Belum Forest Reserve
||Pulau Banding, Gerik Perak, Malaysia
The Belum Forest Reserve is situated in Gerik of the state of Perak. The reserve area is a buildup
of 290,000 hectares of land and about 146,000 hectares of the area is made up of virgin forest. The
entire forest reserve is divided into two sections whereby the upper are of the Belum Forest stretches
to the Thai-Malaysian border which covers an area os 117,500 hectares of impenetrable jungle while
the lower Belum Forest is made up of the Temenggor Lake. The Belum and Temenggor Forests have been
declared as a forest reserve in order for the place to serve as a permanent site for research.
There are approximately 60 salt licks that are found scattered all over Belum. There salt licks are
vital for the wellbing of the animals in the forest. There are plenty of potential for the operators
to develop particular areas of these salt licks for ecotourism purposes. However, in order to realize
this mission, much more planning and extensive research has to be done as it has been known from the
past that introduction of people to the area will cause the animals to flee them their usual waterholes
and saltpans. This happened in Taman Negara and must be taken note by the authorities of the
Belum Reserve as well.
Salt licks are commonly found with various types of animal tracks such as the Sambar Deer, the Kijangs,
Tapirs, wild boars, Seladang, Malayan Gaur, wild boars and many more. Even elephant tracks can be seen
crossing the salt lick area. While being here at the forest reserve, be sure to take some moment to
enjoy the breath-taking scenery and the beautiful sunset over the Temenggor Lake.
You can also visit the Terhong waterfall when you are here. It will take a 2-hour boat ride and
another 4 hours of trekking to reach this waterfall. You can also choose to visit the Orang Asli
settlement which is along the Sara River. The Belum forest has many other activities that you can
indulge in. Some of them are jungle trekking, bird watching, camping, kayaking and fishing.
From Kuala Lumpur, get on the North-South Expressway and drive towards Ipoh. Exit at the
Kuala Kangsar exit and move towards the direction of Gerik. Take route 4 that will lead you
to Banding Island. Here is where you journey begins. Admission into the Belum Forest Reserve
is best arranged with the resort owners in the area.