The Beauty of Sempu Island, East Java, Indonesia

Spanning from east to west over 3.9 kilometers, with beaches that are aligned with steep and lime caved cliffs. That is, at a glance, the picture of ‘Pulau Sempu’ located in the eastern part of Java Island.

‘Pulau’ (island) ‘Sempu’ is located about 70 kilometers south of the center of ‘Malang’ city, East Java. Technically, this island is a nature reservation under the jurisdiction of the ‘BKSDA’ IV (natural resources conservation station) in Malang. While from a government administrative point of view the area is included in the Biru Settlement. ‘Tambakrejo’ Village, ‘Sumbermanjing Wetan’ Sub-District, Regency of ‘Malang’, of East Java.

The area of the island stretches 3.9 kilometers from east to west, and 3.6 kilometers from north to south. The topography of the island is for almost 50% made up of hilly plains, with slopes ranging from average to steep, at altitudes of 50 to 100 meters above sea level. The larger part of the beaches aligned with steep lime rock cliffs, which is the characteristic of the islands along the Indian Ocean.

This character is also specific for the islands along the south and east of Java Island. Certainly, such terrain makes it difficult for the fishermen to moor their boats. But, such a condition also decides that the ‘Sendang Biru’ Beach, which is located north of ‘Sempu’ island, has quiet waves. Because of that, this beach is the safest harbor along the southern stretch of the Indian Ocean, and is the largest fish landing spot along the southern beach of Java Island.

The merits of ‘Pulau Sempu’ for the fishermen of ‘Sendang Biru’ Beach are indeed invaluable. Its sturdy shape with steep cliffs, neutralize the vicious waves of the southern seas. So it is not surprising to sometimes find fishermen performing the slalom test on this 3.9 kilometers long beach with its quiet waters.

‘Pulau Sempu’ is separated from Java Island only by a 800 meters wide strait, which is also used as the gate to the open sea. Its waves are relatively quiet, appropriate for fishing, rowing, or swimming. As according to the land maps, the type of soil in the area of this island is of a ‘litosol’ compound and reddish brown Mediterranean, and includes even the main limestone formation.The only natural cave found on ‘Pulau Sempu’ has its own specialty. The cave that is located around 2.5 kilometers from the ‘Teluk’ (bay) ‘Sumber’ Beach line is 25 meters above sea level and holds sources of sweet water. The cave is 20 meters long and 3 meters wide with a dry surface. It is highly strategic place for those who like to meditate, or just seek solitude.

Along the even steeper south side, there are also some sea caves. The sea caves along the east and southeast sides have become the settlements of numerous swallows. But, because of its highly steep location, none of the local fishermen dare to pick the birds nests.

A visit to ‘Pulau Sempu’ feels like being at the ‘Bogor’ Safari Park. Wildlife like deer’s, black monkeys, boars, and panthers often teasingly cross the visitors paths. It is not surprising then that this area often provokes the hunter to cleave into its forests. According to the data at the Forest Office of East Java, the area still holds 12 species of mammals, 36 species of fowls, and 3 species of reptiles. With this variety of flora and fauna the management of the island, i.e. ‘BKSDA’ IV in ‘Malang’, has developed the area into a tourist destination.

The other uniqueness that can be found on this island is the existence of two lakes, the lake ‘Lele’ and ‘Segara Anakan’. At lake ‘Lele’ a variety of colorful decorative fish can be found in abundance. While from ‘Segara Anakan’ one can freely enjoy a view of the open sea.

You won’t encounter any problems getting to these lakes, because the ‘Malang BKSDA’ IV has built footpaths from ‘Teluk Semut’ (Ant Bay). While to get to Lake ‘Lele’, a 2.3 kilometers long footpaths has been built from ‘Teluk Waru’ and The White Sand coast, which can be covered on foot in 2 hours.

Besides all those uniqueness, ‘Pulau Sempu’ also holds other tourist attractions like The White Sand coast, which is the gate to this island. The natural scenery at The White Sand coast is also not less fascinating. From here you can see clearly all of the fishermen’s activities. A variety of boats with its range of decorations can be seen coming and going to the open sea. And when dusk falls, the process of the sun setting into the horizon, can also be seen from this bright white sand beach. It is also along The White Sand coast that the visitor’s boats are moored before they continue the journey to ‘Pulau Sempu’.

Although its status is a nature reservation, the management of ‘Pulau Sempu’ has changed this into an Eco-tourist destination of East Java. This is in line indeed with the condition which holds feasible tourism potential to be offered to tourists. And when compared to the other eco-tourist destinations, ‘Pulau Sempu’ indeed still feels natural. But, it is that genuinely that leaves this island feasible as an Eco-tourism destination, at the same time a place to preserve the wildlife in it.

Other beauty that could be experienced in the ‘Sempu’ Island was how could swim in very clear water (in ‘Segara Anakan’) and for had snorkeling hobbies was able generously to enjoy underwater scenery because this place had been the cultivation of the coral reef without must be frightened to get dragged by wave. ‘Sempu’ got lake that mentioned with ‘Segara Anakan’. This place more was similar to small lake that was surrounded his limiting high coral stone with the open sea, south sea or Indonesian Sea that has big waves. The supply of water to this lake came from hollow coral big in the middle, which periodically presented picturesque scenery spots of pounding water of the wave that bashed coral. Some water flowing entered ‘Segara Anakan’.

Apart from swimming in the giant’s pond, the visitor could also relax in a playing manner coastal volleyball. For that liked the atmosphere of original nature, far from modern life noise, the ‘Sempu’ Island gave the solution, only indeed should not hope for had the luxurious hotel, apart from the bed that was carried personally. Nearby same could be climbing coral that orbited ‘Segara Anakan’, from on top of our coral could see the pounding of the wave of the open sea that eroded the giant cliff, very beautiful indeed.