Nature Escapes

Temenggor Rainforest Ecosystem

"Water Gateway to World Class Wilderness"

A bonanza of biodiversity, Temenggor rainforest ecosystem exudes the essence of the wilderness.

Remote jungle habitats remain pristine and isolated by the waters of the Temenggor Lake. Dissected by the East-West highway, Temenggor Forest Reserve lies south, while the Royal Belum Park spreads north to the Thai border.

Over 70 isles lie in the open water like fritters in a fry pan. Each one a former hilltop before rising waters submerged the valleys to form the massive man-made lake created in 1978, resulting in a vast freshwater haven for fish and secluded forests for terrestrial animals.

At least twice the size of Singapore on the Temenggor side, water is the gateway to a great variety of wildlife in natural habitats. Boat travel makes it easy to navigate large land masses and move tourists along to more adventures.

Lake Temenggor Jungle Guide Birdwatching

The wild choices are awesome: visiting Asian elephant playgrounds, jungle trekking to bat caves, seeking the unrivaled Rafflesia flower, night walks illuminated by fungi, sightings of grunting gibbons, as well as other natural delights and jungle animals.

Whether traversing the jungle, inside a cave, or boating on the wide open stretches of the lake, Temenggor rainforest ecosystem evokes a sense of wilderness not always found on nature trips.

Visitors ease into the wild with its calm, watery landscape only to be surrounded by a wealth of biological wonders.

Lake Temenggor Temenggor

Temenggor Rainforest Ecosystem: Conservation

Temenggor rainforest ecosystem prospers with plant diversity and teems with magnificent wildlife:

  • Over a dozen threatened or endangered rainforest mammals, such as the Malaysian tiger, Sumatran rhinoceros, Malayan tapir, find shelter here.
  • Malaysia's three species of gibbons - white-handed gibbon, agile gibbon and siamang - inhabit its forests, and 8 out of 10 primates found in Peninsular Malaysia dwell here.
  • All 10 species of Malaysian hornbills are found here, including the threatened plain-pouched hornbills once though to be extinct.
  • Over 3000 species of plants thrive here, including 3 species of of the largest flower in the world - Rafflesia.

Temenggor still remains a place of discovery. Nature guides continue to explore its lowland and hill forest habitats to identify wildlife refuges, scout out flowering plants or blaze out new trails. An hour boat ride south from Banding Island are two such natural finds: an elephant playground and a hidden cave.

Photo: Lip Kee Yap
Creative Commons

Explore a forested ridge, where pachyderm families massage their backsides in an excavated hillside hole. Large, oval footprints and clumps of dung mark the terrain as obvious signs of recent elephant passage.

Jump off the boat, climb trails abutted by massive rock walls and hang on to jungle vines to reach a small cave filled with roosting bats. Inside find discarded snakeskins, from well-fed reptiles, hanging from cave walls.

Hundreds of slumbering forest bats cling to the stony ceiling in darkness. And eerie feelings subside when standing in silence as these insect-eating creatures fly wildly above without incident.

Underscoring its animal conservation importance, hornbills roost and feed in the Belum-Temenggor forests. From the majestic rhinoceros hornbill to the shaggy-haired white-crowned hornbill, no other animal typifies the wild experience like the sight of these regal rainforest birds.

From August to October an amazing natural display occurs, thousands of plain-pouched hornbills fill the sky like tiny, puffs of black clouds. Observers once counted 2067 hornbills in a single flight. Just one of the spectacular and unique jungle experiences that awaits each visitor.

Guides with extensive forest knowledge find leafless Rafflesia flowers that bloom just once or twice per year, and stay fresh for just one week before its exuberant reddish glow turns black with decay. Ancient palm-like cycads sprawl out of rocky crevices on the exposed white cliffs of limestone hills.

And where else will you come across signs that warn: Beware! Elephant Crossing.

Elephant Rafflesia Forest Bats

Temenggor Rainforest Ecosystem: People of the Rainforest

Accenting the ancient character of the Temenggor rainforest ecosystem are the indigenous people, traditional forest dwellers that survive mostly on the bounty of the earth. Temenggor is home to both Jahai and Temiar communities, with a population reaching roughly 5,000.

Living on the remote fringes of the lake, sporadic villages sprang up after resettlement during dam construction. Some communities plant tapioca and rice in permanent fields, while others prefer to retain semi-nomadic lifestyles by hunting game and collecting and selling forest products like bamboo and aromatic woods.

Inhabiting the hill forests and river valleys for centuries, some indigenous settlements and burial grounds were flooded as waters engulfed 18,000 hectares of pristine natural history and tribal culture. Other settlements relocated to higher ground.

