The Kilim Nature Park at the northeast tip of
Pulau Langkawi (Langkawi Island) is spread over an
area of 100sq. km including the river banks up to the river estuary.
The park features a beautiful mix of well protected green mangrove
forests, isolated white beaches and blue lagoons.
Here you can admire the natural beauty of the overhanging "Bogak Tree",
Tree Crabs, Iguanas and Macaques as well as enjoy the scenic and
spectacular views of unique limestone rock formations emerging from the
floor and of the mangrove swamps and the sea. These fascinating
geological wonders have been variously dubbed as the Temple of Borobodur,
the Elephant Stone and the Hanging Gardens. Gua Cerita (Cave of Legends)
and Gua Kelawar (Bat Cave) are accessible via Sungai Kilim
Kilim River is also a great place for some bird watching during the
migratory seasons in September and March.
The best way is to take the sights here is to take the
Kilim Nature Park
Tour. You would picked up from your hotel and taken to the Sungai Kilim
mangrove reserve where you would board a boat.
These brackish mangroves protect the coastline from erosion and provide
a suitable nursery for the teeming marine life within the Kilim estuary.
Go for a closer look at the protruding adventitious roots of the
Soneratia sp. and Rhizophora sp., two most commonly found mangrove
species, and to view the shrimp and fish larvae scurrying in and out
through the labyrinth of mangrove roots, seeking food as well as
protection from predators.
One of the area's interesting attractions is Gua Kelawar or Bat Cave.
Visitors have to disembark at a jetty and walk a short distance to the
cave entrance. Gua Kelawar consists of two caves. The smaller western
cave has a low roof (one to three metres) extending northeast by
southwest. Ancient seashells can be seen stuck to the roof and walls,
testimony that this was originally the sandy bottom of an ancient river.
Studies have revealed that the sea level about 5,000 years ago was two
metres higher that that of present day.
The second cave is bigger, has a 10-metre high roof. This cave takes the
shape of a long tunnel of approximately 60 metres long, with both north
and south openings. It is so named because of its inhabitants — both
fruit and insectivorous bats. Malaysia has a high species diversity of
bats with 117 species (20 species of fruit bats and 97 species of insect
bats). Three species of insectivorous bats, the great round leaf bat (Hipposideros
armiger), the intermediate round leaf bat (Hipposideros larvatus) and
the Southeast Asian bent-winged bat (Miniopterus medius) make their home
in the cave.
wooden platform runs right through the cave, allowing visitors easy and
safe access but a powerful torch is recommended if you want to view the
cave's natural treasures which include breathtaking stalactites and
As the boat venture out towards the open sea, you can view various types
of wildlife indigenous to the area such as white belly sea eagles,
brahminy kites, kingfishers, monitor lizards, small clawed otters and on
very rare occasions, even dolphins which sometimes love to play tag by
following the bow-wave of the boat.
Home of a growing number of eagles for the past 40 years, the river is
partially protected from the strong wind blowing from the open sea by
the islands of Pulau Anak Kilim and Pulau Tanggok and the coastal
mangrove swamps Found in great numbers here, the eagles here include the
white-bellied fish eagle, brahminy kite and the gigantic sea eagles. The
actual feeding takes place near the river estuary, Sungai Banjar.
airborne predators hover over the tall mangrove trees, fix their eyes on
the boat, wait silently and prepare to swoop in on the food. Boat
operators leave small amounts of chicken gut on the water surface for
the predatory birds. they turn up the boat engines as a signal to the
birds, and almost on cue, flocks of carnivorous birds like white belly
sea eagles and brahminy kites swoop down from the cliffs. They take
turns to snatch the food with amazing agility. With wingspans of over a
metre they are indeed a majestic sight.
the best time to watch eagle feeding, avoid the last quarter of the year
until March as breeding and nesting occur during that period. The eagle
population in Kilim has grown over the years. Initially there were an
estimated 15 pairs some 30 years ago and has since grown to number over
400. These wild predators have grown used to humans and boats and are
not easily frightened by the sounds of engines and humans.
After feeding the eagles, the boats will move downstream and soon the
Andaman Sea, located in the northern coast, comes into view as they exit
the Kilim River through "The Hole in the Wall". This is a famous passage
so named after a narrow opening between formidable walls of limestone
cliffs that connect the river to the open sea.
This narrow gap provides a sheltered area for a thriving fish farm and
mooring for yachts. The fish farm provides an insight into Langkawi's
rich aquatic life. The farm adopts a very hands-on approach.
You can have a closer looked of different kind of marine life such as
Moray Eels, Horse Shoe Crabs, Mantis Prawns, Sting Rays, Trevallys, Sea
Bass and Ornamental Fishes. Fish feeding is one of the activities at the
fish-breeding farm. You'd be shown how to feed a sting ray by hand.
Visitors can choose their own lunch or dinner directly from the 50-odd
cages and have it cooked the way they like at the floating restaurant.
With an extensive menu, here they try to accommodate to their customers
tastes as their chefs can cook seafood in a wide variety of ways.
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