Sembilang National Park is a natural coastal wet land area with various forest ecosystems of peat moss swamp, fresh water swamp, mangrove forests and mud flats. Administratively, it is part of Banyuasin District and has been a National Park since March 19, 2003, when it was separated from the Berbak National Park in Jambi. This area called Sembilang because it has many Sembilang fish (Plotosus canius).

The Banyuasin Peninsula, located on the east coast of South Sumatera, is a haven for water birds. It's muddy lands and sands border mangroves resulting in ideal habits for various types of invertebrates such as worms, mollusks, and crustaceans. The actual peninsula sticks out into the sea for 1,5 kilometers wich make this land an ideal stop for migrant birds from Asia and Europe, from October to December.

Sembilang National Park with a total area of 202.898,32 hectares, is also the largest mangrove forests in the Indo-Malayan region and one of the widest mangrove zone in the world, in some areas extending inland up to 35 km. The mangroves provide feeding, nesting and roosting areas for many globally threatened species of wildlife and are one of the most important stop over for migratory waders in the East Area Flyway (up to one million birds). The shallow mangrove zone in the area is highly productive, and more than 8.000 fishermen and their families find full time employment in the coastal fisheries.

A wide  variety of terrestrial and aquatic plants grow in this park, including Paku Gajah (Acrostichum aureum), Nipah (Nypa fruticans), Cemara Laut (Casuarina equisetifolia), Pandan (Pandanus tectorius), Waru Laut (Hibiscus tiliaceus), Nibung (Oncosperma tigillaria), Jelutung (Dyera costulata), Menggeris (Koompassia excelsa), Gelam Tikus (Syzygium inophylla), Rhizospora sp., Sonneratia alba, and Bruguiera gimnorrhiza.

The coastal and forest areas, particularly in Sembilang and Semenanjung Banyuasin, are a habitat for Sumatra Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus), Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus), Siamang (Hylobates syndactylus), Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii), Sambar Deer (Cervus unicolor equinus), Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Sembilang Fish (Plotusus canius), Giant Freshwater Turtle (Chitra indica), Freshwater Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), and various species of birds.

Huge numbers of migrant birds from Siberia can be seen in Sembilang, reaching a climax in October. The calling of thousands of birds flying in formation can even be heard over the thundering waves of the Bangka Strait.

The park is crisscrossed by more then 20 river that empty in Bangka Strait and is an ideal breeding place for birds.

Other bird species inhabiting this park including the Asian Dowitcher (Limnodromus semipalmatus), Spotted Greenshark (Pseudototanus guttifer), Eastern White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea), Lesser Adjutan Stork (Leptopilos javanicus), and White-winged Black Tern (Chlinonias leucoptera). The western part of the park border is the Berbak National Park in the province of Jambi.

You will find very exotic scenery in the far north of Betet Island, because some of its swamps are famous for its snake, crocodiles and rare orchids.

There are two routes to this area, from Sungsang, the capital city of Banyuasin II sub-district which will take you about two hours, or from Palembang, which will take you about four hours. To explore this area, you can take a speed boat or barge except when you wish to explore swampy areas. It will be more fun if you use a canoe. To visit the transit area of the migrant birds, you have to walk 500 meters to the sea through mud because the water level is only as high as an adult's chest.

Declared by Minister of Forestry No. 95/Kpts-II/2003, March 19, 2003