Langkawi Mangrove Tour – Malaysia’s Spectacular Ecotourism

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While designing our Langkawi itinerary, we came across something called a ‘mangrove tour’. After searching a bit more about it (different travel blogs, Quora, TripAdvisor etc), we found out that it has great reviews everywhere. But something that caught our attention was – Ecotourism. This, along with some vlogs that we watched were sufficient enough to make us modify our itinerary and add Langkawi Mangrove tour to the list.

The mangrove tour in Langkawi is a 3-4 hours boat-ride, cruising through the mangrove forests of the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park – a soothing ride in the lap of nature! During this tour, you will come across a cave with hundreds of bats, a floating restaurant with a fish farm, a yacht park and you will also get a chance to see brown eagles hunting in the open!

Trust me, never before I had seen so many eagles swarming and flying around in just one place.

Langkawi Mangrove Tour
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In this blog about the mangrove boat tour in Langkawi, we will be talking about:

  • About the Tour & Kilim Karst Geoforest Park
  • What to Wear & Bring during Mangrove boat tour in Langkawi?
  • Approximate costs of the boat cruise
  • Our Experience (tour details)
  • Which is better – Langkawi mangrove tour vs Island hopping tour?

About the Langkawi Mangrove Tour & Kilim Karst Geoforest Park

The Kilim Karst Geoforest Park in Langkawi is a huge natural reserve, spanning almost 100 square kilometres. Set along the northeast tip of Langkawi Island, the park is noteworthy for mangrove swamps, pristine beaches, and vertical karstic hills jutting out towards the Andaman Sea.

There’s a good variety of wildlife found in this Geoforest Park, ranging from otters and monitor lizards to macaques and tree crabs hiding amongst the thick mangroves. During the migratory seasons (September to March), you can spot birdlife of varying species, including kingfishers, white-bellied fish eagles and kite eagles.

kilim karst geoforest park

We explored this protected landscape is via riverboat cruise along Kilim River which – a.k.a. Langkawi Mangrove Tour. As part of this tour, you will be taken through the Kilim Geoforest Park, which is like escaping to another world. During this speedboat cruise, you will be drifting through the mangroves with a nature guide – the boatsman. The guide will point out diverse fauna and flora, and explain the importance of mangroves to the ecosystem.

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What to Wear & Bring during Mangrove boat tour in Langkawi?

  • Water – although some tour operators provide a bottle of drinking water, its recommended to carry your own water bottles, especially if it’s during the summer months.
  • Some snacks might also be handy.
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself against the scorching sun.
  • And, don’t forget to carry your cameras!

Plastic water bottles: if you carry your own water bottles, please don’t throw them in the forest or in the water. And the same goes with snacks’ plastic packets/wrappers. It’s a beautiful natural habitat for a lot of birds and animals, and let’s keep it clean. Bring back your own trash!

Approximate cost of the boat cruise

On average, the price is RM 250 per boat (capacity 4-6 adults). On a sharing basis, the price is around RM 50 – 70 per person. Since we were a family of 5, we took a complete boat for ourselves and bargained the price down to RM 200 total.

speedboat ride in langkawi

During the non-peak months, it’s better not to book in advance. You can go there and negotiate/bargain directly with the tour operators. But during peak season, it might be a good idea to book in advance.

Note: If you book in advance, many tour operators include hotel transfers in the tour cost.

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Our Experience

Since we had rented a car for our Langkawi stay, we directly headed towards the Kilim Geofoest. There is a decently big car parking area and hence going in your car will not be an issue. At the jetty (Google maps location), we spoke to many tour operator and finalized our tour at RM 200 after negotiation.

mangrove tour in Langkawi
Jetty at the Mangrove Tour in Langkawi

The tour cost included the following:

  1. Bat Cave
  2. Fish Farm and Floating Restaurant
  3. Yacht Park
  4. Eagle watching
  5. Mangrove Sightseeing
  6. Crocodile Cave
  7. Andaman Sea Tour
  8. Kilim Geoforest Park Icon

Bat Cave

The first stop was at the Bat Cave – Gua Kelawar. This cave is located along the Kilim River, accessible only by boat. After getting off the boat, we walked along a wooden platform through a mangrove swamp, leading directly to the cave. The stalactites and stalagmites are of gigantic proportions, forming weird figures reminiscent of otherworldly creatures.

bat cave langkawi
100s of bats in the bat-cave Langkawi

Inside the caves, there were hundreds of bats. We made sure not to disturb the bats by flashing lights or making noises. There were actually 2 bat-caves and we didn’t stay for long in each cave to minimise our invasion of their sleeping quarters. Despite the smell, we all enjoyed our short exploration (approx. 20 mins).

