MalaysiaLangkawi $$$$$ 2 hours Van + Walking Nature

Langkawi Rainforest Afterdark Tour

For the best nightlife in Langkawi, you won't need any DJs, overpriced drinks, or thumping dance music. Instead, immerse yourself in the sunset orchestra of chirping cicadas, tweeting drongos, and squeaking macaques.

Emerging out of a primeval ocean 208 million years ago, the now-inactive volcano Gunung Raya is Langkawi's tallest peak, reaching 889 meters. It also forms part of Langkawi's UNESCO Global Geopark, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. This mountain's nocturnal species are most active at night and best witnessed on JungleWalla's Rainforest Afterdark Tour.

Guests meet at the base of Gunung Raya, and are escorted into an open-air truck fitted with comfortable padded seats. The vehicle slowly meanders up the mountain on a winding, canopy-covered road, while a knowledgeable nature guide offers fascinating insights into the flora and fauna that call Langkawi home - from the lifecycle of the hand-sized imperial cicada, to how to tell which wild fruit and herbs are safe to eat.

Watch the surrounding trees carefully for timid dusky leaf monkeys, cheeky macaques, graceful oriental pied hornbills, and some of the 226 bird species found in Langkawi (including one that can mimic the bark of a dog). Want a closer look? The vehicle frequently stops so you can peer into the jungle through provided binoculars.

A guide points out rare giant ferns up to 1,000 years old, and the ancient cycad which flourished long before dinosaurs roamed the earth. You might even be offered a taste of pennywort, an edible plant with a flavor similar to parsley.

As the amber sky darkens, the nocturnal tour continues to Lubuk Semilang, a nearby recreational park. Following a rough, flashlight-lit path on foot, the mission is to glimpse the rare sunda colugo also known as the flying lemur. Fortunately, Langkawi is the best place on the planet to find the cute colugo. This creature, in a zoological order of its own, neither flies nor is a lemur. Instead, armed with giant eyes that look like a Japanese anime character, it effortlessly glides between tall trees in search for juicy leaves.

Keep an eye for the iconic tokay gecko, the world's largest gecko species, and the poisonous gluta renghas tree, know to Chinese as the ominous-sounding "ghost tree", before the tour concludes.

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Essentials

Theme: Nature

Length: 2 hours

Getting around by: Van + Walking

Fitness level: Light effort

More

Frequency: Every evening

Group size: Up to 10

Guide: Fuad

Who Will Like Langkawi Rainforest Afterdark Tour

Nature Lover

Explore a 10-million-year-old rainforest with one of Langkawi's most knowledgeable nature guides. This is the only location in Langkawi where you can see all 3 species of hornbills - if you're lucky. Watch for cute orange baby dusky leaf monkeys while you listen to the changing choir of cicadas. Quite literally… paradise.

Tour Highlights

langkawi_after-dark-tour-junglewalla-08178.jpg

Sunda Colugo

Known as the "world's best glider", the colugo can glide over 100 meters while only losing 10 meters of elevation. Unlike flying squirrels which have tails, the colugo looks like a square box when its airborne, creating the most efficient use of surface area for unsurpassed agility. This creature can only be found in 8 locations around Southeast Asia, with Langkawi easily being the best. They can be spotted every night, however during strong winds and rain they may be harder to find.

© Farshad Behvandhornbill.jpg

Hornbills

3 species of hornbill can be found in Langkawi - and the only place to see all 3 is Gunung Raya (one is seasonal and migrates to the island during dry season). These picky fliers only settle on trees that are at least 100 years old and are very fond of figs which make up the majority of their diet. Listen for a distinct drone-like buzzing sound as they glide - one of the few bird species that doesn't have secondary feathers to cut through the air. You're likely to hear the call of the oriental pied hornbill which is the smallest and noisiest.

langkawi_after-dark-tour-junglewalla-08002.jpg

Monkeys

Macaques in Langkawi are known for being very cheeky, not thinking twice before grabbing food from an unsuspecting tourist or pilfering from a rubbish bin. However, the tribes on Gunung Raya are noticeably wearier of humans so you have nothing to be concerned about. The guide will share about the ruthless pack dynamics in which the alpha male is challenged every 3-5 years. Keep a keen eye out for the dusky leaf monkey (also called the black monkey) which has adorable orange-haired babies (up to 6 months old).

What's Included

Included:
  • Bottled water.
  • Binoculars.
Not Included:
  • Food.
  • Hotel pick up (unless booked for an extra fee).
  • Tips & gratuities.

What To Bring

  1. Sneakers or walking shoes.
  2. Mosquito repellent.

  3. Long sleeve t-shirt (it gets cooler in the evening, and even more so at elevation). Also, bring a short sleeve t-shirt or singlet to get changed into afterward.

  4. Long pants or jeans (to minimize chance of mosquito bites).

  5. Earth colored clothing (greens, browns, and blacks) to blend in with the landscape.

  6. Torch or headlamp (or just use LED light on smartphone).

  7. Camera (but no flash).

Photos

Customized open-air truckCustomized open-air truck
Map of LangkawiMap of Langkawi
Guide, FuadGuide, Fuad
Supplied water and binocularsSupplied water and binoculars
Getting started on the tour
Exploring via truck with occasional stopsExploring via truck with occasional stops
Abandoned resort at peak of Gunung RayaAbandoned resort at peak of Gunung Raya
Road up Gunung RayaRoad up Gunung Raya
Junglewalla's tour vehicleJunglewalla's tour vehicle
Golden sunset peeking through the treesGolden sunset peeking through the trees
Gunung Raya
Guide looking for birds in the treetopsGuide looking for birds in the treetops
Macaque monkey watching by the roadsideMacaque monkey watching by the roadside
Dusky leaf monkey sitting on overhead telephone lineDusky leaf monkey sitting on overhead telephone line
Cicadas (not alive, don't worry!)Cicadas (not alive, don't worry!)
Gunung Raya wildlife
Regular fernsRegular ferns
Giant fernsGiant ferns
Even bigger giant fernsEven bigger giant ferns
Tall trees with hornbills resting at the topTall trees with hornbills resting at the top
Edible wild herb - pennywortEdible wild herb - pennywort
Gunung Raya flora
Guide, Fuad, searching for a sunda colugoGuide, Fuad, searching for a sunda colugo
Continuing the searchContinuing the search
Ah! Spotted a sunda colugoAh! Spotted a sunda colugo
Gluta renghas tree (aka ghost tree)Gluta renghas tree (aka ghost tree)
Lubuk Semilang after dark

Video

Where To Meet

How To Get There

Car

Free • Meeting point is at the foot of Gunung Raya.

Map for car...

Shuttle

For an extra RM30 (USD$7.40) per person, return transfers are provided from any hotel in Langkawi.

Scorecard

Best Parts:
  • Easily see a huge range of wild animals and rare plants.
  • Very experienced guides ho are passionate about the environment - they are happy to answer any questions you may have.
  • Small tour group sizes maintain an intimate setting.
Could Be Better:
  • Open-air truck may be replaced with a large enclosed van during busier periods to accommodate more guests.
My itinerary Save View

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