Jahai elder Jahai Kids Jahai

Special excursions to these jungle hamlets are available. However, the lack of communication and courtesy often turns these village visits into aboriginal sideshows. Armed with sweets, clothes and good intentions, tourists may feel uncomfortable invading these polite people with flotillas of gawking sightseers.

Try to ensure that operators and guides show and command respect for these communities by scheduling planned visits rather than showing up at their lakeside jetty on a whim.

Blowpipe Orang Asli Village Jahai Kids

Temenggor Rainforest Ecosystem: General Information

Contact tour operators to enquire about trip packages and for getting permits from the Perak Forestry Department. Otherwise get in touch with various resorts and other accommodations to seek information on how to proceed.

For more information on lodging, boat rides, trekking and nature guides, call:

  • Perak State Economic Planning Unit (Tourism) at 05-5225119
  • Perhilitan in Perak at 05-7911164.

Banding Resort Hotel
Tel: (+605) 792 1791
Fax: (+605) 792 1793
28 Deluxe and Superior Rooms with air-con and bathroom with hot water attached; camping; restaurant.

Organises fishing, boat rentals, jungle trekking and Orang Asli visits

Lembah Belum Recreational Centre on Pulau Tikus
Tel: 012-4836903
Chalets and Dormitory;
Organises boat trips, meals and guides
Sungai Halong campsite Wooden shelters and platforms, so bring your own camping equipment
Note: There are no shops, purchase supplies and stock up in Gerik before reaching Banding Island.

What To Bring

  • Good trekking shoes and sandals
  • Torchlight, headlamp and extra batteries
  • Rain gear or protective covering
  • Hat or cap and long-sleeve shirt for long boat rides
  • Leech socks and insect repellent
  • Toiletries and medicines
  • Swimwear and towels/li>
  • Cameras and binoculars
  • Extra energy snacks for the trail
  • Water bottles for refills
  • Set of utensils, plate and cup for camp style dining

When To Go

Travel to Temenggor is suitable any time of the year, though the rainy season (November to January) will present some difficulties.

Return To Top

Follow Me on Pinterest

Wild Nature Series

Our new nature education ebooks kicks off with Pitcher Plants!

A great way to start your kids on a science journey and a perfect companion for homeschool studies.

Where To Go Wild!

Free advice on the best way to approach nature travel in Sabah, Sarawak or Peninsula Malaysia.

Don't be disappointed with your holiday decisions, sign up for our freebie newsletter.

wild guide malaysia

Go To Download

Free Newsletter
Natural Selections

(read more)



E-mail addresses are secure.
Receive nothing else but our newsletter or notices.

Malaysia Hotel Search

Malaysia Hotels

Nature Escapes

KL City Escapes  1 Hour Escapes  2 Hour Escapes  3 Hour Escapes  4 Hour Escapes
Great PM Escapes  Bukit Larut  Cameron Highlands  Frasers Hill  Kampung Kuantan  Kuala Selangor NP  Langkawi Island  Penang Island  Perhentian Island  Redang Island  Taman Negara  Tasik Bera Swamp  Tasik Chini Swamp  Temenggor Forest  Tioman Island
Borneo Escapes Sabah  Kinabalu Park  Kinabatangan WS  Maliau Basin  Pulau Tiga NP  Sipadan Island  Sepilok Orangutans   Sarawak  Bako National Park  Batang Ai NP  Mulu National Park  Niah National Park

Nature Getaways

KL Weekend Getaways

Nature Action

Mountain Biking Wildlife Watching Jungle Trekking Jungle Kids Jungle Water Jungle Safety Jungle Planning

Nature World

Rainforest Animals Rainforest Plants Rainforest Ecology Rainforest Pictures Rainforest Videos Rainforest Reptiles Rainforest Photo Art
Nature Events  Raptor Watch 2012
Natural Selections  Langkawi Wildlife
Nature Book Selections  Lizards of P. Malaysia  Enchanting Borneo

Travel Guide

Malaysia Nature Tours Malaysia Maps Malaysia Travel Malaysia Weather Kuala Lumpur Maps Kuala Lumpur Guide Kuala Lumpur Hotels

Nature Groups

Green Groups Green Issues Science For Kids

NE Business

About Nature Escapes NE Newsletter NE Wild Guide (free) NE Nature Guides NE Advertising Rates NE Sponsorships
Enjoy This Site?
Use the button below, to add us to your favorite bookmarking service.

| NE Advertising Options | NE Sponsorship | NE Policies | NE Disclosure |

Copyright© 2008-2013 - Ecographica Sdn Bhd - All Rights Reserved

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape