Santubong Nature Festival promises loads of exciting activities for young and old alike


Rich heritage: The Batu Bergambar in Sungai Jaong is one of the sites participants of the festival will visit.

NEXT month’s Santubong Nature Festival is expected to leave festival goers clamouring for more.

There will be no shortage of activities for all, ranging from easygoing heritage and nature walks, to adrenaline rush bike race, kayaking, night photography and night walk, eco-fashion contest, youth concerts and charity auction.

All the events will take place concurrently at Permai Rainforest Resort and Damai Central in Santubong near Kuching on Nov 9 and 10.

The Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch (MNSKB) is co-organising the festival with Permai Rainforest Resort.

On first day of the event, nature talks will be held at the resort’s conference room at 2pm.

The speakers are senior geologist from the Geological Department Sarawak, Henry Litong, who will speak on “Geology of Santubong”, wildlife photographer and biologist Chi’en Chien Lee on “The Carnivorous Plants of Santubong” (2.30pm), social scientist Tengku Hilda Tengku Ahmad on “Santubong Stonehenge” (3pm), writer and teacher Tom McLaughlin on “Chinese Settlers in Santubong” (3.30pm), Sarawak Forestry Corporation ecologist Rambli Ahmad on “Defining Wallace’s Line” (4pm), and researcher and entomologist with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Ikhwan Idris on “Butterflies and Moths of Santubong” (4.30pm).

An indoor 30-minute talk by herpetologist Hans Breuer on forest creatures of the night will be held at 7.30pm, followed by a 90-minute night walk.

The first nature walk starts at 2pm, guided by Datin Dr Katherine Pearce, a botanist and forest ecologist.

For those interested in the geology of Santubong, Hans Hazebroek, who is a geologist, author and professional photographer, will give a hands-on geology walk at 2.30pm after the talk by Henry.

At 3.30pm, there will be a 90-minute Santubong Heritage Walk, which is a visit to some archaeological and historical sites in Santubong. Early registration is required.

There will be workshops on photography by professional photographer John Arifin from Singapore at 2pm at the resort.

The second workshop at 7pm is on night photography. It will be conducted outdoors. Registration is required.

For children aged three to 18, there will be a games station conducted by UCSI University students at Permai from 2pm.

The three-hour Night Kayaking Experience along the coast of Santubong with trained professionals starts at 5.30pm.

All necessary equipment will be supplied but early registration is required.

Depending on the weather, a two-hour guided boat tour to observe firefly colonies along Sungai Buntal will start at 6.30pm.

Registration is required on a first come, first served basis. Intending participants are to pay RM50 per adult/child.

At Damai Central, festival goers are invited to visit local bazaar booths set up by various organisations and local communities around Santubong.

Offering a variety of goods, the bazaar will be open the whole day and on Sunday, from 9am to 2pm.

At the same venue on Saturday, a musical treat by Azam Young Souls Musical Group will take place at 2pm.

At 6.30pm, there will be a Trienekens Eco-Fashion Contest featuring participants from colleges and secondary schools.

Open Mic featuring Malaysian vocalist and songwriter Amir Yussof will take place at Escobar Bar and Grill at 9pm.

Open Mic is an evening of music celebrating Santubong, brought to festivalgoers by Sarawak Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA).

On Sunday, the nature talks continue at 9am with the first speaker talking on Oriental Pied Hornbills at Piasau Camp, Miri by MNS Miri Branch chairman and SFC honorary wildlife ranger Musa Musbah.

At the same time, Dr Pearce will take participants on a one-hour walk through the forest in the resort.

The Santubong Heritage Walk starts at 11am. Early registration is required.

A Race through Time, which is a bicycle treasure hunt around Santubong, and assisted by Kooch Cycling Club will take place at 8am.

Those interested in taking part must register early. Fee is RM60 per participant.

UCSI University’s Games Station will be open from 9am to noon. Registration is required.

For more registration, email mnskuching@gmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/SantubongNatureFestival or http://santubongnaturefestival.blogspot.com

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