Tourist visits to the Sangeh Monkey Forest tourist attraction continuously grow. More and more foreign tourists and domestic tourists visit the nature tourist object which has the attraction of a nutmeg tree along with monkeys as its inhabitants. “The interest of tourists coming to Sangeh Monkey Forest tourist attraction is increasing. Foreign tourists prefer to go to Sangeh Monkey Forest, while domestic tourists prefer to go to Mumbul Park,” said the Head of Management of Sangeh Monkey Forest, Ida Bagus Pujawan, recently.
At Sangeh Monkey Forest, tourist visits are dominated by foreign tourists, mainly from Europe. Moreover, after the Covid-19 pandemic, tourist visits in a month could reach 9,000 to 10,000. Especially during school holidays and international holidays, the number of visits will increase. “We from the management always attempt to make innovations, so that our tourist attraction, which relies on nutmeg trees, monkeys and temples in the middle of the forest, is always interesting to visit,” said the Head of Sangeh Tourism Village.
As the newly appointed and elected manager, Ida Bagus Pujawan always explores the uniqueness of the nutmeg forest, monkeys and the Bukit Sari Sangeh Temple which are the attractions of this object. “The guests came to see the forest and look for monkeys. So, our future programs will involve more monkeys interacting in the forest. Don’t let the monkeys disturb the comfort of guests and the public. I have coordinated with the Badung Tourism Office, Natural Resources Conservation Agency (KSDA) and the existing tourism association,” he explained.
If talking about the Sangeh Forest, as a rule it belongs to state property whose management is delivered to Sangeh Village. The levy is set by the Badung Regional Government at IDR 15,000 for domestic tourists and IDR 30,000 for foreign tourists. “We will have a new innovation in the form of a “lunch package.” Sangeh Monkey Forest features 3 components that are interconnected with tourist destinations, namely, management staff, polaroids and stalls. For prosperity, these three components must work together,” he explained.
For this reason, the management will launch two types of packages, namely Package One, a special package regarding the nutmeg destination. Ticket price of the guests who take the package has included the levy and entrance ticket by the Badung Government, a bottle of mineral water and food of the monkey. Guests will be able to feed the monkeys. Meanwhile, Package Two is related to the Sangeh tourism village which also has Mumbul Park, so after feeding the monkeys, guests can walk around to see the Nutmeg Forest, go to visit the Village Lake (Mumbul Park) to feed the fish, and, of course, can catch them as well.
Based on the results of checks by the KSDA every six months, the number of monkeys in Sangeh Monkey Forest reaches a thousand more than before, which were around 700 heads. This is because their ecosystem is well maintained with a population that does not overload.
Meanwhile, the number of nutmeg trees has never been counted. However, some fall and others grow. The rejuvenation of nutmeg trees in the 13.91-hectare forest is taking place naturally. “It is not permissible to take out the nutmeg tree saplings. Here is the only type of nutmeg tree in the world, however it is said to also exist in Thailand, but it is of a different type. So, we always explore them,” he said.
To maintain the health of the monkey, the Badung Agriculture Service put the vaccine in the monkeys’ food. So, the vaccine is mixed with their food given every six months with the aim of maintaining their health. For monkeys’ food, the most preferred are raw chicken eggs, but they are relatively expensive. On that account, they are given cheaper food in the form of papaya leaves, bananas, peanuts and cassava.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, there were no visits for two years so the income was also zero. Nevertheless, the monkeys still eat with the funds came from local customary village as the operator. However, the problem did not lie in the funds, but in the sensitivity of the animals. It happens because there is tendency that monkeys having less interaction with humans will make these quadruped animals even more fierce. “At that time, the Sangeh tourism village collected a donation from the Sangeh community and outside Sangeh as well as assistance from the government, so that the monkey feeding was on schedule,” explained this man from Sangeh. (BTN/015)