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Paradise for nature lovers

Sarawak’s is a paradise of a huge diversity of species of flora and fauna, and its biodiversity is legendary. It is home to amazing national parks and nature reserves. Featured here are just two of them.

 

Similajau National Park beckons

The pristine Similajau National Park never fails to wow those who visit it. Located about 30 kilometres northeast of Bintulu Town, it was designated as a national park on Dec 1, 1976.

Similajau National Park covers a total area of 89.96 km², encompassing beautiful coastlines and rugged outcrops, and offering countless adventures for thrill seekers.

The park offers seven different walking trails that cater to every nature lovers’ dream. Notable trekking trails are the Selunsur Rapids, which demands a two-hour hike. But the long hike will be worthwhile once you get to take a refreshing

dip in the clean, cool waters that rush down the river past the rocks along the river. Another excellent choice for a nice quick bath after a hot day of trekking is Sebubong Pool, which is only accessible via boat.

The wildlife viewpoint’s lookout post located at the headlands of Kuala Sungai Likau takes about 50 minutes to reach by foot from the park’s headquarters. The area provides hidden shelters or outposts built especially for nature lovers to watch marine life, birds and other creatures safely around the park without causing interference. Birders will be amazed at the number of different species of birds they will be able to spot.

The park also offers an exciting night-time crocodile spotting by boat along Likau River. Be sure to bring along a powerful torchlight so you can easily spot these ferocious reptiles that have been around since the times of the dinosaurs. Meanwhile, a private boat can be hired for sea cruises along Batu Mandi and Golden Beach.

Similajau National Park offers a chance to spot dolphins unique to Bintulu, namely the Irrawaddy, Bottlenose, Indo-Pacific Humpback, Finless Porpoise and Pantropic Spotted dolphin. If you are lucky enough, Gibbons, Banded Langurs and Long-Tailed Macaques may just makea special appearance.

The park’s Golden Beach, Turtle Beach One and Turtle Beach Two are regular landing spots for various species of turtles that come here to nest. Come between March and September for a chance to witness the turtles nesting.

Similajau National Park is perfect for family outings and leisurely activities such as picnicking, barbecuing and snorkelling as well. You can stay overnight at the chalets provided by the park.

 

Piasau Nature Reserve

Located within 20 minutes from Miri town, the reserve covers 92.65ha of inland coastal forest with a mixture of sandy beaches and vegetation. It is home to 107 flora and 75 fauna species.

The reserve acts as sanctuary and nesting place for amazing Oriental Pied Hornbills, majestic birds of Borneo characterised by their long down curved bills and a casque that sits on it’s upper bill.

Look out for the reserve’s official hornbill ambassadors and lovebirds, Jimmy and Juliet. After a dismissal of Jimmy’s long-time partner Faridah in 2013, Jimmy has finally found a new life partner in Juliet, another Oriental Pied Hornbill. Together, their love story has become a talking point of the place. Be sure to take your time to spot them when you are there.

Other bird species that can be found at the reserve are Buffy Fish Owl, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Collared Kingfisher, Blue-Throated-Bee-Eater and White-Bellied Eagle to name a few.

Besides soaking in the astounding beauty and majesty of the birds at the reserve, visitors can learn a lot about the plant life in the park. A highlight of your visit will be the Tapang trees found within the area. It can grow up to a stunning height of 80 metres and is a keystone species in the ecosystem, providing homes to many creatures at nature reserve.

Other parts of the reserve that are opened up for locals and tourists are spots for recreational activities. One can go for a hike, have a nice breezy jog, or paddle a bicycle along the designated trails at the reserve.

Come be immersed in pristine nature at Similajau National Park and Piasau Nature Reserve. And if time permits, do check out some other incredible parks and nature reserves here in enchanting Sarawak.

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