On the other side of the caves, we found a nice concrete walk-way leading into the mangrove forests. We walked there for some time, obviously clicking some photos in between.

Mangroves of Langkawi
Mangroves of Langkawi

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Yacht Park, Fish Farm and Floating Restaurant

“Sit and hold tight”, said our boat-man after we got back into our boat. And, there was obviously a reason! In an instant, our boat picked up speed and zoomed along the river.

After a few mins, he slowed down and pointed towards countless yachts and sailboats anchored on one side of the river. These picturesque boats make good subject with the imposing cliffs as a backdrop.

yacht langkawi

After slowly passing by the yachts, next was the fish farm and floating restaurant. Although there is a provision for having food there, we weren’t really in the mood for eating (if you want, you can pick a fish and they will cook it and serve it for lunch). Sonakshi and Arnab watched & played with the fishes for some time and I got busy with my camera!

Mangrove Sightseeing & Andaman Sea Tour

a short snippet of our speedboat ride through the Mangroves.

Crocodile Cave

The crocodile cave is another a natural chamber in the limestone rocks/cliff. Although its name is ‘crocodile cave’, but unlike the ‘bat-cave’, there are no crocodiles inside. In fact, the cave is wide enough for small boats to even pass through it. the name is due to the rock formation at the entrance that looks like a crocodile.

Pro-tip: During low-tide or non-monsoon season, you can as your boatman to go through the cave and emerge on the other side.

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Eagle Watching

Then came my favourite part of the cruise – watching eagles hunting in the wild.

eagle watching Langkawi
a Stunning Catch!!

As the boat approached a particular spot, we noticed a large number of brown eagles circling above the water. And then it was a wonderful display of hunting skill of the eagles catching their prey (fishes) from the water!

Just for info: unlike the island hopping tour, the eagles are not artificially fed here. They hunt for fishes from the water and trust me its one of the most EPIC sights to watch!

Kilim Geoforest Park Icon

At the end of the tour, our boatman took us near the rock cliff with the “Kilim Geoforest Park” icon and slowed the boat down. Its basically a photo-spot. And as expected, we didn’t miss our chance to shoot a few selfies!

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Langkawi Mangrove tour vs Island hopping tour – which is better?

Short answer – if you have time to do only one of them, we recommend the Mangrove tour.

Having done both the tours, we felt that island-hopping is more touristy and found the Mangrove tour less crowded and more natural. Riding on a boat through the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park takes you to a completely different world.

Detailed comparison:
? Langkawi Mangrove Tour vs Island Hopping Tour – which one should you choose?

Also, as an overall experience, the Mangrove tour packs in 3-4 different types of experiences as compared to island hopping tour. If you prefer riding along the green mangroves, walking into a wild cave full of bats, playing with fishes on a floating fish-farm and watch eagles hunt for food in the wild, then I am sure you will prefer the Langkawi Mangrove tour.

ALSO READ:
? All you need to know about Island hopping tour in Langkawi

LANGKAWI MANGROVE TOUR – OUR PHOTO GALLERY

More about Langkawi:

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34 thoughts on “Langkawi Mangrove Tour – Malaysia’s Spectacular Ecotourism”

  1. Pingback: 20 Short Trips in Malaysia for a Perfect Weekend Getaway

  2. It’s a little amusing to see how bargaining pertains throughout Asian countries 🙂 also, your pictures are lovely! This looks like a promising vacation idea!

  3. Kilim Karst Geoforest Park Langkawi, spanning almost 100 square kilometres, is noteworthy for mangrove swamps, pristine beaches, and vertical karstic hills jutting out towards the Andaman Sea is an attraction for Eco tourism, flora and fauna. We had a conference at Kuala Lumpur but could not make time for this gloroous tour. The vivid description written in lucid style had been informative about the variety of wildlife found in Kilim Karst Geoforest Park Langkawi, surrounding geography of the place, the probable cost of the package, mouth wateting cuisine, boat rides and assocoated places to must visit with do’s and dont’s. In nutshell, we have received almost all informations for the tour through single window. So why wait. Let’s say Get, set and go!!!

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