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Reviewed 20 November 2017

Ecolodges arranged everything and the visit was beyond expectations.The lodge is comfortable and clean.The food is terrific and the staff really helpful.We enjoyed all the tours with the highlight being the elephant sactanuary . We were in the off season so very few tourists in fact we were the only people there so lots of opportunities to interact with elephants.Tha river tour was a highlight.The local village is very friendly and nice to walk around.

Stayed: November 2017, travelled with friends
Thank mark j
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 reviewResponded 27 November 2017

Thank you for your comments on your stay at our Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge. This is greatly appreciated as Way Kambas is a special place and we hope to bring more visitors here by better guest experiences.

Thank you

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2017

First stop of our (self wife and daughter) birding trip of 10 days was Satwa in Sumatra. We flew in from Jakarta to Bandar Lampung and were received at the airport by Ecolodges Indonesia car and were ferried to Satwa.

Beginning from that evening, next 3 days were devoted to birding Way Kambas National Park with the very competent birding guide Heriono and part car driver and part budding bird guide Suratne. Our next stop was in Ecolodges Indonesia's Rimba lodge in Borneo, more about that part of the trip in another review.

Satwa is located only 500m from Way Kambas National Park entrance and is very convenient for early morning start. Don't miss the enchanting boat ride on the Way Kanan river within National park. Birding is great from the boat. Hotel is clean and comfortable, but don't expect aircons etc. The Satwa lodge campus itself is good for birding. Being vegetarians, we were unsure about how it would go. No problems at all, the kitchen and lodge staff are very understanding and made sure we were well fed.

I happily recommend using Ecolodges Indonesia (sister company is ecosafari Indonesia) for wildlife tours in Indonesia. Their logistics, lodges and warmth of the staff is tops and they take their eco tag seriously. Ecolodges went out of the way to make us comfortable . Much cheaper than using the western specialized bird tour companies (which mostly use ecosafari and other Indonesian tour companies for all ground logistics.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank DineshKV
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 reviewResponded 11 August 2017

Thank you for your report on our Satwa Lodge which are greatly appreciated. We have recently downgraded this lodge to a Guest House mainly due to a number of complaints regarding our eco status. We will be undertaking a detailed study on how to raise the standard again to eco establishments and again greatly appreciate your positive comments.

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Reviewed 23 February 2017

We became aware of Way Kambas National Park on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia because of the fund raising of Show-Me Tigers and the International Elephant Foundation to preserve native habitat for elephants and Sumatran tigers and rhinos. The only logical place to stay near the park is the Satwa Sumatra Eco Lodge which is about 200 yards from the park entrance.

Getting to the lodge is an adventure. We landed at the modern airport in Bandar Lumpung. Our two hours taxi ride over a crowded, narrow road on a rainy night was harrowing but we arrived safely and were greeted warmly by Surga Met or “Sugar”, the manager of the lodge for the past seventeen years. He was friendly and spoke English. We were shown our bungalow(one of about ten double units). The unit had two beds, shower with warm water and an overhead fan. The bungalow was not air conditioned but that was not necessary. Our unit was clean but Spartan.

On our first morning Sugar described the various options for visiting the park and the cost. We decided on our three day itinerary and he arranged a special interview with one of the officials working on the tiger preservation project. One of highlights of the visit was the food prepared by the lodge’s cooks. The food was plentiful, Malay-style Indonesian dishes. My partner was familiar with the food and ordered our food for the day in the morning so the cooks could shop for the ingredients. Therefore, everything was fresh and tasty. Breakfast was provided but lunch and dinner were ala carte. Our total food bill for three days including beer was less than $75 USD. My advice for Westerners is to study Malay food names since there is no English translation for the food menu.

A final word about the park itself. It should be called a game preserve rather than a park since the 3.2 million acres are primitive. The work to preserve for the Sumatran rhino and tigers is off limits but not the elephant preserve. Keeping native habitat is challenging in light of the pressure for commercial development and exploitation. The Eco Lodge was a highlight of our adventure.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Home L
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 reviewResponded 27 February 2017

Thank you for your interesting report on our Satwa Sumatra Elephant Eco Lodge. You captured exactly what our company aims to do - give visitors a local experience in comfortable conditions served by local people thus creating sustainable jobs dependent on the environment - a dynamic and effective conservation approach

Thank you for your support

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Reviewed 7 September 2016 via mobile

Service is good and rooms are big with clean sheets and a clean toilet. Although there isn't an air con, it gets pretty cool after midnight. Only thing is that your room will be home to some house flies as well the next morning... Overall, Not bad for a lodge located in a village in terms of cleanliness. Breakfast was also provided, which consist of a good spread of coffee/tea, bread, pancakes and omelette.

However, security can be an issue as there is no security guard at the open gate, so anyone can walk in in the middle of the night. Additionally, the lodge is located very far away (about 10km) from the elephant centre at way kambas. I suggest staying at one of the guest houses inside way kambas, near the elephant conservation centre instead. It only cost $20 a night (half the price of Satwa for the same facilities) and you can stay there to catch the sunset with the baby elephants. The bike driver who brings you back to Satwa won't stay past 4pm at the lodge and at most they will only wait for 2 hours.

Stayed: September 2016, travelled solo
2  Thank Delise L
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 reviewResponded 15 September 2016

Thank you for your report on your stay at our Satwa Sumatra elephant Eco Lodge. Your comments re security has prompted an immediate visit by one of our senior managers from Bali. There should be 24 hour security. We thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Regarding the Elephant Centre, many of our guests have other interests in the park eg birds or primates. The lodge is only 500 metres from the main park entrance and thus can be easily accessed. The Elephant Centre is only 7 km away and on the edge of the park.

Thank you for your support.

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Reviewed 17 August 2016

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Satawa Ecolodge. We appreciated the wonderful service of the extremely patient and outgoing manager and staff, tremendous chef, and talented tour guides, especially Hari. Hari was our guide in Satawa, and he was great at spotting many unique birds and native animals on all of our treks. He answered all of our questions about the animals and made sure we saw as many native plants and as much wildlife as possible to make our stay that much richer. In terms of planned activities, riding the elephants and supporting the reforestation efforts with tree planting were very memorable experiences. We were also grateful for the efforts of the manager, who helped arrange a tour for for us to see the rhinos at a nearby sanctuary. We learned this is a very rare experience for tourists, so we were very appreciative of the manager's diligence to create a once in a lifetime experience for us. We would highly recommend staying at the Satawa Ecolodge for a true Ecolodge experience and Indonesian wildlife immersion, as the quiet, peaceful lodge and authentic treks were wonderful pairings.

  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Chris M
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 reviewResponded 22 August 2016

Your report is greatly appreciated especially your emphasis on the wildlife experiences, our staff and your guide Heriyono. The International Rhino Centre entry is dependent on the scientists needs and does not often occur; this is a wonderful experience. Heriyono has been written up in the New York Herald Tribune and London's Sunday Telegraph as a unique bird smuggler turned guide who is of great value to birders in the Way Kambas National Park

Thank you for your great support.

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