At over 130 million years old – give or take a decade or so – Kuala Tahan National Park features one of the world’s oldest deciduous rainforests.
This article was written by ExpatGo contributor Jennifer Dawson.
Situated in the center of Peninsular Malaysia, Kuala Tahan National Park is the country’s oldest national park, first established in the late 1930s as “King George V National Park.” It spans an impressive 4,343 sq km in total and features one of world’s oldest deciduous rainforests, believed to be over 130 million years old.
Offering lush wilderness, unspoiled natural vistas, and a whole host of amazing wildlife including guars, slow loris, elephants, and tigers, it’s the perfect destination for any wildlife and nature enthusiast.
LATA BERKOH WATERFALL
Located along Tahan River just 9 km from Park Headquarters, the magnificent Lata Berkoh waterfall consists of a number of beautiful cascades over huge boulders. Situated in a tropical jungle, it’s an area of striking natural beauty and unsurprisingly a popular tourist hotspot. Although you can hike to Lata Berkoh via jungle trail, taking the boat ride (around 20 minutes) is the preferred option for most visitors.
The boat stops around 1 km away from the attraction (to avoid rocks), meaning visitors have to hike for 10 minutes along the river bank to get to the waterfall. The journey is certainly worth it. At Lata Berkoh, you can either relax and admire the area’s tranquillity and stunning natural beauty or swim in the clear blue waters. However, be careful not to swim out too far and be mindful of strong currents and high water levels following heavy rainfall.
When it comes to exploring Kuala Tahan National Park, trekking is one of the most popular ways to do so. A tour guide can take you across the jungle and past the best attractions, including stunning waterfalls and interesting rock formations. You can also enjoy the treetop canopy walk along an epic suspension bridge. A whopping 530 m in length, it’s one of the longest such bridges in the world. In addition to awesome views of the rainforest, you may also get to catch some glimpses of the jungle’s wildlife.
The hike is of moderate intensity, so be sure to wear comfortable hiking boots, lightweight clothing, and sun protection, as well as to bring drinking water with you. It’s also useful to learn a few basic survival skills in preparation for your trek. First aid skills like dealing with sprains and bleeding are particularly important to know before venturing out into the wilderness. Being aware of leeches (and how to deal with them) is always helpful in the forest!
A night safari through Kuala Tahan National Park is an unforgettable experience. Whether you embark on a walking tour or decide to rent a four-wheel-drive, the safari kicks off at the main wildlife office and finishes at Bumbun Tahan (or Tahan Hide). You’ll be able to spend the night spotting the area’s amazing nocturnal wildlife from stick insects, water dragons, and snakes to wild boar, deer, and tapir. Bringing your own torch is recommended – relying on the small one in your smartphone is not advisable.
Offering a host of natural marvels, Kuala Tahan National Park is an incredibly worthwhile (and not overly well-known) destination. Visiting Lata Berkoh waterfall, trekking through the jungle, and adventuring on night safari are just three ways you can make the most out of your visit.
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