Been researching about "How to get out of this boring routine during this pandemic" lately.. without passport and airplane. And yes, the only answer is of course doing a Road Trip.. another series of my road trip. Yup, because I have done one back in August 2020 for my mom's birthday. It was the first time my family and I went out during Pandemic of Covid-19. A bit scared at first, but since we're on our own car during the whole trip, we were feeling a little bit better. So, we repeated one more time in April 2021, for another road trip series : Jakarta-Banyuwangi-Bali!

Our trip started on Friday night, leaving Jakarta at 7pm.

It was a very looong looong night since we were driving for around 1,000 km away. But it was fun tho. I started to drive for around 200 km, get switched with my sister for another 300 km, then my dad took over for another 400 km. Not long after, we were out of the highway, heading to Situbondo area. I took over the drive for another 100km. And voila! After a super long and tiring journey, we finally reached our very first destination, Taman Nasional Baluran (Baluran National Park)!

It took around 14 hours to get here. A dry savannah of Java, located in Situbondo Regency, East Java. This national park consists of 40% savannah, forests, mangrove forests, hills.. and of course one of the top view in the area is the Mount Baluran itself. Unlike the other mountain in Indonesia, the highest peak of Mount Baluran is only 1,247 mdpl high. But believe me the view was still incredibly beautiful.

I reached this savannah at 12 in the afternoon. You can imagine how hot it was but I still enjoyed it tho. It was definitely exquisite.

Taman Nasional Baluran is a 25.000 ha rough circle area, consists of several different zone. Well, for me, enjoying this kind of savannah and mountain view was more than enough. Since it is a pretty big area, you can drive your car to go around the park. You are able to stop anywhere you want (if the road is empty of course), getting out of your car to take some pictures, and then drive again to another photo spot. I really loved how every detail in the area impressed me. And what impressed me the most was this area, the super famous head of buffalo display. So creepy yet cool at the same time.

It was around 10 km until I reached the final destination of the park. It's the beach called Pantai Bama or Bama Beach. It is surrounded by mangroves and completed with white sand. The local security said that this beach is also well-known for swimming and snorkeling. I was not surprised tho because the water is clean and clear. But it was 12 in the afternoon, who will get into the water at the that time? lol.

For some tips, before you go here, make sure that you put your sunscreen on! Sunglasses and hat are the top 3 essentials things to be brought because believe me it is really really hot out there (of course since it's savannah). When I saw on my phone it was like 30 degrees celcius. Moreover, beware of monkeys! Yes, since it is a national park, there are a lot of animals around here. History records that Javan Tigers even survived living in the area until the mid 1960s, before it goes to extinction. So yes, I saw a lot monkeys around.. I even saw some peacocks and deers around. So beautiful. I never see those animals dancing on the same playground before.

To enter this park, you need to buy the ticket 16,000 IDR weekdays and 18,500 IDR on weekend. And for international tourists, you need to buy the ticket for165,000 IDR / 11 USD on weekdays and 240,000 IDR / 16,5 USD on weekend. In addition 5,000 IDR for motorcycle and 10,000 IDR for cars. It's pretty cheap tho to enjoy this kind of God's masterpiece.

I highly recommend you to visit Taman Nasional Baluran before you reach Banyuwangi, since you will pass this park anyway before reach Banyuwangi. It's totally worth it. It only took around 1 hour for me to go around the park and I decided to continue my journey to Banyuwangi. It was just like 30 km to the city but it took me forever because the road was really winding and there were a lot of trucks heading to the Pelabuhan Ketapan (Ketapang Harbour).

Another tips for you, better to avoid crossing Situbondo area at night / dark situation if you are first timer on this road. Because believe me you will find it hard for some reasons to pass on the unfamiliar road with that winding kinda road.

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