Mangrove tours are big business in Langkawi due an abundance of estuary wildlife. A tour can be an enjoyable way to spend a day, spotting wildlife and immersing yourself in nature. Here’s what to expect on a day trip.
Choosing one guide over another can sometimes make the difference between a true adventure or just another day in a boat looking at trees. The cut-throat career of tour guides has produced some brilliant and passionate guides who can provide loads of information, but unfortunately plenty of people with next to no knowledge will produce a piece of paper that also allows them to act as ‘liscenced’ guides.
Tours themselves run on the average for four to five hours, not including pick up time, and most include a lunch stop. Tours can be taken via mangrove boat or for the more adventurous individuals, the slightly more expensive kayak tours get you even deeper into the estuary pockets. Either way, you’re bound to see some active wildlife going about their daily business. A sharp-eyed guide will be able to spot elusive snakes, birds and other wildlife along the way, as they explain life in the mangroves, so keep your cameras ready!
The boats slowly make their way along the shorelines of the Kilm GeoForest Park to a stop at the bat cave. Bats are not the most entertaining during daylight hours, but a rather enthralling sight nonetheless. Plenty of monkeys will welcome you as well, so when the sign says don’t feed them, we assure you it’s wise to heed this advice. You’ll have ample opportunity to take cute monkey photos later from a safer distance, as some of the monkeys enjoy diving from trees into the river and racing each other across to the next shore.
The popular lunch stop for the GeoForest mangrove tours is the Hole in the Wall Restaurant, where in addition to having a hearty local meal you’ll have an opportunity to feed stingrays or get friendly with a horseshoe crab before moving on to a post-lunch private beach to explore or engage in some eagle-watching. Considered a full day for most, these trips are well worth the price.
Prices vary on these excursions, depending on whether you’re in a group or doing it privately, and whether you book through a tour or travel agent (they do live on commissions so we can’t fault them too much). But if the price seems way off, it possibly is, or maybe there could be a language miscommunication of some sort. Expect to pay in general for a professionally guided mangrove tour around 100 ringgit to 200 ringgit, per person, for a shared tour — well worth it, we reckon.
Dev’s Adventure Tours
T: (01) 9494 9193
Adults/children aged 5-12 160/100 ringgit, includes lunch and water
Daily 09:30 plus Mondays and Fridays 10:30
Fauna Flora Eco Tours
T: (01) 2441 1568
Adults 100 ringgit, includes lunch and water
T: (01) 9590 2300
Adults/children 180/90 ringgit
How to get there
Most of the mangrove tours leave from the Kilim River Terminal off of Jalan Ayar Hangat.