Kalpataru Elephant Lodge – Lampung
Way Kambas National Park
Way Kambas National is situated on the coast of Lampung province on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Bounded by the Java Sea to the east, and to the southeast and west by rivers the park is almost entirely flat (elevation between 0-60 metres a.s.l.). As such the park is characteristic of the coastal lowland plains of eastern Sumatra. Approximately 1,300 km2 in extent, the park was originally established as a wildlife reserve in 1937, but between 1954 and 1974 was intensively logged. In 1978 it was proposed as a national park, with provisional declaration in 1989 and final declaration in 1997.
Way Kambas National Park is a large national park covering 1,300 square kilometres in Lampung province, southern Sumatra, Indonesia.
Way Kambas consists of swamp forest and lowland rain forest, but was extensively logged before becoming a reserve in 1972 so there is little primary forest. The reserve still has a few Sumatran Tigers and reasonable numbers of elephants. It is also provides excellent birdwatching, with the rare White-winged Duck among the species present. Accommodation is available at the village of Way Kanan, where there is a small guest house.
Much of the park is dominated by a mosaic of Imperata cylindrica grassland and secondary forest habitat types, primarily a result of intensive logging operations in the past, but maintained by frequent fires and seasonal flooding. A central core area of the park is characterised by relatively intact primary tropical rainforest.
There are four possibilities to enter the park.
Rajabasa station in Bandar Lampung (Tanjung Karang) to Way Kambas, also named Plang Hijau. The trip will take 2-3 hours (100 km). Panjang station in Bandar Lampung to Sribawono (1 hour). In Sribawono get on a bus to Way Jepara (1 hour) and from there with a minibus to Plang Hijau. Rajabasa station to Metro (1 hour) and from Metro to Way Jepara. Merak ferry terminal in Bakaheni, where the ferry from Java arrives, to Plang Hijau.
Permits for the park are available at the entrance in Plang Hijau.
Plang Hijau-Way Kanan (13 km) 3 hours From Way Kanan, by boat along the rivier Way Kanan to the river mouth in Kuala Kambas
A large part of the park is overgrown with Serdang Palms (Livistona hasselti). The lowland forest consists mainly of trees from the Dipterocarpacea family.
Because of the vast areas of grass-land, Way Kambas is a reserve where you can easily spot the animals.
Sumatran Elephant (a lot of them are very dangerous due to ill-treatment in the adjacent elephant training school!), Siamang, White-handed Gibbon, Long-tailed Macaque, Pig-tailed Macaque, Silvered Leaf Monkey, Malayan Tapir, Lesser Mousedeer, Large Mousedeer, Barking Deer, Malayan Sunbear, Wild Boar, Wild Dog, Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Clouded Leopard, Pangolin, Temminck’s Golden Cat, Leopard Cat, Agile Gibbon, Common Otter.
False Ghavial, Estuarine Crocodile.
The Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) is a subspecies of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). It is the biggest land animal in Indonesia and is found only on the island of Sumatra. They are found in the island’s forests at altitudes of 1 750 m, but they prefer to live in lowland forests. They also have a large home range; they move from the mountain area to the coastal lowland forest during the dry season and then retreat to the hills when the rainy season comes.
A number of factors, such as forest fires, human resettlement, logging, timber estates, plantations, agriculture expansion, shifting cultivation, and road building commonly cause the fragmentation and degradation of the island’s elephant habitat. These activities, which are increasing year by year, have resulted in a rapidly shrinking elephant habitat and are responsible for the increase in the number of conflicts between elephants and humans each year.
Since the 1980s, the Indonesian Government has tried to solve this conflict by three main activities:
1. First, population management (Tata Liman). This involves moving or translocating elephants from the fragmented or degraded habitat to a more suitable habitat. Every year, until the current fiscal year, the government has allocated a budget for translocating solitary, isolated or troublesome elephants.
2. Second, elephant empowerment (Bina Liman). This involves habitat rehabilitation, fencing, community education/extension, and training troublesome elephants to participate in human activities.
3. Third, utilization of trained elephants from the Elephant Training Centres (Guna Liman). This involves using domesticated elephants for forestry, agriculture and recreation activities.
The Sumatran elephant, the smallest of the Asian elephants, is facing serious pressures arising from illegal logging and associated habitat loss and fragmentation in Indonesia. The island’s elephant population has come under increasing threat from rapid forest conversion to plantations. As forests shrink, elephants are increasingly closer to fields and cultivated land, generating conflict with humans that often result in the death of the elephants by poisoning or capture, as well as economic losses to humans.
However, this effort is not successful because the demand for domesticated elephants or trained elephants is very low. This creates a serious problem for the government because the greater the number of elephants staying at the Elephant Training Centres the more the government must spend on maintaining them. Since fiscal year 1997/1998, between 50 and 55 percent of the annual national budget (APBN) for elephant conservation was allocated for operating Elephant Training Centres. Thus, it appears that domesticating the elephant population is not the best method of solving the elephant problem in Indonesia.
The wild Sumatran elephant was formerly found in eight provinces on Sumatra. However, the dense and tangled vegetation of the tropical rain forest there makes it difficult to estimate the number of wild elephants. In 1929, Van Heurn made the first attempt at an estimate, based on the amount of ivory exported from Sumatra, and came up with a figure of 3 600 wild elephants.
