- Elevation: 1,754 m (5,755 ft)
- Prominence: 1,250 m
- Ribu category: Kurang Tinggi
- Province: Nusa Tenggara Timur
- Google Earth: kml
- Other names: none
Keli Lepembusu is a few metres higher than nearby Gunung Kelimutu, whose famous three crater lakes of different colours are one of the main tourist attraction on Flores. You can see Keli Lepembusu from Kelimutu’s so-called “Inspiration Point” where everyone goes to see each of the three coloured Kelimutu lakes. If you look directly north from Inspiration Point, you can see a Telkom communications tower at the end of the long ridge that forms the other side of the valley containing the village of Moni. This is Keli Lepembusu and it is well worth bagging.
Keli Lepembusu is not as interesting as Kelimutu, but it does provide excellent views of the surrounding area, including looking back towards Kelimutu and Moni. It is also the easiest Ribu to bag that we know of anywhere in Indonesia (so far!) because there is a good dirt track along the ridge all the way to the summit. You can bag this summit in less than 2 hours round trip by motorcycle from Moni, and you’ll probably meet some interesting locals along the way. The best option is to go directly to Keli Lepembusu after you have left the masses on Kelimutu, or after a quick breakfast in Moni.
From the starting point at the Telkom sign on the road between Nduaria and Pembenga, simply turn up the road and follow it all the way to the summit. By motorbike, it’s less than 30 minutes from the turning to the summit. You pass through the small village of Mukureku on the way and will no doubt cause some amusement to the locals as to why you are taking a motorbike to the Telkom Tower. At the summit, the Telkom tower is gated, but if it’s locked the friendly (and bemused) guard will open the gate so you can admire the views all around the area.
If you climb the small water tower, you will have reasonable views towards the Kelimutu mountain range, to the south-west the peaks of Ebulobo and Inerie and also the northern coastline of Flores. The guard may even coax you up the huge telecommunications tower itself! If you’re confident enough and the weather is clear you can just about see Rokatenda volcano off the north coast from the first rest space on the tower.
Return the same way. Since ridge walks are something of a novelty in Indonesia, it would be pleasant to walk this hike if you did not want to rent a motorbike. The tower is 7 km from the main road, which should be walkable in 1.5 hours. There are some great views from along the ridge over across the valley towards Kelimutu.
Bagging information by Andy Dean and Daniel Quinn.
- Getting there: You will most likely be travelling across Flores – From Moni (or the road from Kelimutu National Park), take the main trans-Flores road towards Ende. Approximately 6 or 7 km from Moni you reach the small market along the road at Nduaria. A further 1.5 km along the main road take the right turn on a paved road that takes you up to the ridge – you are heading towards the village of Pebenga on the other side of the ridge. After approximately 3 km you will reach the paved road’s highest point on the ridge and start to drop down the other side. After about 500 m you will see a dirt road on the left with a large concrete Telkom sign – this is the road to the summit. If you need to arrange for a local motorcycle taxi (ojek) then follow the main road for less then a kilometer in the village of Pebenga. Here you can find locals with bikes who are more than happy to take you to the Telkom Tower for around Rp. 50,000 return.
- Accommodation: There are several good options in the village of Moni. The Ecolodge has hot water and is set back from the main road.
- Permits: No need for permits.
- Water sources: There are no sources of water on the hike, but then you hardly need it if you are taking a motorbike.
- 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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