Monday, September 28, 2009

Way Kambas National Park

Way Kambas National Park is representative of lowland forest ecosystem consisting of freshwater swamp forests, grasslands, and coastal forests in Sumatra. Located in Lampung - Sumatra (close to Sunda strait), This natural reservation occupies about 130.000 hectares area, and the temperature in this place is pretty hot - around 28° - 37° C.

Plant species in this national park include api-api (Avicennia marina), Sonneratia (Sonneratia sp.), Palm (Nypa fruticans), absorbed (Melaleuca leucadendron), salam (Syzygium polyanthum), mire (Glochidion borneensis), ketapan (Terminalia cattapa), sea pine (Casuarina equisetifolia), pandan (Pandanus sp.), puspa (Schima wallichii), meranti (Shorea sp.), oil (Dipterocarpus gracilis), and ramin (Gonystylus bancanus).

Way Kambas National Park has 50 species of mammals such as Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis sumatrensis), Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus), Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), tapirs (Tapirus indicus), coyote (Cuon alpinus sumatrensis), gibbon (Hylobates syndactylus syndactylus); 406 bird species including forest ducks (Cairina scutulata), storks (Ciconia episcopus stormi and Leptoptilos javanicus), Crested Fireback (Lophura ignita), Bornean Peacock (Argusianus argus argus), Pecuk snake ( Anhinga melanogaster); and also various types of reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects.

Although there are so many species we can find here, but Way Kambas is best known for its elephant. That's because there is an elephant training centre here which was built in 1985. Until this moment this training centre is still operating and it has succeeded to train and tame about 290 elephants. These elephants are trained to be riding elephants, wood transporters, plowers, and attraction performers. In this facility, you can watch the animal tamers training wild elephants, and we can also watch the elephants playing soccer game, dancing, swimming, and many other attractions.

Beside the elephant training facility, this place is also attractive for people who love safari trip or camping. You can take a ground trip with jeeps or you can take the river to observe the animals and plants in Way Kambas. There is also a rhino captivity facility with laboratoriums and observer camps that you can visit.

It's quiet easy to get to this place, from Jakarta go to merak harbour then take a ferry to bakauheni harbour then take a bus to Labuan Meringgai and then take another bus to Way Kambas. It takes about 3 hours journey from Bakauheni harbour to Way Kambas.

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