Sentarum Lake National Park

Sentarum Lake National Park is representative of lake wetland ecosystem, freshwater swamp forest and tropical rain forest in Borneo. Sentarum Lake as seasonal lake located in national park, on the side of Kapuas river basin, which is about 700 km from the estuary to the South China Sea. Bordered by hills and plateaus surrounded, Lake Sentarum is a catchment area as well as watersheds for the Kapuas Watershed. Thus, the areas located downstream of the Kapuas River is highly dependent on fluctuations of water amount that stored in the lake.

Sentarum Lake National Park has a distinctive and native plants named tembesu / tengkawang (Shorea beccariana). In addition, there is a lowland forest plants such as jelutung (Dyera costulata), ramin (Gonystylus bancanus), meranti (Shorea sp.), Keruing (Dipterocarpus sp.), and ironwood (Eusideroxylon zwageri).

This water system of freshwater lake and flooded forests make Sentarum Lake looks different than other lakes. The water looks black and reddish because it contains of tannins derived from peat in forest around. In the rainy season, the lake water depth can reach 6-8 meters and caused flood in forest surrounding. However, during the dry season when the water level in Kapuas River gradually drops, the water of Sentarum Lake will flow into Kapuas River so that water flow in the river is relatively stable. Finally, at the peak of dry season, Sentarum Lake and surrounding area will be a vast expanse of land. The fish that had been on the lake, will be seen in small pools.

The tribes around the National Park, include; Dayak Iban, Sebaruk, Sontas, Kenyah and Punan are still traditional. Longhouses (Betang) that inhabited by the tribes have varied magnitude, there are inhabited by five to eight families and there are 15 to 30 households. Longhouses inhabited 15-30 households, have 186 meters length and 6 meters width. Life at betang house show a harmony, innocence and the tribal hospitality, and usually they will present Dayak dances to the visitors.

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