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Peninsular Malaysia

Tour Code: MYS04

A 14-day birdwatching and natural history tour visiting the highlands and forests of peninsular Malaysia, including a 4-night stay in Taman Negara National Park, one of the finest lowland forest reserves in Asia.

14 days from £3495(inc flights) Land Only Price: £2995 SRS: £795


Steamy tropical rainforest dripping with epiphytes and resounding to the sounds of insects and birds – this is the allure of Taman Negara in Peninsular Malaysia and our 4-night stay there is likely to be the highlight of the holiday. Taman Negara boasts the largest tract of lowland forest in Asia and is a mysterious world of hornbills, trogons, pittas and many other rare and elusive creatures. Elsewhere in Malaysia we sample the genteel colonial elegance of Fraser's Hill and the Genting Highlands where cooler airs enhance the excellent bird watching, and we’ll also visit the unique coastal mangrove habitats of Kuala Selangor.

  • Pristine rainforest, wetlands & coastal mangroves
  • Broadbills, laughing-thrushes, sunbirds, flycatchers & much more
  • 10 species of woodpecker & 7 species of hornbill!
  • Mangrove Whistler, Yellow Bittern, Siberian Thrush & Great Argus Pheasant
  • Chances of shy forest mammals such as Tapir, Smooth Otter & gibbons
  • Erudite local naturalist guide
  • Old-style colonial Hill Station
  • Colourful butterflies & an exotic flora, including pitcher-plantsbr />

Food

All included in the price, except lunch on Day 13. Allow £10.

Accommodation

A mixture of comfortable tourist hotels and chalets, all with private facilities.

Rhinoceros Hornill (Mike & Karen Galtry)

Rhinoceros Hornill (Mike & Karen Galtry)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Kuala Lumpur

Day 2/3 Kuala Selangor

Day 4/6 Fraser's Hill

Day 7/10 Taman Negara

Day 11 Return Kuala Lumpur

Day 12 Ulu Gombak and Genting Highlands

Day 13 Kuala Lumpur/fly London

Day 14 Arrive London

Tropical rainforests support the greatest diversity of plant and animal species on earth, and nowhere is this fragile habitat better exemplified than in south-east Asia. The Federation of Malaysia is one of the region’s most important and rapidly developing nations, with an increasingly significant role in global politics. However, despite the tremendous pace of industrial growth, the country has managed to preserve large tracts of forest which today are regarded as among the finest rainforest reserves in the world. Paramount among these is the magnificent Taman Negara National Park, embracing over 4,140 square kilometres of lowland forest in the north of peninsular Malaysia; a verdant ocean of trees which conceals a myriad of exotic birds, mammals and insects. A 4-night stay in this remote and fascinating reserve will be one of the highlights of our visit to Malaysia but, with a tour itinerary which also includes visits to montane forest, wetlands and coastal mangroves, each day of this holiday will be filled with many rewarding birdwatching and wildlife encounters.

On arrival in Malaysia, we head away from the urban sprawl of Kuala Lumpur to begin the tour at Kuala Selangor Nature Park. Mangroves are much in evidence here, and as we familiarise ourselves with the common birds of the Malaysian countryside, we will also be encountering the specialist inhabitants of these peculiar saltwater trees, birds such as Mangrove Pitta, Flyeater and Mangrove Whistler. Thousands of Fiddler Crabs scuttle over the glistening mud beneath the trees and, like the bizarre semi-terrestrial mudskipper fish, run the gauntlet of kingfishers, herons and egrets wading through the shallows. If we are lucky we may glimpse Smooth Otters, Plantain Squirrels and Water Monitors in the reserve, in addition to two species of primate: the Silver-leafed Monkey and Long-tailed Macaque. Nearby mudflats will provide a variety of waders and terns to swell our rapidly growing bird list and further additions are likely among the paddy fields at Sekinchan where Yellow Bittern, Long-toed Stint and Greater Spotted Eagle are among the possibilities.

Leaving the humid coast behind, we drive north to the cooler environment of Fraser’s Hill for a 3-night stay. Set amid forested hills at an altitude of 1,400 metres, this popular summer resort displays evidence of its colonial past in the British-style architecture and the carefully tended 9-hole golf course; the vegetation and birds, however, could hardly be less European! Forest residents include laughing-thrushes, woodpeckers, broadbills, flycatchers and sunbirds but we will also be looking for some of the winter migrants from the north, such as the beautiful but shy Siberian Thrush. Further contrast to the British appearance of the resort is provided by a profusion of orchids growing on the forest trees, pitcher-plants and colourful Asian butterflies gliding through the canopy.

