This is a large open clearing in Malaysia’s Taman Negara national park, which covers a total area of 4,343 square kilometres, is estimated to be over 130 million years old, making it one of the oldest rainforests in the world.
The Malay words “Taman Negara” actually already mean “national park”, but people still refer to it as the Taman Negara national park. There are several bumbuns or hides in the park for observing animals, and we trekked out through the jungle to a few of them, but this one, known as Bumbun Tahan, was the most visually impressive. What’s more, this hide is only 200 metres from the park headquarters, making it the most accessible one of all. However, you generally have a better chance of seeing animals and a greater variety of such at the more secluded hides that are hidden deeper in the jungle. We heard what sounded like wild Asian elephants crashing through the jungle near one of the more isolated hides. Our hearts nearly leapt out of our chests with fear and excitement. It’s advisable to stay overnight at some of the hides for a better chance of spotting wildlife. Beware though that some of the hides are extremely dilapidated, dirty, filled with rubbish and just poorly maintained in general. Expect to spend the night in an unfurnished room with open windows and bare wooden bunk beds. Most of the hides attract animals with salt licks (mineral licks) and open clearings where there is plenty of lush greenery to feed on. Salt can be difficult for animals to obtain in the wild, but it is an essential requirement for the body, so they get attracted to salt licks, which are deposits of salt on the ground.
This photo was taken from a tall watchtower overlooking the grassy clearing of Bumbun Tahan. Towers like these provide a good vantage point and a safe place from which you can observe the animals. A path leads out into the clearing from beneath the watchtower. What we loved about this clearing was the lone tree near its centre, with its short bole and broadly spreading crown.Some branches of the tree bore beautiful racemes of orange flowers that we had never seen before. CAPTION CONTINUES in the comment section