During my trip to Kuching as a guest of Sarawak Tourism Board to provide media coverage for the Rainforest World Music Festival 2019, there were a few short tours to introduce interesting tourist destinations to participants. One of the tours that I signed up for was the Santubong River Cruise in Kuching Wetlands National Park, my first visit.
The Kuching Wetlands National Park covers about 6610 hectares, just five minutes’ drive from our accommodation, Damai Beach Resort.
The 3-hour river cruise along Santubong River, with Mount Santubong hovering over us, was an expedition to spot wildlife, both marine and mangrove. If you have been on a similar river cruise before, you would know that spotting wildlife is a chance of luck.
Our eco-tour guide briefed us on what we should look out for, and they included three species of wild monkeys: proboscis, long-tailed macaque and silvery lutung; freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, and the ‘pink’ Irrawaddy dolphins that live in salt water.
All ten of us on the tour, comprising local and international media, were eagle-eyed as we scanned the sky, mangrove forest and river. Our guide spotted a crocodile but I wasn’t able to catch it before it swam away, but it’s OK. I was there to see the prized Irrawaddy dolphins. Hohoho!
According to our guide, when there are fishermen pulling in their harvest of soft-shell prawns, there is a high chance for us to spot the dolphins, and he was right!
Video: Irrawaddy dolphins
After only a short wait, the dolphins started to swim around the fishing boats, though still keeping a safe distance from us. It was a challenge to capture them on video, let alone photos. However, to be able to see them was akin to striking the jackpot.
During the cruise, we also managed to spot a monkey and white-bellied eagles. Yes, we were definitely in luck that enchanting morning! What a fruitful outing it was. It was my first trip to the Kuching Wetlands National Park, but I definitely would love to revisit, and push my luck a little bit more.
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