Taman Negara National Park is the first and the oldest official Protected Area in the country, originally named King George V National Park. Declared in 1938 by the Sultans of Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu (during King George’s Silver Jubilee), it was gazetted to preserve the land’s indigenous nature in perpetuity. The park was renamed Taman Negara after the nation gained independence in 1957.
The most popular activities at Taman Negara are river cruises and jungle trekking. The canopy walk is also a must-see, offering a fantastic close up view of activity in the rainforest canopy. Observation hides are another great way to observe wildlife. Simple huts built high above the ground allow guests to stay overnight to catch opportunities to observe animals in their natural habitat. Cave exploration is also available, either by boat or by foot.
Taman Negara is actually one of the oldest rainforests in the world, estimated at 130 million years old. The abundance and diversity of nature here is phenomenal, making it one of the world’s most complex and rich ecosystems.
Kuala Tembeling – the jump off point for the park – is also accessible from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Kota Bharu (via Tumpat) by rail. Trains from these stations stop at Tembeling Halt, about half an hour’s drive to the jetty at Kuala Tembeling.
The staging point for visits to the park is Kuala Tembeling, from which a 3-hour boat ride upriver takes you to Kuala Tahan at 9 am and 3 pm daily, except for Fridays when the afternoon departure is at 2.30 pm. Mutiara Taman Negara Resort also operates a speedboat service that takes only 45 minutes to reach Kuala Tahan. The speedboat leaves Kuala Tembeling at 10.30 am and 1.30 pm daily. The most accessible gateway to Taman Negara is either through Jerantut, a 3-hour trip from Kuala Lumpur. If you are driving a four-wheel drive vehicle, you can take the logger trail right up to Kuala Tahan, where you need to take a boat across the Sungai Tahan (Tahan River) to enter the park.
By Bus or Taxi
Jerantut-bound taxis are available at the Puduraya Bus Terminal in Kuala Lumpur. Alternatively, buses to Jerantut are found at the Jalan Tun Razak Bus Station in Kuala Lumpur. From there, hop on a local bus or taxi to Kuala Tembeling.