Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park is located on the island of Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara Province (NTT). This national park which covering an area of approximately 50 thousand hectares is the remaining lowland spring forest on the island of Sumba. Most of the forest area in this park is in the form of steep cliffs that appear from the sea level to a height of 900 meters.
Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park has a high value biodiversity, which are the 274 plant species, 171 bird species including 10 endemic species, 9 mammal species, 15 reptile species and 6 amphibian species. Some natural tourist attractions in Manupeu National Park area include the Matayangau Waterfall, the Lapopu Waterfall, Mondulambi Beach, Savanna and Bakul Cave.
Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park Flora
Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park has high-value biodiversity, which are around 118 types of plants including the Suren (Toona Sureni), Taduk (Sterculia Foetida), Kesambi (Schleichera Oleosa), Pulai (Alstonia Scholaris), Asam (Tamarindus Indica), Candlenut (Aleurites Moluccana), Jambu Hutan (Syzygium Sp.), Pine Mountain (Casuarina Sp.) and Lantana (Lantana Camara).
Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park Fauna
There are more than 87 species of birds in this national park area, including seven species endemic of Sumba Island, which are the Cempaka Cockatoo (Cacatua Sulphurea Citrinocristata), Sumba Julang (Rhyticeros Everetti), Punai Sumba (Treron Teysmannii), Sumba Flycatcher (Ficedula Harterti), Kepodang – Sumba (Coracina Dohertyi) and Sumba honey (Nectarinia Buettikoferi).
The Julang Sumba and the Cempaka Cockatoo are the rarest and endangered birds, especially on the island of Sumba.
This national park has also around 57 types of butterflies including seven endemic to Sumba Island, which are the Papilio Neumoegenii, Ideopsis Oberthurii, Delias Fasciata, Junonia Adulatrix, Athyma Karita, Sumalia Chilo, and Elimnia Amoena.
Best visiting season to Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park are March to June and October to December each year.
Interesting Locations to Visit while in Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park
Birdwatching Spot. This birdwatching spot is a site which is always visited by the Julang Sumba (Rhyticeros everetti) in September. During this period, several of them were always seen crossing from East to West and vice versa. In September 2012, the process of competition and fights between 4 (four) males to get females was observed.
Other than birds, visitors can also see the activities of the long-tailed monkey colony (Macaca fascicularis), and if you are lucky, you can see the Rusa Timor (Cervus timorensis). Apart from observing the Julang Sumba and the activities of various other bird species, visitors can also see the growth of saplings of tree species that play an important role in bird life cycle, such as the nest trees and forage trees planted in the restoration area.
Accessibility to this location is very easy because it is only 200 meters from the main road of Konda Maloba. In September, the road conditions are good and dry so it is easy to pass. There are several additional facilities there such as: quite safe and complete restoration work huts (rooms, mattresses, bathrooms, kitchens), safety fences, security posts as well as the nursery dams.
Matayangu and Lapopu Waterfalls. These two waterfalls are located in Waimanu Village and Katikutana Village.
Some of the cultural attractions on Sumba Island include the Waikabubak area where there are many ancient carved graves. The ancient graves are a symbol of social status and public health (Kadung Tana, Watu Karagata and Bulu Peka Mila). Pasola War Festival, is a very interesting and tense ritual attraction, because several people were seen riding horses decorated with colors, attacking each other to knock down one another with wooden spears. The attractions are held in February at Lamboya and Kodi Villages and ini March at Gaura and Wanukaka villages.
To reach Manupeu Tanah Daru National Park visitors can use the following routes:
· Kupang-Waingapu by plane for approx (1 hour)
· Waingapu-Lewa-Waikabubak by four-wheeled vehicles for about (2 hours)
· Waikabubak – Langgaliru Village, Katiku Loku Village and Watumbelar Village.