Rumble In The Jungle
Trip Start Sep 03, 2004
44Trip End Dec 22, 2004
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After spending two nights in the hectic hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur, we were off to Taman Negara, the worlds oldest rainforest at 130 million years old, allegedly, as Cape Tribulation was also supposed to be the oldest.
Our base for the trip to Taman Negara was the small town of Jerantut, where we spent 2 nights. On the morning of the 6th, Jillians 23rd birthday, we left our hostel in Jerantut to catch the riverboat ferry to the Taman Negara resort, in the middle of the rainforest. Jillian got a big surprise on her birthday, we both did, but more on that later.
The riverboat journey took nearly 3 hours, and the boat looked like something a 16 year old would make in woodwork class, but it got us there
Of course, with it being monsoon season, when we decided to go for a walk it started pouring down. Thankfully we were in a restaurant when it started, but there were a good few drowned rats walking about. When the rain died down, we finally were able to go for a walk. Following the signposted path, we first walked to a hide from where we spotted no animals at all, so we decided to walk further into the rainforest, still following the path. When we were about 1km along the path, we heard what sounded like a deep, big cat-like growl from the bushes. Our hearts were pounding, but we werent sure if wed just freaked ourselves out, but we then heard the growl again, and again, and again, the last time accompanied by a rustle in the bushes. Jillian and I were frozen to the spot, imagining all the possible scenarios :-/ - what would we do if a tiger appeared from the bushes??? Jillian of course had the camera at the ready! After we'd heard nothing for about 5 minutes, we went back up the path, at about ten times the speed wed came down it. What a relief it was to get back to the resort, alive.
The resort staff had told us before that there are tigers, leopards, panthers and jaguars in the rainforest, but that they stay well away from the resort. So not wanting to seem like a pair of jokers, we didnt mention it to them. However the next day, after returning to Jerantut, a taxi driver told us that the big cats, although rarely, have been seen very near to the resort, every so often they'll do a tour of their territory
That night in Taman Negara, we'd booked a jungle safari on a 4WD jeep, no more walking in jungles for us. It was fun, although we didnt see anything too exciting, such as a tiger. We saw bats, owls, poisonous snakes, wild boars, a "fox" (we weren't sure if the guide got his English mixed up, or if the foxes in Malaysia are different to ours, because what we saw was a black tail hanging forma tree - Jillian wanted to believe it was a panther!), and tiny clouded leopard cats, which were the size of something you'd feed with Whiskas. These cats are wild and have thesame markings as a leopard, although they might look small, the guide said you wouldn't want to come across them! The guide had a novel way of tempting the clouded leopard cats out of the bushes - by throwing rocks into the bush, they've a very high regard for their native animals in Malaysia!
After a good nights sleep, we were up early the next morning to catch the 8am riverboat back to Jerantut, then a 2 and a half hour taxi drive back down to Kuala Lumpur (great chatting to a local - founhd out a lot about the country!), quickly followed by a 5 hour bus journey up to Penang, our next destination. Its tiring work this, travelling the world!!! :-)