• Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Japan!

    Japan: Traditional foods. Go Now!

    Japan
    Japan has a rich culture that is visible today in the country's dress, architecture, language, food (pictured), and lifestyle. Begin Your Journey!

  • Bahrain!

    Bahrain: Desert. Go Now!

    Bahrain
    This tiny country has overcome the desert and has found a way to thrive, like this tree on al Jazair Beach. Explore Bahrain!

  • Kyrgyzstan!

    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    Kyrgyzstan
    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

  • Laos!

    Laos: Karst peak. Go Now!

    Laos
    The simplicity and natural beauty of the countryside make Laos a hidden gem in Southeast Asia overlooked by most travelers. Begin Your Journey!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Indonesia

Geography

Indonesian Geography - Lombok
Lombok

Indonesia is a large chain of islands that sit between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. This island nation borders Malaysia on the island of Borneo, Timor-Leste (East Timor) on the island of Timor, and Papua New Guinea on the island of New Guinea. Although Indonesia has no other land borders, its many islands sit close to Singapore, the Philippines, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia all to its north, and Australia to its south.

Indonesia consists of over 13,000 islands, of which over 6,000 of them are inhabited, making the archipelago nation quite varied in terms of geography, particularly given the fact that most of these islands are volcanic in origin. Indonesia's largest islands, including Borneo, Sumatra, and Java are very heavily volcanic in origin as these volcanoes and mountains form the bulk of the geography. Sumatra's volcanoes are primarily focused along the island's southwestern shore and they fall off moving to the northeast. Borneo's mountains peak in the center of the island, where Indonesia meets Malaysia; again from here the elevation drops off moving south. The other thousands of islands in the country vary greatly by size and elevation.

Weather

Indonesian Geography - Rice fields
Rice fields in Bali

Indonesia's weather patterns are primarily based on the seasons and elevation. The wet season runs from about October to April, but some parts of the large and spread out country get much more rain than other areas. Generally speaking the western side of all mountainous islands gets more rain, including Sumatra, Java, and New Guinea. The dry season runs from about May to September, but again rainfall amounts vary from island to island and some places still receive rain, while others may not get any rain for the entire season. Temperatures are fairly constant year round since the country is on the equator and surrounded by the water, which tends to prevent extreme temperature changes. Along the coasts and at sea level, the average temperature is about or just above 80° F (27° C), while in the mountains the annual average is about 73° F (23° C). Days tend to get a bit warmer than these averages and night do dip a little.

Wildlife

Indonesian Wildlife - Coral reefs
Coral reefs

Indonesia's large land mass and various islands have been home to thousands of animals for years as these islands sometimes give an animal better survival odds, while at other times they prevent the spread of the animal to new areas, hence hurting them. Today there are still hundreds of mammal species including orangutans, monkeys, rhinoceroses, elephants, and smaller animals like bats. The sea life is obviously very impressive due to the waters surrounding the country and its many islands. In addition to the thousands of species of fish and shellfish in the oceans, inland there are nearly 1,000 species as well. These species include carp, trout, tuna, mackerel, marlin, barracuda, crab, shrimp, sharks, and more unique animals native to the region like the golden arowana.

The bird life in Indonesia numbers nearly 1,000 as many birds migrate to and from the islands. Some of these birds include starlings, plovers, kingfishers, and eagles. The reptilian and amphibian life on the islands is very diverse with numerous lizards including monitors and the famous Komodo dragon, snakes, crocodiles, frogs, and turtles. There are also numerous species, most notably butterflies and bees.

This page was last updated: March, 2013