The Empo Sanga hill is a new tourism destination located in West Manggarai, West Flores. It offers many of natures’ hidden secret that is waiting to be discovered. Empo Sanga derives from the word ‘Empo’ which means a mythical giant eagle with sacred powers, and ‘Sanga’ in Manggarai language means the act of the eagle in catching and eating its prey. The eagle then brings its prey to the top of the hill. Empo Sanga also has another meaning according to the people in Manggarai; Empo is the name of the ancestor of Manggarai Raya people, and Sanga is named after the hill that looks like a buffalo horn.
Located along the foothills of Empo Sanga, you can find a large natural cave which has the same name as the hill, filled with fascinating stalactites and stalagmite. If you ask the locals, they might tell you some of the many stories and legendary myths about the cave.
Aside of its exotic cave, Empo Sanga is also the best spot for bird lovers or bird watchers to observe the giant Floresian eagle. The native Floresian eagle is one of Flores’s endemic and endangered species. It preys on small birds and other small animals, and often bring their preys to the top of the hill. You can also find a quite interesting sight of the eagle’s prey bones that is scattered around the hill.
From Sikka Maumere, it is a long drive towards the north along the Transflores highway to reach this new and enchanting tourism site, or take an ocean ride from Labuan Bajo.
Photo Courtesy of Agata Hepy Puspitasari on Unsplash