Mount Dempo is a volcano that mostly lies in the district of lahat, South Sumatra Province, while a small section of it is situated within Muna District of Bengkulu Province. The mountain is geographically located at latitude 4.02⁰ south and longitude 103.8⁰ east.
This dormant volcano is the highest peak along the Pasemah Plateau and has two prominent summits-Dempo and Merapi. Lying at 3.173 meters above sea level, Merapi is the highest summit while Dempo stands at an elevation of 3.049 meters above sea level.
The mountain slopes are the perfect setting for a vast tea plantation with Pagaralam as the nearest city. Situated at a height of 1.650 meters, the sea plantation is the highest village accessible by small minibuses from Pagaralam.
Visitors to the plantation can start their mountain hike from here and expect to reach the sunnit within 6 hours with the optional overnight stay at the Sawaah Plateau 300m) where water springs abound. Dempo is the highest peak in South Sumatra along the Bukit Barisan and Gumai mountain range. Seven craters can be found at the summit.
Before Climbing Mount Dempo
Mount Dempo is in Pagaralam City, which is on the border between the Province of South Sumatra and Bengkulu Province. With a height reaching 3159 masl, Mount Dempo is the 3rd highest mountain in Sumatra after Mount Kerinci with an altitude of 3,805 masl and Mount Leuser with an altitude of 3,404 masl.
The area at the foot of Mount Dempo is dominated by tea and coffee plantations. The city of Pagaralam itself is famous as a producer of robusta coffee of the highest quality.
Mount Dempo is located around 310 km west of Palembang, precisely in Dempio Makmur Village, Pagar Alam District, Pagar Alam City, South Sumatra Province.
To reach the location of Mount Dempo it takes around 7 hours to travel. While from Pagar Alam Terminal to the foot of Mount Dempo it only took about 15 minutes, and to reach the hiking trail in Kampung IV it took around 30 minutes of journey.
Legend on Mount Dempo
Mount Dempo is very popular with the story of the Tiger Man. The Tiger Man is believed to be the guardian of Mount Dempo, he will not interfere if not disturbed. Humans Tigers sometimes look like humans but there are times when they form tigers.
The existence of a Tiger Man is also inseparable from the Ulu dance or Haraimau martial arts which have magical nuances, where not just anyone can be chosen to get knowledge from the professors in Dompu.
Regarding the form of the professor whether human compatriots or supernatural beings are still a mystery. In addition, Mount Dempo is also synonymous with the legendary story of the Bitter Tongue and the Four Eyes. The enmity of the two people with high powers was even left to the children of their descendants.
The hiking trail to the summit of Mount Dempo
There are two peaks of Mount Dempo that can be explored, namely Top Dempo and Merapi Crater. Before starting the climb, climbers can meet the elders of Gunung Dempo and do registration and administrative needs.
Furthermore, the climb can begin by passing through the gravel terrain and the view of the tea garden which is spread green. After passing the tea plantation for about 20-30 minutes, the climb will arrive at the Jungle Door with a trecking path that starts uphill.
From the Jungle Door to the Shelter 1 the climbing lane is dominated by a fairly flat but narrow terrain that enters the forest area. The time needed to reach shelter 1 is approximately 1.5-2 hours.
At the location of the shelter there are springs that can be used to fill supplies. The journey to Shelter 2, climbers will pass the path that has begun to climb and pass through a forest area that is very tight with the trees.
Approximately half the journey will find a “closet wall” whose terrain is very steep and slippery so you must be extra careful and stay alert so as not to slip. From the 1-shelter 2 shelter it takes around 2-2.5 hours of travel.
Around the location of shelter 2 there are also springs that can be used for drinking. The journey from shelter 2 to Top Dempo is dominated by terrain that continues to climb by passing through forests that are increasingly reduced in vegetation.
The beautiful scenery with the cool air of the mountains began to refresh the body that began to get tired of the slopes that were passed. The time needed to reach Top Dempo is around 3-4 hours.
From Top Dempo to the Court of the climbers will pass through the terrain which decreases with a travel time of about 15 minutes. At this location climbers can set up tents and take drinking water at the Telaga Putri natural spring.
From the Court of the climber can reach the peak of Merapi by passing a small rock path and takes about 30 minutes. Arriving at the peak of Merapi the climbers will be treated to natural scenery in the form of dazzling craters in blue, Tosca green, green, and gray.
It is said that according to the elders of Gunung Dempo, if you haven’t seen the crater with Tosca green, then you have to go back to Dempo, because the green color of Tosca is a gift from Mount Dempo.
Besides Kampung IV, there is a Rimau route that can be used to reach the top of Mount Dempo. On this route there is a gate with the Rimau Tugu sign which is a symbol of the Sumatran Tiger. This line was initially opened by Brimob for the purpose of the army exam.
On this path the terrain is passed full of inclines that seem endless. Climbers must always be vigilant and careful not to encounter obstacles on the trip.
Accommodation Near Mount Dempo
Flying from Jakarta or Bandung en route to Palembang is the easiest mode of transportation to reach the city. The journey from Palembang can continue either by car or bus to Pagaralam which shall take 7 hours. You can stopover and stay overnight in Pagaralam with a choice of several modest hotels. Another twenty-minute drive will get you to the Dempo tea plantation where you can start your climb to the summit of Mount Dempo.