Parks & Wildlife in Malaysia
Malaysia sits at the heart of Southeast Asia’s most bio-diverse territory, covering thousands of plant and animal species in a multitude of habitats, altitudes, and ecosystems. In its wisdom, the Malaysian government has set aside parts of its territory as nature reserves: places where visitors can see nature up close without spoiling the environment. with untouched 130 million-years-old tropical rain-forests still covering much of the country, and miles of sea coasts, this website will endeavor to show the rich diversity, spectacular beauty and secret wonders of God’s creations — wildlife and nature — in Malaysia.
Taman Negara National Park, Pahang
Pahang state’s Taman Negara National Park, meanwhile, is one that feeds on superlatives. Largest national park, highest peak in peninsular Malaysia – it can boast them all. The sun bear and Asian elephant are among the species that call Taman Negara home, along with the Sumatran rhinoceros, clouded leopard and Indian pied hornbill. The Orang Asli, Malaysia’s original inhabitants who now live hunter gatherer style, are also at home within Taman Negara.
For plant life, too, this park ticks all the boxes – just the huge trees that tower above you as you follow trails around the park are enough to take your breath away, but plenty of other flora is also ready and waiting besides. The rivers that flow through the park offer a handy way to reach higher ground for even better views and more nature fuelled discoveries, while caverns and hilltop viewpoints complete the mix.
Endau-Rompin National Park, Johor
Endau-Romping is a beautiful national park in the southeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia. Together with Taman Negara and Royal Belum State Park it contains some of the oldest rainforests in the world. The name comes from the two rivers that run through the park; the Endau River and the Rompin River. People that visit the national park do so to visit the many wonderful waterfalls, or to visit the Orang Asli tribes. The park is not easily accessible (by normal vehicles) which makes it an attraction especially popular among adventure seekers. Many travel agencies offer package tours to Endau-Rompin; this often includes transport, accommodation, meals and guided jungle trails. Entry to the park requires a special permit (RM10) from the Johor National Park Corporation.
Just like Taman Negara there are many wildlife species that live in the park, chances on spotting them are slim as they have ample space to roam around within the park boundaries. The national park is known for having the largest remaining population of the highly endangered Sumatran rhinoceros. Other animals that live in the national park are the white-handed gibbon, Malaysian tiger, Asian elephant, wild boar, tapir, slow loris, deer, long-tail macaques and leopards. Among the many bird species that live in the park are the hornbills and kingfishers. As most of the animals know how to evade visitors it is more common to spot insects, spiders and the occasional snake.
Sarawak, on the island of Borneo hosts both the Bako and Batang Ai National Parks. The closest departure point for either is the captivating city of Kuching – less than 40km away, and well worth a visit in itself.
Bako National Park lies at the tip of the Muara Tebas peninsular and is one of the smallest in Sarawak but also one of the oldest in the state. With its coastal location it boasts secluded beaches and plenty of panoramic rocky shoreline as well as all you would expect of a national park including jungle streams, waterfalls and plenty of opportunities for easy or more challenging nature trails through the jungle canopy – there are a total of sixteen different colour coded trails, in fact.
Home to around 275 rare, reddish brown furred proboscis monkeys, found only in Borneo, Bako is a wildlife junkie’s idea of heaven. What’s more the area has also been protected for over fifty years so the animals are less wary of humans than in other places, making it easy to get up close with them to see, experience and snap away. There are also silvered leaf monkeys and langurs, the Bornean bearded pig as well as more common water monitors, plantain squirrels, wild boar and mouse deer, plus the fearless macaques monkeys – keep your bag tightly sealed or they will be in there before you know it! Many of these tend to hang out at popular tourist spots – like the dining areas outside the overnight accommodation.
Gunung Gading National Park, Sarawak
Gunung Gading National Park in Sarawak was established specifically to protect the rare, odoriferous Rafflesia flower, one of Southeast Asia’s weirdest wildlife finds. The park is the perfect setting for the Rafflesia flower – the landscape is carpeted in dense rainforest and cut through by mountain streams. A plankwalk crosses the ground above blooming Rafflesia, allowing visitors to observe the plants without disturbing them.
