- photo by Tom Reynolds
We finally finished a good part of the photo
gallery to be put on our website and all the photos give
a good idea of the nature of Langkawi and of our trips. The
rainy season is heading towards an end and from November on
we expect less rain than October. Fortunately the rain did
not affect our trips that much. Most of the trips could go
on and if a trip was cancelled because of the weather conditions,
guests could do the trip one day later.
We did some great birdwatching trips on Langkawi the past weeks. During 4-5 hours birdwatching
we spotted more than 40 different species and guests were
very happy with the results. We are working with a list of
birds and during the trip we tick off all the birds we are
spotting and the guests get the lists after the trip. We also
went to Perlis for our 1-day birdwatching trip and this was
a great day. There were not that many birds at the moment
(but still enough and different than what we see on Langkawi)
but we were very happy to spot the stump-tailed macaque. This
monkey is beautiful with his red colored face which makes
it look like he has used red make-up. It was the first time
for me to see these monkeys in the wild and that made the
trip very exciting. We also saw some otters in the paddyfields
and even a mongoose. Perlis is a beautiful, green and clean
state and only 1-hour boat ride away from Langkawi.
Fort Kuala Kedah
From now on we are also able to offer you another 1-day
trip on the mainland. Langkawi is part of the state of
Kedah and this full day trip gives you a good view of the
mainland which is really worthwhile to visit. During the trip
you will visit the well maintained remains of the fort of
Kuala Kedah, the very informative and extensive rice museum
and in the afternoon you will visit Gunung Jerai, a mountain
of over 1200 meters where you can enjoy the jungle and spot
some wildlife and/or birds. For more information about this
new trip please check on our page with the trips.
In preparation for the coming peak season we have expanded
our staffing. Besides some freelance guides we are now working
with 1 full-timer. He has great experience guiding in the mangroves and we are now
training him to do our other trips as well. Our company is
slowly expanding and we have managed to get a job with another
resort. The contract with Berjaya for the nature walks has
also been extended for another year, so we are really happy
and proud of all the positive developments after 1 year of
hard but very satisfactory work.
We are always open to any constructive suggestions from your
side and please feel free to contact us by mail if you would like to share your nature experience with us.
Keep in touch by checking our website on a regular basis and
hope to meet you on this site next month!
|Long-tailed macaques in the mangroves
We have had an incredibly busy month in
August and we did a lot of trips for all our guests. Guests
staying on Langkawi for a week or even longer took the opportunity
to join more than 1 of our eco trips. The mangrove kayak
trip is still the most favorite and slowly, requests for
birdwatching trips are coming in again. During the last
week, more and more migratory birds are coming to Langkawi
and we have seen the egrets back again as well as cinnamon
bittern. I also finally managed (after 21 years of birdwatching!)
to spot a trogon. During one of our mangrove kayak trips
we could see this orange-breasted trogon. A couple of days
later some friends confirmed that they spotted this bird
in the mangroves. The next months more and more migratory
birds can be expected to visit Langkawi and that will be
very interesting for all bird lovers. Birdwatching on Langkawi
is always very challenging and can be very surprising. During
our birdwatching trips we are working with the book ‘Birds
of South-East Asia’ by Craig Robson. We have been
able to buy a couple of these books at a good price and
if you need this book during your stay on Langkawi you can
buy this book at 100RM each.
|The beauty of the jungle of Belum
Tourists from all over the world have visited our island
in the last months and we were deeply saddened by the rubbish
some people just throw away into nature. It is not possible
to put dustbins everywhere because this will give the long-tailed
macaques the possibility to go through it. This means that
everybody has to keep his empty bottles or packages or other
garbage with him until he returns to his resort but unfortunately
many people still have other opinions about this.
We are very happy and proud to inform you that we finally
started the photo gallery on the website. This gives us the
opportunity to share with you the beauty of Langkawi through
our website. We started with photos of animals and the next
step will be more focused on the nature itself (mangroves
and jungle). Also, photos of the Belum Forest will be coming
soon on the website. To the Belum Forest we are organizing
a 4days/3nights jungle trek. This is still an undiscovered
area in the north of peninsular Malaysia where much wildlife
is found. During this trip we will do jungletreks, birdwatching,
visit waterfall or cave and we are staying 1 night in a camp
with the orang asli, the aboriginal people. For more information
about this trip please check the page about more days trips
on this website.
|Eurasian otters in the mangroves
Our guests are coming from all over the world, but the majority
is still from Europe (UK and the Netherlands). More and more
Australians are visiting our country and of course the Chinese
(Hong Kong) and Japanese market is still a growing market.
