Way Kambas National Park has long been known as a training center for Sumatran elephants. Way Kambas, which is located in Lampung, was formed from the history of the eruption of Mount Krakatau in the past. This national park is also the first elephant training center in Indonesia.
There, formerly wild elephants were trained and some of them were invited to perform simple circus performances and attractions to entertain the tourists who attended, such as playing soccer, swimming, and so on. For those of you who want to visit Way Kambas, the following explanations might help.
The specialty of Way Kambas
Way Kambas National Park, which is abbreviated as TNWK, was officially announced by the Minister of Agriculture in 1982. The establishment of Way Kambas is based on a decree. No. 14/Menhut-II/1989. The area of TNWK reaches 130,000 hectares, and all of them are processed properly by officers.
The location of TNWk is in the Districts of Way Jepara, Labuan Meringgai, Sukadana, Purbolinggo, Rumbia and Seputih Surabaya, Central Lampung Regency, Lampung. Tourists who come will be able to enjoy animal tours and amazing natural attractions there.
Way Kambas is synonymous with Sumatran elephants. However, in this national park there are other rare animals that are kept such as rhinos, Sumatran tigers, and several other rare animals. This National Park is also well known to foreign countries.
In fact, many researchers from abroad are conducting research there about Sumatran animals that are increasingly rare. Not surprisingly, because Way Kambas is also a representative of lowland forest ecosystems that have freshwater swamps, shrubs, and coastal forests in Sumatra. In short, Way Kambas forest is a complete tropical forest.
Enjoying Way Kambas
If you want to visit Way Kambas, you don’t need to be confused about what to do, because there are many activities and places to visit in Way Kambas. Some of them include the following.
1. Elephant Training Center
One of the most popular things that can be enjoyed at Way Kambas is the attraction of trained elephants. The simple attraction or circus of these elephants can be seen in many styles, such as dancing elephants, elephant soccer, elephants draping flowers, shaking hands, and swimming. If you wish, tourists can also ride an elephant by paying for a ticket.
The elephants in this national park are tame because they are already in the elephant training program. Wild elephants will be tamed and trained there.
This elephant training center was originally established to address the problem of wild elephants which often destroy people’s fields and farms because their habitat is getting more and more disturbed.
2. Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary
In addition to the elephant training center, in Way Kambas there is also a place called the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary which is the only breeding location for Indonesian wildlife in the form of the Sumatran rhino.
This location is also the only Sumatran rhino breeding site in the world. However, the number of tourists who want to enter here is limited because the manager wants to focus on the interests of research and development of the Sumatran rhino itself.
In the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, there is also a Research Project for the Development of the Sumatran Rhino Population and the Research Project for the Sumatran Tiger Population. The two main activities include tracking in the Way Kambas Jungle which can be done using a motor boat. The goal is to observe Flora and Fauna.
3. Riding an Elephant Around the National Park
What’s interesting about Way Kambas is that tourists can go around the national park by riding trained elephants. Tourists will get a different sensation.
Traveling with elephants around will also have the potential to meet various wild animals that inhabit the national park. The best time to see the wildlife is in the morning or evening.
Tourists can also walk around at night to observe animals that are active at night. Usually will be found wild boar. However, it is recommended to use mosquito repellent lotion at night.
4. Resort Way Kanan
Way Kanan Resort is a location that is still included in the Way Kambas National Park area. The distance from the Gate (Plang Ijo) is about 13 kilometers.
When heading to Way Kanan, along the way lucky tourists will be able to see wildlife crossing the road or roaming around the main road.
Way Kanan is touted as a paradise for nature lovers because of the diversity of fauna and flora. This location is also the best location to observe forest animals directly.
Several tourists, especially those who are nature lovers, also stay at Way Kambas. Some researchers who really want to observe animal life at night can also stay overnight.
Tourists are allowed to camp in the national park in certain spots, and of course after getting permission from the officers.
In addition to camping, tourists can also stay at inns around Way Kambas or camp in a special place that is provided for tourists who stay overnight.
Way Kambas Facilities
Way Kambas National Park provides many facilities such as kiosks or food stalls selling various kinds of food and drinks. There are also gift and souvenir shops that can be visited. In addition there are other public facilities such as prayer rooms, parking lots, arena attractions, guesthouses, and other public facilities.
If you want to visit Way Kambas, tourists must first understand that Way Kambas is a national park located in the lowlands. Although the Way Kambas forest is lush and green, the air temperature there is not as cold as the forests in the highlands. The temperature in Way Kambas is indeed very high. During the day, the hot sun can burn the skin.
Therefore, always prepare clothes that can protect the skin from sunburn. Also bring a safe jungle hat and if necessary use sunglasses and sunblock. Also try to wear closed shoes. The best time to visit is July to September.
The accessibility to get to Way Kambas is to follow the following alternative routes.
- Come to the city of Bandarlampung, then continue the journey to Labuhan Ratu by passing the Metro area. The trip can be by using a four-wheeled vehicle for approximately 2 hours.
- Or you can also travel from the city of Branti to Labuhan Ratu with an estimated journey of approximately 1 and a half hours.
- For the journey that starts from Bakauheni, continue the journey to Panjang – Sribawono – Labuhan Ratu. The estimated trip by using a four-wheeled vehicle is more than 3 hours.
- From Labuhan Ratu, the journey to the Way Kambas elephant training center is about 15-20 minutes.
Potential Flora and Fauna Way Kambas
Way Kambas consists of freshwater swamp forest, shrubs, reeds, and also coastal forest. Some of the scattered types of flora include fire, pidada, nipah, gelam, salam, rawang, ketapang, sea pine, pandanus, puspa, meranti, merbau, bayur, and many more.
Meanwhile, the most abundant fauna habitat there is the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), the Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus), and the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrensis). In addition, there are also habitats for Tapirs, Sun Bears, Forest Dogs, Deer, Jungle Fowl, Hornbill, Red Langurs, Forest Ducks, and many more.
This is an explanation of the Way Kambas National Park in Lampung. Hopefully useful and happy holidays. Don’t forget to bring your travel gear as complete as possible for convenience.