For years, I had wanted to visit Kinta Nature Park (KNP) but due to many negative reports heard about its condition, I kept postponing my trip. Besides, bird watching requires a lot of time, which I couldn’t spare. This waiting game is difficult to play when one is always rushing here and there!
Nonetheless, I finally found the time to visit, shortly after its reopening. If you were not aware, Kinta Nature Park was closed to the public for ten years after about seven years of its development.
Presently under the management of Perak State Park Corporation, it recently underwent upgrading works. The park, which consists of 14 disused tin-mining ponds, now features restored watchtower, pavilions, walkways and toilets. With so many ponds available, you may wonder whether fishing is allowed. Yes, it is but not net fishing.
I arrived in the late morning – not an ideal hour for bird watching but no time is a bad time for the activity, because there will be birds, just not many.
Kinta Nature Park is located on the outskirts of Batu Gajah. Therefore, from the main road, one has to drive 5km along the bank of the Kinta River to reach the entrance of the 900-hectare park. This is a laterite road, which could cause damage to the undercarriage of car or its tyres, unless you drive a heavy-duty vehicle. In any case, steer slowly and carefully.
Kinta Nature Park is said to be one of the largest heronries in Malaysia, where five species of herons and egrets breed, such as Grey Heron, the Black-crowned Night Heron, and the Cattle Egret.
Other bird species spotted here include Black & Red Broadbill, Blue Throatted Bee Eater, Lesser Coucal, Olive Backed Sunbird, Orange Bellied Flower Pecker, Purple Heron, Thick Billed Green Pigeon and Yellow Eared Spiderhunter.
According to a local, the area is very noisy in the evenings when the birds come back to roost on an islet in the centre of an old mine pond. During the day, they fly to a nearby rubbish dump across the Kinta River to scavenge for food .
If you plan to bird watch at Kinta Nature Park, it is better to engage an experienced tour guide. Drop me a line if you need to contact a guide. Even if you do not require the services of a guide, you must visit in a group. The area is vast, so better take precaution to avoid untoward incidents.
Kinta Nature Park is open daily from 8am to 6pm. Admission is free-of-charge for the time being.
Kinta Nature Park (Taman Alam Kinta)
in Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia
GPS Coordinates: N 04° 25.444′ E101° 03.567′
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