Sarawak has the largest amount of rainforest than any state in Malaysia. Enjoy a wide range of national parks as you embark on a journey to discover Borneo’s natural heritage.
Bako is Sarawak’s oldest national park, established in 1957 and located 37 km away from Kuching. Bako is known for its amazing variety of natural surroundings, plants and wildlife. It’s most prominent features are its deserted coves and rugged rocky cliffs that are artistically shaped from erosion and the elements over time. Along the cliffs by the sea, you can marvel at sea stacks and arches, some shaped like animals!
Inside the rainforest, a large variety of plants and flowers grow, including the largest flower in the world, the Rafflesia. Other unique creatures found here include the Proboscis monkey, which has a large stump for a nose; the Silver Langur, a shy primate with a punk-like hairstyle and leopard cats, miniature leopards the size of cats.
Covering some 24,000 hectares in the Sri Aman area of Sarawak is the Batang Ai National Park. The area is also an important water catchment area, which flows into one huge lake that is used to power a hydro-electric dam. The park is home to a variety of endangered animals including hornbills and Orang-Utans.
The Gunung Gading National Park is located in the Lundu area North East of Kuching. Here, there is a series of mountains of which the highest is Gunung Gading, from which the park gets its name. There are numerous waterfalls located here as part of the Lundu River, allowing you to experience a cool and humid forest. You can also find Rafflesias growing here, the largest flower in the world with a powerful stench to boot.
Another park near Kuching is the Kubah National Park which covers an area of 2,230 hectares. The land is composed of sandstone, siltstone and shale within the vicinity of three mountains; Gunung Serapi, Gunung Selang and Gunung Sendok. The many streams that meander through the forest make it popular for picnics and day-trips into the forest. Also, you’ll find a rich abundance of palms and orchids, which include species of Licuala, Rattans, Pantau, Pinanga, Appendicula, Dipodium and Eria.
The Lambir Hills National Park which was gazetted in 1975 is located south west of Miri. The rainforest is thick with palms, ferns and other ground flora such as Ariods, orchids, epiphytes and vines. Look out for carnivorous pitcher plans and catch a glimpse of rare animals such as pangolins, barking deer and gibbons from Borneo.
One of Sarawak’s most popular rainforest parks, Mulu is named after its highest mountain. The park covers about 32,000 hectares of majestic rainforest that has some fantastic limestone outcrops and montane jungles. Gazetted as a National Park in 1974, the abundant greenery and rich wildlife attract many visitors. Some of its main attractions are the spectacular pinnacle rock formations in a valley called Gunung Api.
What is believed to be the longest cave passage in the world is also located in Mulu. About 150 km of the cave has been traversed but experts believe it is not even near half of it. Inside the caves, visitors can watch millions of bats stream out during the night and marvel at limestone formations. In addition, there are over 1,500 species of flowering plants, 170 species of orchids and 10 species of pitcher plants as well as countless animals.
Niah is another famous but smaller national park, particularly for its caves that spread over a 3,140-hectare area of peat swamp, forests and massive limestone outcrops. The main cave is called the ‘Great Cave’. Along with some smaller cavers, the area is ripe for exploration and discovery. Outside, fig plants thrive in the lowlands as long-tailed macaques dart about the trees. Bird-watchers will also adore the sights of eagles and owls which frequent the area for food. Other beautiful birds that flock here include hornbills, partridges and swiflets.
The Tanjung Datu National Park is located near Kuching, towards the westernmost tip of Sarawak near the Indonesian border. It is the most recent national park, having been gazetted in 1994 and also the smallest at only 1,379 hectares.
The park has a mountainous range, in which clear water-rivers flow with great strength. There are also some beautiful beaches along is shoreline while further inland, the area is a dense mix of lush vegetation and trees filled with intriguing wildlife.