The Paniai Lakes, originally known as the Wissel Lakes, consist of the three large, freshwater lakes Paniai, Tigi, and Tage. They are located in the Paniai Regency in the central highlands of West Papua province, Indonesia. The largest of the three is Lake Paniai (Danau Paniai), while its immediate neighbor Lake Tage is the smallest. Despite their considerable size (Lake Paniai alone is larger than Lake Como), they were not known outside New Guinea until 1937. On 31 December 1936, the Dutch navy pilot Frits Julius Wissel, just weeks after first-ascending the highest mountain of New Guinea, and his crew flew over the lakes while making an aerial survey for the Dutch New Guinea oil company. He took photos and noticed many people in canoes, establishing that this mountainous region was populated. During a follow-up flight by E.L.J. Haak on 15 February 1937, it was established that there were many settlements around the lakes, indicating a thriving agricultural society. In November of that year, the Dutch Indies government named the group of lakes after Wissel. A small Dutch outpost was established here in 1938, but contact was cut off during the Second World War.

The region of the Paniai Lakes, consisting of a depression between the Weyland and Sudirman ranges, is heavily populated. The indigenous peoples of this area are the Ekagi, also called the Me. Around the year 2000, as part of the Papua conflict ongoing since 1963, the surrounding forests were burned down by the military so that they could not harbor separatists. This resulted in increased sedimentation of Lake Paniai, and in 2011 the lake overflowed, flooding the surrounding area with up to 4 meters of water.

Paniai Lake is a beautiful lake, with views of unspoiled nature so it is not surprising that the beauty of the lake is recognized by delegates from 157 countries are participating in the entire world lake conference held in 2007 in India. The lake is located in the district of Paniai, Papua Province. This lake has an area of ​​14,500 hectares at an altitude of 1,700 meters above sea level making it the Paniai lake has cool air and natural scenery is so beautiful, the combination of the beauty of the highland lakes and hills – hills that surround it. Around the lake is also a place for living indigenous Papuan tribes ethnically Mee and Moni. One more very interesting blend between the beauty of nature and the exotic culture of Papua’s. Beginning Paniai lake and its two neighboring lakes and lakes named lake Tigi Tage Meeren named Wissel. So named because the lake was first discovered by a Dutch pilot who accidentally crossed the lake was in 1938 named Meeren. The meaning of the word in Dutch Wissel Meeren itself is Meeren lakes. Here visitors can enjoy the lake with several activities such as fishing or hire a boat to circumnavigate the lake.

Despite being at an altitude of 1700 masl, Paniai lake has several freshwater fish species like tilapia, tilapia, carp, eel, fish, nine black and if lucky, visitors can see the rainbow fish of high economic value because of its beautiful. Besides the fish, that is not less unique is the type of shrimp called shrimp affair. So called because shrimp have large claws like kepiting. Until now this type of shrimp was much sought after as it is compulsory for culinary tourists who visit here. For facilities, there is a gatehouse, tour guide, boat rental, fishing equipment rental and stalls – small shop. For accommodations on the lake, visitors can rent houses – houses that exist around the lake. For the location of the lake, visitors can use the car kind of Mitsubishi Strada Enarotali, Paniai regency capital to the location because the road is uphill and winding road or by air using cessna aircraft that can land on the plateau and the foundation soil.

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