Travel Inspiration - Lake Toba, Sumatra











About 75,000 years ago, an immense volcano exploded throwing ash into the atmosphere for six years.  The resulting global winter reduced the human population to a mere 10,000 souls.  No doubt other species suffered a similar collapse.

Modern humans are thought to have started migrating out of Africa about 70,000 to 80,000 years ago.  They also entered a period of innovation.  Our hypothesis is that the long winter caused by the explosion at Lake Toba in turn caused this change in human behaviour - we became more intelligent and adaptive because we had to, neccessity being the mother of invention.

The remains of the site of that cataclysm is Lake Toba, which is a huge 30km by 100km and the caldera dome has formed an island the size of Singapore.  The lake is up to 460 metres deep and is surrounded by high cliffs.

It is very beautiful and there are some hot springs to remind us of its volcanic origin.

The island is a traditional home of the Batak people and much of their culture is accessible, including music and dance.  Some of their traditional stilt houses still exist and are fascinating to visit.

Video Clip - Lake Toba sunrise
(4.9 meg., please allow a few moments for the download)


Sipiso Piso Falls

by Charlie Nelson
May 2009