Lying at the eastern end of a chain of a beautiful Indonesian island, Sumba has now become a popular destination for prewedding. Sumba island is blessed with unique wildlife, stunning natural beauty, and kind indigenous people. I have been to South Africa before, and to my surprise, this island has a very similar landscape, for example, the African savanna and the wildlife (minus the lion). No wonder many locals mention Sumba as the Kingdoms of Wakanda of Indonesia. For me, this island paradise remains a stunning mystery waiting to be explored by the more adventurous prewedding photographer.
Day 1: Sunset at Wairinding Hills
We departed to Waingapu, East Sumba from Bali in the morning, it took 90 minutes flight from Bali to Waingapu. Once we arrive our driver has picked us up at the airport and dropped us for check-in at our hotel, Padadita Beach hotel. This hotel is one and only comfortable hotel around the area, no wonder it’s mostly fully booked.
Right at 3.30 pm, we drove to Wairinding hills to start our first session. The trip will take just 30 minutes. As you know this was my first time shooting in Sumba so I have no idea how the situation and the lighting gonna look like. I have been to the neighbour island, Labuan Bajo for prewedding the lighting is kind of similar.
When we arrive at Wairinding Hills we were greeted with many kids who rode a horse! When all kids I know are busy with the gadget and Youtube at home, here the kids are riding a horse on the hill! Yes a horse! Very cool! When you arrive in Wairinding don’t forget to pay the entrance ticket for a photoshoot, it was 100,000 IDR (7 USD) for one couple, lot cheaper than in Bali!
Wairinding Hill, in the village of Pambotanjara, is a magical sunset point that reveals green savannahs in the rainy season that turn yellow during the dry season. The hills feature expansive savannah with the perfect Instagram-worthy backdrop. We were there on summer (August 2020) so the savannah looks very dry and white which we love! This location is one of the greatest spots for your Sumba prewedding destination.
Day 2: Sunrise at Tanarara Hills
Tanarara means the ‘red soil’ the names come up because of the color of the lands. The spot is very easily accessible from the road, practically you don’t need to walk here as the driver will park you straight away at the spot. The wind can be hard here in the morning, so always bring your sweater. Tanarara Hills has a similar backdrop like Wairinding hills, where you can see the wide expanse of Savanna on the rolling hills.
Day 2: Sunset at Sumba’s Horse Stable
Sumba is well known for the wild horses, sometimes you can find it roaming the limestone hills. We decided to do some session at one of the Sumba’s horse stable on our way to Walakiri Beach. The horses that keep here are the horses for racing and some of them are very friendly for photoshoot. In the middle of the session, I asked the client to change with the Sumba traditional clothing, to match the Sumba traditions. To do a shoot here we paid for IDR 300,000, and pay directly to the owner.
Day 2: Sunset at Walakiri Beach
We drove straight away to Walakiri Beach to catch the sunset. It took just 15 minutes to get here from the horse stable. Walakiri Beach is one of many beautiful beaches in East Sumba with a characteristic that tends to be calm, sloping, and having a stretch of white sand. Walakiri has a unique mangrove with white sand adorned with coconut trees that provide shade and a cozy atmosphere for Sumba prewedding destination.
Day 3: Sunrise at Tanggedu Waterfall
We departed to Tanggedu very early at 4.30 am as the location is very far from our hotel. Once we arrived at the parking lot, we need to walk and hike down for another 30 minutes. Along the way to the waterfall, there were some locations for photoshoot too and it was so stunning. Perhaps the best prewedding photo spot in Indonesia?
Our client was an expert when choosing the outfit, every outfit that she brought were matched and blend beautifully with the backdrop. I am a lucky photographer!
Despite the long ride and walk, we were very happy to finally arrive at Tanggedu Waterfall. Tanggedu Waterfall nestled in the green mountains 26 kilometers from the capital city of Waingapu. The water is the cleanest water I have ever seen in Indonesia, we even spent our afternoon there to chill at the water and relax after a long trip.
Day 3: Sunset at Puru Kambera Savanna
Finally our final destination of our prewedding in Sumba, you won’t skip this famous location when visiting Sumba. This location is famous for the wild horses roaming around the savanna, but that time I can only see a few of them.
“The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands” ~ Sir Richard Burton