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Sumatra countryside, Sumatra, Indonesia


Sumatra is home to the Kambas National Park, established in 1924 in a 1,300kmsq forest and one of the oldest protected areas in Indonesia.

Primarily known for its elephant population and the nearby elephant and rhino sanctuary, visitors can also expect to see macaques, gibbons, langurs and siamangs, as well as larger (and more elusive) mammals such as tapir, Sumatran tiger, clouded leopard and honey bear.

There have also been more than 300 species of birds recorded here, including the rhinoceros hornbill and white winged Duck.

Swimming Sumatran elephant Tangkahan, Sumatra, Indonesia
Sumatra, Indonesia

Elephant Conservation Centre

Home also to the Elephant Conservation Centre, which gives an opportunity to see elephants and their carers (mahouts) up close and possibly bathe them in the river, after enjoying an optional elephant ride through the surrounding plains. Please bear in mind that the animal welfare standards found in Indonesia are very different from those in the west although organised visits have helped to improve the welfare at the centre. An evening can be spent on a night walk to look for owls, nightjars, and slow loris.


Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Sumatran Elephant Conservation

Visit the Elephant Conservation centre in Sumatra and spend time with these beautiful and endangered creatures.

Sumatran Nocturnal Wildlife

Search for nightjars and slow loris on a night walk in southern Sumatra.

Way Kambas National Park

Explore the rivers and forest of this National Park in southern Sumatra – hike forest trails and cruise the Way Kanan River in search of hornbills and kingfishers.

Need Inspiration?
Browse our Indonesia holiday ideas.

Our experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list. I also seek adventure; exploring the deep blue or hiking a peak often winning favour. Although it’s my time horse herding in Mongolia that I regularly want to relive.

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Deborah Brock-Doyle

My first journey for Steppes was in 1999 when I set off to explore Thailand to gather those little details that constitute Steppes Travel’s trademark knowledge. I have since been lucky enough to travel extensively in Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and India. A few special memories include being joined at dinner by an otter in Laos, proudly being shown an illicit picture of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and diving with manta rays on Christmas day in Indonesia. I’m pretty sure I always leave a country wishing I had done more, seen more, learned more ….. but I also always hope to return …

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  • 01285 880 980

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Clare was terrific! At the last minute, I did a complete change of my plans, and she was incredibly graceful and positive about changing everything. The livaboard she recommended was great. I thoroughly enjoyed--and appreciated--working with her.


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