Ili Wukoh


Elevation: 1,431 m (4,695 ft) Prominence: 1,046 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerKurang Tinggi Province: Nusa Tenggara Timur
Google Earth: kml Other names:
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Bagging It!

Ili Wukoh is a forested peak to the west of the much more famous Lewotobi. Unfortunately, very few people climb this mountain and at present you are likely to be turned away by the Kepala Desa in Hewa. A real shame.


Getting there Turn off the main road through Flores at Boru, which lies about halfway between Larantuka and Maumere. Larantuka is the closest airport but Maumere’s is larger and not much further away.
Accommodation There are several hotels/losmen in Larantuka – most of the best are close together near the seafront. Try Hotel Tresna or Rulies. In Maumere try Gardena in town, or one of the pleasant places further east outside the town on the coast.
Permits Unless you have authorization from someone higher up the chain, the Kepala Desa at Hewa will not let you climb this mountain. Perhaps there is another approach?
Water sources None available – take sufficient supplies with you.
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): maumere


4 thoughts on “Ili Wukoh

  1. I gave it a try yesterday. Went to Hewa by motorbike and then asked a few people how to climb Ili Wukoh. I was told to take the village road that goes off the main road right before the school (SMP). I parked at the end of this road and took the foot path into the forest. You first have to cross a small river and then just continue on the same path up. You will cross many small plantations for about an hour or so, before you get into the forest.

    I met very friendly workers on the plantation, who invited me to drink coffee and Tuak with them. I went for the coffee, as I still had a hike before me. They told me about you Hanna, when I told them I was German and that you stayed there for three months and are able to speak the Hewa language fluently. They said that you are now staying in Lembata?

    90 minutes into the hike I was close to what looked like the peak, but despite trying a few different paths, I always ended up in a dead end, where I would have to bush knife to continue. In one case the path led down again towards the coast.

    On the hike I saw literally hundreds of butterflies, many small lizards, one monitor lizard, two big black spiders and a praying mantis.

    In the end I did not make it to the peak. The locals had told me btw that there two peaks, husband and wife. The husband is called Wukoh and the wife Ledoh. Despite getting lost twice on my descent, I enjoyed the hike very much. The slopes are not too steep and you are partially protected from the sun by forest. From the area around the peak, you have a good view over the nearby beach and ocean. Nearby Lewotobi was unfortunately covered in clouds. Bring enough water, moskito repellent and sun screen!

  2. I first got a look at this mountain from the slopes of Lewotobi. A very appealing pyramid peak of forest, probably offering no views.
    With Rafael I proceeded to Hewa, the large village at the base of Ili Wukoh, not more than 30 minutes from Bawalatang which is the starting point for Lewotobi.

    Pak Dominingus and his wife really looked after us, and even told us of a German student who has spent 3 months staying with them recently, studying the local Lamaholot language. We decided it would be best to go to speak to the Kepala Desa that evening, in order to find someone who could lead me up the mountain the following day.

    Unfortunately, because this was perhaps the very first time a foreign person had asked about the mountain, the Kepala Desa would not permit me to climb Ili Wukoh or find anyone who could take me up there. He thought it too dangerous and needed authorisation from the local mayor or some kind of official tourist agency. I would need to visit maumere or Larantuka to arrange such a thing and so, given my schedule, this just wouldn’t be possible.

    There also seemed to be a supernatural element to his decision. Locals were scared of the higher part of the mountain and there were reports of people meeting a stranger in the forest who simply disappeared, vanished without a trace.

    So, we went back to the house and I resigned myself to not even being able to set foot on Ili Wukoh. Rafael told me about his time spent working in Berau and how the Dayaks buried a lot of their elders in the forests, even letting them die in the forests rather than having them in the house. And one night when he went fishing with others and they got lost how one companion told them all that they would have to strip naked to find the way out because Dayak souls had encircled them and gotten them confused. Once naked, they did indeed find the right way out of the forest!

    The next day we did a circuit round the base of Lewotobi. The weather was still unusually cloudy. Back at the main road I hopped on a Maumere-bound bus and checked into the Gardena Hotel before an evening meal at the Chinese-run place down at the port itself.

    On the way back after a couple of beers, I thought to quickly confirm my Merpati flight the next day to Labuanbajo. Turns out no such flight was scheduled. Merpati had not just changed the time but also the DATE of the flight without bothering to phone or email me. Utterly useless. So I would be spending an extra day in Maumere, doing not very much. Ah well….

    • Hi Dan,

      it’s funny to read this because I am this German studying the language of Hewa.

      Apparently, you came to Hewa shortly after I left in 2013. I went back to the village this year, and in fact they were telling me that there had been someone coming to climb the mountain. At that point I also did not completely understand why they didn’t let that person.

      It’s really a shame that you couldn’t climb the Ili Wukoh. I guess, you are right there might have been some supernatural element in the kepala desa’s decision. A general fear to go deap into the forest and climb the mountain’s top because of stories like the one you wrote about. And another reason is probably that you were the first foreigner wanting to climb this mountain and also locals usually don’t climb it. And the kepala desa felt responsable for your safety as it was on his village’s ground. As he didn’t have experiences with people climbing the mountain, he probably didn’t want to take the risk anything happening.

      Are you planning another trip to Flores? I hope you will get another chance then to climb Ili Wukoh!

      Best regards

      • Hi Hanna,

        Good to hear from you. I live on a Scottish island now so chances of a return to Flores in the near future are low, but you never know….

        Best wishes from Stornoway


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