Listen to and view wildlife on Mt Salak

Vila Botani and surrounding forest abound with diverse flora and this attracts various fauna. Many kinds of animals will, however, scurry away and hide at the first sign of a human presence. Although all of the animals listed here have been seen or heard around or near Vila Botani at some time, their appearance during your visit cannot be guaranteed.
  • Insects – Many kinds of insects can be heard or seen at Vila Botani. Some in fact are audible daily.
  • Flowers – Many kinds of flowers can be observed at or near Vila Botani, of which seven are depicted here.
  • Arboretum – The arboretum (Botanic garden) contains nearly 2000 trees, representing about 250 species, mostly local.
  • Birds – Surveys have shown that at least 40 kinds of birds visit Vila Botani from time to time. View pictures of 10 of them.
  • Primates – Five kinds of primates can be observed in the vicinity of Vila Botani (in adjacent National Park). One species occasionally visits us.
  • Other mammals – Other kinds of mammals can be observed as well at or near Vila Botani, of which eight are depicted here.
  • Reptiles & Amphibians – Many kinds of reptiles and amphibians can be observed at or near Vila Botani, of which five are depicted here. These include the frogs that are usually heard each evening.


These are some of the insects one will encounter at Vila Botani.
Tonggeret Cicada
The Cicadoidea, cicadas, tonggeret, oer-oer, uir-uir are a super family of insects along with smaller jumping bugs such as leafhoppers and froghoppers. About 2,500 species of cicada have been described; many undescribed species remain.

The group of cicadas known as the tonggeret or oer-oer (uir-uir) are the loudest insect with a sound pressure level of 120 db, equal to jackhammer or car horn. The tonggeret are said to be noisiest in the late afternoon. A Wikipedia article on cicadas says that “’Cicada song’ is made by male cicadas with loud noisemakers called ‘timbals’ on the side of the abdominal base.”

Cicadas have prominent eyes set wide apart, short antennae, and membranous front wings. They typically live in trees, feeding on sap, and laying their eggs in a slit in the bark. Most cicadas sing to avoid predators.

Cicadas have been featured in literature since the time of Homer's Iliad, and as motifs in art from the China. They have been used in myths and folklore to represent carefree living and immortality.
Lotus Water-Lily
The Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) symbolizes purity, beauty, majesty, grace, fertility, wealth, richness, knowledge and serenity. Nelumbo nucifera is known by a number of common names, including Sacred lotus and Sacred water-lily.

The Lotus is a sacred flower for Hindus and Buddhists. It is symbolically equal to the Buddha for Buddhists.

Lotuses are found in white and pink colors in general and they grow in shallow and murky waters. The plant has its roots firmly in the mud and sends out long stems to which their leaves are attached. The leaves are sometimes, and Lotus flowers always, raised above the water surface. The beautiful, fragrant Lotus flowers enjoy warm sunlight that open in the morning while petals fall in the afternoon.
CLICK HERE to READ MORE ofThe Legend of The Lotus
Pagoda Flowers
The Pagoda flower, (Clerodendrum paniculatum) is native to tropical Asia. When in bloom, the pagoda plant, with its dramatic red-orange flowers arranged in a large bell, is an eye-catcher. The Pagoda flower is commonly grown in Asia as a medicinal plant. An infusion of the flowers is consumed as a purgative and a poultice of leaves applied to the abdomen can relieve a distended stomach. Its roots and leaves are said to have medicinal value as an anti-inflammatory and sedative. Magical attributes have also been assigned to this plant. In Malaysia, the plant is used to summon spirits and confer protection from harm.
Hibiscus Plant& Dried
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a bushy, evergreen shrub or small tree growing 2.5–5 m (8–16 ft) tall and 1.5–3 m (5–10 ft) wide, with glossy leaves and solitary, brilliant red flowers in summer and autumn. The 5-petaled flowers are 10 cm (4 in) in diameter, with prominent orange-tipped red anthers

The flowers of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis are edible and are used in salads or as an herbal tea made as an infusion from crimson or deep magenta-coloured calyces (sepals) of the roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) flower. It is consumed both hot and cold. The flower is additionally used for worship, and the red variety is especially prominent, having an important part in tantra. In Indonesia, these flowers are called "kembang sepatu", which literally means "shoe flower".
Magnolia Flowers
Genus: Magnolia, species: Magnolia champaca Also known as the white champaca, this is a flowering plant that is commonly cultivated in tropical regions of Asia. Names in other languages include kantil in Indonesian. The flowers are widely cultivated as ornamental in tropical and subtropical regions of Southeast Asia for the strongly fragrant flowers. An essential oil is extracted from the flowers.
Ground Orchids
Ground orchids (Spathoglottis-plicata) are a species of terrestrial orchid found in tropical and subtropical Asia. It is commonly known as the Large Purple Orchid. It is found in seasonally inundated and other moist areas, in sunny areas near swamps, seepages, and small streams.
Pigeon Orchids
Commonly called pigeon orchid (Dendrobium crumenatum), is a member of the family Orchidaceae. It is native to Indonesia and New Guinea and grows in many localities from full sun to deep shade.

The bloom cycle is triggered 9 days after a sudden drop in temperature (at least 5.5 °C or 10 °F), usually as a result of rain. Pigeon orchids are fragrant, but the scent lasts only for one day.
Ginger Flowers
Scarlet Earth Ginger flowers (Achasma megalocheilos) are often seen in the forest, growing out of the ground at a height of only 1-2 centimeters.
Half the Vila Botani land area is dedicated to a collection of trees. Studies of tropical forests have typically found a great variety of species – as many as 200 species per hectare. This is a far cry from the forests that we usually observe when hiking, where a single species predominates because the forest was recently replanted by man, usually by the government. To observe a true variegated forest, we must walk for many hours from the nearest kampong to find ancient or “virgin” forests that have never been cut.

Most of the trees in the Vila Botani arboretum are indigenous to West Java, although a few originate from elsewhere in Indonesia or even, as in the case of the magnolia or cempaka, from outside Indonesia. Most of the local trees are from the sub-montane groups and includes the following families:
  • Euphorbiaceae, the spurge family of rubber trees
  • Lauraceae, or laurel family
  • Fagaceae, or tropical oaks
  • Moraceae, or mulberry/fig family
  • Myrtaceae, or myrtle family

A total of about 2000 trees are being planted, of which 1800 are now in place, representing over 240 different species, mostly local. As the trees get bigger, Vila Botani staff are also planting typical bushes underneath, so that the arboretum will resemble a tropical jungle when the trees reach full size. Since 2012, Vila Botani staff have been putting name tags on each tree. Rasamala and puspa are among the tallest trees being planted. Various tropical oaks have been gathered together in the “Kebun Pasang” toward the upper end of Vila Botani. A smaller group, also planted toward the upper end of Vila Botani, includes the dipterocarp family, most of which have a sap that can be tapped and sold as resin or gum. These trees are grouped in the “Kebun Dammar”, named after the sap -- which is also known as “dammar”. Another large group of trees, planted at the lower end of Vila Botani, is called the “Kebun Huru”, named for various species among the Lauraceae or laurel family.