Splash through the turbulent rapids of Jeram Besu on a white water rafting activity, spend time feeding and bathing Asian elephants at Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, and visit a Che Wong Orang Asli village!
Jeram Besu is considered one of the top whitewater rafting spots in Malaysia and evidence of this is how rafters, kayakers and canoeists will travel distances just to be able to test out its waters. With rapids ranging from class 1 to 3, Jeram Besu provides a fun but challenging white water rafting activity for first-timers and experienced rafters. If you are looking for a challenge when you come to Jeram Besu, make sure you plan your trip right so you can come after a heavy rain the night before. The reason for this is that heavy rain will make the waters swell and create more choppy currents.
Before you’re allowed onto your raft, you will first have to put on your rafting equipment and familiarize yourself with a series of exercises called the mandatory water confidence course. In this course, you will learn how to float on the moving water, sit and paddle, and handle a capsize in the event that a real one happens out on the rapids. You will also have to do an exercise called the “man overboard”, in which you will leap off from an edge into the churning waters of the “Mother Rapids” to build confidence and hype in yourself.
Jeram Besu not only offers a splashing fun time; the waters are versatile and can also present you with moments of peacefulness at times, and during those moments you can unwind with the background noise of rushing water and the rich visuals of lush greenery surrounding you. Watch as visiting butterflies flutter around gracefully before landing on a wet rock, and listen up for the chirps of white-throated kingfishers. Oriental pied hornbills may also grace you with their presence as they fly overhead.
The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary over at Lanchang is dedicated to locating, subduing and translocating problem elephants from habitats that have been destroyed due to development. Over 700 wild elephants have been relocated thanks to the efforts of the team of about 24, preventing the further decline of the elephant population. Besides just housing these wild elephants, the sanctuary is also active in carrying out public awareness activities to educate Malaysians on the situations faced by the elephants in the midst of having their habitats encroached upon.
At the sanctuary, you will find adult elephants and their calves, with some being orphans. These elephants not only rehabilitate at the sanctuary but are also trained in skills to help other elephants in translocation. There is usually a video presentation on elephant translocation and its importance in maintaining and protecting the elephant population in Peninsular Malaysia. Visitors are welcome to feed these Asian elephants bananas or sugarcane that can be purchased at the sanctuary itself and bathe with the baby elephants, but if you choose to do the latter don’t forget to bring a change of clothes!
Within walking distance from the sanctuary, you will come across an Orang Asli village, one inhabited by the Che Wong. The Che Wong is one of the nineteen original Orang Asli groups in Peninsular Malaysia. Visit their houses made of Nipah, bamboo, rattan and wood. These villagers are shy but maintain a pleasant, respectful attitude and you’ll have new friends in no time at all. In the village the Che Wong maintain a semi-nomadic lifestyle, living close to the jungle and benefitting from its resources.