Last Updated On : Thursday, February 02, 2017 10:26:04 AM

Kuching Wetlands National Park


Kuching Wetlands Western Tip - very isolated beach, saw no one at all. Access from Lubak Cermin fishing village.


Located just 15 km from Kuching and approximately 5 km from Damai Beach, the Kuching Wetlands National Park covers an area of 6,610 hectares on the estuarine reaches of the Sibu Laut and Salak rivers.

This wetlands park is mostly comprised of a saline mangrove system that includes an extensive network of marine waterways and tidal creeks interconnecting the two major rivers that form the boundaries of the park. Small patches of heath forest are found in the interior of the park.

The park is important spawning and nursery ground for fish and prawn species and contains a wide diversity of wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, long tailed macaque monkeys, silver-leaf monkeys, monitor lizards, estuarine crocodiles and a range of birdlife, including kingfishers, white-bellied sea eagles and shore birds, including the rare Lesser Adjutant Stork.

Gazetted as a national park in July 2002, the site is one of the last remnants of the formerly extensive Sarawak Mangrove Forest Reserve, which previously covered approximately 17,000 hectares and was first protected in 1924. Recognizing the ecological significance and tourism potential of the area, the Sarawak State government is currently formulating a management plan for the Kuching Wetlands. On 8th November 2005 Malaysia designated that the park as a Ramsar site, a wetland of international importance.

Kuching Wetlands National Park has long attracted nature enthusiasts owing to its fascinating ecosystem and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. For the visitor, the Kuching Wetlands offers an excellent introduction to the mangrove environment, and a chance to see a range of wildlife and spend some time soaking up the sights and sounds of one of the most interesting stretches of coastline in the whole of Sarawak.

River Cruises: To explore the park you have to take to the river. A number of tour operators offer coastal and river cruises in and around the park. These cruises follow the main waterways of the park with most trips taking up half a day Tours usually meander up the Salak river before entering the smaller rivers and creeks in the park. Some tours stop at the Malay fishing village on Salak Island, which lies just outside the park's boundary. Contact hotel recreation counters or tour operators for details.

The Santubong Wildlife Cruise: This award-winning tour is run by CPH Travel and departs from the Santubong Boat Club between 4 and 5 pm (depending on tide and weather) and returns around 7.30 pm. After departing the boat club you head to the Santubong and Salak river estuaries (just outside the park boundary) to search for Irrawaddy dolphins. Small groups of dolphins often feed at these river mouths and occasionally enter the Salak river itself. After searching for dolphins, your boat then enters the park^)roper, navigating the smaller rivers channels. Along the way you'll get a chance to experience the mangroves and go in search of the park's wildlife, including Proboscis monkeys. As darkness descends your boat makes its way to sites where fireflies and crocodiles are commonly seen. Flashlights are used to locate the 'eye shine' from the crocodiles.

Bookings are essential, contact CPH Travel at Tel: 243708.

Getting There: The park is located within an hour's journey time from Kuching.

From Damai Beach it's just a 20-30 minute boat ride away. Whilst boat access to the park is possible from Telaga Air and Samariang, most tour operators use the more convenient jumping off points at Damai Beach or Santubong.

Tour packages usually include transfers from your hotel in Kuching or Damai to the boat jetty departure point. Contact hotel recreation counters or tour operators for details.

INDEX of Kuching City  February 02, 2017 10:26:04 AM

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