Dominating the northern end of Kerinci Seblat National Park is Gunung Kerinci (3805m), Southeast Asia’s tallest volcano and one of Sumatra’s most active. On clear days the summit offers fantastic views of Danau Gunung Tujuh and the surrounding valleys and mountains.
Summit treks usually start from the national park entrance, 5km from Kersik Tua, and tackle the mountain over two days, camping overnight. A fully guided trip with food, permits, transport and all gear costs anywhere from 900,000Rp to 1,500,000Rp per person.
The highest campsite, at 3400m, is normally reached after six hours. The following morning, allow an hour in the predawn to reach the summit by sunrise. The path is very steep and eroded, and above the treeline the scree is extremely slippery. A guide is mandatory and you’ll need full camping gear, warm and waterproof clothes, and a head torch (all of which can be hired in Kersik Tua). Nights are freezing. Do not attempt the climb in wet weather. Fully self-sufficient parties needing a guide will only pay around 700,000Rp per person.
Botanists and twitchers from around the world come for the rare flora and fauna, such as Javanese edelweiss, Schneider’s pitta and the crested wood partridge. Nepenthes (pitcher plants), squirrels, geckos and long-tailed macaques can be found in the lower forest, and troops of yellow-handed mitered langurs are also seen.