5 National Parks in Sumatra Island That You Should Know

Jan 22, 2024 | National Park

Nestled within the heart of Indonesia, Sumatra Island stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring beauty of nature, boasting a rich tapestry of landscapes, biodiversity, and cultural heritage. Amidst this lush paradise, Sumatra hosts an array of national parks that serve as sanctuaries for endangered species, guardians of unique ecosystems, and havens for those seeking immersive encounters with the wild. 

In this exploration, we delve into the enchanting world of Sumatra’s five distinguished national parks, each a chapter in the island’s narrative of conservation, adventure, and ecological wonders. Join us on a journey through the untamed terrains and diverse habitats of Gunung Leuser, Kerinci Seblat, Bukit Barisan Selatan, Way Kambas, and Batang Gadis National Parks – where the natural symphony of wildlife harmonizes with the breathtaking landscapes, inviting all who venture forth to witness the magic of Sumatra’s untamed realms.

5 National Parks in Sumatra Island That You Should Know

5 National Parks in Sumatra Island That You Should Know

Sumatra, the sixth-largest island in the world, is a haven for biodiversity and natural wonders. This Indonesian gem is home to lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes. Among its many treasures, Sumatra boasts several national parks that showcase the region’s ecological richness and offer unique experiences for nature enthusiasts. In this article, we’ll explore five national parks in Sumatra that stand out for their beauty, biodiversity, and conservation significance.

1. Gunung Leuser National Park

Situated in the northern part of Sumatra, Gunung Leuser National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its rich biodiversity. This park is home to the endangered Sumatran orangutan, as well as other iconic species like the Sumatran tiger, rhinoceros, and elephant. Visitors can embark on trekking adventures through dense rainforests, crossing rivers and encountering diverse flora and fauna. The park’s stunning landscapes include mountains, hot springs, and picturesque waterfalls, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

2. Kerinci Seblat National Park

As the largest national park on the island, Kerinci Seblat National Park spans across four provinces and protects a vast range of ecosystems. This park is famous for Mount Kerinci, the highest volcano in Indonesia, providing avid hikers with a challenging ascent and breathtaking panoramic views. The park’s diverse habitats support a variety of wildlife, including the Sumatran tiger, clouded leopard, and numerous bird species. Adventure seekers can explore dense jungles, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes, making Kerinci Seblat a haven for ecotourism.

Also read : Orangutan Trails: Exploring the Rainforest of Bukit Lawang

3. Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park

Nestled along Sumatra’s southwestern border, Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park is recognized for its critical role in conserving the endangered Sumatran rhinoceros. The park’s diverse ecosystems range from lowland rainforests to coastal areas, providing a habitat for various wildlife species. Visitors can participate in guided treks to witness unique flora and fauna, including the Sumatran rhino, Sumatran elephant, and Malayan tapir. The park’s coastal areas offer opportunities for marine conservation activities, such as turtle nesting site preservation.

4. Way Kambas National Park

Known for its focus on elephant conservation, Way Kambas National Park is situated in the eastern part of Sumatra. The park is a designated sanctuary for the critically endangered Sumatran elephant, offering visitors the chance to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Aside from elephants, the park is home to diverse wildlife, including the Sumatran tiger, rhinoceros, and various bird species. Eco-friendly activities like river safaris and guided walks allow visitors to immerse themselves in the park’s unique ecosystems.

5. Batang Gadis National Park

Located in the northern part of Sumatra, Batang Gadis National Park is a relatively new addition to Indonesia’s national park system. The park encompasses a mix of tropical rainforests, mountains, and rivers, providing a habitat for diverse flora and fauna. Visitors can explore the park through trekking and river activities, encountering endemic species such as the Sumatran orangutan and the siamang. The park’s pristine landscapes and cultural significance make it an emerging destination for sustainable ecotourism.

Why Sumatra Should Be Your Next Cultural Escape?

Why Sumatra Should Be Your Next Cultural Escape?

Nestled within the archipelago of Indonesia lies Sumatra, an island that beckons with its untouched beauty, cultural richness, and a tapestry of landscapes that range from dense rainforests to towering volcanoes. As the sixth-largest island in the world, Sumatra remains a hidden gem waiting to be explored by intrepid travelers. In this article, we uncover the compelling reasons why you should make Sumatra your next travel destination, immersing yourself in a world where nature’s wonders and cultural heritage intertwine to create an unforgettable experience.

Breathtaking Landscapes

Sumatra’s diverse topography is a canvas painted with awe-inspiring landscapes. From the mist-covered peaks of Mount Kerinci, the highest volcano in Indonesia, to the pristine beaches along the western coast, each corner of Sumatra offers a visual feast. The lush rainforests of Gunung Leuser National Park, the volcanic beauty of Lake Toba, and the untouched wilderness of Batang Gadis National Park showcase the island’s unparalleled natural beauty.

Wildlife Encounters

Sumatra is a sanctuary for unique and endangered species. Gunung Leuser National Park is renowned for its orangutans, tigers, and rhinoceros, providing a rare opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitats. From the playful antics of orangutans swinging through the trees to the elusive Sumatran tiger, Sumatra’s biodiversity is a captivating spectacle for anyone with an appreciation for nature.

Also read : Bukit Lawang: Gateway to Sumatra’s Rainforest Wonderland

Cultural Richness

Beyond its natural wonders, Sumatra boasts a rich tapestry of cultures, each with its own traditions, languages, and unique charm. Engage with the warm-hearted locals, explore traditional villages, and witness traditional ceremonies that have been passed down through generations. The vibrant markets and bustling cities showcase a blend of modernity and age-old traditions, providing a glimpse into the island’s cultural mosaic.

Adventure Awaits

Sumatra is a playground for adventure seekers. Whether you’re an avid trekker, a thrill-seeking surfer, or a diver eager to explore vibrant coral reefs, Sumatra offers a myriad of activities. Hike to the summit of Mount Kerinci, surf the waves off the Mentawai Islands, or dive into the crystal-clear waters of Pulau Weh – the island caters to adventurers of all kinds.

Culinary Delights

Sumatra’s culinary scene is a delightful journey for the taste buds. From the aromatic flavors of rendang, a traditional beef dish, to the bold and spicy curries that define Sumatran cuisine, food enthusiasts will find themselves on a culinary adventure. Explore local markets, savor street food delicacies, and indulge in the diverse culinary offerings that reflect the island’s cultural diversity.


Sumatra’s national parks offer a glimpse into the island’s incredible natural beauty and biodiversity. From the dense rainforests of Gunung Leuser to the challenging heights of Mount Kerinci, each park presents a unique adventure for nature enthusiasts. These protected areas play a crucial role in conservation efforts, ensuring the survival of endangered species and preserving the ecological balance of Sumatra. Whether you’re an avid hiker, wildlife enthusiast, or someone seeking a deeper connection with nature, exploring Sumatra’s national parks promises an unforgettable experience.

Sumatra beckons those seeking a travel experience off the beaten path, offering a harmonious blend of natural wonders, cultural richness, and adventurous pursuits. From the misty peaks of its volcanoes to the vibrant coral reefs along its shores, Sumatra’s allure lies in its untouched beauty and the warmth of its people. As you embark on a journey through this Indonesian gem, be prepared to be captivated by the island’s untamed landscapes, diverse wildlife, and the genuine hospitality that defines Sumatra – an experience that lingers in the hearts of those who venture into its embrace.

Writer | + posts

Alfath Dewantara is a renowned expert in wildlife and a prolific author. His expertise lies in the study and conservation of wildlife, and he has contributed significantly to the field through his research and writings.


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