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PACKAGES Particulars 2-4 pax 5-9 pax Above 10 pax

3D/2N -

Survival Extreme

Lubok Pasir -

Merekek Camp Site

RM 1250,00 RM 600.00 RM 500.00

3D/2N -

Survival Intro

Merekek Camp Site

RM 950.00 RM 500.00 RM 450.00
 

ENDAU ROMPIN - Basics of Jungle Survival

 

 
SURVIVAL TIPS

Here are some tips on what to do if you are in such a situation -  lost in the jungle. 

To be lost simply means you are all alone and you cannot see or hear your friends anywhere. Your first reaction is do not panic.

 

Apply the S.T.O.P approach — Stop, Think, Observe and Plan.

 

STOP – Take a deep breath, sit down if possible, calm yourself and recognise that whatever has happened to get you here cannot be undone. You are now in a survival situation and that requires you to:

 

THINK – Your most important asset is your brain. Use it! Don’t panic! Move with deliberate care. Take no action, even a step forward, until you have thought it through.

 

OBSERVE – Take a look around you. Assess your situation and options. Take stock of your supplies, equipment and surroundings.

 

PLAN – Prioritize your immediate needs and develop a plan to systematically deal with the emergency. Make a plan and keep to it. Adjust your plan only as necessary to deal with changing circumstances.

 

- In most cases, the priority should be:
- Find or make a shelter against the weather.
- Build a fire for heat.
- Signal to attract attention.
- Find water.

 

JUNGLE SURVIVAL PACKAGES

Venue                : Endau Rompin Selai  - Entry from Bekok Johore

Other locations available : Janda Baik, Gopeng, Sedim Recreation Park

  

PACKAGE PROGRAMS ITINERARIES
3D 2N - Survival Intro
 
Package Includes:
Return 4WD drive transfers from Bekok (near Labis) to campsite at Lubok Merekek
2 nights accommodation per itinerary
Full board meals in the park
Package tour per itinerary
Accompanying guides and trainers
 
Package Itinerary
Day 1
1230 hrs Arrive Bekok. Lunch enroute at own expense.
1300 hrs After lunch, transfer by 4 wheel drive to Lubok
                Merekek campsite. Arrived at campsite at Lubok Merekek. Set up camp. Participants will
                be taught the right way to set up tents.
1500 hrs Trekking will start from Lubok Merekek and passing through Lubok Tapah to Pandan
                 Waterfalls. there will be things to be learned along the way and the guides will be on
                 hand explain.
 
               1. Identifying/collection of edible/medicinal leaves . A lot of these have been planted
                   at Lubok Tapah.
               2. Identifying drinkable wild vines and plants.
               3. Identifying edible wild plants  and fruits.
               4. Identifying source of water safe to drink without boiling. The water come from
                   underground also known as "mata air". The water from the main rivers maybe 
                   contaminated.
 
               The falls is more than 100 feet high over a vertical rock wall. We will return to based
               camp after having a good rest as the trek back is much easier as we will follow the
               river back to main trek leading to the base camp at Lubok Merekek.
 
               Rest and dinner. Next activity collection of firewood and starting and maintaining fire.
               After 9.00 pm we will go for a night jungle walk provided there is no rain and along the
               4 wheel drive trek. Lookout for foxes, porcupines, wild cats, mouse deer, snakes etc.
 
Day 02
0700 hrs Wake up call from the gibbons.
0800 hrs Breakfast
0900 hrs After breakfast, white water river rafting with rubber tubes a one hour to two hours activity.
1300 hrs Lunch
1400 hrs After lunch, practical jungle survival lessons begins,
               1. Collection of firewood
               2. Starting fires using available natural resources. Maintenance of fire for warmth,
                   light and cooking. 
               3. Participants will be taught how to tie fishing hooks and prepare fishing line and
                   finally placing the fishing line at the right places.
               4. Participants will also have to slaughter life chicken and will be taught to clean the chicken
                   the traditional way.
 
               Preparing dinner the survival way :
               5. Preparing fish and chicken dinner. E.g. BBQ fish and chicken
               6. Cooking rice and other available dishes in bamboo and wild leaf.
               7. Preparing BBQ tapioca.
1900 hrs Dinner will be what we practiced so we have to ensure that the food is cooked.
 
2000 hrs After dinner, the tents will be discarded. Participants will be asked to experience
                sleeping in the open and the campfire is required to be maintained until morning.
                Participants will be allocated time for them to take care of the fire. The fire will
                provide warmth and keep wild animals away.
2200 hrs Campfire night

Day 03
0700 hrs Breakfast and break camp.
0900 hrs Animal trapping demonstration.
1000 hrs Lesson in  compass orienteering.
1100 hrs Lesson in basic knots,
1200 hrs Lunch
1300 hrs Depart by 4WD to Bekok.
 
