20 km west of Waibakul is Waikabubak, situated 400 meters on a plateau and with a pleasant climate. The town is a good starting point for exploring nearby traditional villages and attractions in Central and West Sumba.
The centre is tiny and has only a few
longitudinal and cross streets. In the evening water buffaloes and horses are
driven through the town and at the central crossing soccer is played. The 2 and
solar-powered traffic lights stop working soon after sunset.
Nearly on every wooded hill in town and around there are traditional villages. To explore them you need no guide.
Direct in town are:
- Kampung Tambelar lies within sight of the soccer field
- Kampung Bodo Ede, Tarung and Waitabar west of Jalan Ahmad Yani
- One village is located east of Jalan Ahmad Yani via by a small driveway
- One village north of Jalan Veteran, in sight of Artha Hotel.
- Four villages are located southwest, between rice fields
Seventeen villages are located east of Jalan Gajah Mada and south of the road to Waingapu. These include Elu, Praijing, Rame, Gollu, Bondo Maroto, Kanakata, Prairami and Primkateti. All are within walking distance; the farthest is 4 km away from town.
A little further away, up to 12 km north of the town and less often visited, are many other villages, including Kampung Ratuwanu, Tambera and Gelukoko.
The most famous village of Tarung has been completely burnt down in 2017. Not all houses have been rebuilt in the original style. Donations for reconstruction were embezzled. Houses which look simple and do not have pointed roofs until now didn't get anything... .
Sumba Barat / Waikabubak and the surrounding area many new tourist street signs
have been set up, for far more places than I describe here. You have to visit not
all places, not everything is really worth seeing.
A hike to traditional villages east of Waikabubak can be combined with a subsequent descent to the river delta of Wanukaka. For that you start east of Jalan Gajah Mada then hike from village to village eastwards. After about 3 km (as the crow flies) you come to a small road which is slowly curving down to the south and ends after 10 km at the Wanukaka Waikabubak road. On the way back you take a Bemo. Alternatively, a circular route with views of Wanukaka and back to Waikabubak is possible. Alternatively you can go down to Lai Popu waterfall (cf. below) and try to get a hike back.
West of Waikabubak offers 2 tours: Go by Bemo 10 km up to the sign Waikelo Sawah. In southern direction here is a small waterfall which comes out of a cave. Later down the road there is a great view of irrigated rice fields on the plateau.
Or go by Bemo 13 km up to the sign Loko Winne. South of the road you reach interesting grave fields. At the slopes of the hills, around the graves are several traditional villages. Particularly noteworthy is the original Marapu village of Weelewo (Weeleo).
You have to walk there and
back, but you can combine the 2 destinations by walking south of the main road
from one destination to the other. It is difficult to get lost here, the area
is densely populated.