Sulawesi Photo Slideshow Tour
30+ pictures and maps from the island of Sulawesi
Sulawesi on Google Earth
Sulawesi is an island in Indonesia. It is the 11th largest island in the world.
Satellite image of Sulawesi
Sulawesi—which used to be called Celebes—is a strange island. It is shaped like a funny-looking lower-case "k".
Sulawesi Map
Sulawesi was formed when different tectonic plates collided. It has never been connected to another major land mass.
Spectral tarsier
Because of this history, Sulawesi's plant and animal life is distinct from other parts of Indonesia.
Red-knobbed or Sulawesi hornbills
Sulawesi has many endemic species: plants and animals found nowhere else.
Male babirusa
Among the most famous of these species is the babirusa, which is also called the pig-deer.
A beach where the Maleo once laid its eggs.
Another interesting animal is the maleo, a ground bird that builds large mounded nests that are warmed by the sun or heat produced by volcanoes.
Crested back macaque
The Crested black macaque is Sulawesi's most threatened primate. It lives in large groups and spends a lot of time on the ground.
Mother spectral tarsier with baby
The smallest primate in Sulawesi is the tarsier, one of the few primates that eats only insects.
Domestic water buffalo in Sulawesi
Sulawesi has two species of wild cattle: the lowland anoa and the mountain anoa.
Crested back macaque in Tangkoko
Overall more than 60 percent of Sulawesi's land mammals are found nowhere else.
Starfish on a reef in North Sulawesi
Sulawesi also has rich marine ecosystems including some of the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world.
Rainforest in North Sulawesi
But Sulawesi's wild areas are at risk. About 80 percent of Sulawesi's forest has been damaged or destroyed.
Mount Tangkoko, an inactive volcano in North Sulawesi
Most deforestation has been caused by agriculture by small farmers who grow rice and other crops.
Cacao pods
Sulawesi is also a major producer of cocoa, which is the base ingredient of chocolate.
Some of the biggest threats to Sulawesi's remaining forests are mining, bushmeat hunting, and illegal logging.
A 'Flying dragon' lizard, which escapes danger by gliding between trees using a skin membrane along its ribs.
Some of Sulawesi's endangered species--especially birds and reptiles--are smuggled for the international pet trade.
Strangler fig in Tangkoko
But conservation groups are working to protect Sulawesi's wildlife and ecosystems.
Terraced rice paddies in Torajaland
The most effective programs involve local people as beneficiaries of conservation.
Bugis home among rice paddies
There are several ethnic groups in Sulawesi, each of which speaks its own language.
Wooden effigies representing Toraja ancestors
One of the most distinct groups in Sulawesi is the Toraja, who live in the southern part of the island.
Tombs carved into a the face of a cliff
The Toraja are Christian and have elaborate funeral rituals and burial practices.
Wooden effigies of dead Toraja people
After a long and costly funeral, Torajans traditionally bury their dead in rocky cliffs.
Coastal fishing village in North Sulawesi
Other ethnic groups in Sulawesi include the Makassarese, Buginese, Mandar, Minahasa, Gorontalo Bajau, and Mongondow. Today most are typically Muslim.
Woman working in a rice paddy in South Sulawesi
In recent years, more and more migrants from Java and other parts of Indonesia have reduced the proportion of native groups in Sulawesi.
Children with their grandmother in South Sulawesi
At times migration has contributed to conflict between groups. Traditional inhabitants have been upset that newcomers are often wealthier and compete for land and jobs.
Beach on Bunaken Island off North Sulawesi
If you visit Sulawesi there are several special activities.
Sunset in North Sulawesi
In North Sulawesi there are rainforest parks and spectacular coral reefs.
Traditional houses in Torajaland
In South Sulawesi there is Torajaland with the Toraja people as well as coral reefs around islands off the southern parts of the island.
Water buffalo in rice paddies near Batutomonga village in South Sulawesi
In other parts of Sulawesi there are colorful agricultural landscapes, including terraced rice paddies.

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