Sungei Ampang waterfalls
Sungei Ampang
First large waterfall along Sungei Ampang (Feb 2006)
Location Selangor, Malaysia
Terrain Forest trail and river treks
Recommended duration 1 day
Ease of access Take a cab to entrance
Special equipment None
Good Clean
Not so good Leeches

Take a half-day trek to a pristine stream and find beautiful waterfalls hidden in the forest at the outskirt Kuala Lumpur city centre. Sungei Ampang waterfalls are relatively unknown to many trekkers although it is found right at the outskirt of Kuala Lumpur city centre near Zoo Negara. There are different names given to the waterfalls such as Kemensah Waterfall (due to its proximity to the village of Kemensah) and Sofea Jane Waterfalls (from a malay movie starring Sofia Jane in the mid-90s), Kubang Gajah Falls for the lower waterfall and Lata Sham Falls for the middle falls.

Sungei Ampang is known to have 3 large waterfalls more than 5 storeys high and a smaller waterfall about 1.5 storeys high. According to the instructors at Institut Budaya Baru Melayu, panthers and sunbears still reside in the forest. Wild boars have been sighted in the forest and you may get a whiff of strong animal stench along the trek. Although you are unlikely to meet these dangerous wild animals, there are many leeches along the trail that welcomes you.

Institut Budaya Baru Melayu , entrance to trail (Feb 2006).

There are two places where you can start the trek to the waterfalls. The most straight forward route is through the Institut Budaya Baru Melayu which is found at the end of Jalan Taman Zooview. Visitors to the river can park their cars just outside the institute. At the entrance of the Institut Budaya Baru Melayu, the leader of the team is required to seek permission and sign in at the guard house. The trail leading to the waterfalls is about 100 m into the institute on the right. A 45 mins trek along a dirt trail would bring you to the first waterfall. There is a campsite near to the waterfall that can fit about four 4-men tents. There is no pool at the waterfall for a swim though.

To get to the other waterfalls, the surest way is to go along the stream. The path to the top of the first waterfall is along the left side of it just behind the campsite. However, there are a lot of tiger leeches along this path.

Small waterfall by taking the right side of the river fork(Feb 2006).
The rest of the journey to the other waterfalls from the top of the first waterfall is by following the stream. A short distance from the top of the first waterfall, there is a small stepped, man-made dam. After trudging on the stream for a short distance, the stream joins another stream on the left side. Trekkers on the return trip should take note of this Y-junction so as not to take the wrong turn. There are fewer leeches while traveling on the stream but trekkers have to be on the look-out for wild animals. The water in the stream is quite shallow but where there is deeper water, it is possible to skirt by the side of the stream. There are no distinct paths and markings by the side of the stream but an experience trekker may be able to spot the trail on gentler bank of the stream. About half-an-hour trek from the dam will bring you to a river fork. Going right for 5mins will bring you to a small waterfall. Turning left and trek for about 20mins will bring you to the 2nd and 3rd large waterfall. The trek to the 2nd waterfall is quite difficult as the terrain is steeper and there are more rocks and thicker vegetation to overcome but the trek is well worth the effort. The waterfall is very beautiful with curtains of water falling over its edge at the top. The third waterfall is a short distance from the top of the 2nd waterfall. As this waterfall is gaining popularity, there are reports of Kemensah villagers or the guard at the institute demanding a payment of up to Rm15 per person for the trek which they claim that it goes to the maintenance of the trail.

An alternative route will be via the ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) Malaysia trail which is about 100 m before the institute. Visitors taking this route need to watch out for ATV or bicycle which uses this trail. Look for the sign saying Kubang Gajah which will lead to the first large waterfall. This will join the trail to the rest of the waterfalls.

2nd large waterfall along Sungei Ampang(Feb 2006).

Sungei Ampang, with its clean and relatively undisturbed surrounding and waterfalls is ideal for a day trip to the wilderness. There are no big plunge pools at the base of the waterfalls for swimming but lazing at the bottom of the waterfall is a very relaxing experience. This may be a blessing as it will be less attractive to visitors who are only looking at having fun and less concern about keeping the place clean. This trek is easy enough for first timers under the guidance of more experience trekker but it is certainly not a walk in the park.

To Nearest Town
Take a bus to Kuala Lumpur. You may check out the available bus services, prices and dates on

Take train to Kuala Lumpur. You may check out the train services, prices and dates on Malaysia Railway

To Institut Budaya Baru Melayu [Ref 1.]
Take a cab from express bus terminal to Institut Budaya Baru Melayu (located at the end of the road starting from Zoo Negara)
Duration : 30mins to 45mins (depends on traffic)

Duration (mins) Description Instructions Remarks
00 Main entrance of Institut Budaya Baru Melayu Go straight  
  About 100m from the entrance. A small trail on the right just before a upslope Turn right, into the small trail Just before an upslope
40 Triangular patch. Y-junction Turn right, descend  
15 Campsite with the 1st waterfall nearby.   Can squeeze 4x 4-men tents
  Small trail on the left side that runs parallel to the river Follow the small trail and ascend  
05 Top of the 1st waterfall Go upstream by following the stream  
10 Man-made stepped dam Go up the steps and continue following the stream  
35 River fork (*) Turn right
(#) Turn left
(*)05 Small waterfall (about 1.5 storeys) Go up the steps and continue following the stream  
(#)20 2nd waterfall Trail on the left side of this waterfall will probably lead to the 3rd waterfall  
[Ref 1, Feb 2006]

Useful Timings
Starting point to 1st large waterfall : approx. 55 mins
Starting point to 2nd large waterfall : approx. 2 hours

  1. Outdoors Sandals
  2. Light weight clothes
  3. First Aid Kit
  4. Extra clothing
  5. Rain gear
  6. Leech repellent
  7. Water for the trek

See map with contour lines here

  1. The Mountain Trekker - Sungei Ampang, [21 May 2015]
[Date extracted]

Other references
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