What to bring:
1. Raincoat, warm clothing, windbreaker. Also extra shorts and t-shirts for activities
2. A bottle of drinking water or water bottle for refill
3. Cap or hat
4. Extra thick socks
5. A good torch light
6. Toiletries, towel and other items of personal use.
7. Use good trekking shoes, tennis or gym shoes are fine
8  Plastic bags to keep wet items
9. Some high energy food (chocolate, nuts, raisins, glucose sweets)
10 Headache tablets
11. Paper tissues
12. Some plasters for cuts or blisters
 

3D/2N - Survival Extreme

 

Day 01

1100 hrs  Arrived Bekok Town. Early lunch at own expense. After

              registration at Endau

              Rompin Park HQ transfer to Kampong Selai.

1400 hrs  1.  The facilitator / trainer will brief on program

                  schedules and rules and regulations.

              2.  Participants will be divided into groups

              3.  Distribution of rations, tents etc

              4.  Non essential belongings will be kept at the

                  aborigine's house

 

1500 hrs   Transfer by 4WD vehicles to Lubok Pasir

1600 hrs   Shelter and survival kits

                  Set up tent

                  Collection of firewood

                  Starting fire

               Meals and cooking

                  Setting fishing net

                  Learn to tie fishing hooks and preparing fishing rod

                  from Bertam trees

                  Cooking rice in mess tin

                  BBQ fish

1900 hrs  Dinner time

2000 hrs  Campfire session

                 Discussion session - lessons learned

                 Myths and truths about the jungle

 

              Endau Rompin Survival Cooking Rice and Chicken in Bamboo

Cooking rice and chicken in bamboo

 

Day 02

0800 hrs Breakfast

             Coffee and boiled tapioca

0900 hrs Break camp

             Identification of edible and medical plants

                  Trek to Kampung Selai

                  Enroute participants will learn to identify

                      Edible plants

                      Plants with medical value

                      Wild animal treks

1300 hrs  Lunch - Aborigines cooked food with jungle edible plants

1400 hrs  Transfer by 4WD Vehicles to Lubok Merekek

1500 hrs  Survival cooking

                 Cooking rice and dishes in bamboo

                 Boil and BBQ tapioca

                 Slaughter live chicken

                 BBQ chicken

1900 hrs  Dinner time

2000 hrs  Campfire session

                 Discussion session  - lessons learned

                 Demonstration how to do bamboo water container

                 with jungle vines as ropes

2200 hrs  Real life survival situation participants will :

              1. Sleep in the open

              2. Take turn to keep fire burning until morning  and take

                  care of safety      

Note : We will do impromptu inspection every few hours to checkv that fires maintained well and the participants' safety assured.

 

Day 03

0800 hrs Breakfast - Coffee and  BBQ sweet potato

0900 hrs Preparing traps

             Compass orienteering

             Trekking tips          

1200 hrs Discussion session - closing

             Return of personal belongings

1300 hrs Lunch (prepared)

1400 hrs Return to Bekok by 4WD vehicle  

 

Endau Rompin Survial -  Survival lunch cooked in mess tin by the waterfalls

            Survival lunch cooked in mess tin by the waterfalls

 

Jungle survival courses address the following:

Survival kit items –
What to take and  what not to take

Water (avoiding dehydration is your number 1 priority) -
Learning to find water on land
Conserving water

Fire –

Start fire the natural way
Types of fires
----Fires for warmth
----Fires for cooking
----Fires for signaling
----Underground fires

Cooking basics -
Making cooking utensils

Strategy –
Getting your mind where is should be
Setting priorities (basic needs)
Preparing for the unexpected
Weather concerns


Food –
Wild edible plant
Boiling water in bamboo
Fishing with hand lines and bertam trees
Hunting weapons
Building traps and snares
Food preparation

Shelter –
Finding suitable site
Types of shelters (including natural shelters)
Building shelters with only a knife and know-how.

Rope –
Making rope from plants
How to tie basic knots

Finding your way back –
Reading signs
Determining direction
Reading weather
How to use a compass and map

Moving –
Moving solo through the jungle
Moving a group of people
Planning food and water while traveling
Signaling

 

SURVIVAL TIPS

You are lost and the worst thing you can do is to continue walking and drain yourself. Access your condition. Ask yourself: What do I need to do today, right now, to survive? How long can the food you packed last? Prioritising and do the most important chores first can help save your life.


The looming nightfall and darkness is lost trekkers worst enemy. It’s also the time when 90% of wildlife come out to hunt and find food - that’s you, if you’re not careful. If nightfall is drawing near, looking out for a safe shelter to spend the night should be your priority.

 

Go with the flow
Chances are, you fair better getting lost in the rainforest than anywhere else. Our forest is mostly damp and most plants are soaked in dew in the mornings. Collect dew and rain water with large leafs. Small stream in the jungle is mostly pristine and is safe to drink. Also remember, the smallest tickle always strings itself to a bigger waterway. Go with the flow and you’d usually end up near a river – and human settlement.

