While an urban cityscape isn’t usually the first place that comes to mind for an animal-lovers’ adventure, Kuala Lumpur has made efforts to integrate Malaysia’s animal kingdom into its modern landscape. Here are our suggestions of places to seek out wildlife in KL, for the best animal lover’s experience.
KL Bird Park
This exotic aviary houses many species of bird indigenous to Southeast Asia, and more specifically to Malaysia. Spend a lovely afternoon strolling in its 20-acre covered park, watching feathered friends in their simulated natural habitat. It’s so well-curated that even some scientists visit to study the birds. It’s a fun family educational trip, and kids will enjoy strutting around with peacocks, chattering with macaws, dancing with flamingos and meeting the elusive hornbill, among many other fascinating winged creatures.
Striving to be a one-stop attraction, Aquaria KLCC is the pride and joy of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Boasting massive tanks full of underwater life, this oceanarium provides a thorough tour of Malaysia’s terrain— from highland rivers to mangrove banks to the deep blue. The highly educational tour will delight all visitors curious about Malaysia’s fish, amphibians, mammals and insects. The interaction platforms will also amaze, with their detailed exhibits on tide-pool creatures, river dwellers and sharks.
The KL Butterfly Park is the place for fans of the six-legged species. Neighbouring the KL Bird Park, the 24,000 metres/80,000 square feet of curated gardens is a creepy crawly haven, and home to over 5000 types of butterflies, plants and other insects. It is one of the biggest tropical greenhouses in the nation. Fret not if the live exhibits feel shy on the day you visit: a bug museum at the end of the tour will showcase the many insects found in the park.
A visit to the national zoo should not to be missed for a chance to see larger members of the animal kingdom. Home to many familiar and endangered animals undergoing conservation efforts, Zoo Negara opened its doors in the 1960s. Meet the Malaysian Tapir and Orang Utans, as well as many other strange and wonderful Asian animals. Be sure to stop by and visit the newest addition to the family, the Giant Pandas. They are a symbol of good foreign relations between Malaysia and China for over 40 years.
While admittedly the main attraction of the Batu Caves area isn’t its wildlife, it is a good place to go to see macaque monkeys. These like to hop up and down the 272 steps alongside streams of tourists. The monkeys are 100% wild but are accustomed to humans, so be cautious with your belongings and snack foods. Veer off to the left of the steps to the Dark Cave landing, where spelunking can introduce you to even more cave life in the limestone labyrinths.
If you’re a softy for felines, the Purradise Cat Cafe will satisfy. Over 20 cats freely roam the premises, and the owners rehabilitate these adoptable sweethearts and make them familiar with human contact. The petting zoo/adoption centre is also a great cafe, offering light treats (for humans), should you want some time out from snuggling the kittens.
If you’ve brought your pet along on your travels, CuBs & CuPs is the place for both of you to relax and meet other equally fun-loving humans and pets. The cafe offers a scrumptious menu for both humans and pets, specialising in healthy organic treats.
Don’t let the strict dress code deter you from visiting this extremely affordable cat shelter come play station. Although shorts and sleeveless clothing are prohibited, this is a small price to pay to play our your cat-lady tendencies at Good Meowning Cafe. It comes with a large cats’ playroom and a cafe area in which to enjoy feline shaped delicacies before or after spending 30 minutes with the kitties for just RM5 (US$1.10).