Was Kambas National Park Travel Guide

Covering more than 320,000 acres in the southeast region of Sumatra, Was Kambas National Park is an important stronghold for large animal species. It is also a worthwhile destination for birdwatchers.

Named a reserve in 1972, Was Kambas was prior to this time extensively logged of its primary growth and had to start over from the ground up. Today it consists of lowland rainforests and swamps. Illegal logging and poaching are the greatest threat to forest integrity.

The local celebrity is the Sumatran rhino. There are around 40 living in the park, a hefty percentage of the 275 living in the wild today. The Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) aims to increase numbers through captive breeding and release programs. This is the best place for visitors to view these elusive creatures.

Other animals found in the park include the clouded leopard, Sumatran tiger and a few herds of elephant. The latter can be dangerous at close range and should only be viewed from a safe distance. Anyone planning a trek through the park will need a permit and a reputable guide.

Getting There & Away

To get to Was Kambas National Park from the international gateway of Jakarta, arrange ground transport (by bus, hire car or minibus) to the ferry terminal at Merak (1 hour, 30 minutes). Take a ferry across the strait (2 hours) and continue to the park via Bandar Lampung (another 2 to 3 hours).