sign in a cave in Laos

25 November 2011

Gua Mampu, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Gua Mampu is the longest cave in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is about 4 km from Ulowe and about 30 km from Watampone (Bone). I visited in 1994.

It is the only hill in the area and from a distance doesn't look like limestone but as we got closer there were piles of limestone rock on the roadside.

From the car park we walked up past a cave entrance and stalls to the main cave. There is a small entrance fee (1500 Rp).

It was a Sunday and there were lots of visitors and they were curious about us.

It is a nice cave with large chambers and lots of openings.

Seemed to be a series of chambers going round in a circle. A man with a rifle walked around with us.

Lots of bats with the resulting sickly smell common to caves in Tator (Torajaland). The smell was overpowering in the lower chambers.

Collection of guano is big business with many full sacks stacked near the entrance. I was told they fetch 5000 Rp a sack (£1.40, 2004).

There are many legends and stories about the rock formations representing people and animals and in many places these were enclosed by railings and concrete posts with signs, e.g. Raja Mampu 1, Anjing etc.
There were paths and steps throughout the cave.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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