Not many people know about Taman Wisata Alam Angke Kapuk. Its location is a bit hidden in the north of Jakarta, despite its proximity to Pantai Indah Kapuk, a prestigious neighborhood in Jakarta.
So, what is Taman Wisata Alam (TWA) Angke Kapuk? What will you find there?
In essence, TWA Angke Kapuk is a conserved mangrove forest that has been developed to accommodate tourists. It provides lodging, boats, and walking paths to roam the mangrove forest easily.
Addressed at Garden House Street no. 4, Jakarta, it is not far from Pantai Indah Kapuk toll exit. The easiest way to find it is to look for the big grey complex of Tzu Chi school.
As soon as you enter Taman Wisata Alam Angke Kapuk, you will be amazed by how peaceful inside. It feels like you are in a remote village instead of the bustling city of Jakarta.
According to the brochure, at least six types of mangroves grow in Taman Wisata Alam Angke Kapuk. You also can see some trees that are common to the beach and swamp. Some of them are Waru Laut (Hibiscus tiliaceous) and Kedondong Laut (Polyscias fruticosa).
Not all mangrove forests are accessible because mangroves grow in brackish water, where slow-moving water allows sediments to accumulate. In short, the mangroves either grow in waterlogged soil or muddy soil. How can you enjoy the mangrove forest then? By having a walking path that looks like a low bridge through the mangrove forest :) That's the most convenient and fun way to roam and observe the mangrove forest.
There are many walking paths and low wooden bridges spread out in Taman Wisata Alam Angke Kapuk. You can walk around freely and take as many pictures as you want. Unfortunately, you have to pay an extra ticket for any pocket camera, GoPro, and DSLR camera you bring.
There are some places where the water is deep enough for boats. That's where you can rent a canoe, pedal boat, or motorboat. Unfortunately, the rental price is expensive.
For Rp. 100,000 you can contribute to conserving the mangrove forest by planting a mangrove. Don't forget to bring spare clothes, because you have to dip deep into the swamp! For an additional charge, you even can put your name beside the mangrove tree you plant.
Taman Wisata Alam Angke Kapuk is also a home for many species of birds. Some of the birds are Belekok (Javan Pond Heron, Ardeola speciosa), White-Bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), Sunda Teal (Anas Gibberifrons or Itik Benjut in Bahasa Indonesia), etc. Most of them are endangered species.
Other animals you might spot are some Asian water monitors (Varanus salvator or biawak air in Bahasa Indonesia). But the fish and scorpion mud lobster (Thalassina anomala or udang bakau in Bahasa Indonesia) are more difficult to find.
In short, the mangrove forest at Taman Wisata Alam Angke Kapuk is beautiful in its own way. It is a peaceful place where you can relax. However, the tickets are costly, especially for tourists from abroad.