Two days after anchoring from the pier, I arrived in East Lampung at Probolinggo exactly. There were many of my father’s business collage and I did not hesitate to meet them like family. I looked for someone to be my travel companion to explored East Lampung and I decided to explore Way Kambas with the woman next to my inn. Her name was Rini, a student of the second semester of the Islamic University in Lampung.
source picture from: yopiefranz.com
Before went to Way Kambas, a vehicle was the thing to be considered because the access to that place was a piece of cake where every visitors had bring their own vehicle, either renting travel or private vehicle. Was it right road? You did not expect to be safe without a tour guide in Lampung, because this city was famous for its robbery.
Rini and I took a rental car from Probolinggo and we arrived for two hours at our destination. Every visitor must also be careful because the journey to Way Kambas was quite because we through oil palm and coffee plantations.
Source picture from: cikarangtekhnik.wordpress.com
Yeaay, I was finally here, In front of the door of the National Park that I have been dreaming of for a long time that was Way Kambas National Park. National Park located in the district of Labuhan Ratu, East Lampung.
The entrance fee to Way Kambas National Park
The entrance fee to the National Park was varies widely, it was adjusted to the status of visitors both citizens and foreigners. Here, I gave an overview bellow and the tickets can be change anytime.
The atmosphere at the forest turned out to be very busy and I was wrong to guess that the Elephant training venue was very quiet. Once we arrived at the parking lot, the mosque was the main place we visited because it was exactly 12:00 we arrived. It took a long time even though spent a half day explored the forest because as a moslem, I would not to determine my worship time by traveling. So, the worship was more important, right?
It was Sunday, vibes! Many children were playing along the Elephant training ground. They looked cool while riding elephants, bathing them and taking pictures. Their parents also enjoyed the same moment, that was getting know Sumatran elephants more closely.
The History of Way Kambas
I also took many lessons by reading the official website that the history of the establishment of the Way Kambas National Park began in 1936 by a resident of Lampung, Mr. Rookmaker, and this was followed by a decree of the Governor of the Netherlands dated January 26, 1937. After several approvals, in 1978 Way Kambas National Park was converted into a nature conservation area (KPA) by the minister of Agriculture and managed by the Nature Conservation Area Sub-Center (SBKPA). When the governments were responsible for the management, the Nature Conservation Area was changed again into a Natural Resources Conservation Area (KSDA) which was managed by SBKSDA with an area of 130,000 ha. I stood in the forest yard and watched the vast area where the elephants crowded, played and were used as a selfie event for visitors. This place was finally officially declared as Way Kambas National Park on April 1, 1989 to coincide with the National Conservation Week in Kaliurang, Yogyakarta.
Way Kambas as ASEAN Heritage
The existence of Way Kambas National Park was not only a sanctuary for Sumatran elephants. There were many wild animals lived at this place such as Tapirs, Sambar Deer, Sumatran Tiger, Sun Bear and Sumatran Rhino. However, the Sumatran Elephants dominated the level of its distribution compared to other animals. The elephants were divided into several groups ranging from wild elephants to domestic elephants which were used as educational facilities.
source pictures from: realwow.org
There was an important event that marked the Way Kambas National Park entered the world stage, it was on July 25-27 2016, Way Kambas National Park was designated as ASEAN Heritage which was attended by 10 delegations from Southeast Asian countries who coincided in Lampung as the host. That way we must be proud that Indonesia had a lot of potential Resources in the world.
I agreed that Way Kambas National Park was made a world heritage because it was not only a protected forest area but also the oldest National Park in Indonesia. There were many posters that must be paid attention by the visitors along the road. It invited them to protect the environment. So, our future generation can enjoy the natural beauty of Indonesia.
We can learn from the elephant
To me, the elephant was one of the wisest animals and dignified with its trunk. Whatever was annoying can be hit or whoever loved him can be caressed by touch. This character can also be seen from how the animals interact with each other. A female elephant embraced her child or a Gentle and Female paired, so they did not want to be separated as if one of them was to marry. I immediately approached and immortalized myself between the two elephants in a chain.
After walking further to get to know the Elephants conservation, Rini and I took a short break in the hut overlooking the direction where the Elephants were. Apparently, I had to bring a stronger physic to around the area especially the legs because I was not accustomed being pedestrian so I get tired easily and feel that my legs hurt.
From the hut, I saw the elephants being washed by the handler in turned then those who were clean were separated to their places of origin. Some were used as a spectacle especially for taking pictures and some were deliberately to the habitat.
source pictures from: djuarai.co
The Lodging at Way Kambas
The visitors from various cities or overseas did not need to worry when visited Way Kambas because there was a quite relevant lodging at National Park.
source pictures from: Wildahikmalia
There was not only as a training ground for elephants, Way Kambas attracted the tourists from outside the city and abroad by providing many facilities. One of the facilities that support the accommodation of this place was a lodging that called Mahout Guess House. It was located inside the Elephant training ground and the guess can be very close to the Elephant. The Guess House only had 6 rooms with facilities such as mattresses, tables, mats and chairs. The visitors also don’t need to worry about the limitations of the room unit because each room was quite large and can be filled by several guests and just stayed calm for those who did not get the room because there was still several lodging near Way Kambas which were about 500 km from and to their destination. Meanwhile, for more information on lodging, you could access Traveloka.
How much was the price of staying at Mahout Guess House? The guests who spent the night only pay around Rp. 300,000 and they have enjoyed the added facilities of a kitchen and get to know an Elephants more closely. If you did not cook or want to eat instant food, you did not need to worry because there were already nearby stalls selling snacks.
I felt warm not because the elephants entertained me by being trained by the handlers to entertain. I was under open the sky of the Sumatra island and I felt happy because wherever I was in, when my feet took me away from home was a medicine for all anxiety. I knew my journey wasn’t far yet, but visited a new place was a new beginning.