Gazetted as a National Park since 1938, Taman Negara is Malaysia's premier national park and the largest in the country. Spread over 4,343 square kilometres, this wild and virgin region is densely covered with ancient rainforest. Spanning the three states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, its protrusion into Pahang is the largest. Previously known as King George V National Park, Taman Negara is meticously conserved and jealously guarded as it is among the last remaining frontiers of pristine rainforest.
The myriad variety of wildlife at taman Negara can be seen and photographed from the many observation 'hides' that are specially constructed around the salt licks frequented by the noctural animals. The most popular hide is the Tahan Hide, which is a 5-minute walk from the park headquarters.
Taman Negara holds an endless list of exhilarating sights and exciting activities for you. Let your adventure spirit take you on an unforgettable tour of nature. A short walk of 1.5km, from the Park's headquarters bring you to the Canopy Walkway, a suspension bridge of strong ropes, cables, net and wood, hanging 40 metres above the ground.
There are several limestone hills in taman Negara that stay undisturbed since several hundred millions years ago. Gua telinga, Gua Kepayang, Gua Daun Menari & Gua Luas are among the more popular caves.
A leisurely 40 minutes trip up the Tahan River is the Lata Berkoh Waterfall. It offers visitors the invigorating experience of swimming in the cool waters of deep pool below the fall. The more adventurous would perhaps prefer shooting the 7 rapids of the Tembeling River. The 9-kms ride in an open boat takes about 5 minutes, but be preopared to get wet.
Jungle trekking offers many opportunities for the visitors to experience first-hand the exotic beauty of nature at its best. There are many well-marked trails like the Tahan Trails, Teranggan Trail, Neram Trail, and Bukit Teresek loop. Each trail promises different adventure, yet all are equally fascinating.
Kuala Tahan is where the Taman Negara Headquarters is Located. It is about one hour drive from Jerantut Town via Padang Piol Felda Plantation to Kuala Tahan village. Kuala Tahan is the main village and entry point to Taman Negara via road and river. Being as an administration centre there are Police station, government clinic, school, mosque, community centre, internet café, bus station, restaurants, souvenir centre and grocery shops. Various types of accommodation are available ranging from budget hotels & dorms to more comfortable and luxury chalets and resorts. You must obtained the entry permit from the Wildlife Department to enter Taman Negara.
KUALA TAHAN -
Canopy Walkway : 30 minutes
Bukit Teresek : 45 minutes
Tenor trail : 3 days/2 nights
Lata Berkoh/Kelah Sanctuary : 3 – 4 hours
Kuala Terenggan : 6 hours/ 3 hours
Kuala Keniyam – Kuala Terenggan : 8 hours
Gua Telinga/Belau/Yong Hides : 1 hour.
Jungle trekking offers many opportunities for visitors to experience and discover the wonder of Taman Negara. Nothing is a waste if you do jungle trekking, listen to the odd sounds, look around and this will reveal the secrets of the Tropical rain forest. There are many well marked trails such as Tahan Trail, Trenggan Trail, Keniyam Trail, Neram Trail, Belau Trail, Tenor Trail and Teresek Hill loop. Each trail promise different adventure while a boat ride will allows you reach certain locations faster. If you intend to venture deep into the jungle, please engage a registered and qualified guide. Here are some of the trails for the visitors to chose :
There are six different hides (Bumbun) in Taman Negara. Built five meters high above the ground, these hides are for the visitors who would like to observe wildlife. Located within the park itself, Tabing and Cegar Anjing hides are along the Tahan river, Kumbang hide is at Kuala Terenggan, Yong and Belau hides are along Tembeling river. All of these hides are built near to the ‘Salt-Lick’ where animal come to get the mineral salt. There are also facilities at these hides for the visitor to stay overnight and only accessible by trail and boat. The most popular and easy to reach is of course The Tahan hide, which is only 5 minutes walk from the Park’s headquarters at Kuala Tahan.
On your lucky day, you could sight animal like Samba deer, Barking deer, Gaur, Wild boar, Tapir, occasionally Panther and Tiger. Take some foods, drinking water, good flash light, insect repellent and light blanket for overnight stay. Start early before dark and keep silent most of the time.
Another must try activity is the canopy walkway. This suspension bridge is one of the longest rainforest walkway in the world. Span 500 meters high above the ground, it is connected from one tree to another tree, if you feel dizzy do not worry, hold your deep breath, stay calm, take your time and walk slowly from one point to the next one. This opportunity should not be missed, you may trek or take a boat ride to go to the canopy walkway.
