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Jungle Trekking At Kubah

By Wayne Tarman

Kubah
© Wayne Tarman
When Kubah National Park was first opened to the public in 1995 there were only one or two trekking trails and these virgin trails were quite tough to follow. A parang (jungle knife) was an essential trekking companion so that you could hack your way though the undergrowth. Swamps had to be crossed on foot to the delight of the resident leech population that feasted on the brave trekking pioneers. Much has changed since those earlier days. Over the last few years the park wardens have been busy expanding the park's trail system. New trails have been added and the existing trails have been improved with the addition of plankwalk sections, small wooden bridges and strategically placed rope sections. Today, Kubah offers a range of treks and walks through some superb rainforest scenery. There are four jungle trails and a path that leads to a telecommunications tower at the summit of Gunung Serapi. The following paragraphs give a brief run-down on the various trails and walks on offer.

The Main Trail

The Main Trail winds its way through mixed dipterocarp forest and links the other trails of the park. It never strays far from the Mount Serapi road and offers a number of trekking options. If you are fit you can trek to the Bukit Selang lookout point, backtrack and then continue into the forest to visit a waterfall and then follow your footsteps all the way back to park HQ. Alternatively, you can opt for a relatively easy hour long forest walk and then return along the Mount Serapi Road.

The first section, near the park HQ buildings, is called the Palmarium as it passes through a section of forest that is rich in palms. After this the forest becomes thicker with numerous buttress-rooted jungle giants lining the side of the trail. After 20 minutes or so you come to the turn off for the Bukit Selang trail. A further 30 minutes walk brings you to a junction. Turn right for the Ulu Rayu trail which leads to the Matang Wildlife Centre. If at this stage you've had enough you can take the easy option and turn left. A 5 minute walk brings you to the 900 feet mark on Mount Serapi road, and an easy stroll back down the hill to the park HQ. If you continue onwards the main trail comes to the turn off for the Waterfall Trail.

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