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“A great retreat in Way Kambas” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge

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Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge
Way Kambas, Bandar Lampung, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 12 Bandar Lampung B&B and Inns
Orlando, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“A great retreat in Way Kambas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

We stayed at the Satwa Elephant EcoLodge on a recent adventure trip through Indonesia. At the time, my travel compadre and I were the only two guests. A group of fifteen was to arrive a day or two after we departed. The cottages are clean and comfortable with warm showers. The food is excellent and we ate very well there. The staff was friendly and attentive but gave plenty of privacy as we used our three days there for total relaxation in between activities. We were able to visit the elephant center which seems to be the big draw of the park for Indonesians. From a "western" perspective it was a little depressing. A large tether field full of elephants surrounded by burning piles of dung...the elephants seemed well cared for and well fed but it goes against perhaps a more progressive view of animal welfare. Some of the elephants are used to assist in keeping the wild elephant population from destroying crops and minimizing conflict with the local people but I would be curious if some of these are being sold off to zoos and circuses. At any rate, the experience was made better by playing with a baby elephant just 20 days old. The baby we come over for a pet and a scratch before running and bumbling back to its mother (again and again). A lot of fun.

Other activities included a visit to the rhino breeding center. This is a well-run, professional facility with international support. They've recently successfully bred a Sumatran rhino and have hopes to breed more in this critically endangered species. I thought a visit here was very worthwhile. we also were treated to a Siamang sighting on the way to the center.

Other activities included a drive to Way Kanan ranger station and short boat ride to hike in tiger territory. Hari was our guide throughout our stay and he was outstanding with an excellent eye for wildlife and birds. We found fresh tiger tracks (Hari smelled fresh urine where the tiger had sprayed!) the shed skin of a king cobra, claw marking on trees from tiger and sun bears and saw many beautiful birds and various monkeys. The walk was for several hours but I'm sure could be shortened if desired. The likelihood of seeing a tiger is small but it's still quite interesting to see the fresh signs of tiger activity.

One of the most enjoyable activities was a boat trip down the Way Kanan River in the afternoon looking for wildlife. We were the only boat on the jungle river and again saw many monkeys (three species: pig tailed and long tailed macaques, and silvered langurs), several pythons balled up in the trees, birds of all kinds, sambar deer---we finally saw an estuarine or salt water croc which I thought perhaps are but as daylight ave way to night and we began spot lighting for wildlife we saw crocs all over---not a place to go swimming! The sighting of the night was a sun bear high in a tree --- he climbed down when we spotted another in a tree breaking open a beehive! It was a bi like Jungle Book! The night sky was sparkling with stars which is a thrill for so many of us that rarely go somewhere without significant light pollution.

The last activity was walking around the edge of the village at night spotlighting for slow loris's. In this particular night the little bugger made us work for it but we eventually found one. We also saw an owl and bats aplenty!

We found the EcoLodge an excellent base in Way Kambas (close to the park entrance) comfortable, friendly, excellent staff, very good food. I can highly recommend it. Ask for Hari as your guide if he's available. He's enthusiastic and really wants you to see the wildlife that he's spotted with his trained, keen eyes! There's no AC but we were plenty comfortable with the fans on...

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this review, October 9, 2013
Thank you for this very thorough and honest report on all aspects of our Satwa Lodge. This is greatly appreciated

Alan Wilson,
Chairman of the Board,
Ecolodgesindonesia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

We spent three nights at the Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge in July while way visited the Way Kambas national Park. The lodges was very clean and tidy and offered basic accommodation at a reasonable cost. We were the only guests at the lodge for the three days and it appeared that there were only a few foreign tourists that ever stayed there. The staff were very friendly, the food was very good and we enjoyed our stay there.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this review, October 9, 2013
Thank you for this report which is a very fair assessment of our Satwa Lodge

Alan Wilson,
Chairman of the Board,
Ecolodgesindonesia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

This is the only decent place you can find accommodation if you are visiting Way Kambas National park. The staff is very friendly and the food is good. Cottages are clean and well kept. You cant expect luxury when visiting national parks, Solar power is very well utilized for energy.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this review, October 9, 2013
Thank you for this report which is appreciated by us.