Bukit Teresek is another interesting and challenging activity. You could test your endurance to climb this hill to the top. At the peak of Teresek Hill you can view the Tembeling river at the first point. Walk another 10 minutes you will arrive at the second point and from there you could see the Tahan river. On a fine weather, you could gain a clear view of Tahan mountain. It’s will take only about one hour to climb from the park headquarters and bring a bottle of drinking water to quench your thirst.
Kuala Terenggan is only 45 minutes by boat from Kuala Tahan. If you are seeking for a peaceful and quiet environment this is a perfect place to keep your mind in peace. You can also trek from Kuala Tahan to Kuala Terenggan, as this will take you 6 hours through Terenggan trail. If you find the chalet is out of your budget, you can opt for camping or stay at Kumbang Hide.
Kuala Keniyam is said to be one of the best fishing spot in Taman Negara. Located two and half hours by boat up the Tembeling river, here you can go for bird watching, fishing and camping. There are chalet and fishing lodge available for the visitors. From here you could trek to some limestone caves like Kepayang cave, Luas cave and Daun Menari cave. This is an ideal place to break your journey, spend the night and continue your trip to Kuala Terenggan the next day.
The most popular limestone cave within the park is Telinga Cave (Ear Cave). It is located along the Belau trail about one hour trekking from Kuala Tahan, or 10 minutes by boat to Gua Telinga Jetty then trekking for another 20 minutes. Bring along some drinking water and flash light, to explore the cave. Be prepared to be wet, dirty and tired as this cave is narrow, dark and slippery. You have to que and take turn to move in and at the end you have to crawl to get out on the other side of the cave, this will take you for almost an hour. With a powerful flash light, you could also sight some toads, snakes, fishes and of course thousand of bats.
Camping is always fun and wonderful experience. There is a camp-site near to the headquarters for the visitors who chose to camp. Camping gears and cooking facilities can be rented from Mutiara Taman Negara with a reasonable cost. All the camp-sites such as Lata Berkoh, Kuala Terenggan and Kuala Keniyam are located near to the river. Do not pitch your tent too close to the river as the water level will rise immediately after a heavy rainfall. Deposit all rubbish into a rubbish dump at the camp-site or bring them back to Kuala Tahan. Remember! cleanliness and safety must always come first.
NIGHT WALK & NIGHT SAFARI:
The night walk and night safari is a fun filled trip. Visitors can engage a guide or buy a tour from Tour Desk at Mutiara Resort or Information counter in Taman Negara. The night walk will take place within the park headquarters and night safari is at Kuala Tahan. You will be amazed to sight some wildlife like Slow Loris, Owl, Civet Cat, mouse deer, and wild boar as these animals are active at night to search for foods. A lot of insect will also be sighted during the night walk, occasionally you can see the deadliest snake, scorpion and spider.
Taman Negara is covered with dense and lush vegetation is home to many wildlife including birds. There are about 300 species of birds can be sighted in Taman Negara, Dove, Racket tail drongo, Hornbill, King fisher, Crested Argus Pheasant to name a few. Wake up early as most of the birds are active in the morning and late afternoon. Bring along your binoculars and a book of bird’s for reference. Places like Lubok Simpon, Kuala Tahan, Kuala Terenggan and Kuala Keniyam are good spot for bird watching. Birder could take a boat for river trip as plenty of birds can be sighted along the river.
WHITE WATER RAFTING:
You could arrange this breathtaking activity with some travel agents at Kuala Tahan, Taman Negara. Your agent will brief you what to do and what to take for the white water rafting. Usually, the trip will begin at Kuala Terenggan and end up at Kuala Tahan. This two hours journey is along the Tembeling river across seven different rapids. Do not leave the rubber dinghy if your boat is capsize, always wear a life jacket for your safety.
River trip is a must for visitors to Taman Negara. Hired a boat or kayak from the Taman Negara Boat Association. The river trips here are extremely popular, you can watch the flora & fauna as you cruise up and down river. Tahan and Tembeling rivers are always the best to experience and discover the secret of the rain forest.
THE BATEK: (NATIVE OF THE JUNGLE)
Visit the native of Taman Negara, this indigenous people are ‘Negrito origin’ and they are called ‘Batek’. These people are nomadic by nature, dwell from one place to another searching for foods. They build their temporary house close to a river, Fishing is their daily activity but only for their own consumption. Jungle products is their main income, with some money they earned they could buy rice, biscuits, cooking oil, sugar, tea & coffee, salt and tobacco (cigarette). The Batek people are allowed to take whatever they want from the jungle because they are part of Taman Negar. Hire a boat and a registered guide for this tour, some of them lives along the Tahan river and some along Tembeling River. You could have first hand experience to witness how they start fire from soft dried wood with rattan palm and a blowpipe demonstration. In return, give them some money to show your appreciation. Take something with you such as clothes, foods, sweets & biscuits for the children. You could also buy mini blowpipe and comb made of bamboo as a souvenir and this will help them to earn some side incomes.
