Malaysia // The south //

Endau Rompin National Park

One of the few remaining areas of lowland tropical rainforest left in Peninsular Malaysia, the ENDAU ROMPIN NATIONAL PARK covers 870 square kilometres. Despite its rich flora and fauna, prized by conservationists, the area has only been adequately protected from logging since 1989. There’s plenty on offer for nature lovers, from gentle trekking to more strenuous mountain climbing and rafting; for the moment, its trails remain refreshingly untrampled.

Surrounding the headwaters of the lengthy Sungai Endau, and sitting astride the Johor–Pahang state border, the region was shaped by volcanic eruptions more than 150 million years ago. The force of the explosions sent up huge clouds of ash, creating the quartz crystal ignimbrite that’s still very much in evidence along the park’s trails and rivers, its glassy shards glinting in the light. Endau Rompin’s steeply sloped mountains level out into sandstone plateaus, and the park is watered by three river systems based around the main tributaries of Sungai Marong, Sungai Jasin and Sungai Endau, reaching out to the south and east.

Visiting the park

The best time to visit Endau Rompin is between March and October, while the paths are dry and the rivers calm. Take loose-fitting, lightweight cotton clothing that dries quickly – even in the dry season you’re bound to get wet from crossing rivers – and helps to protect you from scratches and bites. Waterproofs will come in handy, and you’ll need tons of insect repellent.

The park has three entry points: one from the west at Selai via Bekok (Johor), and two from the east, at Kuala Kinchin via Kuala Rompin (Pahang) and Kampung Peta via Kahang (Johor). The best is Kampung Peta, where more activities are available; the least interesting, Kuala Kinchin, is often used for one-night tours, not recommended as they don’t give enough time to get into the jungle.

As it can be hard to arrange transport, most people come on a tour. Mersing is the best place to approach from the east; ask agents in KL for the western entry. Prices vary according to what you want to do, and the following prices (for the Kampung Peta entrance) are for guidance only: park entrance fee RM10, licensed guide RM180 per day, 4WD transport into the park RM350 per vehicle, chalet RM80 or dorm bed RM20.

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