BATANG AI NATIONAL
Introduction and history
The Park is located at Sarawak about 250km from Kuching City
with a covering area of 24,040 hectares of rainforest and
the artificial lake. The lake is also the Sarawak’s only
artificial lake, which stretches up to Skrang, Lemanak,
Engkari and Ai Valleys. The artificial lake now acts as a
water dam that feed to the Batang Ai Hydro Electric Complex
to generate the electricity for Sarawak’s use. Batang Ai
National Park was gazetted as a protected area in early
Visitors can take a boat ride upriver from the dam, about an
hour’s of boat ride to see beautiful lowland mixed
dipterocarp forest, with drooping trees overhanging the
rivers. The rivers are fast flowing, clear and very
refreshing. The water level gets quite low during the dry
seasons where visitors normally have to help push their
boats upstream. Here, the main mode of communication is
Attraction and activities
The park is home to many protected species like the Orang
Utan, hornbills and gibbons.
Other major attraction upriver is the Iban longhouse. This
longhouse gives the authentic atmosphere as most of the
longhouse dwellers still practise their traditional
lifestyle. The Ibans produce local handicrafts, like their
‘Pua Kumbu’, rattan backpacks ‘selabit’, rattan mats and
even gourd for collecting water. Please note that, if you
are staying in Iban longhouse, you need to be aware of local
Iban customs so as not to offend anybody.
For those who like to learn more about the local tribes,
they can go for the several nature trails, which are
available in the park. These trails pass through mixed
dipterocarp forest, old secondary forest, active shifting
cultivations areas and ancient burial grounds.
This Park is unique in having the local communities involved
in its management that helping the Forest Department to
conserve the park. Visitors are encouraged to use the
boating facilities offered by the communities as their funds
are kept within the community for continued park development
Independent travellers will find it difficult to enter get
to this isolated park.
Getting there and away
Travelling will be long and difficult during the journey to
Batang Ai from Kuching especially for independent travellers.
Visitors can access via the sizeable town of Sri Aman, which
sits upriver on Sungei Lupar, 150km southeast of Kuching.
Bus leave from Lebuh Jawa or Penrissen Road terminal,
Kuching. Batang Ai is around 40km southeast of Sri Aman.
Buses to Batang Ai via Lubok Antu cost an additional.
Organized tours from Kuching take about 4 hours in mini
buses to the dam of Batang Ai. For those who want to stay in
Iban longhouses, it takes an additional one hour to further
upstream by longboat.
Batang Ai National Park Tour