One of the first things that crosses the mind when thinking about Flores is the Kelimutu National Park with its tri-coloured crater lakes, but Flores has much more to offer. One of those things is Mount Egon, or Gunung Naman, one of the 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia. It is a stratovolcano with its summit at 1.671 metres high. Depending on the season, there is also a crater lake.
The hike to the summit will take 3 to 4 hours, but is well worth the effort in consideration of the marvellous view from the volcano over the island. First, you will go through dry grassland, which will change to a savannah-like land with eucalyptus trees. Then you will finally get a glimpse of wide-open landscapes and you will be almost at the summit. When you arrive at the summit you can walk around the rim or even go to the crater (lake).
In 2016 more than 1.200 people were forced to evacuate their homes as the volcano spew clouds of ash and toxic gas into the air. Officials had distributed gas masks to all the villagers around Mount Egon as a safety measure against choking as toxic gas intensified. Everyone within three kilometres of the volcano had to evacuate. If the situation worsened, officials were prepared for a wide-scale evacuation. Fortunately, the volcano did not erupt as it did in 2008. On that occasion, the volcano blasted smoke and volcanic materials approximately six kilometres into the air.
- Wear good hiking shoes
- Go with an organisation or local operator
- Pack enough food and water for you climb