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TASIK BERA, PAHANG.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Located in southwest Pahang, Tasik Bera is the largest natural freshwater lake in Peninsula Malaysia. It is situated in the saddle of the main and eastern mountain ranges of the Peninsula and is approximately 35km long and 20km wide. Tasik Bera has remained a unique and remote wetland wilderness, which is surrounded by a patchwork of dry lowland forests.
Like Tasik Chini, the second largest natural lake in the Peninsula, an aboriginal tribe also inhabits Bera. The Semelai aborigines reside in the areas surrounding Tasik Bera and they continue to acquire food in traditional ways. Rich in wildlife and vegetation, Bera is therefore an ecosystem, which not only supports a diversity of animal and plant life but also sustains the livelihood of the Semelai people.
Tasik Bera plays an important role in flood control, water flow regulation and purification and it also provides many natural resources for the local community. Hence, it is protected under an international treaty, RAMSAR CONVENTION, which was declared in November 1994. The Pahang State Government has also undertaken plans to formulate a nature based tourism development plan, which includes the establishment of a visitor or field study center, the training of site personnel, and the integration of the local community into the overall development.
Bera Lake is a sanctuary for 328 species of flora, 200 bird species, 50 mammals, and more than 95 species of fishes. Although very difficult to discover, the extended wetland area and its surrounding forests still support tigers, tapirs, elephants, and other endangered species. The clouded leopard, wild boars, monkeys, flying squirrels, and flying lemurs are other wildlife known to exist in Bera. The lake also contains a large number of the country's freshwater fish species, including both popular aquarium and sport fishes.
For nature enthusiasts, Bera is an ideal place for many recreational and adventurous activities. Visitors can choose to jungle trek, participate in river safaris, or go fishing, especially after heavy rains. The relatively isolated and tranquil surroundings of the open water are also perfect for boating or kayaking. Visitors can cruise river channels and inlets in search of vegetation and wildlife.
There are distinct wet and dry seasons in Tasik Bera. The wet months are from April to May and September to January. On the other hand, dry periods are from February to April and June to August.
To ensure safety, visitors are encouraged to hire a guide for all activities on the lake and surrounding forests. The Semelai's knowledge of both the forest and lake's habitats make them a popular choice as guides.
There is only one resort in Tasik Bera but visitors are permitted to camp on the north end of the lake at Sudin's Jetty, as well as the grounds near the resort. Bera is accessible by road. Alternatively, visitors can also take the train from both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which stops at Triang and Mentakab respectively. From there, taxis are available to the Bera jetty. There are no local car rental facilities; they must therefore be hired in Kuala Lumpur or Kuantan.

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