Back in 1938, Taman Negara was declared a national park by the sultans of Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu, who hoped to preserve the land for future generations to enjoy. It was originally named in honour of King George V, who celebrated his silver jubilee that year, but was renamed once Malaysia gained independence in 1957.
Not only was Taman Negara the first attraction of its kind in Malaysia, it’s also thought to be one of the world’s oldest rainforests, with an estimated age of about 130 million years. With a phenomenal diversity of animal and plant life, the jungle is one of the most important and complex ecosystems on the planet.
Since gaining national park status, Taman Negara has become a much-visited destination among lovers of the outdoors. Jungle trekking and river cruises are among the most popular activities on offer, while the canopy walkway is also a must-see, providing incredible bird’s eye views of the area.
For the chance to get a unique glimpse of some of the animals that call Taman Negara home, head to one of the many observation hides. These simple huts, built high above the ground, allow visitors to spend the night in the heart of the jungle, watching animals go about daily life in their natural surroundings.
The park is most commonly accessed via Jerantut, a major town in central Pahang located about 200km from Kuala Lumpur and 180km from Kuantan.