The national park is located in the extreme south-western tip of Java on the Sunda shelf, includes the Ujung Kulon peninsula and several offshore islands and encompasses the natural reserve of Krakatoa. It is Indonesia's first national park and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 for containing the largest remaining lowland rain forest in Java. In addition to its natural beauty and geological interest – particularly for the study of inland volcanoes – it contains the largest remaining area of lowland rain forests in the Java plain. The mainland part of Ujung Kulon was formerly farmland until it was devastated and depopulated by the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa after which it returned to its original forested state.
Once found across much of south east Asia, the first accounts of the Java rhino date back to China’s T’ang dynasty (A.D. 618-906) when Java was noted as a source for rhino horns. In Java during the 1700’s rhinos were so numerous and damaging to the agricultural plantations that the government paid a bounty for every rhino killed, bagging five hundred within two years.
Ujung Kulon’s rhino population is now estimated at around fifty individuals and they were believed to be the last remaining Javan rhino in the world until a small population was recently discovered in Vietnam. However, these are so few in numbers that their viability is unlikely and so Ujung Kulon remains the last home of this magnificent pachyderm. In appearance the Javan rhino is closest to the Indian rhino, both having a single-horn and skin folds or plates but there are distinct differences between their neck plates and skin textures.
The Javan rhino also has a long prehensile upper lip which extends below the lower allowing it to grasp foliage. The body shape of the Javan rhino is designed to push aside the undergrowth and only the male Javan rhino has a prominent horn while the female has a lump similar to a halved coconut. Earlier this cenntury Javan rhinos were measures as being over 170 cm. At the shoulders, more than 3 metres in length and 2,200 kg. In body weight but a recent photographic survey indicates that the largest rhino in Ujung Kulon may be around 150 cm. in height. Rhinos range over a maximum distance of 15 to 20 kilometres a day in the densely forested lowlands of the Ujung Kulon Peninsula and to the east of its isthmus.
They are most mobile at nights, like wallowing in mud pools and sometimes venture onto beaches and grazing grounds. Although actual sightings of rhinos are rare, their prrints and droppings are often found on the trails, sometimes unnervingly fresh. Javan rhinos are believed to be capable of running as fast as a person and so advice to visitors, should they happen to come across one, is to climb the nearest tree and take a photo - in that order.
The easiest way to get in is by purchase a tour from a resort in Anyer. The price will be around Rupiah 1.5 million - 3.0 million depend on the length of stay. As like many other places in the world, the price will go down if the number of the people join the tour increase. It will take around 3-4 hours from Anyer to Peucang Island where all the accommodation and also national park office concentrate here.
The cheapest way to get here is by public transport. The journey can start from Kalideres bus station in the West Jakarta. The bus is a green color bus with direction to Labuan. The cost is around Rp 25000 one way. It takes 3 hours to arrive in Labuan from Kalideres bus station. From Labuan, the journey will continue to Sumur or directly to Taman Jaya the last point before Ujung Kulon National Park. In Labuan, a lot of touts telling you there is no bus to Sumur or Taman Jaya. They offer ojek (motorcyle transport) for the transport and off course more expensive than the bus. There are buses to Sumur every hour, but only one bus go directly to Taman Jaya every day. The bus to Taman Jaya leaves at noon around 12.00 AM, so it is better to leave Kalideres in the morning around 7.00 or 8.00 AM. The bus to Taman Jaya is not parking in the bus station. It usually park outside the bus station around 20 meters on the left side of the bus station. The bus will leave after full with the passengers. The bus fee to Sumur is Rupiah 25000 (USD 2.8) and to Taman Jaya Rp 40000 (USD 4.5). It will not easy drive. Most the road along 98 km is in bad condition. The journey to Sumur takes 3 hours and to Taman Jaya 4 hours. If you cannot manage go to Taman jaya, the trips suppose to be continued by Ojek from Sumur. The cost will around Rp 30000-40000 (USD 3.5-4.5) depend on negotiation.
Actually, there are also options to get a tour in Sumur and Labuan, but most of the local budget traveler will be heading to Taman Jaya to get the cheapest option to travel to the Ujung Kulon National Park. In Taman Jaya, there is a famous local people even in Sumur and Labuan named Pak Komar. He organizes transport (boat) and trip to Ujung Kulon. The price for the boat is Rp 1000,000 (USD 105) for one way. It is better to organize a trip here. Take a trip for 3-4 days with boat in Ujung Kulon. If you are lucky to have more than 10 persons,the price will not higher than Rupiah 1000,000 (USD 105) for 3-4 days trip. The price will include guide, food (local offcourse), park entry fee, accommodation in Peucang Island and boat. There is also organized jungle trekking from Taman Jaya to Ujung Kulon for 4 days to 1 week. All the price are negotiable and cheaper.
Want to do
Canoeing. Canoeing at Cigenter River where usually one horn Jave Rhino seen is an interesting experience, but the rhino is hardly to see. The rhino is easier to see on dry season from April to October. You can see also some snakes hanging on the tree and swamp crocodile. You will be guided by the ranger on your canoeing journey. It takes around 45 to 1 hour exploring the river by canoe.
Snorkeling and Diving. There are some spots for the snorkeling and diving but don't expect much because most of the reef is damage.
Jungle Trekking. If you want to have jungle trekking, it is better to arrange it from Taman Jaya. Pak Komar, the owner of Sunda Guesthouse can arrange it for you depend on how long you will explore the jungle. The jungle trekking will start from Taman jaya and end up at Peucang Island (crossing by boat from mainland to Peucang Island. The price includes the guide and food.