Nantu Forest

Nantu Forest is located in the heart of the Wallacea region in Gorontalo Province, northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Wallacea is the wildlife transition zone between Asia and Australia. Nantu Forest consists of Nantu Wildlife Reserve (Suaka Margasatwa, 33.023 ha), Protection Forest (19.606 ha) and Production Forest (10.002 ha). In other words; 500 square kilometers of virgin rainforest.

The forest is very important for the ecosystem services it provides. A community of appr. 30.000 lives within the Nantu and Paguyaman river watershed and is completely dependent on these rivers for its water supply. Nantu’s carbon content is invaluable. If the forests were cleared, up to 50 million tonnes of CO2 could be released to the atmosphere.


Sulawesi is a global wildlife hotspot: 62% of Sulawesi’s mammals and 34% of its bird species can only be found here and nowhere else on earth. Whatever ranking scientists have made on global biodiversity, Sulawesi stands out with these figures. And Nantu is one of the very few remaining forest where these animals find refuge

Sulawesi’s avifauna is outstanding. With 106 species that are found nowhere else on earth (‘endemics’), the island is a birdwatchers paradise. Nantu Forest is home to more than half of these species. From the small flowerpeckers (all three endemic species present) to raptors like sparrowhawks (all four endemic species present).

The mammal fauna clearly reflects Sulawesi’s position in between mainland Asia and Australia. Mammals and marsupials are both present. As with the birds, the presence of species that are confined to Sulawesi is impressive. Out of over 130 indigenous mammal species, more than 80 can only be found on Sulawesi. Amongst them Babirusa, seven macaque, two anoa and several tarsius species.

Visit Nantu

YANI regularly receives request from people all over the world that would like to visit Nantu Forest. We sincerely appreciate this interest in YANI and Nantu Forest. However, YANI’s focus on the conservation work, the limited resources available for conservation, the lack of visitor facilities, and the logistical complications to reach Nantu Forest (permit from Jakarta and no public transport to Nantu Forest) do not allow YANI to become deeply involved in facilitating tourists to visit this place.

Having said so, YANI realizes that tourism could play a supporting role for the conservation work. To get there several requirements need to be fulfilled in order to deal with the above described situation. YANI is working on some of them. A basic visitor accomodation is build for four guests. This should be finished in the second half of 2013. Follow this website for developments.

Conservation comes first

Our prime concern, tourism no solution (yet), staff members make long working days for conservation, difficult to combine with guiding guests.

No visitor facilities

Only staff facilities, not equiped with guest rooms, western toilet, etc.

No public transport

10 to 12 hours travel from provincial capital Gorontalo, incl. 4 to 6 hours boat trip, depending on water levels, no public nor regular service

Permit from Jakarta

Nantu Forest is a wildlife reserve and falls under Ministerial -‘Jakartan’- Authority, visit permits can only be obtained there