Gliding along a river in silence in the early evening, visitors to Kampung Kuantan, just 56 km from Kuala Lumpur, witness a festival of synchronised fairy lights emanating from millions upon millions of fireflies.
Situated around 9 km from Kuala Selangor, Kampung Kuantan has become a major tourist attraction thanks to this extraordinary natural phenomenon, and over the past couple of years, boats and facilities have been upgraded making for safer and more comfortable tours. This unusual phenomenon can be found only in two places in the world, at the Selangor River in Malaysia and on another river in Brazil. The Malaysia Fireflies are locally known as “Kelip Kelip”, meaning “blinking”. The fireflies dwell along the Selangor river banks, feeding on the Berembang mangrove trees (Sonneratia Casolaris) that grow in the brackish water. These mangroves trees can be found 8 km upstream and 18 km downstream of Kuala Selangor. Embarking on eco-friendly rowing boats, visitors are able to observe the fireflies in very close proximity, guided by a local boatman. The attraction is open between 8.00pm and 10.30pm daily (except for rainy days).
HISTORY OF WATCHING FIREFLIES IN KUALA SELANGOR
Watching fireflies in Kuala Selangor initially was done by local and foreign scientists along Selangor River about 25 years ago. News about fireflies in Kampung Kuantan began to attract residents around Kuala Lumpur to come see for themselves the wonder of fireflies along Selangor River, and from that point, Kampung Kuantan villagers started renting boats to local tourist to see fireflies. It was only in 1989 that the Malaysia Utility Company, in collaboration with the local council built a proper jetty, ticket counter and rotating system for boatman. Since then Kampung Kuantan has become known as the Kampung Kuantan Fireflies Park. There is no particular season to watch fireflies in Kuala Selangor. It is open 365 days a year regardless of festivals or holidays.