If you would describe Ulu Temburong National Park in one word, it’s “untouched”. Located in the unspoiled district of Temburong, the National Park is one of the best preserved and most loved rainforest reserves in Brunei. The park is teeming with a diversity of wildlife but visitors have observed that the animals in this park are extremely shy, and often visitors leave disappointed.
The Temburong District is found in the easternmost part of Brunei that is separated from the mainland by the Malaysian state of Sarawak. In other words, Brunei is made up two land masses – the mainland to the west where the capital city and major provinces are located and Temburong to the east, where verdant forests, untouched nature, and three important national parks are found.
Visitors cannot travel by land across Sarawak from the capital city to Ulu Temburong. The National Park is only accessible from Bandar Seri Begawan by boat. There are several water taxis that regularly take passengers to Temburong through Bangar, the district’s main town. Getting to Ulu Temburong is itself a fun adventure for visiting tourists.
The boat ride to Bangar passes through a scenic view of thick mangrove forests that are populated by rare proboscis monkeys. These primates love to show themselves to passing visitors early in the morning or late in the afternoon. From Bangar, travelers take a 30-minute bus ride to Batang Duri where they hop onto traditional longboats to reach Temburong. The longboats are skillfully steered by native Iban men and women. This traditional boat ride usually takes two hours.
When in the park, these are a few of the attractions that await visitors. One, visitors will get goosebumps from seeing different species of snakes, lizards, amphibians, and insects. The rainforest is swarming with venomous pit vipers, Five-lined Flying Lizard Dracos, common creek frogs, painted tree frogs, and the striking Wallace’s Flying frog.
The colorful and interesting insects include a number of rare butterfly species including the Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing, which to many people is the most beautiful butterfly in the world, giant forest ants that are about an inch long but do not bite humans, lantern bugs, and forest centipedes.
Meanwhile, the most well-loved birds and mammals in the park are the Bushy Crested Hornbill, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Bornean Gibbon, and pygmy squirrel. Sadly, Ulu Temburong does not have an Orangutan, which is considered the Primate King of Borneo.
The next attraction is the rich vegetation that features a wide array of plant species. The forest floor is covered with rattan, ginger, begonias, aroids, and Ixora blooms. There are also tons of orchids, ferns, palms, fruiting figs, mosses, and lichens.
Finally, to allow guests to fully enjoy and appreciate their visit to Ulu Temburong National Park, the park provides a network of boardwalks, canopy walkways, and suspension bridges. Visitors can, in fact, see a wide area of the rainforest without stepping on the forest ground. The walkways were created to protect not only the guests but also the plants, animals and insects. The canopy walkway provides an amazing bird’s eye view of the entire forest.