Pulau Buru is one of the largest islands in Maluku, it is part of central Maluku and is administered from Ambon just east of the island. Buru consists mainly of mountains covered with forest, the highest peak is Gunung Tomahu, 2.428 meter above sea level.

Maluku, Central Maluku, Buru. Buru is mainly high mountains and large forests. This is the east coast of Buru. (Bjorn Grotting)
Maluku, Central Maluku, Buru. Buru is mainly high mountains and large forests. This is the east coast of Buru. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Land area about 3.670 sq. km., it is 145 km long and 80 km wide. Along the coast there is a flat plateau, where most of the about 100.000 inhabitants live.

The most important city is Namlea at the north coast, which has an airport and a good harbor. Important products from Buru come from trees like ebony, teak, sago palms and coconut palms. The Dutch occupied the island in 1683, and it became a part of Indonesia in 1950. After the so-called communist coup in 1965 the Indonesian government used Buru as a detention camp. More than 10.000 people, mainly persons from Java who were accused of being communists, were imprisoned here. Most of them were released in 1980.

Maluku, Central Maluku, Buru. Helicopter on its way to Buru. East coast of the island. (Bjorn Grotting)
Maluku, Central Maluku, Buru. Helicopter on its way to Buru. East coast of the island. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Today there are not many tourists who come to Buru, but the most adventurous will be rewarded with hidden beaches, nice waterfalls, high mountains and beautiful lakes. Most of this is not easily accessible and you have to be prepared to use your feet to explore the landscape here. Namlea has some simple accommodation, here is also the airport and the harbor where the ferries from Ambon arrive and depart once a day. At the time being this schedule is changed on short notice due to the ongoing unrest in Maluku, generally the means of transport is not as regular as it used to be and can for periods be nonexistent.

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Bjørn Grøtting

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Photographer based in Norway. See a collection of my best photos in the portfolio. Licensing of images is done through Photoshelter or alamy.
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