Top 5: A Geographer's journey to the Mangroves.

Kilim Geoforest Park is located on the island of Langkawi, Malaysia. Langkawi is a stunning and beautiful tropical island in the Straits of Malacca, close to the border with Thailand.

In 2007, the island was given World Geopark status (UNESCO) due to its unique ‘geological heritage’; from towering limestone karsts to sandstone outcrops, marble, shale and mudstone. Langkawi has not found it easy to retain its accreditation due to ongoing conflicts between conservation and the growth of tourism that the economy of the island is so reliant on.

Kilim Geoforest Park is a protected area located in the north-east of the island. The combination of beautiful scenery, mangroves and incredible wildlife make this one of my all-time favourite places to visit for school field trips and personal holidays. Every time I visit, I see something new and learn more about this unique environment.

Here are my top 5 geographical wonders of Kilim Geoforest.

1. Mangroves

Mangroves are plants that grow in the intertidal zone. They have adapted to withstand extreme conditions of high salinity, strong tides, gusty winds, high temperatures and muddy anaerobic soils. Located firmly in the tropics at a latitude of 6°N and in a sheltered river estuary, Kilim Geoforest Park provides the ideal conditions for the growth of these unique coastal ecosystems.

Adaptations seen here include prop roots for stabilisation, pencil roots for breathing, methods of salt removal through reverse osmosis, and unique adaptations of seeds so that they can float and stick into the mu

2. Wildlife

The fauna within the park is breathtaking. Over my 6 visits to the park, I have been fortunate enough to have always spotted something new. Just some of the wildlife I’ve been lucky enough to see here includes:

- The iconic white-bellied sea eagle

- The Brahminy Kite

- Fiddler crabs that pop in and out of their homes in the mud.

- Long-tailed Macaque

- Pied Hornbill

- Sea Otters

- Dolphins

- Snakes

- Bats

- And many species of butterfly