Way Kambas National Park
World of Elephants
Way Kambas National Park
Lowland tropical forest in the most southern province of Sumatra of Lampung, main habitat to the marvelous endangered Sumatran elephants. It is famous for its elephant training center activity for conservation, protection and eco travelling purpose. Also a home to Sumatran Rhino sanctuary which just successfully delivered a baby rhinos in 2016, a safari trip in Way Kambas promise you to enjoy its beauty while observing conservation efforts in the area.
Things to do
A 3 hours trip to get here (with some stops), paid off when we got there. The roads after the entrance were good enough (with some little bumpy ones), and if you're lucky, you can meet the monkeys alongway. It was great to see the elephants in nature, yeah, but all of them were chained on legs, maybe to make them stay in one place to be a good tourist's sighting spot.
We just knew that Way Kambas also a great habitat for others animals especially birds. We had a birdwatching in Way Kambas using a service of Satwa Elephant Ecolodge (an ecolodge outside the park, near the gate). It turns out that many beautiful birds (including birds that almost vanish) live in Way Kambas. But we will need a guide to see birds of Way Kambas. It's not easy to see and to identify it. We need an expert to guide us.
Way Kambas also has a river (Way Kanan or Kanan river). It's quite far from the elephant centre. In this river, again we can meet many birds, also monkeys, snakes and last but not least is crocodiles....! They live in a wild nature around Kanan river. We took a river cruise with the operator that I mentioned before. It's unique, interesting and challenging experience!
Way Kambas also has reforestry programs. It's also quite far from the elephant centre, and need an off-road drive to visit there. I'm not sure but I believe it will need a permission to visit there. I and family took a program to visit one of the reforestry program. It's a mix experience for me, between challenging (because of the off-road) and exciting (because of the education about reforestry; we also planted trees there as our contribution).
According to the explanation of our guide, Way Kambas also a habitat for Sumatra tigers, and they have a program to explore it. But it's not for public if I'm not wrong. We not only need a permission but also high budget because we must camp for several days inside the jungle.
All of my experience were very great, and it's because I chose the right operator. Usually people only come to the elephant centre, watching and riding the elephants. Actually people will get more benefit by visiting this national park.
Hopefully the national park management can develop the tour program while keeping the preservation of nature, so many people will have similar experience like me and family.