The Park is best explored through a series of trekking trails, the longest one ascending the park’s namesake mountain (Gunung Gading). The Gunung Gading park can be easily reached from the city of Kuching; only day trips are permitted within the park grounds, as camping in the park is not allowed.
Penang National Park
Malaysia’s smallest and youngest national park is located on the northwestern tip of Penang Island – a ten square mile parcel of land that shelters a “meromictic” lake (a kind of lake with both salty and fresh water that do not mix – another example is Round Lake in New York), eight of Penang’s most unspoiled beaches, and mangrove forests.
Start at the Interpretation Center at the park entrance before you head out into the interior. Three trails lead into the Park’s diverse collection of habitats; you can actually see the entirety of the park’s contents within a single day if you begin early enough!
Batang Al National park
Located in Lubok Antu District, Sarawak this park is having plenty of wild life like Leopard, Civet Cat, Sun Bear, Bearded Pig, Barking Deer, Sambar Deer, Mouse Deer, Marten, Weasel, Otter, Porcupine Squirrel, Giant Squirrel, Orang Utan, Gibbon, Leaf-monkey, Hornbill, Buff-necked Woodpecker, Bushy-crested, Wreathed Hornbill, Wrinkled Hornbill and Blue-eared Kingfisher.
There are many other wildlife parks such as Crocker range park, Endau Rompin National park, Gunung Ledang National park, and Gunung Stong State park.
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center
Like the Semenggoh nature reserve, Sepilok in East Sabah is dedicated to the care and protection of the endangered orangutan endemic to Borneo’s forests. The park is set amidst the 5,529-hectare Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve near the city of Sandakan: visitors climb large viewing platforms to see apes being rehabilitated for future life in the wild. Your best chance of seeing Sepilok’s orangutans occurs during feeding times at 10am and 2:30pm; visitors are discouraged from actually touching the apes.
In the same forest reserve, the Rainforest Discovery Centre allows visitors to see forest life from above, through a series of elevated walkways and towers that allow visitors to view the forest canopy and its residents from 100 feet in the air!
One hundred and thirty eight kilometers from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, rises the majestic Mount Kinabalu. With its peak at 4,095 metres, Mount Kinabalu is one of the highest mountains in South-East Asia. -The area on its slopes, 767 square kilometers above sea level to the summit, forms the Kinabalu National Park. Though the park is famous for the Mount Kinabalu climb, there are other attractive aspects of it.
The wealth of plant growth, the large variety of birds and the hot springs, provide attractions to the visitor. The Poring Hot Springs, located nearby, has spring water piped into several open baths. The hot springs have health and curative properties for skin diseases.
Lambir Hills National Park
For such a small park (17,180 acres), the Lambir Hills National Park in Sarawak possesses an extremely diverse ecosystem, with thousands of plant and animal species sheltering in the park premises. Take birds – over 230 different avian species can be found in Lambir Hills! Perhaps it’s the rugged terrain –the hilly sandstone covered with dipterocarp forest and an endless series of bathing pools and waterfalls.
Visitors can explore Lambir Hills through a variety of forest walks for all fitness levels – some walks take less than 20 minutes to finish, while others require the whole day and a stout constitution. The park is conveniently located only 30 minutes by bus from
Semenggoh Nature Reserve, Kuching
The 1,613-acre Semenggoh Nature Reserve is an animal shelter dedicated to the preservation of the endangered orangutan. Far from being kept in cages, the orangutans in Semenggoh are allowed to come and go as they please, enjoying the thick forest canopy as free apes and benefiting from the care of the park rangers. Most of the orangutans came to Semenggoh as orphans or rescues from captivity – the main goal of the park is to help them re-acclimate to life in the wild.
In Semenggoh, you get a rare chance to see orangutans in their natural habitat, before they make it out on their own. The park is only 12 miles south of Kuching.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Sabah
This marine park covers about 12,185 acres of sea territory, with five islands and masses of coral reefs within its boundaries. Located only five miles from Kota Kinabalu, the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park is a favorite getaway for Kinabalu families on weekends. You can go camping on the beach on most of the islands in the park, but you’ll be charged a camping permit before you set up camp.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park’s corals shelter an impressive variety of marine life – this, in addition to the marine park’s shallow water and weak currents, make it a prime stop for divers. If you’re lucky, you may see whale sharks hunting plankton in these waters.
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