Endau Rompin National Park
Straddling the borders of Johor and Pahang is the Endau Rompin National Park, home to the endangered Sumatran rhinoceros.
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The second largest national park after Taman Negara, the Endau Rompin National Park has much to offer in both beauty and attractions. The park is named after the two rivers, the Endau and Rompin rivers, which flow through the park's 48,905 hectares of tropical rainforest. Walking through its lush cover of rainforest, it is hard to believe that it has been around for millions of years and has remained unchanged with the passing of time. Several rock formations, estimated to be 248 million years old, can also be found within the park's borders.
In 1980s, logging became a major concern for the state of Johor. When authorities found that logging was encroaching into the boundaries of the forest reserve, the Malaysian Nature Society, in efforts of creating public awareness about Endau Rompin's issue, stepped in and conducted a scientific expedition in 1985. The study uncovered 25 new species of plants, including the fan palm, thriving in the park. This discovery led to the agreement from the government of Johor to gazette an area of the forest as a national park. Currently, the park is also home to the largest population of the threatened Sumatran rhinoceros family found in Peninsular Malaysia.
The park's terrain, with several hilly areas and some prominent sandstone plateaus, makes it a great place for jungle trekking. There is a total of 26 kilometres of trail for adventurous hikers to try, some requiring a certain level of fitness before any attempt. The Kuala Marong trek takes 2 hours from the Kuala Jasin base camp and is a fairly easy hike. Located along these trails are some of the park's most astounding waterfalls, its beauty unmarred due to their remote location within the park. The Batu Hampar campsite is a good place to rest before heading to one of the park's more renowned waterfall, the Buaya Sangkut waterfall. A 4 hour trek from Kuala Jasin awaits, mostly through mostly flat grounds, before reaching the site. A little further from the campsite lies Upeh Guling waterfall, with natural swirl holes carved into the sides of the banks as a result of lodged pebbles within the crevices.
The Buaya Sangkut campsite is a tough 2 ½ hours trek from the Batu Hampar campsite. The initial stage of the hike may seem pretty easy, but the adventure starts when hikers reach the base of Bukit Segongong. The challenge is to climb the hill at a 60 degrees incline using ropes for support. Quite a challenge, especially after a downpour. For those who persevere through this taxing trek, the reward is indeed worth all the hard work. Measuring about 40 metres high, the Buaya Sangkut waterfall is located 300 metres above sea level on Sungai Jasin. With 17,000 gallons of water pouring down from the top of the waterfall every second, it is definitely a wonderful sight to behold.
The park is well connected by highways. Visitors are strongly advised to rent or drive a 4 wheel drive vehicle as there are no tarred roads for the last part of the journey, only mud tracks. There are 3 entrances to the park; either through Johor (Eastern or Western part of the state) or through Pahang.
Accommodation is available within Endau Rompin National Park. There are dormitory style accommodation and chalets for those who wish to stay in the park. Camping is allowed and campers are charged with nominal fee by the park authorities.