If you are looking for a safari style adventure with the kids with minimal hassle, then get down to Paya Indah Wetlands, Selangor.
There are actually two ways to tour these stunning wetlands – which cover over a thousand acres – because there are two separate entrances. You can walk or cycle around the public park for free by driving to the Dengkil entrance. There’s lots to explore here! The crocodile lake was a big hit with our kids and there are even hippos.
However, you can also opt to enter the wetlands via Gamuda Cove’s Discovery Park and purchase their Safari Tour (RM35 per person). Being a little on the lazy side, we opted for the Safari Tour which takes about an hour. You can’t book the tour online yet, but if you want to avoid disappointment, best to call them beforehand. When we are there, it wasn’t too busy.
Safari Tour at Paya Indah Wetlands
First off, the kids loved riding in the open-air truck, even better was the breeze cooling us down as we spotted birds, insects, butterflies and lizards around the lakes. The route takes you on a bumpy ride through private and wilder areas of the wetlands, as well as touring the public section. We were actually surprised at the amount of wildlife we saw from the truck and even spotted a kingfisher perched on a tree by the water.
Our guide was great at pointing out the various animals, and was able to answer all of our questions about the lakes. There were times though when we wished the driver would slow down more, so we could admire the wildlife. No sooner had we spotted something interesting, we were being whisked away down the dirt track.
Despite this, we were able to stop and get out at three different spots along the way, which included the big bamboo, the main lake and the traditional Malay house. Our son loved clambering on the bamboo and looking at the big ant nests.
Crocs and hippos
Next up was a short drive through the public park section, where we saw several crocodiles swimming in the lake. We all enjoyed this part but be warned, this is more of an introductory tour rather than getting up close to nature, so you don’t get much time to really watch the animals in action. We only saw the hippos from a distance and we didn’t really get a chance to see them properly. Definitely a reason to come back at some point in the future.
If you want a quick, easy view of the lakes and don’t want to worry too much about getting bitten by mosquitoes (make sure you wear insect repellent) or if you have young children and don’t want everyone getting too hot and bothered, then the safari option makes for an easy and relaxing trip. If you really want to be able to take your time and immerse yourself in nature, then perhaps opt for a walk or cycle around the wetlands.
It is best to check the opening times before you go, since the Discovery Park is fairly new. You can find more details about Gamuda Cove’s Discovery Park on their website here or on their FB page here. Paya Indah Wetlands public park has some basic information here.