The ranger cabin
Kutai National Park, Indonesia
The ranger cabin Kutai National Park Reviews
Retreat in the jungle Jul 05, 2011
If you want to visit Kutai National Park there are only a few places you can spend the night. There are the ranger cabin and a research station - which was closed when I come for my visit. Hence there wasn’t much of a choice for me of where to stay - it was the ranger cabin.
Fortunately the cabin isn’t a bad place to be. It is quite basic when it comes to the interior decoration - but there are all the basics. There are a small kitchen where you can cook or you can arrange to get some food prepared. There are a traditional mandy - but much to my surprise there was actually a functioning shower with a showerhead - seriously in this tiny place where you expect everything to be basic they do have a real shower with cold water of course but the cold water is still around 30 degrees. But the last hotel I stayed at didn’t have a showerhead - only a bucket I had to use to pour the water from the big container to my body.
The cabin is small so there are only two rooms in total - hence if you travel in a group you’ll have to share the rooms. When I visited I had the one room and a group of four Spanish tourists had to share the other room. Since I had a room to myself I had plenty of space - but even the Spanish seemed to have reasonable amount of space. The number of tourist is limited so even with only two rooms you will most likely be able to get a room without reserving ahead. Even during the busiest month there are less than one hundred guest and in the quite month there can be less than one guest a day on average.
Unlike me and other lucky tourist the rangers sleep outside on the porch during the night. They will usually spend the night playing cards or watch the satellite television. Yes there is a satellite television here in the middle of the national park though it only got Indonesian channels - and the cabin isn’t connected to the electrical net so instead there is a diesel generator making sure there are lights - as long as the diesel last. This will typically be until around midnight or maybe a bit longer if the ranger is generous with the diesel. Unfortunately the generator is a bit noisy and can disturb the silence in the national park a bit.
Most people don’t come to the Kutai to watch television - so the main attraction of the ranger cabin is the location. It is in the middle of the national park and you only need to walk about twenty meters to get into the jungle. The small area around the cabin itself isn’t jungle - it has been partly clear of vegetation so you can see the area around the cabin and you can walk on the board walks to and from the river. But even though they have clear the area the jungle isn’t far away. During my stay at the cabin we had an orangutan walking through the area and just beneath the cabin is the home of a tarantula. Other wildlife frequent the area as well - there are birds flying around the area and at night a bat was flying at the porch of the cabin because the light had attracted a lot of insects so it came in to hunt at night.
Part of the Visit to the first of the Indies travel blog
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