Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:
It is a desert island. In her mangrove necklace, she holds the jade water from an immense lake, filled with jellyfish… which do not bite! Small stroll in video and photos in Kakaban…
Welcome to Kakaban
There are only a few places in the world like this one. The most famous jellyfish island is Palau, Micronesia. There are others in the Raja Ampat archipelago, in West Papua, Indonesia, which are less accessible.
And then there is Kakaban, also in Indonesia, on the eastern coast of Borneo. I'll take you there!
Kakaban Lake is slightly above sea level and its depth is about 17 meters.
A movement of the earth's crust elevated the island more than 10,000 years ago, trapping jellyfish, algae and various other small marine creatures. Finding themselves without predators, the jellyfish have lost, over time, their urticating power.
Videos: swimming with jellyfish
It's one thing to know that jellyfish do not sting. It is another to slip into this warm, greenish and brackish water, and to check for yourself that the famous jellyfish are harmless ...
Immerse yourself in the mood, with the video below:
UPDATE. I returned to Kakaban in 2013, four years after the little expedition I'm talking about here, during a new trip to Borneo. Kakaban Island is much more crowded than before. From now on, it is forbidden to wear flippers, so as not to injure the jellyfish. Better also not to touch the jellyfish as we did ... Certainly, they do not bite, but it is we who risk harming them forcibly, if all visitors who parade in numbers now have fun doing the same ... C is a fragile ecosystem and the exponential number of tourists coming to bathe in the lake risks weakening it even more. In short, I should not have made neither film nor show this gesture. Mea culpa. I redid a small video in 2013 (with my reflex acquired in 2010, the Canon Eos 7D, whose rendering is of much better quality than with my small compact) and carried out a somewhat similar assembly, for the wink of an eye with my first excursion. I let you discover it below:
Below, links to my new posts from 2013 on Kakaban:
There would be three to four different species of jellyfish in the lake. We only found two. The small brunettes, the most numerous, we see in the video, and some others a little larger, white and translucent.
It is all the same a funny thing, to immerse yourself in this soup of jellyfish ... After the first apprehension, where we only risk touching with the tip of our finger these funny jellyfish, we dare finally approach her face, to take a closer look.
The further you get from the pontoon, the more there is. It's incredible !
It looks like small translucent hearts beating, mini-planets immersed in a cosmic soup.
Indifferent to our presence and to our clumsy dabbling, they spin in all directions, swimming stubbornly, usually sideways or upside down. Because of the sun, the heat? Mystery.
In any case, my underwater box does not tolerate the heat of the rays in the murky water. After a few pictures, the interior is covered with mist.
I have to stop the images and then just enjoy the show with my eyes, which is not worse…
Access to the lake
The access to the lake itself is relatively easy, contrary to what I was afraid of the stories of those who preceded me here a few years ago, as Yann and Marie Ange.
The place has probably been converted since. There is now a long wooden footbridge that crosses the little jungle and mangrove jetty separating the sea from the lake. In five minutes, we are there!
The trickiest part of the trip is actually to reach the island from the boat, or back. We were a small group of eight, not all equipped with boots or sandals to walk without cutting on the dead coral beach.
Becky, the young English girl, only had flip-flops and her flippers (which are worn barefoot). But his chance is to have a real gentleman for boyfriend: Paul carried her on his back to cross the dangerous strike!
We arrived at a very low tide, and even when properly fitted, it is not easy to advance in the shallow water, trying not to spoil the living coral branches, without stumbling on dead debris. roll under the sole.
Fortunately, no sore to regret this time ... And this strange and fascinating lake deserves some effort. With the mantas of Sangalakiit was the other "curiosity" in the area that I absolutely wanted to see.
However, as I arrived at the end of my stay, and had to spend two dry days in Derawan, because of my stingray stingI almost missed Kakaban ... we planned to go there the day before, actually. But a big storm, with driving rain and rough sea, forced us to postpone our small expedition.
I watched the next dawn anxiously ... Fortunately, the sky was still beautiful! And we were able to embark as planned, in an old wooden tub with a choppy engine.
After the lunch break on the pontoon and the amazing jellyfish tour, we went back to the boat for our second dive on Kakaban Reef ... But I will come back to tell you in detail my dives in the Derawan archipelago, here a few days.