The Tangkoko Nature Reserve is the home of the tasirs, hornbills, cuscus bears and monkeys. A reserve that is easy accessible and a must see when visiting the North of Sulawesi! You can easily come here from either Manado or Tomohon.
We left Tomohon at 9.30 am and after a short ride we arrived at 12 pm at Langkoko Hill Cottages in Batu Patih. Easy traveling.
The bungalows are all inclusive, meaning you get 3 really good meals a day. You don’t leave the table hungry because they prepare plenty of food, and it is really tasteful!
We stayed at the Langkoko Hill Cottages. Really nice, spacious and clean bungalows with both a fan and aircon. The people are really friendly and you can book your tour for the Nature Reserve here.
The alarm is going at 4.45 am and we are ready to see some animals. We convinced Jemi our driver to come with us on this tour since it's the first time he is visiting this part of Sulawesi, and he had to get up early to bring us to the Tangkoko Nature Reserve anyway.
After walking for a few minutes, a big tailles monkey has a spectaculair entrance, jumping down on a branche right above us. And that was the signal to start the monkey parade. We were surrounded by a group of 70 monkeys, playing and eating. We followed the group for about an hour and it was awesome to be able to come this close to the monkeys. They were everywhere. Sometimes our guide had to show who was the boss because some females got a bit aggressive, which made it a bit scary sometimes, but it was awesome!
When we were done with the monkeys, we had another animal we wanted to see, and that has been teasing us for months now: the hornbill. We've heard him in Thailand and Sulawesi, but he never showed his feathers to us. But this time he did, or even better, they did! After some teasing whee we only heard them flying away from us, we found a couple sitting on a branche. It seemed that is was impossible to disturb them, because they didn't mind us taking photos and being there. By the sound they make make when they fly, you would expect them to be bigger. We also saw the kingfisher bird and a couple of cuscus bears. There animals have eyes like a lemur, a furry body like a koala, a head like a possum and also go by the name 'marsupial monkeys'.
In a sleeping tree we spotted some sleeping tapirs. Really cute animals, which are the smallest primate on earth. They sleep during the day and hunt during the night. After spending a few minutes here, we walked further because we will get back at night to see them active. We climbed an enormous hollow tree, and passed another big group of black tailles monkeys when we walked back to the van. We also got stopped by a snake, hanging over our path. After some convincing with a stick, it moved on and let us pass.
At 4.30 pm, we returned to the sleeping tree, to see the tarsiers waking up. This was a bit of a disappointment. We were standing there with about 8 other tourists, all looking up to a tree to see these cute animals waking up and getting out of their holes. During high season this will be a lot more. Although seeing these rare animals is something special we would advice not to go there. We know this is the main attraction of the park but we left the place with a guilt feeling because of disturbing them and taking pictures with a flash.
We do strongly recommend everybody visiting Sulawesi to visit this National Reserve! The entrance fee is 100.000 Rupiah and the guide will cost about 100.000 Rupiah extra p.p. but that is worth it because he knows where to find the animals.