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Camping Adventures with Nature, Malaysia

A land of spectacular vistas, undulating terrain, undulating terrain and ancient rainforests, Malaysia offers unlimited opportunities for campers. The wilds of the country’s extensive national parks and wildlife reserves present an opportunity to rediscover the allure of nature.

From the freshwater swamp forests of the Kinabatangan floodplains where Proboscis monkeys squat in treetops munching leaves, to the undisturbed rainforest of Taman Negara, one of Asia’s conservation areas, camping in Malaysia is a rich and rewarding experience.

When it comes to Malaysia holidays camping is extremely popular amongst travellers and locals alike. The beauty of the countryside draws people from the city and around the world, and many of them bring along their tents and sleeping bags. Because camping is such a popular pastime in Malaysia, there is a wealth of campgrounds from which to choose scattered across the country.


Diversity of Terrain

Undulating hills matted with dense vegetation, gushing rivers, steep forested slopes and muddy trails are just a few examples of the varied terrain encountered when camping in Malaysia’s diverse tropical habitats. Blanketing the landscape, there are several major types of rainforest to explore, each with their own unique characteristics and wildlife.

A prominent feature of both Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysian hillside, dipterocarp forests are one of nature’s most complex and diverse ecosystems. Hundreds of plant species including climbing vines and palms can be seen in a dazzling array of forms and functions. Large buttressed roots provide stability for many rainforest trees while the tip of some leaves aid water dripping.

Montane forests are a cooler alternative for camping than the dipterocarp forests and come with their own attractions and indigenous plant and animal life.

Camp for as many days as you may wish. The choice is up to the nature adventurer. The best time to camp in Peninsular Malaysia is during the dry season in March to October when rainfall is sparse and does not hinder exploration. The wet season in Sabah and Sarawak is from July to October.

Sights and Sound of the Forest

The wilds of Malaysia are full of fascinating animals and amazing plants that take advantage of the competitive conditions of the rainforest. Rainforest wildlife conceal or camouflage themselves to avoid predators and to survive but towered hides and canopy walks aid those searching for a glimpse of the inhabitants.

Endau-Rompin in Johor is a unique collection of lowland and montane rainforest which is home to the largest population of endangered animals in the country. The Sumatran rhinoceros, tigers and elephants are among the protected species in Endau-Rompin.camping2

Taman Negara in Pahang has many trails of which the Mat Kilau trail is the most popular due to the sightings of Fishing Eagles, gibbons, pheasants and tapir.

A visit to the jungle requires the full use of one’s senses to discover all the creatures of the forest. Take time to spot the many insects and butterflies flitting about in the forests of Peninsular Malaysia. Marvel at the membrane wings of the Flying Lemur gliding tree from tree in Endau-Rompin. Listen to the swooshing wingbeats of the colourful hornbills or the call of gibbons echoing at dawn in Danum Valley in Sabah.

From fungi to orchids, thousands of rainforest plants climb up, drape over or join together to form a vibrant and interconnected habitat. The observant camper will notice how a strangler fig slowly surrounds and kills the host tree, leaving nothing but a hollow centre in its place.


National Parks in Malaysia provide many jungle camping sites. There are also many mountain and beach sites which are suited for camping. In picking your camp site, always take into consideration the weather conditions and the types of camping equipment you will need.

The rainy season during December to February renders some camp sites along the river trails of Taman Negara inaccessible. Always check with the relevant Park authorities beforehand.

The lower altitudes of primary jungle such as Taman Negara, Kenong Rimba Park in Pahang; Endau-Rompin in Johor; Mulu and Lambir National Parks in Sarawak are humid, so your choice of tents should allow for good ventilation. Enclosed nylon tents with sewn-in groundsheets are not recommended as they tend to condense air on the inside. Cotton tents get heavy after absorbing water.

When camping on high altitude locations such as Gunung Jerai in Kedah; Gunung Korbu in Perak; Gunung Tapis and Gunung Tahan in Pahang, choose a site that is sheltered from the wind and avoid the higher peaks during thunderstorms. A self-contained tent with aluminium foils and stakes are best for mountain camping.

Only a basic set-up is needed when camping on the beaches of the marine parks in the country which includes Pulau Payar in Kedah; Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan; Pulau Redang, Terengganu; Pulau Tioman and Cherating in Pahang and Tuanku Abdul Rahman Park in Sabah. A hammock or sleeping bag will do very well.

Although most of the national parks and private tourist facilities furnish and rent out camping gear, it may be wiser to bring along basic camping necessities