Gunong Panti Exploration
About 30 minutes drive away from Mawai Eco Camp is the long ridge of Gunong Panti (averaging 500m) which tops the granite mass of the mountain as a sandstone crest from northwest to southeast. The highest point at the west end drops precipitously into a lowland dipterocarp forest. On a clear day, Gunong Belumut and Muntahak can be clearly seen in the distance.
This distinctive mountain which resembles an “inverted boat” is the most prominent landmark in Kota Tinggi. The forest is unusual in the sense that the lower part of Gunong Panti is a lowland dipterocarp forest and as you proceed higher it blends into a mixture of lowland and sub-montane forest. At the ridge, the forest changes to swamp forest till you reach the summit also known as Panti West(513 m.) where it is covered in Leptospermum trees, known in Malay as “Pokok teh”. Botanically, it is a fascinating place.
Even the water here is unique as it adopts the colour of strong tea but is drinkable.
You can expect a scenic and breathtaking view from the summit on a clear day. From a vantage point, you can see the Kota Tinggi waterfall and its chalets as well as Gunung Muntahak. (the source of the Kota Tinggi waterfalls)
If you have a pair of binoculars, you can actually see the three banded chimneys of the Senoko power station and Singapore. Gunong Panti is also well known for its bird and wildlife diversity.
The ascent of the mountain at a leisurely pace will take about 3 hours.
The initial trek is quite gradual going through fruit orchards and secondary forests.
Once you enter the primary forest, the trek becomes steeper until near the ridge crest where it becomes almost a steep rocky wall. However, there are plenty of root holds and natural steps which make that short climb not difficult to handle.
After that, it becomes an undulating flat ridge.
There are two open sites on the ridge summit suitable for camping.