Au naturel
Although it’s not easy to find natural resources dry enough to start a fire in the damp forest, some resins, like the keruing tree’s, and bark strips are good fire starters. Look out for natural shelters.

 

 Endau Rompin Survial  - Mousedeer trap -  Perangkap Kancil

Mousedeer trap

 

Young Leonard Hendrik and Milos Johed who got lost in 2005 in Bau, Sarawak made a cave their home for two nights before being found. Note what wildlife eats in the forest; monkeys are the best indicators. If it’s edible to them, it is most probably to you too.
 

Draw attention
Break off branches at eye-level, 5 feet above the ground, along the path to help rescue team track you. One can also leave heaps of stones, piles of branches or leafs for the same purpose. A whistle never fails to draw attention and its piercing shrill can echo far.


When making a smoke signal, you get more smoke by adding leaves than wood to the bonfire. Understand that from the air you’ll be a tiny dot. Find an open spot where the plume can rise beyond the forest canopy.


Caveat - take care not to start a forest fire and jeopardize yourself.

 

Getting along with wildlife
Walking around the rainforest is not like walking through the carnivorous exhibit’s cage in the zoo wearing a sheep’s skin. Carnivorous animals like to mark their territory and leave plenty of clues.


Survival Kit – Comprehensive list of essential items
- Water purification tablets (iodine)
- Knife (sturdy fixed-blade knife with a 4” to 6” blade)
- Fire-starters
- Butane or similar lighter (in a waterproof container even if it's just a zip-top plastic bag)
- Metal match (magnesium fire stick)
- Waterproof matches (in waterproof container)
- Kindling (Vaseline coated cotton balls, pre-charred cotton material, natural materials)
- A smaller knife for more delicate work (folding multi-tool, but be selective. Most tools are useless for survival situation)
- A small fine-grade knife sharpener. I dull knife is dangerous.

  There are plenty of small sharpeners.
- Snare wire
- Parachute cord (small-diameter nylon rope)
- Signaling mirror
- Compass
- Fish hooks and line
- Small LED flashlight
- Small alcohol wipe packets
- Tetracycline tablets for diarrhea or infection
- Immodium (diarrhea is extremely bad in the tropics as staying hydrated is your #1 priority)
- Antibiotic ointment packets or small tube (Neosporin or Bacitracin)
- Surgical blade
- Butterfly sutures
- Insect repellent packets (small rubs are better than lotion and can often be reused)
- Sleeping bags
- Needles and thread
- An epipen if you’re allergic to insect stings
- Life-sustaining personal medication

- Pen and notepad
 

When you should carry a survival kit?
Basically, anytime you venture off into the great outdoors, you should have the fundamental essential: fire-making tools, a knife, a few water purification tablets, and if you’re going to be around water, some fishing line, sinkers, hooks and line. If you’ve got room for a compass, take one.

 

Please click on the individual photos below for a bigger image

Scenes of Endau Rompin jungles

 

Endau Rompin Survial - Scenes of the jungles Endau Rompin Survial - Scenes of the jungles Endau Rompin Survial - Scenes of the jungles Endau Rompin Survival - Thirst quenching the river water

 

HEALTH & FITNESS

We recommend that would-be-adventurers take regular exercise a few weeks’ before the said activity.


If you suffer regularly from severe stomach, muscular, chest, heart or bronchial disorders, are a severe asthmatic or have high blood pressure, epileptic fits and pregnant, you are strongly advised AGAINST participating.

 

 
GENERAL TREKKING TIPS
  • When choosing a trail, be sure that you have enough time to complete the entire route before darkness falls. Do not stray off the path to chase after animals.

  • Use good judgment regarding the fitness level required for the trek and know your physical limits.

  • Always inform the park officials or let someone know of your plans and destination for the day, especially if going alone.

  • Take plenty of water and pack a few easy to eat snacks to keep energy level up. Unless trekking with a local guide, it is not advisable to eat jungle fruit or drink from rivers and streams.

  • In the highlands try to trek on the ridge tops to save energy traversing the steep slopes and catch a cool breeze.

  • Be as quiet as possible to avoid scaring any wildlife. Getting an early start during the dawn provides the best chance to sight animals seeking food and the warmth of the early morning sun.

  • Wear thin, loose, preferably cotton clothing to remain comfortable.

  • Cover arms and legs with long trousers and long - sleeved shirts to ward off mosquitoes and to provide protection against thorny plants.

  • Wear leech socks or long socks to prevent leeches from finding an entry way.

  • Choose sturdy footwear with proper ankle support and good traction.

  • Be prepared for sudden rain showers by carrying a poncho that wraps over both body and your carrying pack to keep everything dry.

  • A wide brimmed hat helps to shade a trekker from the heat of the tropical sun.

