7 Tips For Visiting Tanggedu Waterfall In Sumba Indonesia
I have to say, out of my entire trip to Indonesia, the jaw-dropping Tanggedu Waterfall in Sumba Island was my favourite experience by far. If you’re looking for information about how to find this East Sumba Regency waterfall, how long it takes to walk there and what the path conditions actually look like, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll share our tips to help you prepare to visit Tanggedu waterfall, one of the best things to do in Sumba.
1. Where is Tanggedu Waterfall and how to get there?
Wondering how to find Tanggedu Waterfall? It’s a 1h30m drive from Waingapu City in Sumba Island. You can fly into Waingapu, but we started our trip in Tambolaka and flew out of Waingapu.
One tip I would suggest is most tours run to the same places at the same time. We ended up coming to this waterfall a bit later and missed all of the crowds, which meant I had it all to myself which made it super special for me. The drive back to Waingapu just before sunset was spectacular with the warm summer glow.
We also visited in wet season and I wondered if the water would be brown as there had been a lot of rain. It’s still green and beautiful so don’t worry too much about having to only visit in the dry season.
2. What makes it special?
Steve sprained his ankle during our trip and decided not to come to Tanggedu waterfall and stay at the hotel which was such a shame. To be honest, this was one of the best things to do in Sumba because it really is a very breathtaking water fall to visit.
This Sumba waterfall is more like a series of waterfalls in the middle of a canyon. I’ve seen a lot of waterfalls in my time and this one really is something else. The photos I have seen of it do not do it justice. Honestly, it’s my favourite waterfall I saw in Sumba (and they are all amazing).
There are plenty of photo opportunities here and it honestly feels like a different world, even after a long journey to get here. When I sat in the above photo for a while, it made me tear up because I just felt a really strong energy here.
3. The drive to get to the waterfall is just as amazing
One thing I wasn’t expecting is how the drive to the beautiful waterfall really is incredible. As you leave the beaches of East Sumba, you’ll start to drive inland. Once you drive over a pass, the journey is absolutely amazing.
I had to keep taking photos and videos because the whole journey just blew me away. The lush green rolling hills and palm trees go as far as the eye can see while the river meanders through them at the bottom of the valley. It’s a sight to be seen and nature at it’s finest.
4. What does the path look like?
Seeing as Steve decided not to come, I wanted to share what the path looks like, because if we had known, he would have made the climb down. The path is simply approximately 421 steps right down to the bottom of the falls. They aren’t difficult steps to navigate, there’s even a handrail to hold onto if needed as some of it includes high steps.
You’ll be able to see a glimpse of Tanggedu Waterfall on the way down as you walk further down into the green valley of rolling hills and into the natural beauty of the nature around you.
When you reach the bottom, you’ll walk for about 10 metres along a path to see the Tanggedu Waterfalls in all their glory.
5. How long does it take to walk down to the waterfall?
I timed the walk and it literally took us 5 minutes to walk down, only because we got a motorbike to the steps. The motorbike ride takes another 5 minutes, so if you can’t take one because of heavy rain, you’ll need to walk about another 15 minutes.
Your driver will pull up to a couple of houses just before the bridge in Tanggedu Village. Here they will talk to the locals about taking you on a motorbike. Now, if you’re doing a package tour like we did, you shouldn’t have to pay because essentially you have paid for everything for the tour.
Our guide tried to make me pay 100,000 IDR (approx $10 AUD) for two motorbikes. It really annoyed me because he drove one bike, and I got on the back of another one. Technically we only needed one bike but he was trying to scam me. So, if you only book driver for your trip, be prepared to pay 50,000 for one bike per person. Otherwise get your tour guide to pay with the money you already paid for the trip.
As side from that, I really enjoyed the motorbike ride as the scenery is incredible.
6. The tragedy behind this waterfall
My guide told me how a rich Jarkatan man who flew to Sumba on his private jet slipped at this waterfall and went down into the canyon. He couldn’t swim and his body was found hours later. The locals call him the Priest of Tanggedu Waterfall as his spirit lives on here.
Local children have also died swimming here, so there is now a security guard who looks after everyone when they visit. When I met him, I could sense this super genuine warmth about him. He has a whistle to tell people not to get too close to the falls because the currents are strong here. He followed my every move and even walked right back up to the top of the stairs to make sure I was OK.
There was someone like him at every Sumba waterfall I went to, and I like to call them the guardian angels of the waterfalls.
7. Facilities at Tanggedu Waterfall
At the top of the stairs, there are a few huts for people to sit and chill out in before or after visiting the falls. There’s also toilets here and of course someone selling coconuts to drink as well.