Stroll Amid the Wetland Habitats and Mangrove
Forests of Kuala Selangor Nature Park
Go to Kuala Selangor Nature Park to discover a coastal nature haven with a variety of wildlife and a chance to understand the special qualities of wetland habitats.
The park starts from the mudflats abutting the mouth of the Selangor River that spills into the Straits of Malacca. The thicket of mangrove trees protect the coastline and the all important fish breeding grounds essential for harbouring aquatic life.
But Kuala Selangor Nature Park is more than just mangrove trees and mudflats. The park covers over 800 acres of inland secondary forests and a 25-acre brackish lake that showcases waterbirds, songbirds, kingfishers, monkeys, reptiles and even otters.
Where else can you go to see a menagerie of wild creatures such as:
- Brahminy kites swirling overhead searching for a fish meal,
- Fiddler crabs fencing with each other in the muck,
- Mudskippers 'breathing' on land to hunt out of the water,
- Silvered leaf monkeys lounging in the treetops,
- Long-tailed macaque monkeys scurrying in packs along the bund,
- Monitor lizards slowly walking on short, stubby legs,
- Banded archer fish motor-boating in the lake,
- Flocks of foreign birds stopping for a rest, or
- Wading herons and egrets tiptoeing through marshlands?
Managed by the Malaysian Nature Society with support from the Selangor State Goverment, the nature park is an ecological oasis, once destined to be a golf course.
Today it remains an important stopover for migratory birds flying from as far away as Russia each year. And it serves as a great nature education site to instill appreciation for mangroves and the need to conserve unique wetland flora and fauna in Malaysia.
Kuala Selangor Nature Park: Three Ecosystems and a Bund
Mangroves and mudflats, secondary forests and a marshy lake form the three dominant habitat types of the park. Each has their own appeal and you can look for different animals and tree species in each habitat to enjoy all the special qualities the park bestows.
Surrounding the brackish lake is a manmade embankment, called a bund, to keep water levels in the lake suitable for birds to feed and roost and maintain aquatic fish and food. For the visitor this means easy access and clear observation.
Observation towers allow you to spend more time watching wildlife without too much sun exposure. So bring a good pair of bird watching binoculars or a long lens for the camera.
|| Mangroves-Mudflats - Comprised of 13 species of mangrove trees, these mucky habitats are full of life. Monkeys, birds and snakes seek out a meals in these green gardens; while mudflats swell with nutrients and are best to visit at low tide when you can spot crabs, molluscs and mudskippers in action.
|| Secondary Forest - Filled with strangling figs, coastal trees and climbers, these dryland species spread into and replaced the mangroves after building the bund and lake. Now covering 450 acres, forest trails lead to jungle habitat with a chance to see frog species, snake species, rainforest monkeys, lizard species and others.
|| Brackish Lake - Surrounded by a walkable path and three viewing towers, the lake attracts plenty of waterbirds and migratory birds so you can observe their feeding behaviour. Full of fish, crabs, crustaceans and insects, the pond - a mix of seawater and river water - supports plenty of food and aquatic plants for local and fly-by visitors.
Kuala Selangor Nature Park: Wildlife Observation
Unlike the rainforest, even wildlife watching beginners can find a few animals to observe in the open skies and waters of KSNP.
Birds like herons, egrets, kingfishers and Brahminy kites are easy to see and a pair of binoculars helps the kids get a closer view. And if you're lucky, a gangly Milky stork will perch atop the treetops
Most probably you'll encounter a few wild observations while hiking with kids on the bund, boardwalk or trails, such as skinks, monitor lizards, and long-tailed macaque monkeys.
For patient trekkers, three are plenty of opportunities to shoot wildlife photos to show off to friends and family.
Observe the plant life too, with colorful ferns, stringy ficus trees and a variety of mangrove trees to choose from.
Big-winged raptors swoosh over the lake, while bluish fiddler crabs and big-eyed mudskippers dance in the muck of the mangrove mud and long-legged waders stand knee-deep in the marshes.
Each visitor to KSNP will see some kind of wild creatures; you just don't know what may show up on the day you go.
Remember, that it can get very hot without tree cover and the mosquitos are usually present every day. But viewing wildlife in the park takes a bit of effort, so enjoy the journey as much as the discoveries.
The following checklist gives you an idea of what can be observed at KSNP:
|Silvered Leaf Monkey
|Malaysian Birds (98 species)
||Migratory Birds (57 species)
KSNP Wetlands and Mangroves
Currently, Kuala Selangor Nature Park is undergoing major renovations, so the park is a bit messy during the repair stage that may last all of 2012.
