Wakatobi is known as one of the national marine tourism destinations visited by many local and foreign tourists. This area includes 22 islands of various sizes. Four of them are the largest islands: Wangi Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. Two large coral atolls, Kapota reef, and Kaledupa ree,f stretch on the southwest side. In the middle of 2016, I went to Wakatobi with a different team for the second time. This time, we only visited the waters of Kapota Island to see the underwater scenery with fun snorkeling. We will summarize the results of these two different trips in the article below.
Kapota Island Profile
Kapota is located on the southwest side of Wangi Wangi Island. When viewed on a map, the shape is elongated like an inverted wrench. The island is quite large, with a length of 10 km. The width of the island varies between 0.4-2.8 km. The area of the island reaches 1804,967 ha. Most of the island’s surface is still covered in dense forest. This island is included in the Wakatobi Marine National Park area.
The island is divided into five villages, namely: Kapota Village, North Kapota Village, Kabita Village, Kabita Togo Village, and Kollo Tourism Village. The population of Kapota Island is around 4000 people. Most of the people of Kapota Island work as fishermen, farmers, weavers and carpenters. Most of the population is Muslim. However, belief in mystical things is still firmly rooted in society.
Kapota Island is 3 km from Wangi-Wangi Island and can be reached using a wooden motorized boat (Jonson) in 30 minutes. For transportation within Kapota Island, people use motorbikes, bicycles and wooden carts pulled by motorbikes. These wooden carts are used to transport goods to and from the market.
Kapota Island has a long coastline and various types. Most of it consists of white sandy beaches. At the northern end of the island is a beautiful rocky beach. While on the west side, the beach is dominated by steep and steep cliff walls. Coastal forest vegetation can be found all over the island. Some have been converted into plantations and residential areas. Mangroves can also grow in certain areas. At the same time, the bamboo forest can be found in the middle of the island.
From searching around the coastal area, we found many locations that can become tourist attractions. One of them is a salty lake on the north side of the island. Local people call this lake by the name “Tailaro Nto Oge” which means “big lake”. This lake has a length of 250 m and a width of 100 m with the bottom of the water in the form of coral and mud. Along the way to the lake, we had to pass through thick bushes and shrubs with dirt roads mixed with sharp rocks.
Objects that have tourism potential on Kapota Island include Kolorowa springs, Bat cave, White Sand beach, Kolorowa Beach, Umala Beach, Sandy beach I (near Kabita village), Sandy Beach II (near North Kapota Village), Ao Wolio Beach, Onemeha Beach, Kampa Beach, Katayama Fort, Togo Molengo Fort, Banakawa Rock, Watu Sahu’u, Sarusara, Watu Lulu and Watu Ndengu Ndengu.
In addition, there is also potential for cultural tourism such as weaving, weaving, seaweed cultivation, Karinga’a traditional party (boys circumcision), Somboa traditional party (Pingitan, not allowed to leave the house at a certain time), Kansoda’a Party ( closing party), Kabuenga traditional party (matchmaking party) and diving tours at Kapota Atoll (Kapota Reef).
Flora and fauna
We found several types of biota while exploring Lake Tailaro Nto Oge were Cerithidea cingulata snails, sponges, and Chitons. Unfortunately, we did not see red shrimp populations in Lake Sombano, Kaledupa Island, and Lake Koguna Beach on Buton Island. Birds dominate the land fauna found on Kapota Island. Rafika (2011) state that on Kapota Island, there are 23 species of birds. Coastal bird species dominate most.
After an hour of exploring, the water conditions were getting darker with increasingly limited visibility. Some marine biota belonging to nocturnal predators such as the Lepu Ayam Pterois volitans and sea snakes of the Laticauda colubrina species began to come out of hiding to find prey. Although not aggressive to humans, these marine animals have a stinger and can be very painful and deadly. Sea snakes are known as one of the most venomous animals on earth.
In general, the condition of the coral reefs in the locations we explored was not as good as Hoga Island and Sombu Beach. However, Kapota Island has many objects in the form of interesting landscapes, history, and culture, so that it has the potential to be used as a tourist destination. Now, it’s time for you to travel to enjoy the beauty of Kapota Island.
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