 Endau Rompin Survival - Trekking in the jungle

 Endau Rompin Survival - Trekking in the jungle

 

 

Petikan Utusan Malaysia: UMAI TIDUR DI CELAH BATU,

MINNUM AIR SUNGAI 19 HARI

 
Oleh SHAMSIAH ZULKAFLI

KUANTAN 26 Feb 2008 . – Langsung tidak menjamah makanan dan cuma minum air sungai serta setiap malam kesejukan tidur di celah batu adalah antara pengalaman perit Nur Umaisarah Sameaun, yang hilang selama 19 hari di Gunung Tahan. 

Kesengsaraan menahan lapar dan cuma meneguk air dari Sungai Putih sejak hilang dari kumpulan rakannya pada pagi 7 Februari lalu, tidak membuatkan gadis berusia 21 tahun itu berputus asa untuk terus bertahan. 

Nur Umaisarah mengatasinya dengan cara setiap kali tiba waktu makan tengah hari atau malam, dia memejamkan mata dan membayangkan dirinya sedang menikmati hidangan yang lazat. 

Sementara itu, ditanya mengenai rahsia kekuatannya bertahan tanpa makanan sepanjang berada di dalam hutan, Nur Umaisarah memberitahu: 

“Walaupun saya terlalu lapar dan berlaku beberapa insiden menyebabkan saya cedera tetapi saya tidak pernah panik, mungkin itulah yang memberi kekuatan untuk saya terus bertahan.” 

Komen Aurakaya: 

Pada tahun 1997, saya juga pernah mengikuti ekspedisi mendaki gunung tertinggi di Semenanjung ini. Dalam banyak-banyak gunung yang pernah saya daki termasuk gunung tertinggi di Asia Tenggara (Gunung Kinabalu), ternyata Gunung Tahan memiliki cabarannya yang tersendiri. Hanya sesiapa yang benar-benar 'tahan' saja layak untuk menawan puncak Tahan. 

Kisah Umaisarah yang tersesat dalam ekspedisi tersebut membuatkan saya 'recall' semula pengalaman ekspedisi saya 11 tahun lalu. Saya juga boleh rasakan bagaimana payahnya beliau meredah denai dan sungai secara berseorangan tanpa bantuan rakan. 

Ternyata beliau seorang yang cukup cekal, berani, gagah dan tabah dari segi mental dan spiritual apatah lagi ketika menghadapi semua rintangan. Bukan semua orang terutamanya wanita dapat menguasai diri dari perasaan takut apabila menjelang waktu malam. Apatah lagi jika pernah mendengar kisah-kisah mistik yang ada sekitar Gunung Tahan. 

Suasana malam di hutan belantara amat berbeza sekali. Macam-macam boleh terjadi. Binatang buas boleh muncul pada bila-bila masa. Jika anda tidak risaukan gangguan mistik atau binatang buas sekalipun, harus diingat haiwan berbisa seperti lipan dan jengking ada di mana-mana di dalam hutan. Begitulah risikonya bermalam di dalam hutan, apatah lagi selama 19 malam. 

Oleh itu saya amat kagum dengan semangat yang ditunjukkan oleh Umaisarah yang terpaksa menghadapi pelbagai cabaran dan ritangan semasa beliau sesat selama 19 hari di dalam hutan. 19 hari hidup dalam keadaan serba kekurangan sememangnya memeritkan terutamanya apabila kehabisan bekalan makanan. 

Sebenarnya rahsia terbesar dalam kes survival Umairah ini datang dari Body, Mind and Soul beliau. Beliau tidak panik, minda beliau dalam keadaan tenang dan tidak stress, membolehkan beliau terus befikiran waras termasuk melakukan visualisation. 

Samada beliau memahami konsep visualization atau tidak, namun beliau telah mengaplikasikannya dengan baik sekali. Beliau membayangkan apa yang beliau minum itu sebenarnya adalah satu hidangan yang lazat. 

Soul (spiritual) beliau juga amat kuat, kerana beliau sama sekali tidak pernah meninggalkan solat 5 waktu dan sering berdoa kepada yang Maha Kuasa. Dengan kuasa spiritual yang ada dalam diri, beliau yakin bahawa Allah SWT akan melindungi dirinya sepanjang sesat di dalam hutan. 

Gabungan Minda dan Spiritual ini turut membantu Body (jasad) beliau untuk terus bertenaga. Dengan cara ini minda separa sedarnya akan menghantar signal kepada seluruh jasad beliau memberitahu supaya mempercayai apa yang diminum itu adalah makanan yang lazat dan berkhasiat membolehkan badan beliau terus gagah mengharugi cabaran hari-hari seterusnya dengan kuasa Allah.

Category: Aplikasi, Minda, Pengalaman, Visualization
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 5:24 PM

 

A story told by   Leslie Nevison  originally published on 3rd January 2000

I am earthbound in Malaysia's Endau-Rompin National Park, a hushed and darkened rainforest more ancient than the jungles of Africa and South America. I have come to hike and camp for four days among this aged Goliath timber that impairs both my real and inner vision.