When kings or sultans ruled Sumatra, there must have been a substantial number of elephants in captivity. They were used in warfare and for ceremonial purposes. With the decline of the sultans and the ascendancy of the Dutch colonial power, the capture and domestication of elephants died out.
In the 1980s when the country was developing very fast, large areas of forests and woodlands were opened up by various economic sectors. As a result, some elephant habitats became fragmented and some home ranges were reduced by human activities. Since that time, conflicts between elephants and communities around the forests have increased.
The Sumatran elephant is an endangered species and protected both by Indonesian and international regulations. Therefore, since 1985, to solve elephant conflicts and to conserve the elephant, the government has set up six Elephant Training Centres on Sumatra.
PLACE TO STAY IN WAI KAMBAS NATIONAL PARK
Satwa Kalpataru Elephant Lodge Sumatra
Way Kambas is a large national park covering 130,000 hectares. It consists of swamp forest and lowland rain forest, becoming a reserve in 1972 It has long been known for being home to a significant population of Sumatran elephants, some Sumatran tigers and Malaysian tapirs, and numerous bird species. In the 1990s, it was revealed that the park was also home to a little-known or seen population of around 40 Sumatran rhinos – one of only three surviving populations in Indonesia.
Eco Lodges Indonesia has taken on a new venture to help Way Kambas National Park protect the endangered Sumatran Elephant and the rare Sumatran Rhino and Tiger, almost on the verge of extinction. Conservation projects associated with the Eco Lodges make regular contributions to protecting the wildlife.
Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge is only a short walk of 500 metres from the Park entrance, adjoining a pleasant rural village. Employment and locally purchased goods by the Eco Lodge significantly help the village and give the local people the opportunity to improve numerous skills for alternative employment.
Set in an extensive walled garden full of tropical fruit trees there are four cottages each with spacious rooms sleeping up to four people with spring beds, ceiling fans, hot water showers and western toilets. There is a desk and computer power point and a verandah and comfortable chairs. All guest cottages, facilities, some perimeter lighting and office are powered by renewable solar energy. The windows are fully screened. In a delightful open restaurant , meals give a taste of Indonesian recipes and ingredients, with a full western breakfast to start the day, or a picnic box. If you are travelling with children, the local village kids love to have a game of soccer in the afternoon in the Eco Lodge grounds.
Main Features & Attractions
Forest lodge situated on the edge of ‘The Way Kambas National Park’.
* Sumatra Elephants, Feeding & Safari
* Sumatra Rhinos
* Sumatra Tigers
* Tapir, Birds, Butterflies
* River boat trips
Accommodation and Rooms
Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, Lumpung Province on the island of Sumatra, is a short walk through the local village in Way Kanan Regency, from the front entry of the Way Kambas National Park. The Lodge is set in a tranquil tropical Asian environment with lush walled gardens full of tropical fruit trees.
You will really feel you are in the heart of Asia !
There are four cottages, each having two spacious rooms and sleeping up to three people with ceiling fans, hot water showers, western toilets and a verandah with comfortable chairs. The rooms also provide a desk and computer power point and the windows are fully screened.. All guest cottages, facilities, some perimeter lighting and office are powered by renewable solar energy. In the delightful open restaurant, experience a taste of Indonesia with fresh ingredients from the garden and local village. A full western breakfast starts the day, and picnic boxes are available.
With a cold beer to hand as owls “poink” to each other at dusk, guests can recount their adventures.
How to get there
By air to Lampung (20 minutes from Jakarta), then by our transport via the town of Metro to the lodge (approximately one and a half hours).
* Airport pick-up (1 – 4 persons) $50/person
We provide clean, comfortable accommodation extremely suitable to the environment in which it is located
* 8 Double Rooms with attached bathrooms
* Fully screened
* Western style toilets
* Hot water showers
* Ceiling fans powered by Solar Energy
* Simple Bar
* Open restaurant
* Computer facilities
* Fax and email
* Friendly staff
Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge is situated near the Way Kambas National Park in Way Kanan Regency in the Province of Lampung, on the south eastern tip of the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Lampung borders the Provinces of Bengkulu and South Sumatra.
Bandar Lampung (also Tanjungkarang-Telukbetung) is the capital of the Province of Lampung. The airport in Bandar Lampung is Branti airport. It is only used for a number of daily domestic flights to and from Jakarta.
The original inhabitants of Lampung are the “Lampung” tribe, who speak a distinct language from other people in Sumatra and have their own alphabet.
Sumatra is world famous, for its forests, animals, flora and fauna, and numerous forest reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries. The Way Kambas National Park, lies on the coast of Lampung Province, bounded by the Java Sea to the east, and to the southeast and west by rivers. Covering an area of approximately 1,300 sq.km., the National Park consists of swamp forest, lowland plain rainforest, mangrove forests, dry beach forests, Nibung swamps and vast areas of grass-land. In 1937, the Way Kambas National Park was established as a wildlife reserve, but due to extreme logging between 1954 and 1974, it was almost closed. However, in 1978, it was again proposed as a National Park. The Way Kambas National Park received provisional declaration in 1989. Finally, in 1997, the area was officially declared as the Way Kambas National Park.