We have had guests from Yemen, Palestine, Kazachstan, Tanzania,
Egypt, Texas and many other countries. We are really interested
in the culture, nature and wildlife of their country and this
makes our trips even more interesting. One of our guests spotted
the otters that were finally back after an absence of a few
months and these animals were a sight for sore eyes.
Most of the photos that we are using on our website have
been sent to us by guests and friends and we would like to
thank everybody for sending us the photos and allowing us
to use them on our website. We are sure that the visitors
will enjoy the photos as much as we have done and still do
and please check our site regularly as we will add more and
more photos in the coming months.
Hope to meet you on this site next month!
We are very happy with the fact that Unesco
has chosen the Kilim area as a Geopark. This means that the
area will be protected in a better way and which hopefully
will lead to a reduction of the speed of the boats, to a stop
of the eagle feeding and to a reduction of using the Kilim
area as a haven for sailing boats. A lot of work has to be
done, but we are very proud that Unesco has chosen Langkawi
as the first Geopark location in South East Asia.
At this moment a lot of orchid species
are flowering, especially the slipper orchid (paphiopadilum)
is really beautiful to see. This orchid can be spotted during
one the mangrove trips. Also many butterflies are flying around,
in the most beautiful and amazing colors. It is also season
for the mango tree at this moment and that means that we have
a lot of mango fruit, which is for me still one of the most
delicious fruits I know.
Our company has attended the
International Bird Race at Frasers’ Hill. What an amazing
number of bird species we saw there and there are complete
different species than we are used to on Langkawi. As Frasers’
Hill is located in a mountain area (up to 1,500 meters) it
is very different (and
difficult) for us to identify certain species. Totally 100
participants were joining this race and within 24 hours every
team had to make his own list of birds. We finally finished
with 46 different species (of which 16 species were new for
me) and that was enough to win a price in the beginners category.
We were the 4th best in this category and our price were some
nice books with a lot of photos of Frasers’ Hill birds.
Most of the teams were from Asia, but there were also teams
from overseas and finally an British team won with 92 (!)
The walks at the Berjaya resort
are a great success. A lot of guests of Berjaya take the opportunity
to join this walk and guests of other resorts have asked off
this walk and for them we prefer to choose for an extra evening.
The chance of spotting the flying lemur is 100% and spotting
the flying squirrels (red giant or the pygmy) is almost 90%.
The evening walks are more based on spotting the nocturnal
flying animals and the morning walks are based on trees and
At this moment we are working
on some interesting and long term projects. This is taking
a lot of our time as it needs preparation, but it is a good
investment for the future extension of our company. We are
also busy preparing the photo gallery for this website and
this gallery will be activated soon, so keep in touch with
The last month we have been busy with various teambuilding
activities for different groups. Through our website and through
different resorts and agents we are working with we are getting
more and more request for teambuilding activities. Last month
we organized a jungle treasure hunt with some tasks during
partially climbing the Mat Chinchang. We also organized a
mangrove treasure hunt and beach games ending with a BBQ.
Both days have been very successfully and at this moment we
are preparing some new requests. We are actually able to organize
everything the groups wish to experience, so feel free to
contact us for any further information.
The Easter holidays gave us a short peak in the day trips
but that weekend was on the same dates of the opening of Waterfestival
on Langkawi which made the island full of locals that were
only here for the Waterfestival, which was a great and well
organized event on this island. The season has fully changed
by now which means a regular (sometimes very heavy) rain shower,
mostly during the evenings and nights and sometimes on the
day, which will never last that long. The island is becoming
greener and greener and more beautiful by that.
We started the nature walks for the guest of Berjaya Resort.
Twice a week we organize a morning walk and twice a week an
evening walk which is free for the guests of Berjaya and which
will give them a good view on the nature and animal life on
In the meantime we have visited ourselves Perlis state and
we found out that this smallest province of Malaysia is a
wonderful state full of nature and a perfect birdwatching
place. That made us decide to add a new day trip on our list
and from now on it is possible to book a full day birdwatching
trip to Perlis. Comprared to Langkawi a lot of different species
can be spotted and we spotted over 60 different species on
1 day, like the lineated and blue-eared barbet, stork-billed
kingfisher, black-and-yellow broadbill, black-thighed falconet
and many others. As Perlis is only a 45 minutes boat ride
from Langkawi it is a perfect day trip for birdwatching lovers.
During one of our kayak trips in the mangroves we were very
lucky to meet some dolphins a few meters away from the kayaks.