It is different outside the forest. When the day's hike is over and I lie in the river is when I most love the jungle. Then I can make some sense of its scale and appreciate its dramatic verticality and picturesque disorder, hear the whoops of gibbons, the whines and whoosh of large hornbill wings and their wooden spoon rattle. From within, old growth forests are a force of many trees; from without, the vegetation closes ranks and becomes one steaming entity. Such fertility doesn't promote existential thoughts, or much thinking at all, although I faintly hope for such harmony with the divine that a herd of elephants will loop tails and breach the water. When I tire of waiting for their trunks to swing aside the vines and creepers like beaded curtains, I return to the campsite where my guides, Dana and Machang, are preparing dinner.

I found Dana, a Kuala Lumpur resident whose hobby is exploring Malaysia's wildernesses, through his email address listed in a guidebook. He warned me of Endau-Rompin's differences: unlike another of Malaysia's protected forests, Taman Negara, there is no resort, restaurant, bottled water, cold drinks, or canopy-walk, swaying footbridges suspended between tree-tops that allow two-legged creatures the perspective of arboreal ones--birds, butterflies and monkeys--found in greater numbers at that elevation in sunlight that never reaches the ground. The natural world of the forest floor is as compelling as a rainforest's roof, but there is no novel method to aid visitors in its discovery other than hands-on experience. Sixty thousand people visit Taman Negara every year, one-tenth that number goes to Endau-Rompin. I made arrangements to meet Dana in Johor Bahru, the Malaysian city across the border from Singapore. "Good," he said, in greeting, "you look strong."

Endau-Rompin National Park's 870 square kilometers, roughly one and a half times the size of Singapore, shares the Johor and Pahang State border. As of 1994, Johor State--where most of the park's attractions open to tourists are located--has assumed its administration. Although a more adventurous approach is nine hours by boat from the coastal town of Endau along the Endau River, most visitors arrive at the park by car through Johor State. As did we, leaving the highway at Kahang to follow a rough, red laterite road that dissected fifty kilometers of palm oil and rubber trees in rows as uniform as fences. Such plantations now cover seventy percent of Malaysia. They are a fitting entrance to the park, reminders of what it strives to protect: one of the best lowland rainforests left in the country; plant species new to man; the last Malaysian habitat of the Sumatran rhinoceros and small populations of tigers and elephants.

It was the dwindling numbers of rhinoceros that spurred the 1985/86 research by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) that ultimately led to the park's creation. Ironically, it was a road that allowed them to do it by providing access to publicly funded volunteers who documented hundreds of unique species of plants and animals. It was a daunting task. Fashioned by volcanic eruptions 150 million years ago, Endau-Rompin's terrain alternates between steep mountains and sandy plateaus, a factor which has thus far spared it from developers but which made the conservationists' first forays into the forests that more problematical. The park is divided into three zones on the recommendation of the MNS: an area for tourists and trekkers offering basic A-frame huts, campsites and marked trails; an area for researchers and park rangers that is to remain undeveloped; and a retreat for the reclusive rhinoceros encompassing over half the entire park's area. In high isolated ridges, days of walking distance from permitted paths, are where the rhinoceros roam, estimated at the time of the MNS study, to number, sadly between five and twenty. It is unconfirmed but believed that the rhinoceros count has not increased.

Park regulations require that aboriginal guides accompany visitors. Dana has taken as many as three on longer trips. We hired one: Machang.

Indigenous groups in modern Malaysia, which account for less than one percent of the population, are known collectively as Orang Asli or "the first people." Twenty-one-year-old Machang belonged to the Orang Hulu or Jakun, the "upriver people." Long before he was born, Machang's tribe--traditional hunters and gatherers and fishermen--settled permanently in Kampong Peta, a village of three hundred people just outside of the park and the site of its headquarters. We were Machang's guests for lunch. Fried greens, eggs, a jackfruit curry, rice and chili sauce were placed on the floor in front of us. We ate with our hands. Adult family members, their children and cats too numerous to count, came and went in the wooden house.

Peta felt to me like a remote and precious place, which wasn't entirely a romantic notion because the lack of a surfaced road has kept Peta removed from the outside, and by comparison, it is a sanctuary. It was hardly an accurate assessment, however. Peta, as elsewhere, is in a state of flux. The Asli once poled single log canoes to the coast and back for supplies, an undertaking that took three days, so they rarely went. The forest sustained them. Now their lands are a national park and the Asli its employees. Those who work as guides must seek employment elsewhere during the November to February rainy season when the park closes. They need money for petrol, rice and packaged foods.

After our meal, we divided the supplies between packs. With the men hoisting the food supplies, we then filled a tipsy, shallow, motorized canoe that deposited us somewhere upriver. Dana scrambled into the foliage, leaving his charges to awkwardly follow. It was the last time that my boots were dry or my clothing clean.

