Kubah - ''The home of palms and frogs''

Kubah national park Travel Blog

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The tiny piture plant living frog - the white thing in the piture plant is its tadpole

Not far out of Kuching was our final destination in Sarawak, Kubah national park. The park occupies the flanks of a sandstone mountain and this forest paradise is clearly visible from the bustling shopping streets of Kuching. Despite its close proximity to the city the park is difficult to access via public transport and there are no restaraunts or shops so we decided to go for the self catering hostel option, went food shopping (bizzare as we have not done it for so long) and got a taxi.

We arrived at the national park and were greeted by the warden who seemed really pleased to see us! he even gave us a briefing and a quick slide show on his lap top! we were shown to our rooms and as the place was virtaully empty we had our own room in a challet type building, and the only other occupants were two local guides for a group of birdwatchers.

Flying lizard
After a quick bite to eat we set off to explore. The title of this particular blog may give away the reason we came to Kubah - frogs ( we are not that enthusiastic about palm trees, but Kubah has more palm tree species than any other place on earth). Last year a tiny species of frog named Microhyla nepenthicola was discovered in Kubah national park. This frog is the smallest in south east asia at 10 mm and have the unusual habit of breeding in piture plants. The warden gave us the location of the piture plants and we set off. In no time at all we had located the plants, each of the pitures had numerous tiny white tadpoles swimming in the cups, a tiny frog (at first we thought it was a bug) jumped and we had found our first Microhyla, it was pretty cool to see, especially as this frog was spitting distance from the parks major road for all these years and was unknown to the world.
stunning frog

We had a dinner of eggy bread and honey and chatted to the guides, one of them was really nice, it was delicious. After dark we went on a night safari. First stop was the frog pond and it was really cool we spotted loads of treefrogs and a frog which was bright red and black. We continued our search along the road and we found a couple of snakes and eye shine indicated a civet feeding up in the canopy. There were geckos everywhere, flying geckos, bent toed geckos and cat geckos and so many frogs we couldnt belive it. From giant leaf frogs sitting silently in the leaf litter ready to pounce on anything that would fit in their mouths to tiny little microhylas that were the loud mouths, all noise and hiding under the leaves. We collapsed into bed.

We were woken early, too early by the bloody birdwatchers having breakfast at 5:30am - noisily! we managed to get more sleep after they had headed off into the forest and we both smirked at each other when the heavens opened half an hour later.

Spot the moon rat - clue - its the blurred white thing in the middle
We had a homely breakfast of porridge and set off into the forest to do a trail imaginatvely named the waterfall trail. We saw some pretty cool birds including a Raffles's malkoha and a racket tailed drongo. It was steep going and a slide down the ridge we climbed for about an hour before we reached a pretty spectacular waterfall and river. It started to rain but i went for a swim anyway it was really refreshing. We sheltered from the rain before beginning the long hike up the mountain side. Unfortunately Suz hada bit of a fall and hit her hip so the rest of the hike was more of a hobble, but there was no permanent damage.

The next couple of days were great for wildlife. We saw vipers waiting for the frogs at the frog pond. Whilst i was walking to the waterfall alone one night (I was a little jumpy in the middle of the forest at night) when a mouse deer ran out from under my feet, I let out an involuntary Ned Flanders scream and the mouse deer ran head first into the tree flipped up and landed on its back, I dont know who was moree shocked.

Looking for frogs
We also saw a wierd creature known as a moon rat, actually related to hedgehogs, these bright white beacans in the darkness have quite an odour! We also encountered a couple of long tailed porcupines which crashed through the under growth, strange little things that dont resemble porcupines in the slightest but there you go. The forest was of course great for reptiles and amphibians. there were frog eating snakes curled up asleep of leaves overhanging the river, tiny little sticky frogs in the leaf litter, flying lizards scampering about the canopy, spiny toads calling from fern leaves. We also spotted a huge nocturnal bird called a frog mouth sitting up high in the canopy. Judging from the movement of its eyeshine it was equally as interested in us as we were in it and we half expected to be dive bombed by it at any minute, but it grew tired of us.
Mountain stream

Kubah had been a fantastic end to our journey in Sarawak and we felt as we had only just scratched the surface of what was to be seen in this small patch of forest on theoutskirts of Sarawaks largest city. We could have stayed longer but the food was finished and the taxi was booked......

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The tiny piture plant living frog …
The tiny piture plant living frog…
Flying lizard
Flying lizard
stunning frog
stunning frog
Spot the moon rat - clue - its the…
Spot the moon rat - clue - its th…
Looking for frogs
Looking for frogs
Mountain stream
Mountain stream
rain forest flower
rain forest flower
Kubah national park
photo by: ben_suz