RAPID SHOOTING: (ADVENTURE OF 7 RAPIDS)
The adventure of seven rapids is one of the most adventurous river trip in Taman Negara. Rent a boat from Kuala Tahan to go up the Tembeling river and end up at Kuala Terenggan. Take a chance to witness surrounding wonder of nature, passing through seven rapids and see boatman at their skill meandering his boat through rocks and rapids. On your way back, break your journey at Nusa Viilage for refreshment. Be prepared to get soaked wet, the water will splash all over, keep your belonging safe in a plastic bag especially your camera. This trip will takes about two to three hours.
LATA BERKOH & KELAH SANCTUARY:
From Kuala Tahan it takes about 45 minutes by 4 seaters boat to reach Lata Berkoh. It is an adventurous river trip up the Tahan river through swirling rapids and fast flowing river. You have to walk 800 meters through the trail from where you were embarked to reach the fall. The waterfall offer visitors the invigorating experience of swimming in a cool deep pool. Bring along some snacks & drinks as Lata Berkoh is nice spot for picnic. On your way back, stop over at Lubok Tenor, the sanctuary for the famous Masheer fish. Here you can feed, swim and touch them. This fun filled trip is a must to all visitors and should not be missed.
Fishing is a paradise in Taman Negara. Hire a boat with the local people to go for fishing trip. There are many fishing spot such as Kuala Keniyam, Kuala Perkai, Kuala Sat, Kampong Mat Daling and Jeram Perahu. Kelah (masheer) fish is a challenge to anglers to catch, ripe palm oil husk is a favorite bait for Kelah fish. Beside Kelah, other fishes like Sebarau, Tengas and Tengalan also can be catch. If you intend to go fishing for just a few hours or half a day, you could do it along the Tembeling river between Kuala Tahan – Kuala Trenggan.
GUNONG TAHAN: (2,187 meters)
Gunong Tahan is the highest peak in the Peninsular of Malaysia. This tough and adventurous trip is only for people who would like a challenge to scale and conquer the summit. To scale the mountain it’s take a week (7 days, 6 nights) for a return trip. Make the arrangement with the Wildlife Department in Kuala Tahan, engage a better guide and set the date. It is advisable for you to do it during dry season ( March – October ). Get some advices from Wildlife Department about equipments, foods, clothes, cooking facilities, insect repellent, first aid kits and camping gears. Always follow your guides instruction, they are expert and know the trail better than anyone. Safety and Cleanliness must always come first, come back in one piece, throw rubbish in the rubbish dump at the camp site or deposit it in your bag and bring back . You will be awarded a certificate endorsed by The Wildlife Department.
A proposed itinerary for Gunong Tahan.
Day 01 : Kuala Tahan – Melantai Camp (8-9 hrs) camping
Day 02 : Melantai Camp – Putih Camp (5-6 hrs) camping
Day 03 : Putih Camp – Padang Camp (8-10 hrs) camping
Day 04 : Padang Camp – G Tahan – Padang Camp (6 hrs) camping
Day 05 : Padang Camp - Putih Camp ( 7-8 hrs) camping
Day 06 : Putih Camp – Melantai Camp (5-6 hrs) camping
Day 07 : Melantai Camp – Kuala Tahan (7-8 hrs)
Entry requirement to Taman Negara :
Permits and licenses are mandatory requirements prior to going into Taman Negara. You may apply for one at any Department of Wildlife's counters located at the Kuala Tembeling jetty or Kuala Tahan :-
Entry permit - RM 1 per person
Fishing licenses - RM 10 per rod
Camera license - RM 5 per unit
Camping fee - RM 2 per person
Canopy Walk - RM 5 per person
Hide - RM 5 per person/night
Boat Fares :
Lata Berkoh - RM160.00 (4 seater)
Kuala Trenggan - RM120.00 (4 seater) , RM200.00 (12 seater)
Kuala Keniyam - RM300.00 (4 seater) , RM400.00 (12 seater)
Telinga Cave - RM60.00 (4 seater) , RM80.00 (12 seater)
Fishing 3D/2N - RM1,500.00 (12 seater)
Boat service between Kuala Tembeling – Kuala Tahan – Kuala Tembeling dapart at 9.00 am. & 2.00 pm. daily. The boat fare is RM60.00 per person one way. Advance booking should be made to Mutiara Taman Negara Tel: 609-266 3500.
Guide Fees : (max.12 paxs)
One (1) Day - RM250.00
Half a Day - RM150.00
Gunong Tahan - RM1,200.00 (7 days) , RM150.00 (each additional day)