This was not my private adventure. I had company, a European couple, who were dedicated amateur astrologers and in Malaysia to catch a solar eclipse. There was portly Ratnam, the driver, second bearer and cook's helper, who was as quiet as Dana was chatty. Dana, with his wild, white hair that another man would have tied into a fashionable little ponytail, deservedly commanded the attention as the impassioned advocate of the environment. He so loved the jungle that he had planted a miniature forest in his own backyard, his jungle away from home, where he sought refuge from city living and the pressures of his career in journalism. Finally, there was Machang, who always brought up the rear on the trails, treading barefoot on brown leaves.

I sat with my feet dangling from the covered cooking platform of Kuala Marong, our camp for two nights. Bed was the unresisting floor of an unstable hut made from strips of bark from a hardwood tree, protection I was nevertheless thrilled to have, even when rain of carwash velocity burst through its roof. Dana was chopping mushrooms and banana leaf flowers for his soup that bubbled on a butane stove. The revelation that we would eat well because cooking was another of his skills and enjoyments was one of those surprising and satisfying bonuses of travel that we wish happened more often. Directly ahead was the jungle vista of my imagination, two rivers cleaving the green at their confluence. A species of cicada cried as though in grief, a sign that night was approaching. Heard only at dusk, the tiny winged insect instills terror in the Asli, who believe that it sucks blood from human victims like a vampire. I looked at Machang who squatted at ease, smoking a cigarette within the circle of gaslight. I found him mysterious. He slipped away and reappeared at will, a spirit whose transformations I continued to miss. While we struggled across rivers with uncertain footing, Machang possessed supernatural powers of locomotion, making him the ideal caretaker of cameras and money pouches. He was never wet. His sense of time completely fluid, he would get up in the middle of the night to eat leftovers or to request an English lesson from Dana.

Machang's people have had contact with the world outside their forests for over 150 years, mainly for economic reasons. Early Chinese loggers to the area gave some of the Asli Chinese names, which they use interchangeably with tribal ones. Some name their new daughters after Malay actresses and singers, known to them from television and magazines. Pictures of celebrities decorated a wall inside Machang's wooden home. In Kampong Peta, the people who were nomads have long since passed on, the forest now an ancestral home, although many still hunt its boar and mouse deer or collect its fruits, roots and nuts. The Asli continue to treat the forest with reverence, not only because it is a new source of income for those employed as guides, but also because they are animists. I was told that it was wise to seek permission from a tree before urinating under it. Failure to do so could result in spirit possession, the effects of which sounded like a particularly nasty way of spending the night. In deference to local beliefs, I muttered "permit me please" when I had to use the woods. Far more worrying was the thought of exposing more flesh to the tenacious leeches.

At night, the jungle was magnificent. All the heavens blazed in the corridor between riverbanks and pulsing fireflies, small suns fallen to earth, were pinpricks of electricity in the trees. But the nights were really about noises: identifiable ones like the river, night hawks, frogs and insects that mimicked footsteps on gravel, the clicking of knitting needles, or telephones; and sounds that defied placement--the rustling that could be insects, leaves, rodents, reptiles or ghosts. I rarely slept well but this was because of an aching abductor muscle, dipping temperatures, my camp mates' snoring, or all three.

The mornings were equally special: dissipating mist rose from the river surface like vapor from a boiling tea kettle, Dana had coffee on and French toast or pancakes in progress. After breakfast, we hiked while Dana instructed: the ages of trees with twenty feet diameters (300 years); palms with barbed branches (aptly known as "traveler's woe"); the winding vines on a trunk that face the rising sun where they twist (a compass); vines that contain potable water (indispensable if you're lost and thirsty); wood that makes the strongest walking stick in the world (also useful for injuries); thick moss that cools trees (natural air-conditioning); purple, wild orchids (exquisite beauty); and moss-green pitcher plants, a flower of fragile and pretty appearance that conceals its carnivorous appetite. To know the jungle was to begin to see beyond the trees.

Batu Hampar and Upeh Guling, the cascades and waterfalls on the youthful Jasin River, were the destinations of our hikes. Waterfalls provide visual and physical relief from sticky heat and are adored in Asia. Upeh Guling was the more spectacular of the two, gargantuan boulders inset with deep depressions referred to as "bathtubs", reputedly formed by trapped stones in crevasses whirled by forceful water over centuries like coins in a washing machine. Above Upeh Guling was the much larger waterfall with the curious name of Buaya Sangkut, or crocodile hanger, reached by a longer and more difficult trail that was not included in our itinerary.

Because I awoke on the third day feeling the onslaught of a miserable cold, I also missed climbing the seven hundred meter high hill called Janing Barat where Malaysian Nature Society botanists had discovered a new fan palm called the Livistona endauensis, which had evolved separately in the poor, sandy soil to the exclusion of other plant life. Janing Barat is a natural plantation of Livistona palms, their sheer numbers and low height depleting oxygen and reducing light. Another sandstone plateau of comparable steepness and height to Janing Barat is Padang Temabong, believed haunted by the Orang Hulu. The park intends opening it to trekkers next year.

