Siberut Island in the Province of West Sumatra is separated from the mainland by the Mentawai Strait, at a distance of about 155 km from Padang. Siberut National Park is located on the island. Some 60% of the forest area is covered by Dipterocarpaceae primary forest, mixed primary forest, swamp forest, coastal forest and mangrove forest.
The forest area of the Park is still relatively natural, with abundant large trees with an average height of 60 metres.
The Park has four primate species which are found nowhere else in the world. They are the Mentawai gibbon (Hylobates klossii), Pagai pig-tailed macaque (Macaca pagensis), Mentawai leaf monkey (Presbytis potenziani siberu), and pig-tailed leaf monkey (Nasalis concolor siberu). In addition, there are four endemic species of squirrel, 17 species of mammal and 130 species of bird, four of them endemic.
Siberut island, including Siberut National Park, has been declared by UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme as a Biosphere Reserve.
Very few visitors walk through the inland parts of the Park; the main attraction so far has been the culture of the Mentawai people who live in and around the Park. The Mentawai people are among the many tribes in Indonesia who have preserved their very traditional way of life. Most of the people still adhere to animistic beliefs. Their social activities are centred around the Uma, a communal longhouse which may be occupied by 30 to 80 people.
Visiting Siberut National Park can be an unforgettable adventure, involving a combination of travelling along long rivers by boat, trekking along muddy tracks, enjoying the beauty of the tropical forest with glimpses of rare plants and animals, bathing in waterfalls, and meeting the indigenous people. The trip to Siberut island can be organized by travel bureaus in Padang and Bukittinggi, and generally includes the provision of a tour guide.
Interesting locations and attractions:
Madobak, Rokdok, Matotonan, Rorogot, Butui, Teteburuk, Selaoinan and Mailepet. Exploring the forest, kayaking/canoeing, enjoying thermal springs, waterfalls, marine tours, observing plants and animals, and cultural visits (Uma and religious dances).
Good beaches at Sagulubek and Masilok. Surfing and diving/snorkelling in the marine park or mangrove forest.
From Padang (Muara Padang) – Muara Siberut / Muara Sikabaluan / Muara Saibi by sea: about 10 hours (3 times a week, at night).
Best time of year to visit: January to September.
Temperature: 22° – 31° C
Rainfall: 2,900 – 3,700 mm/year
Altitude: 0 – 500 m asl.
Geographical location: 98°36’ – 99°03’ E; 1°05’ – 1°45’ S
Source: The Ministry of Forestry, Republic Indonesia