Taka Bone Rate National Park is a marine park which includes the Takabonerate atoll islands, located in the Flores Sea, south of Sulawesi island of Indonesia.
The area, which consists of the atoll islands and surrounding marine area was granted national park protection status in 1992
Taka Bone Rate is administered as part of Selayar Regency, South Sulawesi province. The atoll is located in Flores Sea, southeast off the coast from the southern "arms" of Sulawesi Island and to the east of Selayar island. It is located west of Wakatobi islands and far north of Komodo island across the Flores Sea. The nearest large city is Makassar, from where it can be reached in about 16 hours by boat.
With an area of 530,765 hectares which has an atoll expanse of 220,000 hectares, Taka Bone Rate meaning 'coral islands over sand' is the biggest atoll in Indonesia, and Southeast Asia, and the third biggest in the world after Kwajalein Atoll and Suvadiva.
The atoll consists of separate table reefs enclosing a lagoon filled with massive reefs. The atoll has around 20 islands, six of which are inhabited. There are 15 islands for diving and snorkeling.
Taman Nasional Taka Bonerate is entitled as the national park which includes the Takabonerate atoll islands, located in the Flores Sea, south of Sulawesi island of Indonesia. It's one of the largest atoll in the world. the gate to Taka Bonerate is from Selayar and the nearest city is Makassar. It's an isolated island so it's really recommend to visit in group - Do not expect your mobile will ring. Best time to Taka Bonerate is on around April-May and August-November.
Taka Bonerate is an archipelago in the Southern Sulawesi Island. It is in the Southeast of Selayar as the mainland of the archipelago. Taka Bonerate becomes the 3rd largest atoll in the world with 530.765 ha that covers the whole area with 220,000 ha coral reefs. This area was identified as the largest atoll in Southeast Asia after Kwajilein atoll in the Marshall Islands and Suvadiva atolls in the Maldives.
Inside the archipelago there are 21 Islands, 7 Islands with population while 14 others leaving only sands, trees, beautiful reefs, and the diversity of marine life. They’ve lived there for hundred years long ago before the independence day of Indonesia.
The story begins 3 years ago when I decided to find a place where I can take a short internship about the marine life related to my studies in the University. And my choice goes to Taka Bonerate. I spent two weeks in the mainland, and then the rest of it in the Archipelago.
Taka Bonerate is not as famous as other marine tourism places in Indonesia. But this place is a real paradise for travelers, adventurers, and scuba divers. Visiting this place means you will have a really adventure trip and sailing experiences. It’s a really long way to paradise. But, no worries you will enjoy the whole trip when you get in and you will never want to go out.
There are 3 categories of coral reefs inside the National Park, the barrier reef, fringing reef and atolls. The diversity of coral reefs is quite high, and the interesting thing on coral reef ecosystems in the National park is a steep dive spot (drop off).
One of the most popular tourism destinations in the National Park is Tinabo Island. Tinabo is the center of marine tourism inside the National Park. Tinabo island has a white sand substrate, with a sloping topography between 0-2 meters where we can find many coconut trees, sentigi, ketapang , grasses and shrubs . The main activities that visitors can do is diving, snorkeling and canoeing.
Taka bonerate is a small island in National park complex, eventhough you surrounded by clean and healthy ocean environment, you're not allow to fishing here and the rangers is really firm with their job, yet you will forget about fishing since tons of activities waiting you here.
You will have shore full with baby sharks to play with, use your snorkeling gear and visit the giant clams village in their jetty area, leave your sandal and walk barefoot around the island to feel the soft sand in your feet, queched your thirst with fresh coconut water, prerape your camera for the breathtaking sunset/sunrise, during the night sleep outside under the stars, it's time to reconnect with your self and the best part is no mobile reception in this island.
Diving is also must to do here, don't worry about the safety, your dive master is the ranger that dive everyday to do coral check, they're really capable,expereinced diver and know the dive spot very well.
You will love this place as I do. I really enjoy having a snorkeling experience there, capturing coral reef underwater photography, swimming like a clown fish, and being amazed with the cute of the baby sharks. I also did a tree planting, coral transplantation, and sunbathing. If you love scuba diving, then the whole area is your spot to dive in. Always bring your camera and you will be surprised with the diversity of the Ibel Range, Joan Garden, Softcoral Point, and Wall Reef.
If you are not a diver, no worries, snorkeling and having a hopping island trip to Tinanja, Latondu, Rajuni and other islands nearby will be a great attraction for you. Sometimes dolphins follow your boat. The society in the Island is friendly and overwhelming. Don’t forget to have a conversation with them, because they are one of the Gypsy’s in Indonesia, Bajo. Well, it is different with the Bajo tribe in Wakatobi that still live and build houses above the water, the Bajonese in Taka Bonerate has left the tradition to live inside the houses above the water, but they still go to sea and earn a living from the sea.
The island is a really perfect place to capture the golden sunset in the afternoon and if you come around May – June, you will see the Milky Way, where thousands stars dancing above the sky and only you and the island become the only witness of the great
Once you visit the place, you will always promise yourself to come back again. You will never miss the paradise for short but longer time. Even hard to get there, but you will never regret to come again and again.
This is where you transit to reach Taka Bonerate. Dive at Spaghetti reef, just for a warm up.
You need one to enter Taka Bonerate National Park, including for your cameras. For information you go to www.tntakabonerate.com. Entry fees for International visitors are IDR 100,000 / person.
There are 20 diving spots of Taka Bonerate which extends from Tinabo to the very south of the coral atoll. That’s a lot of place to suck up the marine scenery.
There is a homestay beside the ‘Tempat Biasa’ cafe. It’s enough to survive the night, but there are other options on the Tinabo island.
‘Tempat Biasa’; Carrot noodles is a way to go amongst the other dishes you can choose from.
HOW TO GET THERE
Start from Makassar; take the express bus, such as Aneka bus or Sumber Mas Murni bus, that can cross you to Selayar island. Ticket: IDR 390,000/pax.
Or fly from Makassar to Aroepalla airport on Selayar Island and save half a day of traveling. Ticket: IDR 750,000/pax. However, planes are very flexible with their schedule, so beware!
Then take the regular boat to Rajuni Island. Cost: IDR 300,000/pax. Continue with a fisherman boat to Tinabo Island.