Krakatoa is a volcanic island lying between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia, although the name also refers to the group of islands surrounding it. The 1883 eruption destroyed more than 60% of the volcanic island, leaving only one of three volcanoes above sea level. In 1927 a submarine eruption produced a new island rising from where the destroyed island used to be, called Anak Krakatau (child of Krakatoa), which continues to grows at the rate of 5 m (~16 ft) a year. The islands now lie within the Ujung Kulon National Park, and they are a testament to the resilience of ecological systems.
Considering the difficult conditions, Anak Krakatau’s wildlife is very diverse, with 206 species of fungi, 13 of ferns and 25 species of plant, including pine trees. Vegetation is persistently damaged by continuing volcanic activity. Animal life includes spiders, insects and rats, snakes and monitor lizards.
Visits are permitted to Anak Krakatau. The black sandy beach leads inland to new growth forest. A campsite just past the beachfront marks the start of a trail marked hiking path. It takes around 2 hours to hike to the top, but if there’s any volcanic activity, you’ll only be allowed to level one, the outer caldera rim. If the volcano’s quiet, it’s a difficult ascent to the top over shifting sinking black sand, but the views are incredible - bubbling mud, gases in the volcano itself and views of steep cliff of Rakata in the distance.
Most tour operators include a night’s camping on neighbouring Rakata Island from which you can view the volcanic activity at night.
A permit is required to land on Anak Krakatau and boats run from Anyer Beach and Carita Beach in West Java or Lampung in Sumatra.
Scientists monitoring the volcano have warned people to stay out of a 3 km (1.8 mi) zone around the island. Apart from the usual dangers around volcanic activity, sunburn is a real risk when climbing Anak Karatau.