- Elevation: 2,137 m (7,011 ft)
- Prominence: 1,316 m
- Ribu category: Tinggi Sedang
- Province: Nusa Tenggara Timur
- Google Earth: kml
- Other names: Amburombu
- Eruptions: 1830, 1888, 1910, 1924, 1938, 1941, 1969, 2013
If you’re travelling across Flores, the relatively easy hike to the summit of Ebulobo is an excellent reason to stop for a night in Boawe on the road between Bajawa (to the west) and Ende ( to the east). The village of Molakoli (925 m) is the starting point for the hike. It takes around 2 hours to hike through pleasant forest, before you emerge from the trees for a final 30 to 40 minutes climb to the rocky and interesting summit. On clear days you get great views of the valley around Boawae and west to the conical summit of Inerie. Start the hike early, but there’s no need to climb for sunrise, and it’s probably not possible to find a guide before 5:30 am. The information in the 2010 Lonely Planet is almost entirely inaccurate.
At the end of the paved road in the village, turn right at the T-junction and proceed along the road for about 100 m. You’ll then cut past a few houses, including a traditional style house, just before entering the forest and starting the climb. The trail is very steep for about 15 or 20 minutes, but then the trail has a more moderate gradient for all the way to the edge of the forest. After about 30 minutes, there is a clearing in the trees and you can see west towards Bajawa and Inerie towering above the other hills with it’s distinctive summit. After 2 hours of steady hiking you should reach the abrupt edge of the forest at 1,785 m elevation. It’s deceptive, and you still have another 400 m elevation gain to the summit area. The rocky climb is a little steep than in the forest, but the rocks are not lose and hiking is easy.
When you emerge onto the summit areas, you’ll be amazed at the distinctive jumble of rocks around a crater that is more of a cleft striking through the summit from west to east. There are strong sulphur smells that come and go on the breeze. At the point where you come onto the crater rim, you’ll see a small concrete block set into the ground (2,125 m). However, this is not the summit, which is on the other side of the crater directly to the west. It’s only another 15 mins to drop down slightly to the left and circle around to the crater. It’s not dangerous, but be careful as you do this because the rocks are large and jumbled, and there are some deep holes and cracks. Also, the wind will have dropped in this area and the smells of sulphur can be very strong. Many people go to the highest point (2,137 m) because from here you get the best views to the west to Inerie. The views on a clear day would be magnificent!
Once you’ve enjoyed the solitude of this mountain, you descend the same way and it should take no more than 1.5 hours from strong hikers. This is a really great hike, with not a single piece of litter/trash on the mountain, and a trail and forest that is in very good condition. The area above the forest is interesting and unlike anything you might have seen on other hikes. This is a mountain for those who want to get off the beaten path. The village of Molakoli is fully awake and alive by the time you get back and you’ll have dozens of kids following you along the road back to the village head’s house.
Bagging information by Andy Dean.
- Getting there: You will most likely be travelling across Flores – the turning to Molakoli is about 20 minutes east on the main road from Boawae towards Ende. It’s about 8 km and 20 minutes from this turning to the T-junction that marks the end of the road and your starting point.
- Accommodation: It’s best to stay in one of the two hotels in Boawae. Be sure to walk down the road to the market in Boawae and meet and greet some locals.
- Permits: You need to report to the Molakoli village head (kepala desa) and request a guide. You don’t need to speak Indonesian, hand signals or basic phrases will suffice and a guide will very quickly be arranged (probably before he’s had chance for breakfast). The guide will cost about Rp 200,000 and a Rp. 20,000 donation as a village guest is required.
- Water sources: There are no sources of water on the hike, and there are not really any warungs (small shops/stalls) in Molakoli It’s best to buy your water in Boawae the evening before your hike.
- Travel insurance: We recommend World Nomads insurance, which is designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities including mountain hiking.
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