Gili Meno Saltwater Lake and Mangrove Forest

A Unique Natural Landmark on Gili Meno

The Gili Meno saltwater lake tops the list of natural attractions visitors can find on Gili Meno, the quietest of the three Gilis, as one of the most unique additions to its collection of gorgeous white coral sand beaches. The lake spans an approximate 8Ha, and is located near the mid-western half of the island, easily reachable on a 10-minute leisurely stroll or a five-minute cidomo horse-driven cart ride from the main boat docks on Meno’seast coast.

Nature-loving visitors will easily fall for the serenity and greenery this lake offers, with purposely built timber shelters on its lakeside, providing resting spots fit for birdwatching and simply a cool shelterto briefly escape from the heat of the day. It serves as an alternative to the Gili Meno Bird Park nearby, with occasional sightings of a variety of species roaming free in their natural habitat.

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The lake and its perimeters are locally referred to as 'Kawasan Ekowisata Mangrove Gili Meno', a mangrove ecotourism area as a whole. Once a dry-season traditional salt production site, this shallow lake is indeed thickly bordered by a lush mangrove forest that extends to the island’s western coast. A seaside park lined with casuarinas and palms is nearby, with abandoned stilt houses that once were part of the ecotourism project.

A restful midday at the lakeside involves cool breezes and fresh air complementing the views. The placid water surface mirrors the blue sky against the belt of green, while the gentle sound of ripples against budding mangrove shoots further soothe your senses. At the time of our visit, a rickety jetty was submerged but still visible, which perhaps becomes accessible at low tide and enabling you to enjoy the lake from a different view.

Although a bit old and weather-beaten, the wooden shelters are still sturdy and cosy, good for breaks for those coming back on their long walks from the beach. Occasional bird sightings here include migratory cattle egrets, blue kingfishers that swoop down and up again usually clutching fish in their beaks, storks, finches, and even eagles. Down around the marshy mangrove shoots you might also witness watercocks and large monitor lizards.

Official cidomo return fares from the docks are IDR 125,000 for a maximum of two passengers, and you can stop off anytime at the local warung food stalls for some cheap cold drinks and snacks. On the northern side of the lake there is Intan Shop, the only local art shop in the immediate area, where you can pop in to take a look or bargain at some of the colourful textiles, locally-made beachwear and a selection of décor and art items.

Gili Meno Saltwater Lake and Mangrove Forest

  • Location: Gili Meno, Gili Islands, Lombok
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