Only 8 chalets are available for overnight use, with all A-frame huts closed and a tent camping site for 50 persons not ready until later in the year.
The Ministry of Tourism is funding several projects, including the extension of the mangrove walkway to reach the mudflats.
Besides physical improvements, such as dining facilities and a hostel for large groups, the ecology of the lake requires some rehabilitation to encourage more marsh lands for waterbirds.
- The overall wildlife viewing potential around the lake is reduced due to the growth of the surrounding vegetation. Plus, the lack of accessible mudflats means it will be harder to view mudskippers.
- The reddish-colored, wooden bird tower is in disrepair and unsafe for use. Do not attempt to climb.
- Unfortunately, the Pangolin Trail that cuts through the secondary forest and leads to the hanging bridge is closed for maintenance.
- Though very sturdy for walking, sections of the mangrove walkway side fencing are broken, so please proceed with care, especially with children.
- Self-guided tours require lots of sign reading, so take advantage of any nature education activities or briefing materials at the park entry area.
- Toilet facilities and drinks are not available outside of the main entrance area, so please prepare for a long, hot walk.
Best Escape Option
In truth, spending a full day at the park is not warranted, unless you are a keen birder or nature photographer. Taking the kids for a nature lesson only requires a few hours to walk along the bund, make observations from the bird towers and take in a few minutes at the visitors' center.
The best option is to combine a visit to KSNP with an evening at Kampung Kuantan to watch the firefly display while floating on the Selangor River.
Try to arrive at KSNP a few hours before the closing time of 6:00 pm, then relax with a nice seafood dinner in town before driving only 15 to 20 minutes to reach Kampung Kuantan by 7:45 pm, when the first boats leave at dark.
Depending on the crowds, it usually takes less than an hour to finish watching the fireflies, with a quick return to KL via the PLUS highway.
Tourists without a vehicle can arrange with your hotel to join a bus tour or hire a car for the day.
Of course, it is better to visit the park with a school or civic group and hire a nature guide and catering service and stay overnight in the park.
Kuala Selangor Nature Park: General Information
Open 7 days a week including public holidays from 9 am to 6 pm.
The center is your first stop at Kuala Selangor Nature Park to get tickets, drinks, souvenirs and information on the park.
Take a few minutes to read the displays or watch slide shows in the AV room on mangrove ecosystems and conservation. Make prior arrangements with staff for early arrivals and group activity requests.
Entrance Fees Adults-Tourists: RM 4 MNS Members: RM 2 Students-Children: RM 1 (7-16 years)
Guided Tour Options Wetland tours and Birding tours are available at RM 150 for 2.5 hours Arrange with MNS staff at least one week ahead of time School and CSR group packages are available for group sizes between 20-40+
What To Bring Birdwatching equipment (binoculars, scopes) Camera equipment (tripod, filters) Long-sleeved shirt for protection Wear a hat or cap to block out sun Mosquito spray for walking trails a must Wear shoes that can get muddy, bring extra pair for ride home Plenty of water and energy snacks for trail walks and bird hides Guide books to identify birds, butterflies, mammals and reptiles Patience in the hot sun to wait out wildlife for that perfect shot
- From Kuala Lumpur go via Sungai Buloh (Route 54).
- Or take the North-South highway and exit at the Sungai Buloh signboard and follow the signs to Kuala Selangor.
- Or travel to Rawang (Route E1) and head west to Batang Berjuntai (Route B33) and then proceed to Kuala Selangor.
- Another alternative is to go straight to Klang and go north on Route 5.
- Kampung Kuantan is only a 15 minute drive from Kuala Selangor town.
- Turn left off Route 5 to Route 33 and watch for the Kelip-Kelip signs.
|A-Frame Hut - 2 pax (CLOSED)
||RM 30 per night
||RM 25 per night
|Chalets - 3 pax; with toilet
||RM 60 per night
||RM 55 per night
|Hostel - 14 rooms; 7 pax per room
||RM 175 per room
||RM 140 per room
Seminar Halls Multi-Purpose Hall
- Accommodates 130 pax without chairs; 100 with chairs (50 chairs provided)
- Air-Con available
- Rental at RM 300 per day
- Extra charge of RM 100 per day for PA system
- Accommodates 80 pax
- No Air-Con available
- Flip chart provided
- Rental at RM 250 per day
- Accommodates 100 pax without chairs; 50 with chairs and table (50 chairs and 5 tables provided)
- Air-Con available
- Rental at RM 250 per day
- Extra charge of RM 100 per day for PA system
Kuala Selangor Nature Park Office Jalan Klinik, 45000 Kuala Selangor
Malaysian Nature Society Office JKR 641, Jalan Kelantan, Bukit Persekutuan, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
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