Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Kayaking In Sungai Kiri Sarawak: Review Of The Rucksack Rainforest Kayaking

Seeking to experience something different and adventurous, we decided to go on a kayak expedition along Sungai Kiri Sarawak. This 11km kayaking excursion will take you along a tributary of the main Sarawak River traversing through the tropical jungles and villages of Sarawak. Before the trip we did confirm there are no crocodiles and the river is shallow for most part of the journey. This 6 hour kayak adventure which costs RM198 per pax includes a return transfer from our accommodation in Kuching but we decided to drive to the starting point ourselves and got a good discount for that.
There are four companies in Kuching that offers this adventure activity and we went with 'The Rucksack Rainforest Kayaking'.

The kayak session starts at Kampung Bengoh which is situated 20km from the city of Kuching. We were first given a briefing on the know-hows of kayaking after which we were given safety jackets, bottled water and waterproof bags to put our belonging. We had to wade through a foot deep of water to get on the kayak so it is advisable to wear rubber shoes or sandals, shorts and bring along a change of clothes and towel.

There are two persons to a kayak each with his/her own set of oar. 

I specially requested for a guide to row the kayak for me as I'd wanted to take photographs. 

This guy assigned to me grew up in the nearby kampung. He has a permanent job in the city but often works as a freelance canoe rower and river guide during the weekends.

For most part of the journey the river was calm and shallow. The best time to go for this activity is during the dry season. I was told by my Sarawak friend that the water was crystal clear when she first came kayaking here but there seemed to be some problem when we were there as a nearby dam washed out a lot of weeds into the river making it appear blackish.

We were going downstream and kayaking was a breeze for most part of the journey. 

This is a Must-Do thing for nature lovers. Rowing through a luxuriant vegetation with verdant riverine trees and beautiful limestone hills towering majestically behind us was an awesome experience. The journey through this unspoilt nature was indeed therapeutic.

There was no sighting of wildlife that day but some village boys have come out for their fun dives into the river.

Along the 11km stretch of river, we stopped twice. The first time was at Kampung Danu, a Bidayuh village where we were treated to a home cooked meal (included in the package).

Looking at these skulls in the village house, makes me wonder whether this tribe were headhunters in the old days??

The water appeared calm here but there is one part where the river was turbulent because of a fallen tree. There was no prior warning and a few kayaks capsized around that area. Among some items my friends lost were spectacles, sandals and a rolex watch. Fortunately nobody was injured.  If not for this incident our outing would have been perfect and only to be remembered fondly.

Our second stop was at a sand bank where we were free to swim in the shallow water.
For this excursion a staff is assigned to take photographs for its participants throughout the journey. We had a whole group photo taken during the second stop at the sand bank. The photos were posted on a dropbox and participants were informed via email a few days after the excursion.

Our journey ended in Kampung Semadang where washrooms are provided for those who wish to take a shower or change their clothes.

Overall, it was fun.

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