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Situated at the base of Dua Saudara Mountain, Tangkoko National Park provides refuge to some of Indonesia’s most unique primate species including crested black macaque and spectral tarsier.

Located on the island of Sulawesi, the Tangkoko Nature Reserve can be found on the very northeastern point of the island and is approximately two hours drive away from the town of Manado. The reserve protects 8,700 hectares of lowland rainforest with more than 100 species of mammal and over 200 different bird species being recorded here. The vast majority of these species are endemic – not just to Indonesia, but to Sulawesi itself.

Arguably the most famous resident in Tangkoko is the crested black macaque. This is the most endangered species of macaque on Sulawesi out of the seven species that are found on the island. The name of this macaque comes from the distinctive crest of hair found on their head and they are social primates who can be seen in groups of up to 100 individuals. However, during the day the crested black macaque is mostly seen in smaller groups as they tend to be more active.

The spectral tarsier can also be found in the Tangkoko Nature Reserve and are another species endemic to Sulawesi. They are tiny (their head and body together measure 10-15 centimetres, and they weigh only 80-100 grammes) and can easily fit in the palm of a hand, although their eyes and ears are disproportionately enormous. These tarsiers are nocturnal, hunting for insects such as katydids (long-horned grasshoppers), crickets, and cockroaches. They often cling to a tree trunk and use their highly sensitive eyes and mobile ears to detect their prey. Once they locate it, they pounce on it with their grasping hands.

The Tangkoko Nature Reserve is one of finest wildlife locations in Indonesia due to the fascinating and endemic wildlife found there, yet it is a location that very few know about. However, this intriguing corner of Sulawesi is now part of our exciting wildlife photography tour to Indonesia with expert Nick Garbutt, on which we hope to have excellent photographic opportunities of the macaques and tarsiers.  

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Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: crested black macaque, spectral tarsier, maleo, Sulawesi hornbill, Sulawesi bear cuscus
  • Where: Sulawesi, Indonesia

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itinerary:

Primates & Komodo Dragons

Explore the islands of Indonesia with acclaimed wildlife photographer Nick Garbutt in search of some of Asia’s unique and iconic wildlife. Beginning in Sulawesi, we look to photograph the characterful crested black macaques before venturing to Komodo to see the world’s largest lizard.

  • When to go: Sep-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,895 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour