The Mahakam River is the largest river in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, with a catchment area of approximately 77,100 km2. The catchment lies between 2˚N to 1˚S latitude and 113˚E to 118˚E longitude. The river originates in Cemaru from where it flows south-eastwards, meeting the River Kedang Pahu at the city of Muara Pahu. From there, the river flows eastward through the Mahakam lakes region, which is a flat tropical lowland area surrounded by peat land.
Thirty shallow lakes are situated in this area, which are connected to the Mahakam through small channels . Downstream of the connection with the Semayang and Melintang lakes, the Mahakam meets three other main tributaries - the rivers Belayan, Kedang Kepala, and Kedang Rantau - and flows south-eastwards through the Mahakam delta distributaries, to the Makassar Strait.
The Mahakam catchment is around the equator. According to Köppen climate classification, this area belongs to type Af (tropical rainforest) that has a minimum temperature ≥18 °C and precipitation of the driest month in normal year ≥60 mm Transfer of mass and energy in the tropical zone occurred through general air circulation known as the Hadley cell. According to Seidel et al. (2008) the precipitation pattern in this area is largely determined by this large-scale atmospheric wind patterns, which is observable in several ways throughout the atmosphere. This circulation carries moisture into the air, generating rainfall in equatorial regions, whereas at the edges of the tropical belt are drier. Within this circulation, evaporation occurs intensively around the equator on the centre of low pressure called the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), characterized by accumulation of cloud in the area.
The ITCZ moves following the pseudo-motion of the sun within 23.5°N and 23.5°S zone, therefore its position always changes according to this motion. The ITCZ drives the Indo-Australian monsoon phenomena which influence the regional climate including the Mahakam catchment. In December, January, February (winter in northern hemisphere) the concentration of high pressure in Asia and low pressure in Australia make the west wind blows in Indonesia (west monsoon). In June, July, August concentration of low pressure in Asia (summer in northern hemisphere) and concentration of high pressure in Australia make the east wind blows in Indonesia (east monsoon). Due to the global air circulation and the regional climate mentioned above, the Mahakam catchment which is located around the equator has a bimodal rainfall pattern with two peaks of rainfall, which are generally occurred in December and May. This is because the ITCZ passed through the equator twice a year, from the northern hemisphere in September and from the southern hemisphere in March
There are about 76 lakes spread in the Mahakam river basin and about 30 lakes are located in the middle Mahakam area including the three main lakes (Lake Jempang 15,000 Ha; Lake Semayang 13,000 Ha; Lake Melintang 11,000 Ha). The lakes levels are seasonally fluctuated from 0.5 m – 1 m during dry period to seven meters during rainy season. The Mahakam lakes and surrounding wetlands act as water storage as well as a trap of sediment contained in the water flowing into the lakes which are now known to become shallower, presumably as a result of an imbalance between sediment input and slow subsidence. Fishing is the primary source of livelihood in the Mahakam lakes area, most of the people around the lakes are fishermen. The middle Mahakam lake area is an area of intensive fishing activity with a productivity of 25,000 to 35,000 metric tons per year since 1970.
The Mahakam delta is a mixed fluvial-tidal dominated delta. The delta covers about 1800 km2, consisting of mangrove areas near the shore, Nypa swamps in the central areas, and lowland forest near the apex, corresponding to the first bifurcation, however, recent fishery development in this area has converted a vast area of mangrove into shrimp ponds (tambak). The delta has three main distributaries system directed Northeast, Southeast and South. The area between distributaries consists of a series of tidal channels generally unconnected to the main distributaries. The distributary channels are narrow and rectilinear with the depth ranging from 8 to 15 m and distributary channel bifurcations appear every 10 to 15 km.
This lower Mahakam area is the second most productive hydrocarbon basin of Indonesia which contains around 3 billion barrels of oil and 30 Tcf of gas reserves. Field geological investigations in this area was started in 1888 and in 1897 exploration drilling discovered oil at shallow depth of 46 m on the Louise structure. Production started in 1898 followed by expansion of exploration to the entire Mahakam
UPRIVER MAHAKAM BOATING ADVENTURE 6 DAYS 5 NIGHTS
DAY 01 : BALIKPAPAN - LOAJANAN - MAHAKAM RIVER
On arrival at Sepinggan Airport, meeting service then transfer you to Loajanan for boarding on the house boat. Then cruise up to Mahakam River. Meals and accommodation on boat. (LD)
DAY 02 : MUARA MUNTAI - MANCONG - TANJUNG ISUY
After breakfast on boat, sight seeing the way of life of the local people as well as : Kutai, banjar tribe then you will be transferred into canoe for crossing the Jempang lake for reaching the Mancong village to see the way of life of the dayak Benuaq . On arrival at Mancong Village you will be welcomed a traditional dance performance by chief and his people. By passing the Ohong river with good luck we can see the probuscis monkeys, Macac, monitor lizards, king fisher. afterwards we will go to Tanjung Isuy for sight seeing the other way of life. Meals and accommodation at Long House. (BLD)
DAY 03 : TANJUNG ISUY - MUARA MUNTAI - MINTA VILLAGE - MELAK
After Breakfast at Long House Tanjung Isuy, then down river to Muara Muntai ( back to house boat to proceed up River Melak ) Stop over will be made at Minta Village for observing the way of life of kutai to see the brown sugar processing with a traditional system. Afterwards proceeding to Melak for observing the fresh water dholpin the to Melak . Meals and accommodation on boat. (BLD)
DAY 04 : MELAK - BLACK ORCHIDS- EHENG OLD LONG HOUSE-WATER FALL
After breakfast on boat, then you will be transferred for observing the natural black orchids, kersik luway, then short trekking to see the huge trees as well as : Bangkirai trees, Iron woods, then visiting the Black orchids ( By Luck ) thenwe will visit the old long house of Tunjung and benuaq tribe where here they have been living with coomunal in old long house, here also we can see the Coffin with beatiful ornaments in the front of their long house. Then visit the water fall of Mafan and Bunda maria cave. Back to House then down river. Lunch will be provided. Dinner and accommodation on Boat. (BLD) dayak tribe, mahakam river, borneo
DAY 05 : LEKAK KIDAU- TENGGARONG - HOTEL BALIKPAPAN
After breakfast on boat then sight seeing the way of life of the Kenyah dayak Tribe who the women group had been having the long eared lobes and tattoo on their skin. Afterwards keep moving down river to Tenggarong. Stop over will be made in Tenggarong for observing the royal collection of the Kutai kingdom in Museum ( It was the royal Palace) here we can see the collection of the oldest Hindu Kingdom in Indonesia since 4th century. After tenggarong then down river to loajanan. After lunch on house boat you will be transferred to Hotel for accommodation. Dinner at local restaurant. (BLD) Notes : If the time is permitted the Guide will bring you to KRUS for observing the Orang Utan.
DAY 06 : HOTEL - AIRPORT
After breakfast at the Hotel , free program till transfer you to Airport/Executive lounge while wait for the destination flight. (B)
Rate per person : USD 690/person/twin share, min 2 person
- Private boat on your own group
- 3 meals a day
- english speaking guide
- refreshment ( Mineral water, coffee and teas )
- Airport pick up and transfer in Samarinda/Balikpapan
- Entrance fees
- Long house stay
- Return air tickets
- Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks
- Village donation
- Laundry - Tipping
- Any personal expenses
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