Kenong Rimba National Park
KRNP covering area of about 121 sq. kilometers is situated in the Kenong valley, southwest of Taman Negara. This scenic valley is home to many mountain streams and Batek aboriginal tribe, abundant with exotic and unique species of flora and fauna.
The natural surroundings inspires numerous of folklore such as mango tree which bears deliciously luscious fruits. Visitors may eat as much as desired but may not take home even a single fruit lest be blighted with a curse. Folklore aside, the park offers great adventure such as exploring limestone caves and river swimming, camping and jungle trekking.
Flora and Fauna
This tropical rainforest is reserved for specific purpose of fauna and flora research and opens to everyone. Speaking of tropical rainforest, humidity and confusion of the thick forest comes to our mind. Of course, important inhabitants of giant trees, lush green foliage, tigers, elephants, lots of wilderness and dangerous animals. Besides, it is home to long list of unique and interesting species. Just to list a few, there are flying lizards, insect-eating plants(pitcher plant), the rafflesia, swooping squirrels, timid mousedeers, dung beetles, lantern bugs, bats, the slow loris', a variety of birds and primates.
Some of the more special plants live are the tallest tree in the tropical rain forest, Tualang (Koompasia excelsa), gigantic ficus tree ‘pokok ara’, water lilies in pink and white colour floating on the still green waters and beautiful varieties of wild orchids clinging on the bigger trees.
For birdwatchers, dove (Chalcophaps indica), merbah red eye “Pycnonothus Prunneus” and Copsycus malabaricus,prized for their singing ability can be spotted here. Mammals such as the prickly porcupine, the deer (Tragulus javanicas) "pelanduk", Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) or "tenuk" and elephants (Elephas maximus) also can be found.
Attraction and interest
This reserve park is basic facilitated and visitors can truly sink into a bit of roughing out at the campsites. From the visitors’ feedback, there seems to be a unified appreciation for the raw, no-frills experience. One can literally feel the pulse of the jungle; the complexity of an intricate ecosystem, everything that lives and dies in the realm of the rainforest jungle.
There are a complex network of caves with its own unique geological formation and fascinating legend. The caves have all the necessary qualities – dark, damp and narrow passages, cave inhabitants, tough jungle trail and wall climbing. Experienced guides will make the trip much more interesting with their rich story of information and local folklore. Trekking varies from 2 to 6 days durations.
There are number of caves scattered along the way to the first camp at the base of Gunung Kesong. The first few caves, namely Gua Batu Tangga and Gua Batu Talahup are easily assessable. These notable caves have rock formation bears an uncanny resemblance to a flight of stairs.
Gua Tangkup, Gua Harimau, Gua Indah and especially Gua Patung may be a little more challenging. The entrances are much narrower and obscure. These caves require a bit of crawling and crouching through tunnels before entering chambers.
Gua Hijau on the other hand is a cave showcase. The cave is cut into the face of the limestone mount and suspension bridge over a stream connects with its entrance. Strong ammonia wafting out of the cave and the resonance of shrill squeaks is an immediate call for protective covering. A hat, poncho or large banana leaves, is handy to shelter from the guano showers. This cave is home to an impressive number of greater horseshoe bats and a couple of cave racers. These racers primarily feed on bats. It can be seen resting on a ledge high up in the cave. Here it lies in wait for evening to fall. As the daylight dims, the bats take flight from their hold. An unsuspecting bat swoops past the ledge. The racer lunges out from its hiding place, grabs the bat and quickly recoils into its lair for a satisfying feast.
If you have a head for heights, scale the steep rocky face of Gunung Kesong and Gunung Putih. You might have chance to see the footprints of the rare "Kambing Gurun" (mountain goat). Local folklore noted that the animal is reared by the fairies (makluk halus) and therefore, elusiveness.
The most beautiful is Gua Batu Tinggi the habitat of a variety of captivatingly lovely orchids’ species. It is also the home to some beautiful birds and is perfect for nature lovers and bird-watchers. According to legend, the Sultan's messenger and the 'sampan' (Wooden dug-out boat) he was in were changed into stone, at this very spot, as a result of a curse.
Air Terjun Tujuh Tingkat (Seven step waterfalls) is Kenong's very own waterfall, a vision of frothy white tumbling down into a clear rocky pool below. The spot is ideal for swimming, angling and relaxing picnics. The best months for angling are February to March, July to August. Fishing may also be done during the other months, but the chances of a good catch are reduced.
The Pesona Rimba Resort, a kampung-like resort is beautifully set under the canopy of the rainforest. The sight of the resort amidst tall and mature jungle trees is an invitation to a comfortable night, though the traditionally designed buildings look like they need better human care.
There is another distinct feature of the park to try climbing the giant roots embracing the limestone wall before trekking down the wall to get back to the resort.
Depending on the length of stay, cavers can either take the other half of cave exploration on the same day or spend a leisurely afternoon in the resort's vicinity and start afresh the next day.
Getting there and away
First, you have to get to Kula Lipis town. Kuala Lipis is 171 km from Kuala Lumpur or 250 km from Kuantan. Both bus and taxi services are available. Rail services link Kuala Lipis from both Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Locate the 9th mile Railway Station and from here a 5 minutes walk to Sungai Jelai Jetty for and twenty minutes boat ride downstream to Tanjung Kiara Jetty before trekking to Persona Rimba Resort.
Kenong Rimba Park contact:
District Forest Officer, Government Office Complex
27200 Kuala Lipis, Pahang , Malaysia.
Tel: 09-311273, 09-3144106