The ladle waterfall of Matang Wildlife Centre
By Patricia Hului
The mention of Matang Wildlife Centre makes one immediately think of a place enclosed with endangered wildlife such as orang utan, sunbears and civets as concerned members of the public occasionally send rescued animals to the centre for rehabilitation.
Located at Jalan Lundu-Sampadi, the centre is famous not only for foreign tourists but locals as well since it has picnic areas for the public’s enjoyment.
But if you happen to visit the centre, don’t just stick around to be with the animals, go for a hike on any of its trails.
Altogether, there are four jungle trails at Matang Wildlife Centre namely Rayu, Pitcher, Sungai Buluh and Sungai Senduk.
The Rayu trail which takes three to four hours, leads to Kubah National Park.
For plant lovers, the Pitcher trail is worth a walk as one can see different species of pitcher plants across the forest floor along the way.
It is a circular path which takes roughly two hours to finish.
Sungai Buluh and Sungai Senduk are for those who want to visit tropical waterfalls. The former takes about two to three hours while the latter takes about one hour.
Trekking to the Sungai Buluh (bamboo river in Malay) waterfall takes you through patches of bamboo and some riverine vegetation.
Overall the trail is moderately difficult to trek with the final part of the road being quite steep.
The waterfall should be on any visitors’ itinerary only if they have one day to spare at the centre.
The ladle waterfall
If time is not on your side when you visit Matang Wildlife Centre, opt for Sungai Senduk instead.
Senduk (ladle in Malay) waterfall is an easy trek for parents who want to take their older children on as well.
Most parts of the trail are a walk in the park because it passes through flat areas and no climbing is required, but as it comes toward the end, there is a little bit of climbing and descending involved.
Nonetheless, the most interesting part of the trail is when you have to go over three hanging bridges before reaching the waterfall.
Each hanging bridge has its own picturesque view down below of crystal clear water that flows ankle-deep.
Besides the hanging bridges, there are several other smaller wooden crossings as well across small creeks.
Visitors could easily lose count of how many creeks they have to pass along the trail to Sungai Senduk waterfall.
The waterfall is small and towers less than two meters with an even smaller pool.
Still, its surroundings are serene and peaceful, making it a good hideaway from the hustle and bustle of Kuching.
Plus, the geological features found at the waterfall are an added attraction to the site.
The rock wall looks like it’s made of a number of blocks unevenly put together, inviting you to imagine whether accidentally pushing one would open up a hidden pathway to a secret cave filled with treasure.
As American poet Henry David Thoreau once said, “It is the marriage of the soul with nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination.”
So, what are you waiting for? Pay a visit to Sungai Senduk waterfall, one of the smaller but equally tranquil waterfalls Sarawak has to offer, and let your imagination run wild.