Bukit Nanggi is one of the highest points on the Sembalun Rim and one of the nicest hikes in Lombok. It is a little longer and higher than some of the other hikes so you’ll need atleast 3-4 hours for the round trip. 

I hiked Bukit Pergasingan in October 2019 so here is my account below.
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The hike starts over near the Indomaret of Sembalun Lawang and there are signs on the road pointing to Bukit Nanggi. You pretty much follow the road past Indomaret heading for the mountain pass. Instead of continuing right on the road when it turns, around 200m past Indomaret, keep going straight, cross the river and then you can park near the big fishing pool that the locals use to go fishing. When I arrived about 30 people were all sitting around the pond fishing in the dirty water. 
Click here for the start of the hike.

 

From town, the trails up almost all of the mountains around the place are clearly visible as they cut a line through the grassy slopes. It’s just a matter of getting to the start of the hike that is the hard part as almost all of the hiking starting points are wrongly marked on google maps in Sembalun. You also don’t have the luxury of asking locals where the start is at 3 or 4am as there is no one around. A good way is to go in the afternoon and find the start and then come back. I wasted around 30 minutes each morning trying to find the starting point as google maps leads you to places that don’t even exist. I’ve added here the exact point of the start of the hike and you should be able to just follow the road to get there. 
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A good trick is to use google satellite and you can zoom in on the trails and see exactly where they start. As none of them are in the forest they are quite easy to spot and it makes navigation that little bit easier.

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I landed at the Lombok International Airport in Praya at around 930am after a short 20 minute flight from Bali. If you want to come to Lombok I would highly recommend flying as the flight ranges from 200k-300k one way and this is cheaper than taking a taxi to the ferry and then taking the long 5 hour ferry to Lembar. Just get on the plane and 20 minutes later you are in Lombok. If you are against flying because of climate change then there is always the ferry option. 
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A good trick when travelling Indonesia is to get your scooter delivered to you wherever you are. I found online on google maps a scooter hire business that was right by the airport. For 30k they would deliver the scooter to me just after I landed. I didn’t have to take a taxi, didn’t have to haggle and the process was seamless. You can type “motor rental Praya” into google maps and it brings up the companies that are offering this service. From there, locate the number and add it to watsapp. You then message them and ask them if they rent to foreigners (not all do) and then once they say yes you ask how much per 24 hours and if they can deliver. Usually I do all my correspondence in Indonesian but if you can’t write or speak Indonesian just use the google translate app to do it for you.

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I had my motor bike ready and it was time for the 2 hour ride up to Sembalun. The roads in Lombok are really quite nice and after just coming from Bali I was totally blown away by the lack of traffic clogging the roads. I found that I could sit on 70-80km/h with absolutely no issues. To go these speeds in Bali you would have to either leave very early in the morning or use the toll road near the airport.

You pretty much take the road towards the ferry terminal before taking a left and heading up into the Rinjani National Park on a brand new tarmac road that was laid after the earthquake of 2018. Google maps is your friend here and will lead you straight to Sembalun.

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Once you pop over the rim the whole town of Sembalun is laid out before your eyes. It is quite a sight with twin towns separated by strawberry fields. The town was once a huge volcano. The magma chamber was so big that the volcano collapsed into it creating what is now Sembalun with its high mountains that surround the town. 
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I stayed at Radiya guest house which I booked via Booking.com. Pak Nanang is very friendly and showed me all of the trails around the town that can be hiked. He is a wealth of knowledge and cooks a mean nasi goreng for breakfast. 
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Start of the hike

From Ridaya Guesthouse the start of the trail is about a 5km motorbike ride. If you go in the daytime there will be a fee for hiking Bukit Nanggi and it is 25k per person. I feel that this is a reasonable amount as it crosses locals land and is around what a local person would pay anyways. If you hiked for sunrise then there would certainly be no one around and it would be free.
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The trail is huge at the start and goes through some bamboo plantations before turning into a proper trail. There is a sign that isn’t super clear but when you see the sign for Bukit Nanggi you need to leave the road and go left into a river bed. This is the trail and from this point on it is impossible to get lost. Just remember to turn off the road and into the dry river bed. In the wet season you would have to walk on the banks of the river. 
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The trail climbs gently for the first part through farmers land on a really nice trail. It then begins to jack up really steep and if you look back you’ll have really nice views down to Sembalun.

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It continues on through some trees before it becomes steeper and rockier. It’s at this point that the earthquake damage from 2018 becomes visible. Some of the railing that was installed previously has been left in tatters and a makeshift rope has been added for safety. It’s quite steep here and you’ll need to use your hands to get yourself up. After this section the trail becomes nice and follows a grassy path all the way to the top. 

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Summit

 

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The day I went to the top it was entirely covered in cloud so I wasn’t so lucky with the views. Once you reach the top though you can also continue on to the right along the top of the rim and it will eventually bring you to the road from the south that comes up and over the pass and into Sembalun. You would need a fair bit of time for this, maybe 2 or 3 hours extra to make the full loop. On a clear day it would be a magical trip.

The total trip time up to the summit and back took me almost 4 hours and it has an elevation gain of 800m. Bukit Nanggi is a really nice hike but much harder and longer than Bukit Pergasingan. If you have already been up Pergasinan this one is worth checking out for sure but if not then give Pergasingan a try first. 

Would I recommend this hike?

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This hike isn’t anywhere near as popular as the Bukit Pergasingan but in my opinion the views are almost better than Bukit Pergasingan. The reason people climb Bukit Pergasngan is its relative ease and it is only 500m gain. Bukit Nanggi has 800m gain and is much higher than Pergasingan and therefore has more expansive views from the top. I’d recommend Nanggi for people that would like to get away from the crowds and have the place to themselves. 
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Logistics for the trip

How to get there

 

I rode my scooter to the starting point of the hike and parked near the big swimming pool where the locals go fishing. The parking is secure and safe as the local people will look after the scooter for you. If you can’t ride you can either walk there or catch a lift with a friendly local. Most of the time they wont even charge you anything. People in this area are super friendly and aren’t that used to tourism yet. 

For the exact starting point of the hike click here.

Where to Stay

I stayed in at the hotel Radiya Guest House in Sembalun and it was around a 10 minute drive from the guesthouse to the base of the climb. If you don’t have a bike it’d be an hours walk to the base through town.

How long is the hike

The hike to the summit is around 4km from the base of the mountain to the top. I continued on a long way along the ridge line to another peak making it 11km return for me. If you just ride to the base and then climb to the summit and back the distance can be bought way down to 8km return. This makes it a great hike if you aren’t super long on time. 

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Gear

  • Small backpack
  • Head Torch 
  • Rain proof jacket and pants (the weather may be clear but you want to always be prepared. Mountain weather is unpredictable) 
  • Breakfast and snacks 
  • Warm Jacket 
  • 2l water minimum 
  • Camera
  • Hiking boots or trail shoes with really good grip
  • Hiking poles – the trail is very steep in parts 

 

 Do you plan to hike Nanggi? Let me know in the comments how you get on.

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