I live in the Jayapura region of Papua. The most famous site in this area is the Sentani Lake, or Danau Sentani. This amazing lake, around 96.5 square kilometers, stands 75 meters above sea level. I’m also told it’s “very deep,” although I’m unaware of the actual amount of meters. It’s with 19 small islands, most of which tiny fishery villages occupy.
The following information are wise tales that I’ve been told, although I’m sure most of the information is true: The lake used to be a saltwater lake, as it once upon a time belonged to the ocean, but due to the earth shifting and doing what the earth does the lake became a section excluded from the ocean. Because of this fact until recent the lake had fresh water sharks in it, though they’re now extinct due to over-hunting. The lake is still home to many incredible fish that aren’t found many other places in the world, in addition to alligators! So I don’t recommend going swimming there.
Although an incredible site that any adventuress tourist would want to see, there are no organized tours or ways for people to discover the lake. Therefore you must hire a boat or canoe to take you out onto the waters. You can also hike or drive along the shore of the lake, although there are no roads that completely circle the lake, and even those that go a way are quite rough and bumpy, and sometimes nearly impassable.
I was lucky enough to have Rachel de Fretes, one of my first friends in Indonesia from the dormitory in Salatiga, offer me a free boat ride on the lake. She knew a family from her church who live on the lake and were willing to give us a tour. So after a few failed attempts, finally in March I met up with Rachel and Onay, her husband to be on April 30th, and we explored the water, sunset and sites of Danau Sentani.