The birds of Kuala Lumpur and the fireflies of Kuala Selengar

Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog

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With our only full day in KL we went to look at the Lake Gardens. At the hotel we were told it is only a 15’ walk (maybe they meant 50’?), but we got lost, so after getting halfway to the Petronas Twin Towers (the tallest towers in the world if you count the flagpole) we gave up and caught a taxi.


At the Lake Gardens we went straight to the bird aviary – the largest walk-in bird aviary in the world with 180 different species. Just inside we were greeted by wolf-whistles from Mynah birds, and a display from Indian Peehens. The aviary was huge, and easily took us two hours to walk around.

In it we saw many small sunbirds, pigeons and song birds. By the lake were flamingos, Malibu storks, ibis, pelican and scarlet ibis which are so startlingly red that I assumed they were normal ibis that had managed to get into the flamingos red food-dye feed until we saw the sign. There was also a display of flightless birds with emu, ostrich and greater rhea. Several owls and birds of prey had their own cages, as did the hornbills. The next segment of the aviary was for the hornbills only – they had several pairs in cages, and a pair of greater hornbills and rhinoceros hornbills in freeflight in the area. Seeing them up close it was amazing to see how large they were. The next few segments had parrots and endangered birds (including toucans) and we finished up by watching a rather horrifying bird/orang-utan show put on for a group of 40 ten year old school kids. We lunched at a restaurant overlooking the free-flight hornbills. Still at the Lake Gardens we went to the butterfly house, which was good but not spectacular, but we missed the orchid centre, the lake and the many gardens due to a lack of time.
Back at the hotel we had half an hour free (the taxi was quicker than we thought) so we spent it looking around china town. Our hotel was conveniently located on the main shopping street. I picked up a very neat tripod for my camera, but we didn’t really buy anything.


Our next tour was Kuala Selengar and the fireflies. We drove out with Diethelm tours (with two Armenian men and a Japanese lady) to Kuala Selengar where we stopped at a historical hill. The hill used to be owned by the Dutch (it overlooked the Sungi Selengar) for shipping, until the local hero poisoned their well. At the hill there are wild troops of silver-leaf monkeys and long-tailed macaques. The silver-leaf monkeys were amazingly beautiful with silver adults and bright orange babies. They were also very friendly to each other and us, eating out of our hands. The long-tailed macaques came along a bit later and chased off some of the silver-leaf monkeys and squabbled over the food.


After the silver-leaf monkeys we had dinner on the shores of the Sungi Selengar (with crowned eagles flittering by) until it got dark, when we went on a cruise up the Sungi Selengar to the mangroves, to see the amazing displays of hundreds of fireflies synchronously flashing.


A little more shopping in Chinatown back in KL, and our only day in mainland Malaysia was over.


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