What wasn't in park literature was a place called The Blue Lagoon, named after the corny Hollywood movie by courting Malaysian Nature Society staff, who expended great efforts for privacy because it was a twenty-minute wade downriver to get there. It was neither blue nor a lagoon but its reputation was justified, a transparent pool that reflected a vaulted ceiling of green boughs. While I admired it, a noisy and thick rain descended with drops the size of birds' eggs and the weight of pebbles. It was to continue for the rest of the afternoon and most of the night, silencing the usual string orchestra of insects that, like us in camp, waited it out patiently.

Rain is one of the delights of the rainforest because it eliminates the desire to stay dry, an obsession that can ruin the experience and only when you have sacrificed your last set of clothes to the wet can you fully appreciate it. You will never take a more atmospheric bath than in a rain-charged river with diaphanous condensation clouding the canopy. The aftermath of the deluge is less enjoyable. The river that we had crossed to get to the Kuala Marong campsite had swelled with rainwater and was too high to cross back safely. We had to detour overland to Kuala Jasin, our next camp, a not overly strenuous hike of several hours but the trail was saturated and several bridges that were necessary to negotiate were nothing more than slimy logs. I silently cursed every jungle spirit before it was over. It was the trek, however, that I would remember best, because I finally witnessed Machang's movement from one world to the next. After a colony of nipping red ants repelled us from a blocked trailhead, Machang assumed leadership of the group. After calm and careful consideration, he chose an entry point to the extreme right of where we had attempted to penetrate the overgrowth. We followed him obediently. With his parang, a Malay machete, he slashed a route in a large L-shape; where the letter ended, he began its reverse image, and so on, over and over, creating a link of three-sided squares, until we connected with the trail, clear of debris further in. The Asli use this pattern to forge a new path or seek a lost one, explained Dana. Without a word, Machang resumed his position behind me. When I looked over my shoulder, he was gone.

I realized then that the forest had revealed itself best to me through Machang. Knowing that he shared his future with the forest made me hopeful for the successful outcome of whatever changes they both faced. It was why the image of Endau-Rompin that I took away with me was not just of towering trees, but also of Machang in camp mixing pancake batter, his favorite breakfast introduced to him by Dana. He fried two at a time, one on each side of the wok, applying the same focus that he would to fishing, hunting, tracking, or, as I discovered, drawing. He struck me as innocent, but should a wild boar have threatened us at that very moment, he was capable of killing it...a man as simple as his forest.

 

Articles and pictures courtesy of  Johore Tourism Department Malaysia
 

The Endau Rompin National Park encompasses the watershed of the rivers Endau in Johor and Rompin in Pahang. It covers some 488 sq. kilometres of forest and is gazetted as the country's second national park. Lush and virtually untouched, it is one of the few remaining lowland forest in the country and possibly the oldest.

Endau Rompin

 

The diversity ofthe habitats and species found here is of a major conservation significance. In 1985 and 1986, a scientific expedition identified 25 new species of plants within the area and its rocks and hills have been estimated to be 248 million years old. Scientific interest aside, Endau Rompin National Park is the perfect haven for adventure seekers. Its numerous legends and myths handed down through the years add up to its overall appeal.

 

Flora and Fauna

Lowland Dipterocarp ForestEndau Rompin

The forest abounds with the famous fan palm of the 'Livistona endauensis' variety which is indigenous to the region. Other interesting plants include the 'Rhopa Coblaste', more commonly known as the climbing bamboo, and the walking stick palm or 'Phychorapis Singaporensis', identified by its slender stems and feather like leaf fronds, there are also many varieties of toadstools and orchids

 

Wildlife

Endau RompinTigers, elephants and wildboar are some of the animals to be found here. The largest surviving population of Sumatran rhinoceros in Peninsular Malaysia is also found within the park. Others include the binturong or bear cat (Arctictis Binturong) and the white handed gibbon, the only ape species in the region.

 

 

Birds And Butterflies

Endau Rompin

The forest is also home to the chirping drongos, hornbills and argus pheasant. Butterflies and the fruit piercing months of the genus 'Othreis' can be seen flitting through the trees.

 

 

 

Planning an Itinerary

Endau Rompin

A minimum stay of four days / three nights is ideal in order to cover the many activities and attractions in the park. Special tours may be arranged to cater to a variety of interest such as botany, nature study, and bird watching. Photography adventure seekers would enjoy the challenge of some of the activities to be carried ou here.

 

Jungle TrekkingEndau Rompin

There are some 26km of jungle trails within the park, the most well trodden path being the grueling 16km trail from the base camp at Kuala Jasin to Batu Hampar and Buaya Sangkut with numerous crossings of fast flowing rivers. At Buaya Sangkut, a waterfall cascading down through five levels presents a spectacular visual delight.

