Meet elephants ethically in the Way Kambas Conservation Center

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The elephant, one of Indonesia’s protected species. (Photo: Mia Kamila)

IO – Come visit Indonesia’s elephants in Way Kambas! It is an elephant conservation site located in Labuhan Ratu District, East Lampung. The Way Kambas National Park was established in 1985 as the first “elephant school” in Indonesia initially named the Elephant Training Center (Pusat Latihan Gajah – “PLG”). However, it has been renamed the Elephant Conservation Center (Pusat Konservasi Gajah – “PKG”). This change was made in order to reflect the Center’s desire to become the best elephant conservation center that tames, trains, breed, and conserve elephant safely for (re-)release into the wild. 

When you come to visit, you will see elephants eating grass and walking around, some chained and some free. This is because they have various characteristics – some are aggressive, some indifferent, some friendly. The unstable ones get chained in order to prevent them from hurting themselves or others. Therefore, don’t separate from the staff when you interact with these elephants. 

One of the elephants saved by the Center is Erin. She is an elephant calf who survived a grave injury when running away from hunters. During her escape, she hit a mortar set out by poachers and lost part of her trunk. She couldn’t move because of this trap. Luckily, the Center’s staff found her – even though it was too late to save her trunk. They took her to the Way Kambas Conservation Park, where she was treated and cared for. She is now well enough to run around and her trauma is pretty much healed. 

Be sure to be kind to Erin and her friends when you visit! 

 You can get to Way Kambas using public transport. First, take the bus heading to Merak Harbor from Kampung Rambutan. A ship will take you from Merak to Bakauheni. From there, take a bus or travel shuttle to Rajabasa, Bandar Lampung, to Tejosari Terminal. Or take the longer route directly to Metro if that’s what you prefer. Go on by minibus to Sukadana, then again by minibus to Tridatu Market. Your only option for getting to Way Kambas from Tridatu is by ojek. 

Too complicated? Rent a motorcycle or car to drive by yourself in Bandar Lampung or Jakarta! If you start in the Capital City, the route is Bakauheni-Metro-Sukadana-Way Jepara-Way Kambas. If you start from Bandar Lampung, we already gave you the route. Whichever route you take, the GPS will help you out – it’s so easy to follow. 

We await you in Way Kambas! (Mia Kamila)