Earth Lodge offers a unique off grid rainforest experience. It is off the beaten track and can only be reached by boat so the visit starts with a boat trip of around one to one and a half hours across Muda lake and up the river to the lodge. This is a first opportunity for bird and wildlife spotting from the small boat. The lodge is located in the rainforest close to a river and a smaller stream. It is in a great location for nature, birds and wildlife.
This is a genuine eco-experience run by keen conservationists and there several initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of the set-up. For examples plastic bottles are not provided and you are discouraged from bringing them. Instead purified water is made readily available(and you need to drink lots). The team are also involved in efforts to have the area gazetted to protect it from logging. The accommodation is fairly basic in quite spacious cabins. The beds are made by local people with local materials(Kapok) and are quite hard. If you want mod cons this is not the place as there's no wifi, mobile signal, air con, fly-screens, water heaters, and the electricity is only running for a few hours each evening. The lodge provides full-board food and lodging. The food is tasty and plentiful, with a mix of Asian and western dishes. Everything has been brought in by boat so there is limited range of options. One lovely thing was the local fruits provided some of which were new to us.
The nature and wildlife are superb and this is one of the best rainforest stays we have had. Do bear in mind that it is quite hard to see animals and in the rainforest because the vegetation can be dense and its hard looking up into the canopy. You have to be patient and need good guides and local knowledge, which Ahmad, Hymeir and the other staff provide. With their expert help, there's a good chance of seeing some interesting birds, including plenty of hornbills, as well as mammals, perhaps elephants, different types of otters, wild pigs, langurs and maybe gibbons. Between four of us we managed to see these but not everyone saw everything. It's very hard to see gibbons but you will almost certainly hear their lovely calls when you wake up in the morning. One downside of all the mammals is that there are loads of leeches on some trails so it's best to wear leech socks and learn to take them in your stride. There are usually some leech socks available. There are other creepy crawlies and insects around and sometimes in your room (i.e wildlife).
The team at the lodge arrange activities included in the package that include guided jungle hikes, wildlife/bird spotting, visits to a cave, tubing, night hikes and sunset boat trips. It's also quite nice spending time around the lodge chilling out or looking for wildlife and enjoying the nature. All in all it's a great place to get off-grid and enjoy the nature. Many thanks to Hymeir, Ahmat and the team for making our stay special. Hopefully we will return. If this is the type of experience you want do spend some time planning your visit in advance.