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Indonesia

Indonesia and Mother Nature's whims

Indonesia is a country whose beauty and vulnerability to nature are often talked about. If you want a good trip to Indonesia, here are some things you should know about geography and climate of this country which is located between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, in a tropical region close to the equator.

Indonesia's geography

Indonesia is made up of 13,466 islands which lie on both sides of the equator. The four biggest islands are called Sulawesi, Sumatra, Borneo and New Guinea. The country has borders with Malaysia, East Timor, Singapore, Thailand, Palau, the Philippines and even Australia (certain of the borders being maritime!). Jakarta is the capital of one of the most famous and heavily populated islands in the world, Java.

It's highest point is Puncak Jaya, Papua. Lake Toba, in Sumatra, is the largest volcanic lake. The longest rivers are the Mahakam and Barito, which are used for transport and communicating between the towns along their banks.

Lake Toba

Indonesian climate and environment

Its location on the crossing point of the Pacific, Eurasian and Australian plates makes Indonesia very vulnerable to natural events - strong volcanic activity and frequent earthquakes have often been in the news about it over the years.

Because of its proximity to the equator, Indonesia has a tropical or equatorial climate, depending on the region you are in The rainy season (October to April) is followed by the dry season (May to September), and at times humidity can reach 80%, whilst the temperature is between 26 and 30 degrees all year.

The nights are often hot. Nevertheless, at altitude the temperatures can drop dramatically.

Indonesia's rich flora and fauna

Indonesia's riches lie in its nature. Due to its size and its climate it is the second most biodiverse region in the world. Nature lovers who want to explore Indonesia's flora and fauna should know that it has a large number of species, even though there are fewer now than before. 60% of the country is covered in forest. And numerous bird and mammal species are considered to be endemic. Indonesia has the second largest number of endemic species, after Australia.

In Indonesia's forests, as far as Bali, you can see rhinoceros, elephants, tigers and other big cats. Unfortunately, these species are not thriving. Possibly because of the pollution which afflicts certain areas of the country, but also because of Indonesia's tendency to sell its natural riches to help its economy...

Schéhérazade Deedarun
13 contributions
Updated 17 November 2015

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