 

Irresistible Jungle Streams

Endau Rompin

Swim or take a refreshing bath 'kampung style' in the clear cool rivers and streams amidst the tranquillity and serenity of the forest. When you've had enough of frolicking in the water, try your luck at a spot of fishing and reel in your catch for lunch or dinner.

 

 

Camping

Endau Rompin

Pitch your tents and spend your nights out in the wilds under the stars. The merry chirping of the birds and cicadas in the twilight will make your simple dinner seem like a feast.

 

 

Orang Asli Village

Endau Rompin

Endau Rompin is also home to the Orang Asli of the Jakun tribe. Drop by at Kampung Peta near the park entry point and gain valuable insights on Orang Asli culture. Find out how they survive in the wilderness and protect themselves from danger with their hunting and tracking skills. See their recreational activities and listen to their mesmerising yarns about the myths of the surrounding jungle.

 

Nature Study

Endau Rompin

Given the diverse variety of species and habitats in the area, this can be a very absorbing activity indeed. Inhale the heady perfume of the 'Mussaendra mutabilis', a woody climbing plant with fragrant flowers, used in traditional scents for the hair and clothes. Observe how the famous pitcher plant traps the unwary insect within its enticing waterfilled sacs. See how millions of ants make their homes in tiny chambers within the 'ant'

 

 

Bird Watchers Paradise

Bird watching can be another fascinating activity. If you have the patience and endurance to keep still in utter silence, for hours on end, the reward of seeing some beautiful varieties of birdlife can be a joyful experience.

 

 

 
Conservation

Endau Rompin

Measures have been drawn up to conserve the natural beauty of the Endau-Rompin Forest. It is also home to the endangered Sumatran rhinoceros and conscious efforts have been taken to conserve the existence of this species. Conservation in simple terms means proper management of the forest so that it can be sustained over future time.

The conservationof Endau-Rompin is crucial because it serves as a catchment area for the rivers of Endau and Rompin. Many rare species and plants have also been found here. Because of so many factors, the government has gazetted Endau-Rompin to be the second national park in Malaysia. This ensures the protection and conservation of Endau-Rompin for many years to come.

 

Volcanic Crystals

Endau Rompin

Quartz crystal ignimbrite can be seen on the surfaced at many points along the rapids of Sungai Endau. Ignimbrite has a spectacular genesis as it is volcanic but not of the lava kind. The formation is known as "ash flow eruption". This is the most violent type of volcanic convulsion. During an eruption, hot gas is released from the earth.

The high temperature gas carries sand-sized crystals of quartz and shards of glass, fragments of pumice and larger pieces of pre-existing rock. Eventually the heavier particles would begun to settle, after retaining enough heat to weld themselves together.

 

 

Landscape

 

The Endau-Rompin landscape is a contiguous area of hilly sandstone-capped country with lush vegetation that is virtually untouched. The area contains a unique assemblage of tropical lowland and hill forest with pristine rivers and varied wildlife.

Endau RompinEndau Rompin

 

Park Regulation

 

All visitors are required to report to the officer on duty at the Registration Centre in Kampung Peta.

There will be a short briefing at the Registration Centre.

Entrance and other prescribed fees are collected. All items and belongings are inspected by the officer on duty.

Visitors are not allowed to overstay beyond the specified period.

All visitors are required to engage the registered guides of the National Parks Corporation.

Visitors who wish to hire boat services can inquire from the officer on duty.

Visitors are prohibited to make unnecessary noise while in the park to avoid disturbance to the wildlife.

All empty cans, surplus food and rubbish have to be taken out of the park, and disposed at designated disposal areas.

Access into the park is only allowed through the specified entrances as determined by the National Park.

No fishing or angling is allowed in the park except at specified areas and period.

Bathing and swimming are only allowed at specified areas - swimmers must be in decent swimming attire.

The National Parks Corporation disclaims responsibility for any mishap, accident or loss of belongings to any visitor while in the park.

Visitors are strictly forbidden from :

1. Bringing into the park any machinery, weapon, explosive, trap, poison or dangerous item.

2. Hunting, killing, hurting, trapping, or disturbing any flora / fauna, habitat or destroying birds nests and eggs.

3. Chopping, hurting, destroying or burning plants and objects which have geological, archaeological, historical and scientific importance.

4. Carrying into or purposely allowing reared animals entering into the park.

5. Displacing or moving any animals or plants out of the park, dead or alive.

6. Displacing or moving out of the park any minerals or objects of geological, archaeological, historical or scientific importance.

7. Destroying or incapacitating any living or dead objects in the park.

8. Erecting any building in the park.

9. Visitors to the park are warned that they are liable to be prosecuted in the event they are found to have contravened any of the park regulations

 

 
 
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