We met Reno, a passionate leader from the nearby village of Sungai Pinang, and his wife Nad, a French woman long involved in conservation work on Sumatra, at check-in. They started Rimba in 2013, getting permission from the local government to manage and protect the forest and bay. Through their efforts, year on year they’ve seen the reefs continually become healthier and more biodiverse, wildlife flourish in the surrounding jungle, and a significant economic boost to the nearby villages. With their Indonesian registered non-profit organization, they offer school supplies, drive education initiatives, and participate in village waste management efforts – they even have a plastic waste-to-fuel conversion machine in operation, along with traditional composting. Since support for conservation and communities is also what we’re working for in Kerinci, Rimba is exactly the kind of organization we are keen to support when we do our own travelling.
There are four different styles of bungalows at Rimba. These are the Lumba-Lumba rooms.
There are four different types of bungalows at Rimba. Most are good for two or three people, but with our family of five, we chose the largest one, Kalao. It was perfect for us – two small bedrooms, each with a queen-sized bed, and a large living room area with seating and dining table, isolated from the other bungalows at the end of the property. Being an environmentally and socially responsible project, all the bungalows were made from local and sustainably sourced materials, like bamboo, rattan, and palm, and were built by craftsmen from the nearby villages of Sungai Pisang and Sungai Pinang. While there is electricity, there are no fans or air-conditioning at Rimba. However, being under the tall trees, with the ocean breeze constantly blowing, we always felt sufficiently cool.
One thing to know though – the accommodations are *very* open to the elements. There are no walls in the hangout area, and even the bedrooms only have half walls, with the tops open. In a way, it’s like camping – it certainly makes one feel connected to nature, with all sorts of insects and even crabs passing through from time to time. Thankfully, mosquito nets are provided.
The Kalao Lodge’s large common area, with an extra bed in the corner. Bedrooms not pictured.