Our guests were very excited about this and some Scandinavian
guests jumped directly into the water to swim with them and
to make a video shot of these beautiful animals and this made
this trip a very memorable one for all of the guests and of
course for us as well. Being in the nature is never boring
and will always give you many surprises, especially when you
do not expect this and that is exactly the reason why we like
to do our trips. Not one single trip is the same and it is
always a surprise what we can be spotted. For any further
information about our trips please have a look a the page
about our trips and please feel free to contact us for any
further needed information. Hope to meet you on this page
We are proud and happy with our newest trip: nature cycling
trip. This trip leads you in 3/3.5 hours through the paddy
fields, kampongs and forest without using one of the main
roads. We tested the trip ourselves thoroughly and it is a
complete different experience of Langkawi while riding a bicycle
and we trust that our guests will enjoy this trip as much
as we enjoyed it ourselves! For any further information about
this trip please check the page with our trips.
During the last week of February it started raining in the
nights and this was more than welcome after a few dry months
which made the nature less green than it used to be. The temperature
is quite high with a reasonable level of humidity which made
us decide to provide the guests with more water during the
trips. Especially during mangrove kayaking and jungletrekkings
it is very important to keep on drinking enough. The month
of February was a steady month for our company and we have
had a lot of variation in our trips. During the celebrations
of Chinese New Year we had a peak in our bookings and a lot
of Asians coming from China and Hong Kong joined one of our
We did several birdwatching trips with guests without any
birdwatching experience and we were really happy to hear that
after the trip of 4 hours they seemed to be totally in for
birdwatching and were asking which binoculars they had to
buy for themselves as they expect to develop their birdwatching
skills more and more in the future. But with or without experience
everybody is able to spot the most beautiful and even rare
birds. So was the black shouldered kite spotted (that seems
to control the airport area now) as well as the banded kingfisher.
Even the woodpeckers gave us the possibility to spot them.
The Great Slaty Woodpecker, the Greater Flameback and the
Laced Woodpecker have been spotted and this was almost 4 months
ago that we spotted them, although we could always hear them.
The Dipterocarp (medium hard wood tree) is beginning to flower
and some even to fruit. And also the Eulophia Andamanensis
(orchid) is flowering, which is normal for this time. Usually
the flowers are totally green, but strangely the flowers are
now not totally green but have a purple lip which makes it
very special. During different trips we spotted also a lot
of Ratufa Bicolors (giant squirrel of 90 cm with black and
tan colors) and this might have to do with the fact that different
plants have started to fruit.
We have a lot of other ideas for new trips, but this will
take a lot of time to investigate all the possibilities before
we can sell it to our guests. In case of any ideas or remarks
about our website or about eventual new trips you are more
than welcome to give a reaction. We are open for any suggestion
as long as it will fit in our company policy and nature thought.
Feel free to send us an e-mail and hope to meet you again
next month on this column page.
After a very busy beginning of the year
with almost two trips every day the rest of the month January
was quieter. Despite this, January turned out to be a good
month for our company and we are slowly growing and getting
more volume. The comments that we get through the feedback
forms are also very positive. We have also guests coming on
subsequent trips which we think as a great compliment. Through
the response on the feedback forms we found out that the food
served during the mangrove boat and mangrove kayak trip did
not get the results that we had expected and therefore we
decided to add a Thai soup to the existing package. We are
now awaiting the results of this addition.
We have done a lot of interesting birdwatching trips last
month and every trip resulted in an average of 30 spotted
species of birds. We run the birdwatching trip in the morning
but also at the end of the afternoon/beginning of the evening
and both trips are giving different, but interesting results
and it is hard for us to make a choice for the departure time.
During the birdwatching trip we are working with a bird list
with the names of all the existing birds on Langkawi and after
the trip the list is for the guest. The highest number of
spotted birds during one trip was 36 till now. We even spotted
the white breasted waterhen with 3 chicks on one of the trips.
Our guests are mainly coming from Europe and we noticed that
the guests on our trips are very nature minded and that means
that we have exactly reached the right group of people. Last
month we had some Russians on our trips and also guests of
other east european countries (Poland, Latvia, former East
Germany and Czech Republic) visited Langkawi. At this moment
we see a number of butterflies on the island and we even spotted
a flowering slipper orchid which is strange in this period
of the year. Near the bat cave we discovered herbenaria and
nervillia; these are terrestrial orchids, quite rare. Both
species have not been recorded on Langkawi till now.
During one of the latest mangrove boat trips we were very
lucky to see some dolphins, jumping in front of the boat and
this was a really exiting view and the guests really enjoyed
this. I am still doubting if I have spotted a dugong as it
was not clear enough for me to make sure. During the mangrove
kayak trip we are now regularly spotting otters. These small
sea dogs are very afraid and can make a lot of noise, but
on the other hand these animals are very curious.
During the next weeks we expect to be very busy as Chinese
New Year will be celebrated and a lot of Asians will come
for a holiday to Langkawi. In the meantime we are working
on some new trips and I hope that I can inform you about at
least one of the new trips in my next column that will be
on our website in the beginning of March.