For the past week, we have been in Ulu Muda, a forest reserve in northwestern Malaysia that is managed by the State Government of Kedah. We stayed at Earth Lodge (http://earthlodgemalaysia.com/about/ulu-muda/), a small camp along the Muda River that is owned by a man named Hymeir and his partner. To get to the lodge, we traveled upriver for about two hours from the local jetty.
We spent our days hiking in the forest and could usually be found cruising the river in a boat at dawn and at dusk. On those rides, we were hoping to catch a glimpse of the rare Asiatic elephants that live in the forest. Ulu Muda is the first location we have visited in Southeast Asia where it is still possible to see Asiatic elephants in the wild. It was not until this morning, on our 8th and final day, that we spotted the giant creatures. We were lucky enough to observe a mother, father, and two calves as they came down to the river. Hymeir estimates that there are around 100 individuals left in Ulu Muda, a reserve of over 160,000 hectares.
It was an unbelievable week – beyond the elephants, we saw wild boar, sambar deer, a garnet pitta, a giant argus at its display site, and gliding geckos. I’ll be posting from our journal this week, but for now, check out a few of my favorite images: