Wologai Village is one of the more famous traditional villages in Flores. According to the stories that I’ve heard, the village has a dark past. So dark in fact that it gives me goosebumps. Supposedly the villagers of Wologai used human skin for their drums. Thankfully though that’s all in the past.
In this short guide I’ll cover how to get to Wologai, where to stay in Ende and share with you some stories about my experience visiting the village so you know what to expect if you come here (including some more spooky stories about the villages). Let’s get started.
How to get to Wologai
Wologai Village is a short drive from the local town of Ende. We’ve written a guide about Ende here. The main tourist attraction in the region is Kelimutu Lake. Most visitors arrange a car rental to visit the crater lakes for sunrise. You’ll leave your hotel at about 3 am and sunrise is over by 6:30. So chances are you’ll find yourself with a few hours to fill after visiting Kelimutu (at least that’s what we experienced).
When we asked our driver what we could do after visiting Kelimutu he suggested Wologai (it seems to be a popular combo). The village is only a short 30 minute drive from Kelimutu and I’m glad we visited! Our decision to visit Wologai turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip.
There are a lot of traditional villages in Flores. The most famous one is Wae Rebo, which takes at least two days and one night to visit. While Wologai is less famous, it’s a nice addition to an overland Flores road trip. The village is only small with a few You get a sense of the local culture, meet friendly villagers and get a snapshot of village life.
To enter Wologai we had to fill in the guest book and pay a little money. The entrance fee was about Rp 10,000 per person. A middle-aged man, who was the acting head of the village showed us around Wologai. He talked to us about the history and culture of the village and the people who lived there (in Indonesian of course).
In the center of Wologai, there is a ritual stage. As an outsider you are prohibited from entering the area. We were told by the village chief that if we entered this ritual stage our souls would be trapped in the village forever. As far as I can remember he was not smiling when he said this.
The village also has a ceremonial stone. It’s fenced around with simple bamboo sticks, which we weren’t allowed to touch. Supposedly if you touch it a storm might suddenly erupt or bad weather would affect the village. I confess, I was curious to see what would happen if I touched it, but I decided not to break any of the rules of Wologai Village.
Besides all of the spookiness, there were also several interesting things about Wologai. For instance, I really enjoyed interacting with the villagers because they were all so friendly. The adults were quite shy, but the kids were very happy to say hi to visitors. They also had some pretty hand-made wooden statues and claimed that the coffee from Wologai was the best in the region.
If you’re looking for something to do after visiting Kelimutu then you should add the village of Wologai to your travel itinerary. It’s a nice place to visit and makes for an interesting diversion for a few hours. After visiting the village you can head back to Ende for breakfast before continuing on your journey to your next destination.
Have you ever been to Wologai? What did you think of the village? Share your thoughts with other travellers in the comments below.