Ranu Kumbolo is a freshwater lake which is often used as transit point for climbers of Mount Semeru. This lake is located at an altitude of 2,400 meters above sea level. Lake Ranu Kumbolo is also a source of clean water for mountain climbers of Semeru. With an abundant discharge of water, this lake is also used as gathering place or camping spot. Ranu Kumbolo is located in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park area, precisely between Malang Regency and Lumajang Regency, East Java.
For those of you who are outside East Java, you can use the air route to Malang via Abdurrahman Saleh Airport. But if you prefer a more relaxed journey, you can also take the train to the new city station. After arriving in Malang, you can look for public transportation with the route to Tumpang Village, then you can stop at the Tumpang Terminal. The next trip you can use a jeep (SUV) rented by local residents to Ranu Pani.
Actually, the tour to Ranu Kumbolo is not an easy journey, it can even be said to be a tough journey because it requires excellent physical strength and sufficient supplies. It is recommended for those of you who want to travel to this lake, at least one week before departure taking physical exercise routinely. This physical exercise can be in the form of jogging, gym, running, and other sports that can increase your endurance and strength for climbing.
Other than physical exercise, prepare three copies of your ID card, a health certificate from a doctor and a stamp. At Ranu Pani before climbing, you will be asked to register first by showing these two letters. This is intended to maintain safety and as a rescue measure if something bad happens to you while trekking Mount Semeru.
The last thing you need to prepare before traveling is hiking equipment such as jacket (try a thick waterproof jacket), socks, gloves, headgear, earplugs, masks, sleeping bags, tents, food and drinking water. The most important thing is to carry an adequate supply of water. You can also bring chocolate or honey to help increase your stamina while trekking the Mount Semeru.
To reach Ranu Kumbolo Lake, there are two alternative climbing routes you can take, which are through Watu Rejeng and Ayek-ayek Hill. The Watu Rejeng route is much easier to reach than the Ayek-ayek route, but it takes longer time. Meanwhile, through the Ayek-ayek Hill route, the journey is much faster but the road you have to travel is very steep and quite dangerous for an inexperienced climber.
From the registration post at Ranu Pani, you will travel on foot for five to seven kilometres along a hillside covered with edelweiss flowers. Although this edelweiss flower grows wild, you should not pick it carelessly, because this flower is a rare flower that we must preserve.
Then you will arrive at Watu Rejeng, a spot that has beautiful steep rocks. Your next trip will be accompanied by views of the valleys and hills overgrown with pine trees. If you are lucky, you can see a puff of smoke from the top of Semeru Mountain. This trip will take five to seven hours, depending on your physical strength. Along the way, there are four resting posts that you can use to rest when you experience fatigue.
Arriving at Ranu Kumbolo Lake, you can set up a tent and gather with other climbers. If the weather is clear at night, you can see the star clusters in the beautiful Milky Way galaxy. And when the sun starts to rise the next day, you can see the beauty of the sun rising behind two green hills combined with the clear water of the lake.
There are several things that tourists need to notice when visiting Ranu Kumbolo:
1. The water in Ranu Kumbolo Lake is very clean and clear, so it can be drunk immediately.
2. In this lake it is forbidden to bathe, defecate and swim. At night the air on Lake Ranu Kumbolo can reach minus 5 degrees Celsius, therefore it is important for you to bring a special hiking jacket and other body warmers equipment.
3. Bring your own plastic bag specifically for the trash, then don’t leave trash in the environment even if it’s just a pack of candy.