Monday, April 1, 2013

Mount Kaba, Hiker's Haven in Bengkulu Province

A view of the magnificent crater of Mt. Kaba
This article has been updated on November 22nd 2019

Kaba volcano (locally known as Bukit Kaba or Gunung Kaba), a beautiful and natural panorama with moderate temperature, offers some of very inspiring mountain experiences for those who love trekking or mountain climbing to catch the views of tropical jungle plus unique and spectacular sulfuric craters. The volcano is located within the Bukit Kaba Nature Conservation which covers an area of 13,490 hectares, and it is proposed for Bengkulu province tourism development. 

The climb offers adventure, excitement of hiking, and physical challenge through stunning green scenery. At the summit, there are three craters - Bukit Kaba (1,952 m / 6,404 ft), Bukit Itam (1,893 m / 6,211 ft) and Bukit Melintang (1,713 m / 5,620 ft), two of which are still active.  As you walk up the ridge to Bukit Kaba you can smell sulfur odor, evidence that the craters are still active. Enjoy the spectacular view around you. Vapors incessantly come out from 12 fissures in the earth, and hot water springs (they are not suitable for drinking) are found in the surrounding area.

"The mountains are calling, and I must go." - John  Muir
It’s possible to climb Bukit Kaba from various directions, but the two most popular routes are the regular track which starts from the simple asphalt road across from the POKDARWIS station, and the jungle track which starts from behind the POKDARWIS entrance station. Visitors must fill in a visitor book at the POKDARWIS station before the climb begins. Entrance fee is Rp. 100,000 (about US$ 7.08) for foreign tourist and Rp. 10,000 (about US$ 0.71) for domestic tourist. For those who intend to camp around the summit for multiple days, they will be charged an additional fee. There are simple parking spaces in and around the POKDARWIS entrance station makes it convenient and easy for visitors to leave their motorbikes or cars for just a few hours or even for days. Daily parking fee is Rp. 5,000 (about US$ 0.35) for motorbike, and Rp. 20,000 (about US$ 1.42) for car. The best time to climb Bukit Kaba is in the dry season between April and September. 

Regular Track Option 
Hiking time: 1 hr 45 min – 3 hr one way
If the climb begins at the POKDARWIS entrance station, it’s normally around 2 hours climb to the top via the regular track if you are feeling energetic. Just follow the asphalt road track, it makes its way up to the top. Your hiking time is relative to your hiking pace, the weather conditions, and how often you stop for rest and sightseeing. Time given for regular track section is approximate, as everyone walks at a different pace. It is greatly recommended to take the regular track if you want to hike in/after the rain. Allow longer time in rainy season conditions.

Jungle Track Option
Hiking time: 1 hr 30 min - 2 hr one way
You can take the jungle track to get  more beautiful surrounding jungle views and a more adventurous trip. Hiking through the jungle track also can save more your hiking time and energy than hiking through the regular track, but it’s very unwise to attempt the first climb via the jungle track alone, you can get lost in the thick jungle. Visitors are advised to take a guide or join a climber group. You can hire a guide at the POKDARWIS entrance station for Rp. 50,000 (about US$ 3.54). Take care on the slippery trails and the steep descent on loose stony terrain. Don't take the jungle track in/after the rain, better safe than sorry.  

Need a motorbike ride to the top?
You need a reasonable level of fitness to climb the Kaba mountain. If you are not sure that you are strong enough to hike, you can take an ojek (motorbike that takes passengers) at Simpang Pasar / Simpang Bukit Kaba to the top via the regular track for Rp. 80,000 (about US$ 5.6) one way, or take an ojek at the POKDARWIS entrance station for Rp. 50,000 (about US$ 3.54) one way. To avoid being ripped off by the ojeks don't get on the motorbike until the price is settled and don't pay until you've reached the top of mount Kaba. 

Sulfuric crater of Mt. Kaba
Additional Kaba Volcano Info:
Summit elevation: 1,952 m (6,404 ft)
Coordinates: 3.52 S, 102.62 E
Type: stratovolcano
Last eruption: August 26th – 27th, 2007

Location: Desa Sumber Urip, Rejang Lebong district, Bengkulu province. To find the Kaba volcano location on Google Maps click here!

General directions: Gunung Kaba is about 19 km (11.8 miles) from Curup the capital city of Rejang Lebong district or around 104 km (64.7 miles) from the city of Bengkulu. It takes around an hour drive from Curup, 20 minutes drive from Simpang Pasar/Simpang Bukit Kaba, or around 3,5 hours drive from Bengkulu to get to the POKDARWIS entrance station. 

Catching a view of the spectacular sulfuric crater

Support Responsible Tourism!!
If you are going to spend the night at the summit of Kaba mountain (locally known as Bukit Kaba) take a stove so you don’t need to deplete the limited supply of firewood. Depending on open fires for cooking can cause rapid deforestation. If you must light a fire, use an existing fireplace. Use only minimal, dead, fallen wood. Make sure that you totally extinguish a fire after use. Don't forget to carry all trash out with you and make sure others in your party do the same. Let's support "Responsible Tourism"!!!

Let’s help each other!
Let’s make this post available in various languages! Translating this post can help more readers in your language to understand this post. If you would like to translate this post into your language or if you need help to translate some of your posts into Indonesian, or if you want to use a photo(s) from my blog please send an email to

Related photos from Mt. Kaba:
Fun Mt. Kaba hike with family
The hike to the summit of Mt. Kaba
Steaming peak of  Mt. Kaba
Mt. Kaba offers some awe-inspiring treks
We are very close to the peak
Enjoying the awe-inspiring views of Mount Kaba
Foggy Peak of Mount Kaba
Green topography that dominates every extensive view
Mount Kaba is surrounded by an ocean of green topography
Mt. Kaba hike - together we can
Heed your adventurous side!

Photos by: Adriansyah Putera, Peter Kimball and Jeff Clairmont
Additional reference: John Seach. “Kaba Volcano”.