Given that tropical rainforest is always sodden, the driest time of year is between February and mid-October, with the peak tourist season roughly from May to August – make sure you book ahead. Mid-November to mid-January is extremely wet, and movement within the park can be restricted as paths go under water and rivers become impassable. Usually, however, most of the park’s trails require no more than an average level of fitness, though of course longer trails require some stamina. Some essential camping and trekking gear is available to buy at Jerantut, or to rent at Kuala Tahan, but take your own if possible.
To budget for your trip, remember that for any trek involving overnighting in the forest (other than in a hide close to a park office or accessible by boat), you must hire a guide. The charge may seem steep, and boat excursions can also prove costly, but these are the only substantial outlays you’ll face, as inexpensive accommodation, eating and transport options are easy to find. Many visitors never do any serious trekking and stay for just two or three nights, which is enough to get a reasonable flavour of the park.
Getting around the park
If you simply need to cross the river from Kuala Tahan, small on-demand wooden boats (daily dawn–9pm; RM1) cross from Kuala Tahan’s floating restaurants to the jetty below the resort and national park headquarters. Put your fare in the tin by the ferryman.
Aside from trekking, wooden longboats seating four to ten people are the only way to get around Taman Negara from Kuala Tahan; you can use them like a taxi service to reach distant trekking trails, or speed your return journey after a long hike. Boats might wait for you or, more likely, return at an agreed time; don’t expect them to hang around indefinitely if you are late. Book through the national park office; prices are the same for single or return trips.