About this listing
four bedroom house and natural swimming pool on a quiet street overlooking the Ciliwung River and Condet Forest. From the verandas or the pool you can see lots of wildlife. Rent the whole house or a room starting from Rp 400,000. A green oasis in South Jakarta.
Open, airy, spacious, quiet, cool, shady, with views of river and forest. Our guests can't believe they're in the middle of a city of ten million people...
Natural Swimming Pond. We've built a eco-pool on the river bank, below the verandah. The pool water is filtered through the sand and gravel below the spiral staircase and by the climbing plants - the ones you can see on the verandah upstairs and outside the windows of the rooms upstairs. There are fish in the pool, but they hide away whenever anyone goes near the water.
There's a shower next to the pool, with hot (solar) and cold water. Please don't use any soap or shampoo at the pool shower, as the shower water mixes with the pool water.
Wifi. There's wifi in the house.
Bicycle. There's a men's bike you can borrow, fun to take up to the shopping mall.
Filtered water. All water for the house comes from a well. We filter this water for drinking through Pureit, a four stage filter that cleans the water to World Health Organisation standard.
Interaction with Guests
My partner or I stay in the house for a few days each month. Our house manager, Mbak Isem stays in the house every night, and can be there to greet you, to make you breakfast etc. Her English is very limited, but somehow it works out...
The house is three minutes walk from a traditional market for fruit, vegetables and meat, which runs every morning from 6 am to 10 am. The earlier you get there, the cooler the day and the more produce there is to choose from. In the afternoon and evening the same street, Rawajati Timur 2, is a series of food stalls and small shops.
Our house overlooks the Ciliwung River, the river on which the city of Jakarta was founded. Across the river is a two-hectare forest, owned and managed by a local Betawi community. Creatures you may encounter in a stay at our house are:
Musang - civet, a nocturnal cat-sized creature. The Musang can be seen climbing in the bamboo and trees next to the river.
Biawak - monitor lizard, up to two meters in length. They swim in the river, catching and scavenging fish, and can be seen in the water or on the river bank. When they are full, they climb up the trees off the veranda to sleep.
Monyet - long tailed macaque. An occasional visitor, when they are around, you can help them chattering in the trees over the river.
Lingsang - small clawed river otter. There is a family of otters that have their nest on the river bank across the river. Sometimes they can be seen swimming in the river or playing on the river bank below the veranda.
Kingfishers - there are two species of kingfisher that you can see from the verandah or the pool.
Toke - a shy, large gecko (up to 25 cm) that can be heard calling in the night, "toky, toky, toky..."
Cicak - the small house gecko (up to 10 cm) found in most houses in southeast Asia. See them in the light fittings in the ceiling.
Snakes - rarely, we see bamboo snakes in bamboo. As soon as we make a noise they take off as fast as they can slither.
We are seven minutes walk from two train stations, Pasar Minggu Baru, and Duren Kalibata. From there you can go into the city or to Depok, Bogor or Tanggerang.
We are three minutes walk from a traditional market.
We are five minutes walk from Plaza Kalibata, a shopping mall with supermarket, clothes and shoe shops, cafes and restaurants, ATMs, etc.
There is a motor-bike taxi (Ojek) stand in the next street, two minutes walk. Or Mbak Isem can call an Ojek to pick you up from home.
Other Things to Note
Like most places in Jakarta, Sabruna is only a few hundred meters from several mosques. The first call to prayer is at 4.30 AM, when it is still dark outside. You will definitely hear it, but, unless you want to get up and pray, the best thing to do is to lie there and enjoy the sound of the different calls, which only last five minutes, and then go back to sleep.
No pets please. We like the place to be welcoming to all the native birds and animals.
Smoking is allowed on the verandas, not inside.
The house is just as the pictures and other reviews describe- a unique opportunity to experience what I would consider a "dream home"- not in terms of out and out luxury, but in bringing a rural feeling to urban living it is hard to imagine anything better in Jakarta or any other major city. And it does have some pretty luxurious touches too- such as a warm shower down by the swimming pool, and the very lovely Mbak Isem to look after you. Plus you have a selection of street food vendors practically on your doorstep who can wrap food up for you to take home to eat on the balcony.
If you want to spend lots of time in the malls this is not the greatest of locations, but for spending a couple of days either before or after touching down, or for getting a feel of life beyond the central business district, you should not miss the opportunity to stay in this lovely house. Top tip, if you like fishing, there are literally hundreds of smaller catfish clearly visible in the river from the house plus I saw what looked like 3-4 foot monsters occasionally surfacing. I was kicking myself for not bringing along a rod and line...
I have stayed in many places in Jakarta but I was totally surprised by Sabruna. I did not know there were small oases like this in this chaotic metropolis. It was worth being there for the view over the Ciliwung River alone, even more so since the river was flooding. It is located away from the city centre and is a perfect place if you have to work at home, with limited need to travel. Basic necessities are nearby and Mbak Isem is wonderfully helpful. She is always around to answer questions and is there to let you in, an advantage over many airbnb places.
In January the house was amazingly cool with a fresh wind blowing off the river. The main bedroom on the upper level is huge with a comfortable bed. It has a grassy patio (on the second level) with orchids, papaya trees and grape vines. There is a long table on the veranda overlooking the river, on the lower level. This a perfect place for holding discussions or just reading. The owners obviously take great pride in the pleasant surroundings they have created. It is not a starred hotel but is thoroughly delightful and a great place to work or simply relax.
Quite an adventure to find this house, but well worth the effort. Large clean and airy, and Ibu is welcoming and makes a mean cup of coffee! It is a peaceful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle, and you wouldn't know you were in the middle of a huge city. The furnishings are simple but comfortable, the location in an authentic kampung style community and close to transport. Just be ready for a 4am wake up if you are not acclimatised to the morning call to prayer! Thanks for the loan of the book Patrick. Will get it returned to you asap (my husband is a slow reader).
The Sabruna jungle home is an absolute urban oasis. Centered in Kalibata with a rare overlook of the river and a veritable line of trees, you forget that you are in the midst of a city center. The home was both spacious and inviting. It has a great collection of Javanese books for those who want to catch up on some Indonesia reading - and the host was extremely hospitable, especially with our late arrival. My colleague and I particularly enjoyed reading on the porch which overlooks the river. Highly recommended!
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