Berkelah Waterfalls
Main Berkelah waterfall, 07 July 2001
Main waterfall of Sungei Berkelah (07 July 2001)
Location Pahang, Malaysia (See Google Map)
Terrain Mixed forest trail, rock obstacles. Some slight technical section with ropes and climbing on the ledge.
Recommended duration 2 days, 1 night
Ease of access 4-wheel drive to the park entrance or walk 5 km from main road to park entrance
Special equipment None
Good Unobstructed view of main waterfall. Most campsites conveniently located near sections of the river where visitors can take a dip.
Not so good Litters and rubbish at the campsites. Crowded on days which coincide with local holidays.

Walking on forest trail, scampering over solid rocks and holding on tree trunks, roots and ropes by the river bank with the fast flowing water just beside, the trek to the main waterfall of Berkelah is anything but monotonous. Take a dip at the plunge pool of the main waterfall and after that, choose from the various river side campsites for the night's rest. Berkelah waterfalls is located in Pahang, Malaysia about 31 km from the town of Maran. The main and highest waterfall along the river is estimated to reach a height of 50 metres (345'13.31"N, 10258'47.5"E)1 with a large, deep plunge pool at its bottom. There are several other waterfalls which you will pass by on the way to the main waterfall with the first within ten minutes of trek from the starting point.

Berkelah twin waterfalls 07 July 2001
The twin waterfalls which marks the beginning of more difficult trail (07 July 2001).

Four riverside campsites with their own characteristics can be found along the trail to the main waterfall. The first campsite is sheltered with forest trees and facing a twin waterfall. The river beside is shallow and you may sit on the rocks and dip your feet in the cool water. The second campsite is located on the rocks just above the twin waterfall. This campsite is largely unsheltered but this meant an unobstructed view of the stars in the night. Access to water is slightly more difficult than the other campsites as it is situated high above the river. The third campsite is relatively unsheltered and it is just beside the wide section of the river. You may either camp at the near bank or cross the river to a larger campsite at the far bank which is more sheltered. The wide slow moving river here makes it a perfect location to relax in the water. The last campsite is located at the main waterfall and resting here means that you can take a dip into the plunge pool anytime. Do allow ample time to rest and relax at whichever campsite which you wish to spend the night. However, it is important to note that there are reports of flash flood in this river especially during the rainy season. If you want to stay at the third campsite, a safer location is the far bank where moving up to higher ground is easier.

The entry point to the slip-road that leads to the entrance of the forest reserve is located along the Kuantan-Maran road. From there, it is about 5 km to the forest park entrance and it comprises of a tarmac road that soon gives way to a dirt road. A bridge that crosses a river near to the park entrance which was once passable by car is now broken and a four-wheel drive is needed to cross it. Alternatively, you may take a ten minutes' walk to the park entrance from the broken bridge. On the ascent to the main waterfall, the river cuts deep into the river bed creating deep gorges and waterfalls along the way. The trek mainly follows the river upstream with most parts of the trek on land and a few places where you will need to cross the river. Some sections of the trail require scampering over rocks on the steep river bank that raises more than five storeys above the water. Care must be taken on this waterfall trek as there are some slightly technical sections at the edge of the fast flowing river.

Berkelah waterfalls is one of the better water treks in Malaysia in terms of varied terrains, campsites and accessibility. The main waterfall is large enough to justify the trek to it and it has a large plunge pool to swim in. There are also many smaller pools along the river suitable for swimming. Although its popularity also brings about the unfortunate volume of litters at the campsites, it is still a good place to visit.


To Nearest Town
Take a bus to Kuantan Express bus terminal. You may check out the available bus services, prices and dates on http://www.busonlineticket.com

To Berkelah Forest Reserve Entrance
Via local bus:
From the express (inter-town) bus station, make a trip to the local bus station. See Google Map.
Take a bus that goes to Maran. Inform the conductor or driver to drop you at the Berkelah Restoran.
Bus company: Sri Jengka (Kuantan to Maran)
Duration: 45 min
Remarks: Buy tickets on the bus
[Ref: 3]

Via taxi:
Cost: Approx. Rm 30 to Rm 40 per taxi4

Duration(mins) Description Instructions Remarks
00 Berkelah Restoran Cross road and go east along main road Can be covered by cab
10 Signboard"Hutan Lipur Berkelah" Turn left Can be covered by cab
15 End of tar road   Can be covered by cab
45 Bridge Cross Can be covered by cab
10 Bridge Cross Park
    Keep to right side of "dry river" River might flow after heavy downpour.
15 "Dry river" Cross "dry river  
05 Rock face Climb up and over rock face  
05 Campsite 1; First waterfall Path to main waterfall is on the left side of campsite; Path to waterfall is opposite campsite 1  
10 Campsite 2; Second waterfall; Rock face Go up and over rock face Keep more to the left side of the rock face away from the edge of the river
10 Campsite 3   Bigger campsite across river
    Follow path on the left side of the river. Path is usually found on the left instead of cliff edge beside the river
20 Steep descend to water level Use rope  
30 River Cross river to a rock, walk on the rock towards the main fall before making another crossing to the right side of the river The second crossing might be quite dangerous
05 Main waterfall (campsite 4)    
September 2004. Courtesy of The Mountain Trekker3

Useful Timings (September 2004. Courtesy of The Mountain Trekker3)
Berkelah Restoran to starting point (sign board) - 10 min
Starting point to park - 1 hr 10 min
Park to 1st waterfall (campsite 1) - 25 min
Park to 2nd waterfall (campsite 2) - 35 min
Park to campsite 3 - 45 min
Campsite 3 to main waterfall - 55 min
Total time taken to reach main waterfall from Berkelah Restoran - 3 hr 35 min
Total time taken to reach main waterfall from park - 1 hr 40 min

Day 1:
Start the trek at about 8 am
Set up tent at campsite 3 and have lunch
Trek to main waterfall but bring along valuables
Return to campsite 3 for rest and dinner

Day 2:
Have breakfast and break camp. Depart campsite by 8 am
Reach main road and take bus to Kuantan for lunch.

  1. Outdoors Sandals
  2. Light weight clothes
  3. Tent
  4. Groundsheet
  5. Gas stove and canister
  6. Lamp/torch
  7. Pots for cooking/ Mess Tin
  8. Small Shovel
  9. Nylon string
  10. Water Purification Tablets
  11. First Aid Kit
  12. Toiletries
  13. Toilet Paper
  14. Extra clothing
  15. Kitchen utensils (Fork, Spoon)
  16. Rain gear
  17. Sleeping bag
  18. Cap/Hat
  19. Windbreaker/Jacket
  20. Lighter
  21. Swiss Knife
  22. Insect repellent
  23. Water container


See map with contour lines here

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