Rainforest and Animals
Tangkoko-Dua Sudara National Park/Nature Reserve
Another reason to visit north Sulawesi, apart from its marine park, is because of its Tarsius, the smallest cute monkey in the world, which can turn their face almost 180 degrees, about 10 cm length and weigh only about 100 grams (further details on Tarsius can be read here: Primate Info Net). Tarsius can be found in Tangkoko-Dua Sudara nature reserve, which covers an area of 8,890 hectares or 21,990 acres, of which 3,196 hectares belong to Tangkoko itself.
To meet "Tarsius family" is usually one of the main reasons visitors come all the way to this national park located in Bitung, although they have lots of neighbors, such as Sulawesi bats, the Sulawesi Rousette (Rousettus celebensis), and Lesser Dog-faced Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis), Sulawesi bear Cuscus (Ailurops ursinus - click here for their photos: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Ailurops_ursinus), as well as a myriad of birds in their natural environment.
When visiting Tarsius, it is recommended not to make so much noise because this primate has a sensitive hearing, so that you will get your chances to see them coming out of their hiding place in big trees.
Location: Batu Putih 1 village - about 22 kilometers (13 miles) from Bitung town
Admission charges: entrance+guide fee Rp. 85,000 for foreign visitor, Rp. 75,000 for domestic visitor.
Facilities: toilets at Post 1, English speaking guides
How to get there: from Manado to Bitung, click Transportations on the left or here. From Bitung to Batu Putih village: take mikrolet bound for "Girian terminal" (fare: Rp. 2,500 for a ten-minute trip), by ojek (fare Rp. 4,000 for a five minute trip).
Remarks: insect repellent is needed to use before you start your journey to keep you from the tiny mites (locals call these mites as "Gonon") that attacks genital and armpit areas and cause extraordinary itching. Mid year is usually the busiest months of the year, though this place is never overcrowded.
If your time is limited but you really like to see Tarsius, then this "mini zoo" of Tandurusa ( /tân-dhoo roo-shâ/ ), which is located in Aertembaga village Bitung, near Lembeh Strait, can be an option.
Tandurusa "mini zoo" is privately run by Mr. Imam Sulisma, who has permission from the government to keep a few Tarsius, which said to be rotated back to their habitat in Tangkoko regularly, and a few other animals, such as local monkeys, javanese eagles and other birds, a few snakes (they have a 28-year old python that weigh 214 kg [471 lbs]), wild pigs, crocodiles, and so on.
Once you arrive, the "zoo guides" who also look after their small warung will welcome you and ask for entrance admission. Their small warung provides fresh coconuts (Rp. 5,000 per coconut) and other drinks.
Location: Aertembaga village, Bitung
Telephone: (+62 438) 30213
Operating hours: daily, 6am-6pm, after 6pm double charges
Admission charges: domestic tourists: Rp. 25,000 per car, Rp. 75,000 per small bus, Rp. 3,500 per person (on motorbike); foreigners: Rp. 50,000 for the first visitor (single traveller) and Rp. 25,000 for the second visitor onwards. Guide fee: voluntary donation
Facilities: warung, toilets, English speaking guides (limited)
How to get there: Manado-Bitung, please click Transportation on the left or here, and currently there is no public transports from Bitung town to Tandurusa. You have to take ojek (fare: around Rp. 4,000 one way) or your own transportation (car rental).
Remarks: local food for lunch can be ordered in advance.