sumatran elephants, it must be Taman Nasional Way Kambas (Indonesia)

 

Nature is not a place to visit. It is home

Gary Snyder

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Have you ever feel living without electricity,  low mobilephone signal or even dont use any mobilephone at all ? This is my story when me and my friends went to Way Kambas National park. We lived there without any mobilephone attached on our hand, and living so happily.

I am a veterinary students, and to enrich my experience about veterinary medicine me and my friends went to Way kambas to do an internship.

actually, for all of you who ll read this you gonna have some question what, where, how about way kambas itself.

Based on Wonderful Indonesia website;

What

Way Kambas National Park(WKNP) is one of the oldest reserves in Indonesia.WKNP is closely associated with elephants, since aside from being a sanctuary for these gentle giants, the national park is also known as their training ground.It is believed that approximately 200 Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranensis) live within the park. The Sumatran elephant is one of three recognized subspecies of the Asian Elephant, and native to Sumatra Island.

Where

Located at the southern tip of Sumatra, 110 km from Bandarlampung.It occupies 1,300 sq km of coastal lowland forest around the Way Kambas River on the east coast of the province of Lampung. Officially established in 1985, the Elephant Training Center, located 9 km from the park’s Plang Ijo entrance,

When

Way Kambas was established as a game reserve by the Dutch administration in 1937. Sadly, between 1954 and 1974 it was intensively logged. In 1978, it was proposed as a national park, with provisional declaration in 1989, and final declaration in 1997.

Who

Elephant Training Center is an establishment aimed to protect the existence of the elephant and at the same time create mutual benefit for both the elephants and men. The training center is also a reminiscent of the time when kings or sultans ruled Sumatra, when elephants were trained and deployed in warfare and also for ceremonial purposes. Here, visitors can observe elephants perform various tasks such as transporting lumber or plowing fields. They can also perform peculiar activities such as playing football or other entertaining performances.

Sumatra Rhino Sanctuary (SRS), where rhinos, formerly held in captivity are introduced to natural surroundings in the hope of successful breeding

Way Kanan, a sub-district of the park is frequently visited by birdwatchers. Of the most remarkable species are the white-winged ducks and the Storm’s stork.

How

If you are using public transport, the simplest route is taking a bus from Rajabasa Terminal in Bandar Lampung in the direction of Way Jepara. Get off at the stone elephant at Rajabasa Lama VillageWay Jepara, and resume by an “Ojek” or motorbike taxi ride to the Way Kanan or the Elephant Training Centre (ETC),

For more Information go to that website*

From my university in bogor we have to use some buses. To go there, first we have to find some buses directly to bandar lampung, or tanjung karang. There aren’t buses that going throught way kambas. Not only bus but also we took Ferry boat to cross the sea from Merak harbour on Serang, Banten. So after coming to Bakauheni Harbour on lampung Province you have to rent a car or join a travel ( shared indonesian taxi ).

We took Damri bus from Bogor to go to Bandar Lampung, if you took Damri you dont have to pay Ferry boat fee when you are entering ferry boat. It cost 230.000 IDR. But if you want to find cheper solution you can find any busses who are going to Merak Harbour then take Ferry boat by yourself then it ll be cheaper. From Merak Harbour to Bakauheni Harbour it ll take around 1 hour.

On my internship we went to elephants coservation center on Way kambas National Park. Literally, Way kambas has another conservation center named Rhinoceros conservation center and not all of people can come to that place.

For anyone who want to come to this place, first you have to get your permit for entering National Park. To get this permit, YDCIM100GOPROGOPR0824.ou have to come to Balai Taman Nasional Way Kambas. But dont worry everyone in there are really nice and friendly. They ll help you to get your permit to entering Way Kambas National Park. We got this permit after we sent our internship proposal first before we come, then we presented our presentation about what we actually want to do in WKNP.

After we presented our presentation, we went to Elephant Conservation Center.

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Actually its little bit far away, its around o10km or more from Balai Taman Nasional Way kambas to Elephant Conseravtion Center. To get there, we asked for help to get us inside WKNP, but you can use ojek too.

If you want to stay on ECC, there are a couple barracks, and room that available there. Not only that if you are hungry or looking for some food there are canteens, our favourite canteen is Dua Putri which is organized by mba* Nita ( Indonesian polite word to call a woman who older than you* ). There also a bathing pool for elephants, drinking pool, and an area to keep elephants in the night. Why we have to keep elephants in one area in the night ? because sometimes there ll be a wild elephants who want to interupt and disturb ECC’s elephants. So it ll be easy for Mahout to keep their eyes on watching elephants in the night.

Actually, there’s a lot of visitor that came to this place. Because this place were known as  Elephant training center, and any visitor can enjoy riding an elephants nor watch any performance by elepahants. But, when we stayed there, it was no longer available to any visitor to enjoy elphants performance. But if you still want to know more about Sumantra’s elephants you can come to this place,and at least take a picture of an elephant in their own environment.

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