Alan Wilson,
Chairman of the Board,
Ecolodgesindonesia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

We stayed at Satwa at the end of our trip and it will always be the favorite part of our 6 week visit to Borneo and Sumatra. It was not a 5 star hotel or equal to the Amboseli Serena Hotel, but we were provided with a comfortable and clean bed, more than enough delicious food, screened windows, a hot shower and a ceiling fan. The staff listened to our wants in terms of wildlife viewing and accommodated all of our wishes. We saw slow lorises at night by walking in the neighborhood of the lodge, siamangs, long tailed and pig tailed macaques are everywhere and can't be missed, and many silver leaf langurs live along the river at Way Kanan. We saw otter civets, samba deer, rhino poop in the forest and too many birds to name. The flat landscape and trails makes it easy it hike. Our Satwa guides (we didn't get Harry) and the wonderful Way Kambas forest rangers were amazingly good at spotting wildlife and were among the nicest people we've ever met. Both my daughter and I felt very sad to leave on our last day and we hope we can come back.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this review, October 9, 2013
We greatly appreciate your report complimenting our staff. They are all local from the village surrounding the lodge and have had no formal training; only training theough our Standard Operating Procedures. We think tthey do a great job,

Alan Wilson,
Chairman of the Board,
Ecolodgesindonesia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

We spent two nights here while arranging a visit in to Way Kambas to look for birds. The staff are extremely friendly and provided invaluable assistance for our visit to the park. The rooms are the nicest we have had in Sumatra and include a warm shower and fan.

The food was always a tasty and welcome meal after a long day.

The price is fairly high here, but the amenities are on par with the price and the Eco lodge seems to be doing good work on the area.

When visiting the park there is a price tag for every step you take and it is no longer affordable to the average traveler. Staying at the ecolodge and hiring their excellent guides is cheaper and better than visiting on your own! Hari is highly recommended.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear Friends,

We wish to thank you for your review of our Elephant Lodge. You have stated prefectly the main reasons why we built this lodge to bring conservation minded tourists to this vital park. Thank you for mentioning our staff member Hari, an ex bird smuggler and now a terrific bird guide.

Alan Wilson,
Chairman and Founder member
ECOLODGESINDONESIA
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

We stayed for three nights in the ecolodge and had a wonderful relaxed stay!

The rooms are quite basic but the gardens around it make up for a lot.
The people do not all speak English, but are very kind and the food is tasty. You can not order from a menu but you can ask for vegetarian, beef or whatever you want up front.
Besides the obvious elephant ride, we went on a night walk to look for owls and loris. Although we are not really into bird watching, we really enjoyed the walk and found it quit exciting!
On our last morning they took us to a small village market which was quit a happening (for the people at the market that is ;-))
Would def recommend staying here if you are not looking for pampering luxury, but if you are looking for a quiet place to have a relaxed time. Bring a book or board game :-)

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear Friends,

Thank you for your review on our lodge in Sumatra. It is great that you developed some interest in birds as this is one of the many attractions of this vital park where thee endangered tiger, rhino and elephant are present. Thank you for your other posirtiv comments.

Alan Wilson,
Founder and Chairman
ECOLODGES INDONESIA
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

Stayed here for a specific tiger patrol that I organized with the national park itself. This is a pleasant, laid back environment with green lawns and rooms hot water, reliable wifi, simple yet clean. Best though is the extremely friendly staff who go out of their way to help your stay. Food is also consistently good.

They can help organize most of the tours available in the park, though for special arrangement work directly with the park and you can probably save on booking fees etc.

The hotel is about a 40 min drive from the Way Khana, which is basically a lodge currently under construction in the interior of the park. The road there though is where you will see a lot of your wildlife (I spent three days in the jungle, and the road continues to be a great place to spot animals, especially at night). Make sure you also organize to see Kalimpiru, which is something like a savannah that comes alive at dusk with deer and birds, and if you’re unbelievably lucky, a tiger as well.

A great memory, enabled by a pleasant little hotel and its kind staff, highly recommended.

Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecolodgesindonesia, Owner at Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
We wish to thank you for your report especially your positive comments re our staff. Our company now manages six eco lodges throughout Indonesia using only local people as a COnservation measure. Stays and reports like yours are deeply appreciated and help us in the struggle to save Indonesia's parks.

Alan Wilson, Chairman of The Board, Ecolodgesindonesia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge

Address: Way Kambas, Bandar Lampung, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Sumatra > Lampung > Bandar Lampung
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Bandar Lampung
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge opened in 2007 as the fourth eco lodge in the Ecolodgesindonesia group of lodges. Situated on the edge of The Way Kambas National Park, we aim to work with the park authorities to improve guest expereiences in this unique park with many endangered speicies (eg Sumatran Tiger, Rhino and Elephant). With 8 double or triple rooms, it is serviced entirely by staff from the local village in line with the companies policy of using local job creation as a Conservation measure. By coming to this lodge, you are supporting the thrust to show that fauna and flora can produce productive livehoods. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge Lampung/Bandar Lampung

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