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Kampar river (Batang Kampar)
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Gezicht over de rivier Kampar in de omgeving van Moeara Takoes TMnr 10021581.jpg
View on the Kampar River in the vicinity of Muara Takus
Country Indonesia
Regions Riau, West Sumatra
Districts Pelalawan Regency, Kampar Regency, Kuantan Singingi Regency, Lima Puluh Kota, Sijunjung Regency
 - left Kampar Kiri River
 - right Kampar Kanan River
 - location Kuala Kampar, Pelalawan Regency, Riau, Indonesia

Kampar River is a river in the island Sumatra, Indonesia.[1] Upstream area is in the mountaineous Bukit Barisan, West Sumatra province and the downstream empties into Malacca Strait at the eastern coast of Sumatra (administratively in the Riau province). The river is famous as a river surfing destination, because its tidal bore waves (high waves caused by the meeting of river water with sea water). The waves is called Bono.


The river is the meeting of two tributaries that almost same size, called the Kampar Kanan River or (Right Kampar) and Kampar Kiri River or (Left Kampar). Kampar Kanan River pass through Lima Puluh Kota Regency and Kampar Regency, while Kampar Kiri River pass through Sijunjung Regency, Kuantan Singingi Regency, and Kampar Regency. Both tributaries met at Langgam subdistrict, Pelalawan Regency and then go to Malacca Strait as a Kampar River. There is an artificial lake at upstream areas of the river which is used for hydropower Koto Panjang which has the capacity 114 MW.

View on Koto Panjang artificial lake


Wellspring for Kampar Kanan River is in the Gadang Mountain, have a reservoir area of 5.231 km². The main flow is initially to the north and then turned east, met Batang Kapur Nan Gadang creeks flows with medium slope through the Batu Bersurat valley, and then met Batang Mahat creeks later flow to the east.

Wellspring for Kampar Kiri River is in the Ngalautinggi Mountain, Solokjanjang Mountain and Paninjauan Nan Elok Mountain, have a reservoir area of 7.053 km². Two biggest creeks is Batang Sibayang and Batang Singingi.

Bono location[edit]

Bono wave can be seen in many location of Kampar river, such as : Tanjung Sebayang and Pulau Muda. The location can be reached from Pangkalan Kerinci within 4 hours by car,[2] or 3 hours by speedboat.[3] While Pangkalan Kerinci can be reached within 90 minutes by car from city Pekanbaru or Pekanbaru international airport.[4] Currently local government has developed Bono as a tourist attraction and location of Bono in Kuala Kampar subdistrict as a tourist destination. Bono location is not far from Tesso Nilo National Park and Kerumutan Natural Reserve and local government plan to extend tourist attraction with the ecotourism.[5]


Far to the downstream, the river wider and greater volumes of water because coupled with various other tributaries. The river is known for its wave called Bono, the high waves caused by the meeting of river water with sea water. Bono usually occurs at high tide, when water from the river depressed by the sea water, added with shallow estuary resulting in higher waves. The waves will be even greater when sea water at full tide accompanied by heavy rain in the headwaters area of the Kampar.[6] Wave height can reach 4-6 meters and was accompanied with a loud roar. This condition is very fascinating for surfing in the river. That makes Kampar river became one of the famous surfing spot among surfers around the world.[2]

Surfing in the Bono waves is not an ordinary surfing, it needs high surfing experience and great mentality, this is because the water containing muds of the river.[2] Bono wave peak occurred in November and February. On that month, more surfers come to the river.[2] At the past, Bono is famous (in local people) with their ferocity and very frightening. Many ships that sank due to the giant waves. Local people called Bono as the incarnation of the seven evil spirit.[2]

Bono has been regarded as a matter of course for the local community in Kuala Kampar, they assume there Bono as a playground for boating agility test.[3] For surfers world and tourists from outside, Bono in Kampar is a wonderful invention and even the world surfers reveal remarkable for "Bono Kampar", as revealed by Chris Mauro in his article published by "A dreamlike wave found in an Indonesian river is stunning surf world". Mauro writing itself then refers to what he called 'extraordinary discovery' by the team (expedition) Rip Curl recently, which he said may be unrivaled.[3]

Initial wave of Bono begins with high whistling sound followed by the sound of thundering water. The noise grew louder the longer it will boom like thunder accompanied by the magnitude of waves Bono. Bono wave velocity reaches 40 km/h and enters the upstream direction for miles feet away usually reaches a distance of 60 km away to the upstream and ending at the Tanjung Pungai, Meranti – Pelalawan Riau. Bono is not just one wave, but many, and hand in hand. Sometimes it is on the left and right edge or river bank, sometimes together in the middle of the river. The greatest Bono surf kampar happens when the rainy season usually occurs where the flow of water large enough on Kampar River in November and December.[7][8]

What you can find on Kampar River in Sumatra is fairly similar to the Pororoca on Araguari river. Despite medium tidal range (4m max), the shallow estuary of Kampar, probably overpowered by an extremely efficient funnelling effect and the acceleration of Malacca Straight, produces up to 10ft face breaking waves. If the Bono can reach barreling momentum for 10-15 minutes, the main course is probably 2-5ft soft peeling waves, allowing dozens of round-house cutbacks, probably best suited for longboarders, paddlesurfers, intermediates surfers and even beginners. The bore breaks up to 4h, about 50 km rides, and each surfer end up surfing 1 hour or so on 4-5 sections. Record time is 1hour 02' by Bagé : a 1h30 continuous ride could easily be achieved soon..[8]

Bono Tourist Attraction. It is located in Teluk Meranti village through out Kampar river. Bono is natural phenomenon that come about before high tide. Sea water would enter and meet Kampar river water until a huge and fast wave is formed. It produces sound like thunder and strong wind. During the season of high tide the wave of Kampar river can reach 4-6 meters high. This event happen everyday may it be day or night. During this event activities like swimming, fishing, boating and other activities will attract visitors to this area.[9]


The natural view is along the of kampar`s river bank which splits the Pelalawan regency. This view would give the tourists precious impression for you who like adventure. By sailing along the river bank, the tourists can directly observe the view of natural forest and its biodiversity.[9]

Five die, 13 missing as boat capsizes.[10]

Landmark passed[edit]

Kampar river passed near Muara Takus, an historical buddhist temple complex thought to belong to the Sriwijaya empire.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]