We travel next to sample the wonders of Taman Negara National Park. The village of Kuala Tembeling in Pahang state is the entry point to the reserve and from here we drive to the park headquarters at Kuala Tahan, where we stay for four nights in comfortable tourist chalets. Water transport is necessary to penetrate the interior of this vast expanse of forest but, once at its heart, we will find plenty of birdlife along the network of walking trails around Kuala Tahan, where residents include Crested Fireback and Great Argus Pheasants, 10 species of woodpecker and seven species of hornbill.

This extraordinary reserve is a pristine example of Asia’s vanishing rainforests, a seemingly endless carpet of giant trees festooned with epiphytes and supporting a dazzling array of strange insects, plants, reptiles and birds. Concealed within the forest are many of the Malaysian mammal species including Asian Elephant, Tiger, Leopard and Malaysian Tapir, but seeing these shy creatures is never easy and realistically we are more likely to meet some of the smaller monkeys, squirrels and gibbons, the latter announcing each daybreak with their manic whooping cries. Wildlife encounters are always unpredictable in forest habitats but our days at Taman Negara will never be dull with so much to see and experience!

The bustling city of Kuala Lumpur is a complete contrast to Taman Negara but less than an hour from our hotel is the quiet green haven of the Genting Highlands and Ulu Gombak Valley, where we conclude our tour searching for flowerpeckers, spiderhunters, minivets and other forest birds. Two weeks in Malaysia will have provided us with many images to take home: the lush green of the tropical foliage, the dramatic colours of the delicate orchids and, above all, the fantastic variety of bird species inhabiting some of the finest tracts of forest in Asia.

Rhinoceros Hornbill (Mike Galtry)Kuala Lumpur (Mike Galtry)Traditional and modern buildingsButterfly species (Mike Galtry)Water Monitor (Mike Galtry)Taman Negara Resort (Mike Galtry)Taman Negara (Mike Galtry)Streaked Spiderhunter (Mike Galtry)Spotted Wood Owl (Mike Galtry)Silver Leaf Monkey (Mike Galtry)Taman Negara (Mike Galtry)Red-bearded Bee-eater (Mike Galtry)Pitcher Plant (Mike Galtry)Pig-tailed Macaque (Mike Galtry)Orchid sp. (Mike Galtry)Long-tailed Macaque (Mike Galtry)Lesser Fish Eagle (Mike Galtry)Crested Green Lizard (Mike Galtry)Brahminy Kite (Mike Galtry)Buffy Fish Owl (Mike Galtry)Black and Yellow Broadbill (Mike Galtry)Rainforest in Taman Negara National ParkRhinoceros HornbillTaman NegaraWreathed Hornbill
Mrs. P.
Buckinghamshire
I'm pleased to say this was another very good holiday which was so ably led by Mano. He is very cheerful, and readily shared his knowledge of the birds, wild life & history of Malaysia with us and made sure that the individual interests of all of us were met....Behind the scenes he was busy making sure the holiday ran smoothly - organising boat trips etc, and even checking that the restaurant toilets were OK before he took us in. He arranged for us to sample the various cuisines available in Malaysian restaurants.
M.J.
Cheshire
Excellent leader (Mano) and excellent itinerary.
P.W.
West Sussex
We thought that Mano and his company had made excellent preparations. Mano himself worked exceedingly hard to ensure the success of the trip.
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Sun 21st January 2018 - Sat 3rd February 2018

YES

£3495

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £2995 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sun 30th September 2018 - Sat 13th October 2018

YES

£3495

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £2995 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Malaysia

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Tour Reviews

I'm pleased to say this was another very good holiday which was so ably led by Mano. He is very cheerful, and readily shared his knowledge of the birds, wild life & history of Malaysia with us and made sure that the individual interests of all of us were met....Behind the scenes he was busy making sure the holiday ran smoothly - organising boat trips etc, and even checking that the restaurant toilets were OK before he took us in. He arranged for us to sample the various cuisines available in Malaysian restaurants.
Mrs. P., Buckinghamshire