- Visit two outstanding wildlife areas: the splendid mature forest at Fraser's Hill and the bird-rich coastal lowlands and mangroves of Kuala Selangor Nature Park
- Wonderful rich and varied birding from babblers to bee-eaters and broadbills to hornbills
- Special and unique wildlife including many primates such as the vocal Siamang
Peninsular Malaysia – a pleasant, trouble-free country with a modern infrastructure, a flourishing economy, and home to rich Dipterocarp forests, among the world’s oldest, most fascinating and most diverse. Our birding tour to Peninsular Malaysia focuses on two exquisite areas, the attractive hill station of Fraser’s Hill and the lowland mangroves of Kuala Selangor.
From comfortable accommodations, we should be treated to a wealth of wildlife – raptors, bee-eaters, malcohas, trogons, broadbills including the stunning Long-tailed, barbets, hornbills and woodpeckers, and challenging flycatchers, babblers and bulbuls. Siamangs (a species of Gibbon) should delight us as they greet the dawn. We walk along forest trails among towering rainforest trees and relax in cool montane surroundings.
We also take in the coastal lowlands and mangroves of Kuala Selangor, for herons, kingfishers, barbets, whistlers and specialties such as Mangrove Pitta and Mangrove Blue Flycatcher. Silvered Leaf Monkeys and Long-tailed Macaques are quite common here, Smooth Otters are a specialty, and Monitor Lizards are frequent. And – there should be fabulous food, interesting cultures, friendly people, and a generally exotic atmosphere.
Day 1: Arrival in Kuala Lumpur
Our Malaysia birding tour begins with arrival in Kuala Lumpur with a welcome dinner. Night in Kuala Lumpur.
Day 2: Kuala Selangor
Today we visit the coastal lowlands of Kuala Selangor Nature Park situated on the west coast of West Malaysia at the mouth of the Selangor River, about 2 hr drive north from Kuala Lumpur. This is an important remnant of mangrove and coastal forest with intertidal mudflats where herons, kingfishers, barbets, whistlers and pittas occur.
Specialties among the mangroves include Mangrove Pitta and Mangrove Blue Flycatcher. Among the many species we may encounter are Little, Intermediate and Great Egrets, Yellow Bittern, Purple Heron, Striated (Little) Heron, White-bellied Sea Eagle, White-breasted Waterhen, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Asian Koel, Greater Coucal, Asian Palm-Swift, White-throated and Collared Kingfishers, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Dollarbird, Coppersmith Barbet, Common and Greater Flamebacks, Laced and Sunda Pygmy Woodpeckers, Rufous-bellied Swallow, Ashy Drongo, Common Iora, Yellow-vented and Olive-winged Bulbuls, Black-naped Oriole, Large-billed Crow, Striped Tit-Babbler, Abbott’s Babbler, Oriental Magpie-Robin, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Common and Ashy Tailorbirds, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Pied Fantail, Mangrove Whistler, Ashy Minivet, Javan Myna, Brown-throated, Ruby-cheeked and Olive-backed Sunbirds, Black-naped Oriole, Oriental White-eye, and White-rumped and Scaly-breasted Munias. Scarcer birds of the area include Painted Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Red Junglefowl, Barred Eagle-Owl, Little Bronze Cuckoo and Chestnut-bellied Malkoha.
Silvered Leaf Monkeys and Long-tailed Macaques are quite common here, Smooth Otters are a specialty, and Monitor Lizards are frequent. We then drive 100 km north to Fraser’s Hill. Night in Fraser’s Hill.
Days 3 - 4: Fraser’s Hill
Fraser’s Hill is a wonderful montane region set amidst mature forest, cool by comparison with Kuala Lumpur, and full of birds. During the colonial era the British escaped from the heat of the lowlands to Fraser’s Hill, and the atmosphere is still one of relaxation and slow pace of life.
At 1,500 meters (5000 feet) in the central highlands, the avifauna differs markedly from that of the lowland rainforests, consisting largely of montane species. Several trails run into the forest but many species can be found close to the roads.
Mixed feeding flocks move quickly and noisily through the forests – often the central species is Chestnut-crowned (Malayan) Laughingthrush accompanied by Silver-eared Mesia, Chestnut-crowned and Mountain Leaf-Warblers, babblers including Gray-throated, Golden and Buff-breasted, Streaked and Pygmy Wren-babblers, White-browed and Black-eared Shrike-Babblers, Blue-winged Minla, Mountain Fulvetta, Long-tailed Sibia, and Bronzed Drongo with Black-and-crimson Oriole and Blue Nuthatch. Lesser Shortwings occupy deep gullies, and heavily wooded areas support Sultan Tit, Black Laughingthrush, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Green Magpie and Red-headed Trogon, and with great luck we may encounter the endemic Mountain Peacock-Pheasant and Malayan Whistling-Thrush.
The list of possibilities seem endless: Yellow-vented Pigeon, Jambu Fruit-Dove, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Orange-bellied Trogon, the curious Fire-tufted Barbet, Long-tailed Broadbill, the secretive Rusty-naped Pitta, White-headed Babbler, Javan Cuckooshrike, the endemic Malayan Partridge, Little Cuckoo-Dove, Green-billed Malkoha and Black-browed Barbet. Flycatchers are well represented at Fraser’s Hill. We could well encounter Verditer, Little Pied, Hill Blue, Rufous-browed, Pygmy Blue and Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers, as well as Large Niltava.
