sign in a cave in Laos

28 July 2011

Caves on Seram, Maluku, Indonesia

Pulau Seram, or Seram Island, is the largest island of Maluku. Maluku or The Moluccas in Indonesia are also known as The Spice Islands. Most of the limestone has been unexplored by cavers. Caves are known on the northern parts, around the coastal villages of Sawai and Saleman.

Kampung Saleman is a small Moslem fishing village and tourists are taken to see the evening bat flight from Goa Lusiala. The large entrance is clearly visible high in the cliff of Gunung Polesi behind the village. Each evening flocks of bats leave the cave in an impressive “bat flight”.

A good view of the 300m high limestone hills can be seen when travelling by boat between Sawai and Saleman.
Looking into a sea cave

Goa Hatu Putih (aka Goa Lasai) is about a 40 minute walk from Sawai, and is in Manusela National Park.
The entrance is in a rock on the hillside, and is a resurgence with 2 small streams coming out.

Fruit bats in entrance chamber, note the eye shine
There are also some non-edible birds nests.

There is quite a lot of stal inside - stalagmites and stalactites

There are some bats inside as well as invertebrates such as spiders, whip spiders and ants.

We visited a short sea cave

Goa Akohi is a famous show cave in south Seram, in Tamilouw which is east of Masohi.
The ticket office - info centre is called Lovely House. The cave is managed by Dinas Pariwisata (Tourism Office).

Looking down on the cave entrance
Very unassuming entrance, a concrete blockhouse
Electric lighting was installed and used for the first time in March 2007, powered by a generator located next to the entrance.

The cave is full of spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. Large concrete square stepping stones form a path down through the cave. The cave is really beautiful. The cave guide finds nothing wrong with touching the stal and using them as handholds.

Unfortunately the concrete entrance blockhouse which was built 2006, covers the natural entrance. This seems to have severely restricted the air flow in the cave, as most of the cave is completely dry and very hot and stuffy. After a while everyone was hot and uncomfortable.

The lighting has been installed very badly, as many of the lights dazzle the visitor, and cables are laid without care.
Some delicate formations
The staircase back to fresh air

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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