Ranau Lake is the second largest lake on Sumatera. It was formed by a major earthquake and vulcanic eruption. A big river which previously flowed at the foot of the vulcanic mountain then filled the ravine. Various types of plants incuding bushes locally known as ranau, then grew by the lake and while the remains of the mountain became Mount Seminung, which currently stands tall beside the clean lake water.

Ranau Lake is located in Banding Agung district, 125 km from Baturaja, the capital of Oku Regency. Ranau is an 8 x 13 km caldera partially filled by the crescent-shaped Ranau Lake. It is surrounded by hills and has mount Seminung background. Beneath the Mount Seminung, there is a source of natural warm water. A morphologically young post-caldera strata volcano, Mount Semuning, was constructed within the SE side of the caldera to a height of more than 1600 m above the caldera lake surface.

For most people, Ranau Lake is the climax of a visit to the western highlands of South Sumatra. This blinking Crater Lake is located in the old caldera of Mount Seminung (1340 meters), an active volcano on the border of Lampung province. It’s 16 km long and 9 km wide, and has a depth of 300 meters. The climate in these highlands is nice cool and the remote location offers wealthy vegetation, crystal clear water and beautiful trips to a nearby fall, hot source and an island in the lake. However the lake is very popular among the local population in the weekends, it’s not spoiled by tourism yet.

Banding Agung, along the northern shore, is the most important agricultural and fishery community along the lake and does have several clean and cheap lodges. The residents live from the cultivation of coffee, tobacco and clove. Furthermore, rice is grown, as well as juicy pineapples, bananas and avocado’s, which are sold very cheap locally. The lake is full of fish, which are grilled in small restaurants at the lakeside. The blinking, golden sunset reflects fishermen in canoes on the flat lake, with a silhouette of the mountains at the back.

There’s much to do around the lake. A trip of fifteen minutes from Wisma Pusri leads through some forests along coffee plantations and rice fields to the Subik fall, which scatters on the rocks not too far from the lake itself. Other trip, on the lake by a hired boat, takes us to a hot water source at the foot of Mount Seminung. The source now is separated from the lake by a wall, so the hot and the cold water can’t mix anymore. But be careful, the warm water really hot, and the sand nearby can be very warm as well. Snorkeling is also possible, and unsure swimmers can get an inflated inner type.

Across the hot water source is a small island, which is known as Marisa Island. A local legend tells about a handsome young prince, Putri Aisah, which had two lovers, Sipahit Lidah (Bitter Tongue) and Simata Empat (Four Eyes). She promised to marry the one, who could build a bridge over the entire lake in one night. When the sun rose, Marisa siland was the only part of the bridge that was finishes, to both lovers were rejected. On the island, the palm trees offer some shade, ideal to have a rest or a sleep. Adventurous people can also make an expedition to the peak of mount Seminung. There also is a centre where elephants are tamed and elephants can be hired for a jungle ‘safari’.

Sumber : http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/156/lake-ranau

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