Tanjung Datu may be the smallest of Sarawak’s National Parks, at just under 14 sq km, but it is also one of the most beautiful. The park comprises a narrow ridge of rugged forest-covered hills fringed by pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and patches of coral reef. The rich mixed dipterocarp forest reaches almost to the water’s edge in some places, and this close proximity of rainforest and coral reef – the two most diverse natural communities on our planet – make Tanjung Datu a very important reservoir of biodiversity.
Located at the south-western tip of Sarawak on the Datu Peninsula, Tanjung Datu is one of Sarawak’s less accessible natural parks, but its relative remoteness is one of its main attractions. The beaches really are undisturbed, the corals offshore are untouched and the forest trails are virtually untrodden. This seclusion has helped to preserve a wide range of unusual plant species, including the night-blooming Putat tree (barringtonia asiatica), which produces pink and white flowers the size of tennis balls, huge Umbrella Palms and Strangling Figs, whilst the beaches are fringed with purple-flowered Sea Morning Glory.
Day 1 Kuching – Sematan – Tanjung Datu National Park (L/D)
Tanjung Datu National Park comprises a narrow strip of forested hills and stunning beaches with clear emerald green waters. Located at the southwestern tip of Sarawak, Tanjung Datu is one of Sarawak’s smallest national parks but it is perhaps the most beautiful. A key attraction is its seclusion. The park’s remoteness means that the beaches are pristine and the rainforest intact. The park is home to a variety of wildlife include Bornean gibbons, pig-tailed macaques, long-tailed macaque monkeys, silver-leaf monkeys, civet cats, bearded pigs, diverse birdlife and more. Green turtles also nest on the park’s beaches from April to September.
0850-0910 hours pick-up from hotel in Kuching and proceed by road (approx. 2 hours) to the small coastal town of Sematan. Have an early lunch in a local coffee shop or restaurant and then continue by road to the Malay fishing village of Serabang. Around 1300 hours take a boat (approx. 20 mins) to Tanjung Datu National Park. Arrive at Tanjung Datu National Park, walk across the beach and settle in at the park HQ. (Note: when the tide is low or sea conditions prevent boat landings at the park HQ, arrival is at a nearby small bay (Telok Upas) followed by a 15 minutes walk to the Park HQ.)
After settling in go on short walk on either the Telok Upas, Viewpoint or Belian trails. Return to the park HQ around 1600 hours. The rest of the day is at your own leisure. Relax on the beach, have a swim or visit the turtle hatchery. Enjoy dinner at the park HQ. After dark go on short night walk and search for wildlife such as wild boar, sambar deer, mouse deer, barking deer, civet cats and other nocturnal creatures. Return to the park HQ. Your guide will inform you if any turtles come ashore at night to nest. If so, the rangers will allow you to watch the turtles but only when they have started laying eggs. Please note turtle sightings are not guaranteed. Overnight at the camping shelters.
Day 2 Tanjung Datu National Park (B/L/D)
After breakfast, around 0800 hours go for a jungle trek along the Pasir Antu Laut trail. Enjoy the forest scenery along the 2.7 km trail and keep a look out for wildlife. Gibbons, banded langurs and hornbills are sometimes spotted on this trail. Midway along the trail you will come to a small stream. Take a short break before continuing through the pristine forest to Antu Laut beach. Have a swim at the beach before returning along the forest trail. Half way along the trail turn left onto a small track that leads to the main turtle beach. Huge boulders are found along the coast here where the rainforest runs right down to the beach. Admire the views before walking back along the beach to the park HQ arriving around 1300-1400 hours. Have a late lunch at the park HQ. Rest of the day is free at leisure. Go snorkelling near Telok Upas or alternatively go for another walk or relax on the beach. Dinner at the park HQ. If there is a turtle landing your guide will wake you up during night. Overnight at the camping shelters.
Day 3 Tanjung Datu National Park – Sematan – Kuching (B/L)
After breakfast, free & easy, relax on the beach or go swimming. Alternatively go on a short walk on one of the park trails. Around 1200 hours board a boat and travel to Serabang. Then continue by road to Sematan and have lunch in a local restaurant or coffee shop. Then return to Kuching by road, arriving around 1700 hours. Be dropped off at your hotel in Kuching.
Note: This tour is available from March to November. Tanjung Datu is not accessible by boat during the monsoon months owing to high seas. Some activities are subject to weather conditions and may be re-organised to best meet operational situations.