Mount Rinjani

Here is a video that shows the beauty and the experience of trekking to the summit of Mount Rinjani (Gunung Rinjani), an active volcano on the island of Lombok that erupts on a regular basis. It rises to 3,726 metres (12,224 ft), making it the second highest volcano in Indonesia. The crater lake is known as Segara Anak or Anak Laut (Child of the Sea), due to the blue color of its water. The lake is approximately 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) above sea level and estimated to be about 200 metres (660 ft) deep.

After completing the 3 months with Operation Raleigh and some time on Java, I spent 6 weeks on Lombok including one week camped just below the crater rim, which sits at 2464 metres, to continue a study of the Indonesian island fauna. We walked down into the crater to the lake’s edge – such a beautiful place that was thankfully peaceful during our time there. You’ll find my photos here. When we visited in October 1987, the volcano and the lake were part of a nature reserve.  The Gunung Rinjani National Park was established 10 years later in 1997.

With all of the videos on Youtube, it appears that Rinjani is now a really popular tourist climb. Guided groups generally approach it from the south, climb to the summit and then descend on the northern side. Our trek to and from the crater lake was through the tall forests on the northern side and we didn’t see any tourists at all. There were however local people traveling to and from the hot springs on a pilgrimage to what they consider to be a sacred place. I imagine that whole experience has now changed for them with so many tourists walking the trail and camping on the rim. I hope those who visit Mount Rinjani appreciate what a privilege it is to experience such a magical place.