Can I change money in Sumba?

There are no money changing facilities on the island. If you plan to buy handicrafts at villages then please exchange your currency in Bali before arriving at NIHIWATU®. Credit cards can be used in NIHIWATU®’s facilities such as the bar, shop and for activities; however, we are not able to provide cash advances on your card.


Any particular clothing you suggest?

Casual beach wear is best for the day – T-shirts, loose lightweight long or short sleeve shirts and lightweight shorts or pants. For the evening, a lightweight sweatshirt, sarong, hat and sandals are ideal; comfortable walking or hiking shoes are also recommended.


If you have bugs, do you recommend any particular repellant?

We provide repellent for all our guests and mosquito nets are also available in every room. If you want to bring some with you then any repellent with “DEET” will be good enough, a spray on or roll on type is recommended. Please note that we also fog the property several times per week to keep bugs at a minimum.


Is laundry service available?

Yes, it is available at an extra cost.


What about electricity?

We operate generators 24 hours daily. Our power is 220v. The standard plug sockets in your room are for two round pins and we have provided a universal plug in every room for your convenience.


Can I keep in touch with my family and business?

Yes. NIHIWATU® has installed reliable satellite Internet that is accessible with Wi-Fi throughout the resort, including in your room. We also have a GSM tower that repeats the island’s cell signal, and rebroadcasts it for the resort. This allows you to make and receive calls.


What is the tipping policy?

A 10% service charge is added to your bill. Additional tipping is not required but, of course, certainly appreciated.


Is there anything to buy at the resort or nearby?

Yes, we have our small “Mamole” boutique that offers jewelry, surf wear, beachwear, Sumba Foundation products and basic toiletries. There is also our staff market stocked with Sumba Ikat textiles brought in from the local villages by our staff. You will be able to find handicrafts of varying quality in some of the villages.


Are the cottages fanned or air conditioned?

There is air conditioning in all guest accommodation.


Is there anything for children to do?

We do host many family groups with children and we have become adept at taking care of them while the parents are relaxing or taking part in activities. The activities suitable for children, depending on age and ability, include soccer, volleyball, snorkelling, boating, fishing, visiting villages, hiking to the waterfall, mountain biking, exploring the reefs on low tides and collecting fossils and shells. For younger children we have a nice child-friendly swimming pool and board games. We also have painting and drawing supplies, as well as beach toys.


Do you have babysitters available?

Yes, we do have babysitters available. We would need several days advance notice to make the arrangements.


I plan on bringing my maid, is there anywhere she can stay?

At our staff housing facility (Guru Village) if there is space available. The price will be $195++


What is the local culture like?

Very interesting! This is a primitive culture that only stopped headhunting 50 years ago. It is also one of the last practicing animistic cultures in the world. Sumba is famous for its culture and many documentaries have been filmed here.


Are there any special ceremonies help nearby the resort and when do they take place?

During the months of February and March the “Pasola” ceremonies take place nearby NIHIWATU®. Traditional boxing ceremonies are held from August through to January. In July, there is a one-week horseracing event that draws horses and riders from all over Indonesia. Throughout the year there are funeral and wedding ceremonies taking place that our guests are sometimes invited to attend.


I am interested in the culture and have been reading books about the island. There are some villages that are rather far away from the resort that I wish to visit, can you customise a trip to my interests?

Yes, we can tailor-make an activity itinerary according to your interests.


Should I bring gifts for the villagers?

Please do not bring anything except goodwill to the villages. If you really want to help the local people you can buy some handicrafts when visiting the villages, or make a contribution to the many Sumba Foundation projects that benefit the local communities.


Can I bring Bibles to hand out to the villagers?

No. The religious beliefs and traditions of the Sumbanese are very important to the order of their society. We would encourage you to respect their faiths.


What can I buy in the villages from the local people?

There are exceptional baskets, Sumba Ikat weavings, sarongs and traditional knives that can be bargained for and purchased directly from the villagers.


What should I wear to the villages?

Appropriate attire would be a shirt or T-shirt that covers the shoulders with shorts or a sarong.


Any medicines that we should bring?

We suggest you bring antacid pills, a course of antibiotics, special antibiotics for skin infections, hydrogen peroxide, antiseptic cream or powder, waterproof bandages, and a personal first aid kit if you have one.


Should I have travel insurance with medical evaluation coverage?

Yes, we highly recommend you obtaining travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage. Please note that evacuation from Sumba to a Singapore hospital will cost upwards of US $40,000.00


Can I be evacuated in a medical emergency and where to?

If you have medical evacuation coverage a medivac plane can take you from Sumba to Singapore, which has the best medical care in the region. We cannot be held responsible for any medical emergency evacuation costs. If you do not have an evacuation policy, expect to pay US$40,000.00 just for the evacuation flight, that’s not including hospital or other costs incurred.


Is there a hospital nearby?

There is a local hospital in Waikabubak, a 40-minute drive away from the resort, with a limited facility.


Do you have emergency medical supplies at the resort?

Yes, we do have comprehensive first aid supplies. The Sumba Foundation medical staff are capable of assisting with minor ailments and sutures, there will be a charge for this service with all proceeds going to support the Foundation. Occasionally, we do have volunteer medical doctors staying with us who are able to help guests in emergencies.


What about Malaria?

Malaria is common in most of Indonesia, and Sumba is no exception. We take malaria seriously at NIHIWATU® by regularly fogging the resort and the surrounding area. The rooms have mosquito nets and are sprayed daily by our housekeeping staff. If you are concerned, we recommend that you wear a light and loose long sleeved shirt at night with similar long pants and use insect repellent.


Should I take a Malaria prophylactic?

We are not concerned about you contracting malaria at NIHIWATU® but there are opportunities for contact in the villages. Remember that, depending on the medicine, you must start a course before arrival and continue after you leave. We recommend “Malarone” because it appears to have no side effects. “Larium” is the most readily available antimalarial medicine, however many people do experience uncomfortable side effects.


Do I need to bring my own fishing equipment?

We do have top-quality gear – Shimano rods, Okuma and Penn International reels – but if you are coming to do some serious fishing you should bring your favourite rod and reel. Many guests also bring their own lures, but often they are not suitable for the conditions at NIHIWATU®. We do not have fly-fishing equipment, so if that is your passion please bring your own with you.


I like to ride horses, what are the horses like and what should I bring?

All you need is long pants, and a pair of sports shoes and socks: (we do have riding boots however bring your sports shoes just in case we don’t have your size). You will be riding quality well cared for Sumba / Australian Thoroughbred cross horses in English saddles. All levels of experience is catered for.


Do you have boogie boards and other beach equipment?

We have boogie boards and snorkelling equipment you can use free of charge.


We will bring our surfboards. Is anything else needed for surfing?

We would recommend wax, extra heavy-duty leashes, booties, rash shirts, a surf cap, serious sunscreen, first aid kit, extra fins and a travel-sized ding repair kit.


Please tell me a little about the nearby surf breaks.

NIHIWATU® is the best break but and there are others not so far away. You may want to consider a boat charter to cruise the coast and search for waves that are out there to be found. The best months for surf explorations are March to the end of April, and September through to November when the trade winds are low.


What things could I bring to benefit the local community?

We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travellers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and bring supplies for the Sumba Foundation, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project.

Pack for a Purpose


Any other tips or suggestions?

Please don’t forget to bring your cameras and laptop with extra flash drives for photos.


NIHIWATU is a registered trademark of PT Indonesia Adventure Sports in Indonesia.