Tangkoko National Park: the jungle of the black macaque and The tarsier

Sulawesi, holy moly, that island just has everything on offer! Thinking of insane diving paradises? Check! Can’t get enough of bounty islands? They have an overload of them there! And if that is not enough, they also have a lot of rare animals roaming around there. Indeed, in the Tangkoko National Park in Sulawesi, you can come face to face with black macaques, animal EVER, yes really, The tarsier We stayed a night near the park, traversed the jungle all day and experienced the icing on the cake in the evening: the The tarsier. An adventure not to be missed!

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What to do in Tangkoko

When you visit Tangkoko National Park, it’s really all about one thing, and that’s the jungle, guest. You can hike into the jungle on your own (do bring some change), but with a guide it is of course much more beautiful, interesting, safe and fun! Tangoko in Sulawesi may not be a giant jungle like you have in Sumatra or Borneo. The jungle itself is not necessarily mega-impressive, but trust me, the bizarre animals you can spot here more than make up for that. Really!

Kuskus Bear

No Kuskus Bear may sound like a couscous dish with beer, but it’s not. It is a very cute animal which looks like a bear and also a bit like a monkey, but it is a marsupial. Are you still following me 🙂 What they are above all is incredibly cute and unique. They are found only in Sulawesi and we were treated to not 1 but 9 Kuskus Bears. Lucky basterds!


Black Macaques

Another animal found only in Sulawesi is the black macaque, also called the crested macaque or the Sulawesi Macaque. They look more like a baboon, but they are really macaques. Fortunately, not such brutal thieving brats as the macaques on other islands. The black macaque is quiet and are somewhat less accustomed to people. This allowed us to get very close while they just went about their business. With a whole group, they stormed past. Families can consist of hundreds of monkeys. They look very cute and cuddly with their long faces.

What’s funny about the black macaque is that they live mostly off fruits and mostly on the ground. In fact, they no longer have any natural enemies, so their tails are no longer needed either. Although they have no natural predators, the black macaque is an endangered species.



Never heard of a tarsier? Get ready for some cuteness overload. Tarsiers, in fact, are tiny primates of about 12cm, have tiny hands, tiny feet, but giant caps of eyes. They are nocturnal animals and have good vision at night thanks to their large eyes. Fun fact! Each eye is the same size as the brain. Imagine if that were the case with humans. Because the eyes are so large, the eyes can hardly turn. So they turn their whole head, sometimes even 180 degrees.

At night, entire groups emerge, ready to hunt for insects. The tarsier then jumps from one branch to another. It has a long tail and super funny long fingers with pads. They can sometimes jump meters far. Truly a special specimen to have seen once. The tarsier is found in only a few places in the world, including Sulawesi. In any case, as you read, I am mega excited.

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The tarsier


For bird watchers, Tangkoko National Park is a paradise. You can spot numerous unique bird species here. Unfortunately, my knowledge of birds is zero, so I actually only remembered 1 and that is the rhinoceros bird. Also very rare to spot. By the way, it was cool to see some people getting mega excited about certain birds.


Bird spider

Tjaaaaaand then my least favorite animal of the Sulawesi jungle; the tarantula. In fact, the giant tarantula is found in Tangkoko National Park and if you opt for evening trekking you can spot the spider. Yuppiedepuppie! Are we happy about that for a moment. All together waiting for a giant spider to come crawling out of a tree that you could possibly eat. Well … that last one might be a tad exaggerated and secretly it was pretty cool to see them. Until I was back in the cottage and reminded myself that we are about 50m away from the jungle and so there is quite a chance that one of those giant tarantulas might pay a visit to your bed while you are sleeping ;p I slept like a baby, by the way. Was broken from the jungle trek and so tired that the whole tarantula could be stolen from me.

tarantula indonesia

Best time to travel to Tangkoko

The months between May and October is the best travel time to visit Tangkoko. That’s the dry season, and that means the chances of rainstorms are a lot less. Staying nice and dry is nice when you go out, right?

So, if you want to make a smart choice, aim for these months.

Which budget do i need in Tangkoko National Park?

  • Transportation to Manado or Surabaya beachBangka Island 15 euros
  • Accommodation incl. breakfast 25 euros
  • Lunch and dinner 2 euros p.p.
  • Jungle trekking 15 euros p.p.
tangkoko indonesia

Practical information about Tangkoko

  • So make sure you bring enough water to quench that thirst!
  • Put on fine walking shoes
  • Bring plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Put on long pants and long-sleeved shirt
  • Take plenty of cash with you, as you can’t get ATMs everywhere there

What are nice places to stay in Tangkoko?

How to get to Tangkoko?

Tangkoko National Park is very easy to reach from Manado with an Uber or Grab. It takes about 2.5 hours provided you don’t get stuck in traffic and will cost you a few euros. You can also always arrange transportation at your accommodation. The way back, you don’t really have that many choices and often have to sort it out with your accommodation. They then call a local cab. I think we spent about 10-15 euros.

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Our verdict

By : We Wander Why 8 / 10

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