavona clavus, Fungia concinna, etc. Most of the corals have formed either atolls (barrier reefs) or fringing reefs. They are all beautiful and in relatively pristine condition.
There are about 295 species of coral fish and several species of fish which are of high economic value for consumption, like grouper (Epinephelus spp.), skipjack (Katsuwonus spp.), napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), and surgeonfish (Acanthurus sp.).
Among the 244 species of mollusc are the top shell (Trochus niloticus), horned helmet (Cassis cornuta), trumpet triton (Charonia tritonis), green shell (Turbo marmoratus), fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa), and pearly-chambered nautili (Nautilus pompillius).
The species of turtle that have been recorded here include the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Pacific ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), and common green turtle (Chelonia mydas).
There are 15 islands in Taka Bonerate National Park where visitors can enjoy diving, snorkelling and marine tours.
Location : Selayar Regency, in South Sulawesi Province
- From Makassar to Bulukumba by bus, 5 hours (153 km);
- From Bulukumba to Pamatata Selayar harbour by ferry, 2 hours;
- From Pamatata to Benteng, 1.5 hours;
- From Benteng to Rajuni Kecil (the nearest island) by small boat, 5 hours.
Best time of year to visit: April to June, and October to December
Waters Temperature: 28° – 32° C
Salinity: 34 – 35 °/00
Weather clearness: 80 – 100 %
Drifted oxygen: 4.5 – 6.0 ppm.
Low-tide: 1 – 1.5 m
Wind speed: 33 – 50 cm / second
Rainy season: January to March
Dry season: July to September
Geographical location: 120°54′ – 121°25′ E; 6°16′ – 7°06′ S
Source: The Ministry of Forestry, Republic Indonesia