Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The natural beauty of Sarawak's Jangkar waterfall

JANGKAR waterfall, hidden in the rainforest behind Kampung Jantan, Biawak, about 20km from Sematan, has all the ingredients to be the ultimate eco-tourism site.

Located on the slopes of the Berumput range on the boundary between Sarawak and Indonesia, the waterfall is the largest in southern Sarawak.

However, due to logging and plantation activities since the 90s, the villagers there are worried that their natural source of water and the beautiful waterfalls would disappear like the one in their neighbouring village.

“We stopped the loggers who attempted to log into our area outside their given boundary. Now, there is no more illegal logging near our place. We hope the waterfalls can be preserved for future generations,” said Benjamin Sulaiman, who hails from Sibu and has been staying at the village after marrying a local woman in 2000.

Benjamin, a tour guide, met his wife when he came to work at a nearby plantation in the 90s. They have three children from six to 10 years old.

His career as a tour guide began few years ago after tourists came to the kampung asking for directions to a seven-storey-high waterfall. He was previously a contractor transporting oil palm and delivering parcels across the border to Indonesia.

Since then, he has been a busy tour guide, especially during weekends when more visitors arrived.

His brother-in-law, Kapit, 32, later joined him as a full-time guide.

Kapit’s house is located in the middle of the kampung. He has stopped going to his farm and stays at home most of the time, expecting visitors who turn up at any time.

After visiting many similar sites in Sabah, Benjamin became confident that the Jangkar waterfall could be developed into an ecotourism site.

His efforts to bring visitors to the kampung, however, was not supported by some villagers.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: The natural beauty of Sarawak's Jangkar waterfall
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