Unofficially. Even though he is not directly employed under Junglewalla company, he is one of many Langkawi taxi van drivers that most nature guides would love to work with, especially when it comes to wildlife and birds!
His full time job is shuttling tourists around the island with his taxi van. On days when Junglewalla conducts bird watching excursions, he will be one of the selected drivers to take the naturalist and the guests around looking for feathered creatures. I can proudly say that he is the naturalist’s right-hand man for spotting birds because he has eyes of a hawk!
Abdul Karim b. Ghazali is his full name. Most of the time I would call him Karim but he prefers to be known as Abdul. Apparently, he said that A-b-d-u-l is much easier to pronounce.
A father of four, this forty four year old came from Grik, Perak state. His first job on the island when he first arrived in 1994 was shuttling students of a flying school. Observing nature is part of his hobby and interest, which prompted him to take up a course in nature guiding known as the Green Badge Course in 2001. Wow, he is much a senior than I am!
Since four years ago, he began to learn bird watching seriously by following a couple of “Birds Sifu” on Langkawi and one of them is our very own, Indera Suhardy. Abdul started working with Junglewalla since two years ago.
A chat with Abdul, he said that he first took up bird watching as a hobby and later this hobby became a challenge. The more challenging it is, the more he loves the “game” of having to identify some of the birds, especially those migratory shore birds and waders.
Abdul drives around Langkawi more often than we do and he is a reliable source to “know where to get” some of the birds. If you want to look for a Mugimaki Flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki), go ask him!
Now, I am seeing him toying around with a DSLR camera. Hmm… is he is now taking this hobby to a different level, a wildlife photographer!?
All the best to you, Abdul, on your new hobby and great to have you as part of Junglewalla team – unofficially.