Whilst none of the jungles found on the Anambas islands stretches to the huge forested areas you'll find on the mainland of Sumatra or Java, the Anambas jungles are fascinating all the same.
For one, a great number of flora and fauna species here tends to share lineage with species of animals and plants found on the island of Borneo. The Anambas islands, like the Malaysian Seri Buat archipelago, were once attached to the landmass formed by the large Borneo island, but started moving westward inch by inch many millennia ago. The slow journey away from Borneo is caused by the shifting tectonic plates below, a proces that continues to this day.
The pockets of jungle in Anambas are also interesting for their capacity to harbor Rafflesia, one of the world's biggest flower. Granted, you do need to be a little lucky to be able to find Rafflesia in full bloom, as the progress of the impressive flower's lifecycle is dependent on a number of external factors. However, seeing a Rafflesia in full color, in a sight to behold. One additional feature that distinguishes the wooded pockets in Anambas from the mainland jungles is that in Anambas they've quite visibly been influenced by the marine environment and the offshore climate that prevails here. In particular the trees, shrubs and undergrowth on the more exposed islands display fairly extreme signs of weathering, rendering the scene almost ancient.
In fact. whilst exploring some of the more desolate Anambas islands especially, I ocassionaly found myself wondering if perhaps this part of the world looked exactly like this as far back as thousands of years ago.
Not only for the gnarled and weathered appearance of the vegetation or the huge boulders strewn around, but also because of deafening silence that reigns here, the result of the sheer remoteness and the complete absence of people on these outlying islands. Places as untouched as these islands are, are a very rare find in our ever-shrinking world.
If you're keen to go trekking through one of these still pristine pockets of rainforest, interested in finding yourself in a primitive forest landscape possibly altogether still unexplored by man in some places, then I recommend going on a jungle excursion.
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