“Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.”
Taman Negara was probably the most adventurous, challenging and exciting experience I’ve ever done. From Cameroon Highland I took a 3 hour shuttle and a 2 hour “boat” (more like a canoe) to reach the National Park. I’m not particularly a fan of boats, the idea of floating on water with animals underneath just doesn’t appeal to me (let me be straightforward here: I’m definitely one of those “something touch my foot” girls or “O my god a crocodile will eat me” girls) so I had to deeply inhale, grab my life jacket and hope for the best.
On my way there I met some of those who were going to be my adventure companions for the next 3 days: Marion, Alessia and Alessandro. Each one of them had had incredible adventures and huge expectations for the future which I’m sure they will all successfully realize. Once we got to the park it was already 3pm so we started looking for a hostel for the night ahead and actually ended up sharing the same room! Marion, and I joined by other 4 Swedish people also booked a jungle overnight tour for the following days and in my opinion that turned out to be the best decision ever.
We woke up early the following morning, packed our backpacks with a sleeping bag, cameras, food, some clothes ( I forgot my pajama bottom so I actually ended up using my sleeping bag as a skirt 😅) and started our adventure.
The Swedish group was composed by 3 girls, Ida Henny Elen and and one boy Andreas. All of them really cool and funny so we luckily got easily along.
We trekked for two full days walking almost 20km, falling often and laughing even more. 10 minutes into the trek I already had a leech on my leg… We lost count of how many times we “de-leeched” each other and ourselves, I believe we might have easily reached a number of 30/40 leeches per person. Keep something in mind: if you wanna make friends and get closer rapidly just go to Taman Negara and start removing leeches from each other’s body parts 😂 I still remember Elena, an Italian girl that we met in the cave where we slept, telling me to check her back and bum in case an unwanted host had decided to visit 😂.
During these days many things happened: we got covered multiple times in mud while crossing apparently harmless streams, we sang Avicii and Ed Sheernan’s song in a cave, we actually slept in the above mentioned cave and made a bonfire (no s’mores though only rice and noodles 😂) , we learned sayings in Swedish, Italian, Spanish and French, we laughed, some of us swam in rivers, we saw elephant’s poop and some of us stepped on it (😅 guilty), we also saw tiger footprints and that was personally my favorite moment.
If you know me or if you have me as a friend on Facebook you probably know that I’m a 100% vegetarian, and I deeply care about animal welfare. Malayan tigers are one of those subspecies extremely in danger of extinction, as of December 2013 experts estimated that the tigers population was around 250-300 individuals out of the 3000 that were present just 40/50 years ago. It has been calculated that there are as as few as 3200 tigers left GLOBALLY. This numbers are just astonishing and I think it is our moral duty to raise awareness about this issue and find a way to contribute to the preservation of this animals. I will leave the link down below of some associations that help these animals and will for sure explain what is happening way better than I can.
Back to a less serious topic I personally think I fell more during those few days than in my whole life ahahahah I somehow managed to slip, with my backpack ( and obviously everything inside of it) from a bridge directly into a river ending up soaking wet from head to toe. Besides the immediate scare it was actually hilarious and hours later we where still laughing about it, my only regret is not having a video of that moment because Ida, that saw the whole scene, said that it would have gone viral 😂 .
I spent 3 amazing days in this park and met lots of amazing people, made thousands of memories that hopefully will last forever, got lots of bruises everywhere and enjoyed nature to the fullest realizing how small I am compared it. Useful links