Full of effervescent energy and simmering sunlight, Indonesia’s islands are sprinkled across South-East Asia like a collection of colourful spices. This ancient archipelago takes its rightful place among Asia’s darling destinations and beyond the resorts there is a nation full of rich contrasts waiting to be discovered. Sensational Sumatra, boisterous Bali, joyful Java – with over 17,000 islands to explore, Indonesia has plenty to keep you coming back for more.
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Top 10 Bizarre Creatures of Indonesia
1. Sumatran Rhino
Appearing almost prehistoric, the Sumatran rhino is smaller in both size and number than its African cousins. Covered in a reddish brown fur, the Sumatran rhino is a solitary animal, and has been quietly grazing the grasslands for thousands of years.
2. Sulawesi Giant Squirrel
Living deep within Sulawesi’s rainforest canopies, this enigmatic and shy rodent can be tough to spot, so stay quiet and alert if you want catch a glimpse of one.
3. Sun Bear
A perennial favourite, the sun bear can be found on many of Indonesia’s islands. Perhaps suffering from ‘small bear syndrome’, these fiery characters are often quite aggressive, defying their nickname as the ‘Honey Bear’.
4. Sulawesi Macaque
Native to the island of Sulawesi, these crafty primates are known for being exceptionally social creatures. With family groups usually led by dominant females, Sulawesi macaques are a prime example of girl power in action.
5. Sumatran Tiger
A noble predator with an almost mythical status, the Sumatran tiger stalks its prey deep within the jungles of Sumatra. With some estimates putting their numbers at just over 300, an international effort is underway to protect this incredible animal.
6. Javan Slow Loris
Slow in name, slow in nature. Don’t be fooled though, this super-cute creature packs a deadly punch – it is the world s only poisonous primate!
7. Long-Beaked Echidna
Inhabiting the island of New Guinea, this crazy critter snuffles about the forest floor using its large snout. Don’t expect to see many of these guys though; they are classified as ‘critically endangered’.
8. Komodo Dragon
The fearsome Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest lizard, often weighing up to 70 kilograms. Described as the ‘perfect predator’, this stealthy beast makes for an exhilarating sight.
9. Moluccan Flying Snake
Scared of snakes? Now you ll have to search the ground and the air as these aerodynamic reptiles have found a novel way to move between the treetops, by becoming airborne and gliding for up to 30 metres.
What do you get when you cross a pig and a deer? The odd looking Babirusa: a short and stocky animal with large, curled horns. Native to Indonesia, populations of these bizarre beasts are sadly in decline due to poaching and habitat loss.