Mangrove tour in Kilim Geoforest Park Langkawi

After recovering from the spectacular ride with the Langkawi SkyCab, I was ready for another adventure. This time not a cable car, but a boat. We booked a tour through the mangrove of Langkawi in the Kilim Geoforest Park with sleeping bats as the icing on the cake. I couldn’t wait…

Nursery of the ocean

First some background information on the mangroves. These forests are found in the tropics (Malaysia) and subtropics on the transition from land to sea. There is no strong current that allows the silt, which comes from the rivers, to settle. By the way, I don’t know this by heart and had to look it up. There is little left of six years of geography in high school. The mangroves are also called the nursery of the ocean. This is where many fish spend their youth, because of the nutrient-rich water and to protect themselves from predatory fish.

Boat trips

On the internet, you will find dozens of websites offering tours through the mangroves. The tours vary from two to four hours and prices vary from RM90 (€18) per person to RM450 (€92 for up to eight people) for a private boat. A whole day on a boat seemed a bit exaggerated to us so we opted for the two hour trip for RM90 per person. This includes a lot of activities:

I wanted to skip everything that had to do with animals (what a hero) but hey you’re only on Langkawi once so then you better make the best of it.

Bat cave

We shared the boat with a French girl and a Malaysian guy who didn’t understand my jokes. Sometimes I wonder why I’m still trying since my hilarity isn’t understood here nine times out of ten. The first stop was at the bat cave. It was immediately unclear whether or not the huge flashlights we got should shine on those poor animals. This experience gave me a hernia. I almost crawled through the ground, you could easily walk up right here, but I wouldn’t be bitten by this flying monster who couldn’t tolerate the light in his tease. Understandable, of course.

Monkeys

As far as I can remember, this is the only place we’ve seen the mangroves. So we were on that boat for less than five minutes or we had to get off for a walk through the bat cave. As lazy as we were, we were pretty good on that boat. We thought we were being sailed around for two hours on the water with a cool breeze in our faces. It was very hot that day, so we could use that. Once we were safely out of the cave, we continued our way over an old wooden rotten platform over the low water. Here you walk through the mangroves and that looks quite spectacular. Meanwhile, I was busier with the monkeys lurking around and with an animal that looks like a crocodile but is actually called the ‘Asian water monitor’.

Private beach

More tourists saw this huge monster and their tour guide told them that they can be dangerous and poisonous. This big mother was looking for her child and if she feels attacked, she wants to rage against people. So two minutes later I was safely back in the boat to the next stop. We sailed nicely over the water and the view was beautiful. We looked out on enormous stones and green hills. Sometimes we stopped over, like at the private beach which was nothing more than some sand with the sea. After an hour of sailing, we stopped in the middle of the lake. Above us hovering eagles who already knew what was in store for them.

Eagles

Our Malaysian friend, who didn’t understand the jokes, had a bag containing some raw chicken. He put the pieces of meat in the water and quickly took the boat to the side. Within no time the eagles all dived into the water to get a piece of chicken. Unbelievable how they can see that at such a high distance and how fast they dive into the water for their lunch. Finally, we made a stop at the floating fish farm. A very pathetic sight where different species of fish, rays, and crabs live on a small surface. Normally these species live in the water around the mangroves, but I guess most of them have been caught for this kind of practice.

Kilim Geoforest Park

All in all, we sailed around on the boat and enjoyed the view. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is at Langkawi to book such a tour. If you’re with a group, choose the private boat and, really, skip the fishing farm, crocodile cave, and the private beach. Use that time to see more of the surroundings of Kilim Geoforest Park and learn more about the mangrove forests. Okay, and while you’re there, take a look at the (hopefully) sleeping bats.

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