Bera Lake (Tasik Bera in Malay) is the largest natural freshwater swamp lake system in Peninsula Malaysia. Located in southwest Pahang, it remains both a unique and remote wetland wilderness.
Extending 35 km long and 20 km wide, and surrounded by a patchwork of dry lowland dipterocarp forests, the islands of peat swamp forests which supports a diversity of animal and plant life, and sustains the livelihood of the 'Semelai' branch of the Orang Asli people inhabiting the wetlands.
Tasek Bera is characterised by a watery landscape dominated by large grass-like blades of pandunas leaves which line the narrow channels. A variety of ferns, orchids and epiphytes can be seen attached to tree trunks while thorny rattan weave through the undergrowth. Among the fields of metre high reeds and rows of dense foliage found in the open water, dozens of pitcher plants hang in shades of green and red, In the drier areas, lowland rainforest trees and palms add to the diversity of the wetland reserve. Tasek Bera is an ecosystem which supports not only a diversity of animal and plant life, but sustains the livelihood of the Semelai – the aboriginal people inhabiting the wetlands.
Tasek Bera has distinct wet and dry seasons which may determine the best time to visit. The wet months are from April to May and from September to January; while the dry periods are from February to April and June to August. Note however that some sections of the forest trails may not be accessible during the wet months.
Tasek Bera is a sanctuary for more than 200 bird species, 50 mammals and 94 fish species. It is also a habitat providing food and shelter for bird life, including kingfishes, hawks , herons, but overall, water-birds are strangely scarce. Though very difficult to see in the wild, the extended wetland area and its surrounding forests still support tigers, tapirs and elephants. It is also home to endangered reptilian species such as the Malayan False Gharial (a freshwater, fish-eating crocodile), the totally protected Striped Giant Soft-Shelled Turtle, the much sought after Malayan Giant Turtle, reticulated pythons that can grow to a length of 18feet, prehistoric looking monitor lizards and lots of frogs species
As an important biodiversity reservoir for freshwater fishes, Tasek Bera contains a large number of the country’s species, including popular aquarium fish such as harlequins and tiger barbs as well as large predatory catfish and other sport fish.
The relative isolation and tranquil surroundings of open water offer opportunities for boating and kayaking. Visitors will enjoy spending a few hours cruising the myriad of river channels and inlets to explore the vegetation and search for wildlife.
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