Top Langkawi Island Wildlife Spots
"Explore the Jungle, Not Just the Beach"
Have you even thought about the awesome display of Langkawi Island wildlife?
Langkawi Island is the perfect place to take it easy. Just lounge on the beach, sip fruit juice and turn toasty brown.
With 99 isles surrounding the main island, underwater life usually takes center stage in the sparkling Andaman Sea. And the marine park at Pulau Payar remains a favourite for divers and snorkellers alike.
But don't forget the jungle.
The big island offers easy access to its wild inhabitants. No need to fear the terrain or the elements, there are lots of things to observe on jungle paths and mountain roads.
Despite the explosion of modern development, Langkawi still retains much of its natural goodness in its forest reserves and recreational parks.
For those seeking a nature outing more than an adventure, take advantage of the well-maintained trails and walkways that meander through the jungle and drive up the mountain.
Explore the scenery at night with torchlights to find another world of curious creatures that come out in the darkness. All it takes is a little initiative, some curiosity and a vehicle to ferry you to the island's display of biological wonders.
Where to Observe Langkawi Island Wildlife
Machinchang Sky Bridge Trail
The lure of Langkawi's panoramic cable car attraction is not to be missed. The gondola ride rises right over the rainforest canopy, a view seldom seen and never dull. Where else can you perch above the tropical jungle before shooting up the shear cliffs of Gunung Machinchang?
Nothing can beat the spectacular perspective of the grandeur of nature from inside a capsule floating in the air. After taking in the big scenes from atop the viewing platforms, take a simple 30-minute hike between the two structures.
The trails starts from the far end of the new sky walkway and leads you back to the first platform. It's an easy stroll through the hilltop forests and a great start to get you in the mood for more nature romps.
Mount Raya (Gunung Raya)
As the highest peak in Langkawi at 881 metres, Gunung Raya stands tall as a great wildlife haven. Just follow the main road that traverses from the big trees of the hill forests to mountaintop mossy habitats.
Do this trek once during the day and another at night. Keep your eyes pinned to the ground to note quick animal movements, but don't forget to look up. The swooshing sound of black and white Oriental pied hornbills often sweeps through the sky. At night other creatures come out.
Flood the tarmac with headlights and watch out for cat-sized civets scampering along the banks and even pit vipers linger on the residual warmth of the sunlit road. Remember that vipers are poisonous snakes with triangular-shaped heads. If seen, keep cool and keep at a distance.
Seven Wells (Telaga Tujuh)
Just around the corner from the Oriental Village, a 90-metre waterfall cascades into a series of large pools etched into the rock. Located in prime hill forests, Seven Wells offers plenty of premier habitats to observe wildlife.
Bands of macaque monkeys greet you in the parking lot and hang out near the souvenir and food stalls clustered at the base of the hill. A hard 200-metre climb rewards you with a short forest path to the falls, where picnic huts and shallow pools await to cool you down.
Linger for a while first, then climb the stairways to the upper pools to a large viewing platform next to the stream. Spend some time wandering in and out of the adjacent forest and relax along the way.
Lubok Semilang Recreational Forest (Hutan Lipur)
Probably more popular with local residents than tourists, these recreational areas set up by the Forestry Department are some of Malaysia's hidden gems. Lubok Semilang is no exception.
At the foothills of Gunung Raya, lush vegetation surrounds a modest stream and a steep stair-step trail that goes to the top of the mountain. No need to climb, just hang around the water, cross the bridge and follow the tarmac trail on the opposite side back to the parking lot.
At night this trail is awesome in its bounty. Enclosed by huge tropical trees and dense foliage, creatures big and small appear. The array of insect life is fascinating and if you're lucky you'll spot a flying lemur clenched to thick branches above or watch it glide to a nearby tree trunk.
Langkawi Island Wildlife Selections
Now that you know where to go, what might you find along the trails, in the trees and in the streams. The first thing to remember is that most wildlife prefers to be hidden for safety's sake. So keep your eyes sharp, move at a slow pace and observe from the forest floor to the rainforest canopy.
Hornbills - During the day look to the skies just above the treetops for the Oriental pied hornbill. One of Malaysia's 10 hornbills, this black and white beauty swooshes like a steam train to signal its arrival. It's slow and graceful flight is unmistakable.
Lizards - Keep alert walking by the big trees of the forest. Running up and down thick trunks are little thin lizards with their heads propped up. The Blanford's Flying Lizard evades attackers by gliding down to a nearby tree trunk.
Using a thin film of skin supported by five ribs between its body and forearms, these forest flyers parachute to safety.
Flying Lemur - A bird, a floating reptile and now comes a gliding mammal. The flying lemur is quite the odd sight. Usually found spread-eagled up a tree trunk or hanging upside-down from a high branch, this brown and gray mottled creature has a membrane blanket covering its limbs from head to tail and launches itself like a hang glider to nearby trees.
Look for this unique forest dweller at dusk and carry a pair of binoculars to spot them better.
Nothing excites a trekker, good or bad, like a snake. And Langkawi has plenty of serpents to get your blood flowing. Two species are of special note, both are stunning animals but one is dangerous.
Oriental Whip Snake - The sinuous lime-green body of the Oriental Whip Snake curls its way through the canopy with an effortless elegance. This non-poisonous serpent with a slender head remains in the trees and is a marvel of animal mechanics.
Pope's Pit Viper - If you notice a large triangular-shaped head on a snake then be careful, it's a viper. Found in hilly terrain or on roadways, the Pope's Pit Viper, with a medium green body marked with faint or deep maroon bands, frequents Gunung Raya and its fangs carry a venomous bite that will do damage.
It prefers to hunt at night in areas surrounded by small trees and shrubs.
Search for Langkawi Island Wildlife
Wildlife is everywhere in Langkawi. Tree frogs and river toads gather in ponds and streams. Grassy fields near beaches run rampant with gorgeous butterfly lizards, while olive tree skinks scamper up coconut trunks. And large-eyed geckos with orange splotches cling to rock walls and lie in waiting for insects flocking to night-lights.
A great nature escape, Langkawi Island is a wild place where easy-to-use hiking trails help you find the wonders of the rainforest. The blue sea and beach are nice, but the real tropical paradise lies within the green landscape.
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