Endau Rompin National Park
Paradise for nature lovers
What we say:
Hard-core hikers could spend a week going deep into the jungle, but most visitors arrive on two or three-night packages. This is sufficient time to trek to Endau Rompin's spectacular waterfalls and spend some time with the Orang Asli community.
The area around the Visitors Centre at Kampung Peta can be explored independently and has a garden of tropical plants and a suspension bridge. It's also common to see, or at least hear, macaques in the trees around the village.
However, going any further into the jungle requires the service of a guide. Not only will they help you navigate the overgrown paths, for multi-day camping trips they help carry the supplies and do the cooking. The park guides are Orang Asli who live in Kampung Peta and rates start from 50 ringgit per day. This is an important source of income for the village and allows them to use their expert knowledge of the jungle where they've lived in for generations. On long treks, they'll show you which water sources are safe to drink and which jungle plants are edible. They'll also take you to swimming lagoons and waterfalls.
If long treks aren't your thing, they can arrange one-hour night walks, boat trips, tubing on the river and demonstrations of how to use a blow pipe. Package tours generally include all of these activities, otherwise you'll need to negotiate prices directly.
Due to the difficulty of getting to the park, we recommend you stay at least three days/two nights. This is enough time for a full-day trek to spectacular Buaya Sangkut waterfall and some more relaxing activities like a boat ride and learning how to use a blow pipe.
Anyone with reasonable mobility can explore the area around the Park Headquarters or join a boat ride along the river (though there are a lot of stairs to the jetty).
The one-hour trek from Kuala Jasin jetty to Kuala Marong campsite requires a moderate level of fitness. Expect river crossings, slippery trails and plenty of leeches.
The trek from Kuala Marong to Buaya Sangkut waterfall requires a higher level of fitness. The posted distance is 5.5 kilometres, but that's as the bird flies -- you'll be trekking up and down steep slopes aided by a rope -- which makes the round-trip trek about eight hours. You'll also have to carry sufficient drinking water. If you struggled with the Kuala Jasin-Kuala Marong trek, sit this one out.
Will you see wildlife? Sure -- you'll see plenty of frogs, fish, leeches and spiders. You'll certainly hear the hornbills and monkeys chattering in the treetop, but not necessarily see them. There is a decent chance of seeing wild elephants at Endau Rompin.
You may think the further you trek into the jungle the better the odds, but in fact the opposite is true -- they like to raid the farms around Kampung Peta. The park's most endangered residents -- tigers and rhinos -- are famously elusive. Our Orang Asli guide admitted he had seen a tiger only once in his 32 years, and that he was so scared he cried.
Comfortable walking shoes are a must. Trekking boots tend not to be practical as you will frequently be wading across rivers. The leeches are ferocious â€“ buy leech socks or insect repellent before you arrive.
There is no phone signal in the park.
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