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Thursday, August 12, 2010

TAMAN NEGARA MERAPOH: THE UNHEARD ENTRANCE 15-17 October 2010 (Friday-Sunday)

As the first and oldest official Protected Area in Malaysia, Taman Negara was originally called King George V National Park. It was gazetted in 1938 by the Sultans of 3 states - Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu to preserve the land's indigenous nature in perpetuity. The park was renamed Taman Negara after the nation's independence in 1957. Taman Negara is the largest of all Protected Areas in Peninsular Malaysia with 4,343 sq km spanning over these three states with the Peninsula's highest peak, Gunung Tahan at 2,187m rising in the Pahang sector of the park.

Taman Negara is indeed one of the oldest rainforests in the world. The abundance and diversity of nature is phenomenal in one of the world's most complex and rich ecosystems and the best part of it is it's in our own backyard! Lying along Kuala Lipis-Gua Musang road is the quaint village of Merapoh, one of the four entrances to Taman Negara. This entrance is far-less visited as compared to the Kuala Tahan entrance and much more accessible than the Kuala Koh and Tanjung Mentong, Tasik Kenyir entrances.

To experience Taman Negara at its best, we'll be exploring Gua Gajah, a fascinating cave where elephants come to rest or take shelter. If the lucky stars are upon us, we may even encounter these magnificent beauties along the trek. Also don't miss out on the night safari. Common sightings are Leopard Cat, Palm Civet and Wild Boars. After a good night rest, wake up to the calls of Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus). We will be going down Sungai Tanum and its tributaries to visit the Kelah Conservation Sanctuary. Feed the frenzy fishes swimming at your ankles as they fight against the current. Also, experience the vanishing trade of 'mendulang emas' (traditional gold prospecting) in Merapoh.

Fitness level: Easy (this trip suitable for child under 10)
Cost per person: RM300. Price includes accommodation, guide fees, entrance fees, all meals and activities except car-pooling charges payable directly to the drivers.
Accommodation is in chalets (3 single beds). First pay first served basis – limited places. All 
food served is halal. We will leave KL/PJ on 15 October after work.



Trip briefing will be held on 6 October (Wed), 8.30pm at Damansara Jaya. 
Direction map will be provided to participants.



Contact: John Chan at chankokaik@gmail.com or call 016 3569 169. For more info, check out http://www.facebook.com/johnchanka

Your Nature Guide,
John Chan

1 comment:

  1. Hello! I'm a MNS member from Penang and have just come back from Merapoh. This is a fantastic place for birding as the 13-km jeep track runs through good freshwater swamp forest and hill dipterocarp forest.

    A few highlights that you may want to check out:-

    Garnet Pitta at the first 30 metres into the Gua gajah trail (1.2km from the start of the jeep track).

    Wrinkled Hornbill around a salt lick area (1.5km from the start of the jeep track).

    Large Frogmouth at night, as soon as it gets dark. To get it, stand in the middle of the bridge where the jeep track starts from the ranger station, facing towards the forest. Turn off all lights. Play back call until you hear a soft "wup-wup-wup" call. This call is given as the bird flies in. Repeat until the call is heard nearby. It usually perches in trees overhanging the bridge. Once nearby, look for it by torchlight. It is a sight not to be missed!

    Happy birding!

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