Blyth’s Hawk Eagle is quite widespread, and woodlands hold Speckled Piculet, Greater and Lesser Yellownapes, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Grey-chinned Minivet, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Ochraceous and Mountain Bulbuls, Lesser Racket-tailed and Greater Racket-tailed Drongos, Large Scimitar Babbler, White-bellied Yuhina, Slaty-backed Forktail, Mountain Tailorbird, White-throated Fantail, Everett’s White-eye, Black-throated Sunbird, Streaked Spiderhunter and Fire-breasted Flowerpecker. Uncommon but widespread inhabitants include Rufous-bellied Eagle, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Oriental Cuckoo, Mountain Scops-Owl, Collared Owlet, Wreathed and Helmeted Hornbills, Bay Woodpecker, Ashy Bulbul and Himalayan Cutia.
We walk the Waterfall Trail to look for Malayan Whistling-Thrush, and in the evening we venture out for Brown Wood-Owl. Mammals include lots of squirrels, Banded Leaf Monkeys and Siamangs, a species of gibbon whose amazing vocalizations echo through the hills in the early mornings. At the bottom of the hill up to Fraser’s Hill is an area known as “The Gap”, where Pin-tailed Parrotfinch, Marbled Wren-Babbler and Black-crested Bulbul occur. Nights at Fraser’s Hill.
Days 5 - 6: Lanchang and Bukit Tinggi Lowland Forest
We depart early for the lowlands and our accommodation for the next two nights. En route to the wonderful Bukit Tinggi Forest we will stop in at the Langchang Lowland Forest where past experience has provided such great birds as Gould’s Frogmouth, both Banded and Black-and-red Broadbills, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, Checker-throated Woodpecker and additional Babblers (Short-tailed, Black-capped and Ferruginous) and Bulbuls (Yellow-bellied and Hairy-backed).
We continue further south and into the even more productive lowland forest of Bukit Tinggi. Here we have further chances to find the elusive endemic Mountain Peacock-Pheasant and perhaps a Malaysian Rail Babbler, and as we search for these celebrities we will be birding in one of the most bird-rich forest areas on the peninsula.
Barbets and Bulbuls galore will add to our already burgeoning list with Barbets represented by Sooty, Blue-eared, Red-throated, Yellow-crowned and Gold-whiskered; and Bulbuls by Grey-bellied, Scaly-breasted, Stripe-throated, Red-eyed and Cinereous. It’s a good job we have such an expert local guide to help us keep confusion at bay! The forest will also perhaps present us with looks at Ferruginous Partridge, Raffles and Red-billed Malkohas, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Crested Serpent-Eagle, maybe even a Black Eagle!
Additional Hornbills could include Rhinocerous and Great, while Buff-rumped Woodpecker, Crimson-winged Woodpecker and Banded Woodpeckers are all good possibilities. We should find Black-thighed Falconet and Blue-tailed Bee-eaters in forest clearings, and we’ll be checking for early returning migrants such as Siberian Blue Robin and Yellow-rumped Flycatchers.
In the understory Babblers are represented by Pin-striped Tit-Babblers, Sunda Scimitar Babbler, Grey-throated and Buff-breasted Babblers … it just goes on and on. Combining Bukit Tingga with Fraser’s Hill will likely allow us the opportunity to sample a good variety of the amazingly diverse avifauna of the Peninsular in just a week of superb birding. Nights at Bukit Tinggi Colmar Tropical Resort.
Day 7: Transfer from Bukit Tinggi to Kuala Lumpur for departure home or our Borneo tour
On our Malaysia birding tour, we have a final morning of birding before we leave the Peninsular forests behind us and head to Kuala Lumpur (2 hour transfer). We arrive mid-morning to catch flights home from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport or a flight to Kota Kinabalu to join our Borneo Tour.
Departures & Prices
Tour Price Includes
- Good to high-quality hotels and lodges
- 4 to 12 participants with and EET leader and a local guide
- All meals included
- All accommodation
- Ground transportation
- All park, conservation and entrance fees
- Gratuities to local drivers and guides
Tour Price Does Not Include
- Flights to and from Kuala Lumpur
- Travel Insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Beverages (alcoholic, fruit drinks or soft drinks)
What to Expect
What to Expect
We usually have early breakfasts and some before-breakfast birding since it is best to begin birding at daybreak. Some lunches will be picnic style to maximize our time in the field. In the evenings we usually eat at the hotel or lodge where we are staying and review the list of birds and other wildlife that we have encountered, as well as discuss the following day’s activities.
Walking conditions on our Malaysia birding tour will be generally easy to moderate. Trails anywhere may be muddy depending on how recently it has rained.
Be prepared for hot, humid and sunny weather at low altitudes, with showers in the afternoon. We recommend bringing a light rain-jacket or poncho, although we try to avoid birding in any rain worse than a light drizzle. It will likely be cool in the morning at Fraser’s Hill. Bring mosquito repellent and/or mosquito-proof clothing because bugs can be a problem, especially at low elevations in moist humid conditions. Leeches can be a nuisance, but can usually be deterred with insect repellant. You will need to bring a hat and sunblock.
Even though we cannot guarantee a sighting of the animals below, we feel quite confident that an encounter with the ones listed below is quite likely.
- Blue Nuthatch
- Jambu Fruit-Dove
- Fire-tufted Barbet
- Wreathed Hornbill
- Marbled Wren-Babbler
- Mangrove Pitta
- Mangrove Whistler
- Red-bearded Bee-eater
- Silver-eared Mesia
- White-browed Shrike-Babbler
- Red-headed Trogon
- Silvered Langur
Past Tour Checklists
Past Tour Checklists
View the list of birds and other wildlife we encountered on our past tours.