Situated on the southern tip of Sumatra Island and meaning “place of southerly winds,” Lampung is surrounded by natural attractions. Explore its scenic sites, its popular elephant training centre, historic relics, quiet beaches and challenging surf waves.
What’s so special about Kiluan Bay in Lampung? The dolphins of course!
Kiluan Bay, located in Tanggamus regency, maybe not as well known Lampung Bay in Bandar Lampung, Tomini Bay in Central Sulawesi or Lovina Beach in Bali. But some say that the Kiluan Bay “dolphin dance” is more enchanting than the one at Lovina Beach, where only one species of dolphin is found. There are two dolphin species at Kiluan Bay: spinner dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. They live in warm tropical waters, like the Indian Ocean, and have made Kiluan Bay a regular stop on their journeys.
The ferry from Merak takes you to Bakauheni Port. From Bakauheni you can get to Kiluan Bay by land or sea. If you are driving the journey will take about five hours and the roads can be a challenge, so expect a bumpy ride.
Along the way we stopped at some small islands, most notably Legundi Island, located northeast of Sebesi Island. This picturesque island is just begging to be explored, with its clear waters, gorgeous beaches and trekking opportunities. Our journey continued west, and several times we spotted pods of dolphins swimming not far from our boat. After three hours of sailing we arrived at Kiluan Bay and headed straight for Kelapa Island where we spent the afternoon enjoying the beautiful aqua sea and white sand.
After exploring, prepare yourself for the majestic beauty of the sunset. As the sun moves toward the horizon, a tinge of red falls dramatically onto the sides of the hills. While your eyes feast on this magnificent parade of colours, you will be serenaded by the sound of roaring waves and chirping birds. Take it all in and don’t forget to set up your camera to capture the moment.
I took a jukung, a kind of small boat, from Kiluan Bay and out into the Sunda Strait. We waited anxiously for about an hour before the dolphins finally appeared, teasing the groups of sightseers dotted around the strait in their boats. As if aware that they had an audience, the dolphins put on quite a show. Seeing these creatures jump and “dance” in the wild gave me such a rush − I was filled with wonder and joy.
There is a small lagoon hidden amongst the cliffs of the southern part of Kelapa Island. To get there you have to wear comfortable and sturdy shoes − the track is long and full of steep terrain and huge rocks. After about twenty minutes of working my way down the cliff, I arrived at the lagoon. Some of the people in my group jumped straight into the lagoon to cool off after the hike and others starting snapping pictures. All I could think of was how lucky the people of Kiluan are to have quiet Kiluan Bay as their front yard and this beautiful lagoon as their backyard.
Text and photos by Meliza Sopandi