National Parks in Sarawak
Known as the ‘Land of the Hornbills’ Sarawak is the northwest part of the island of Borneo. Not only hornbills make their home in this beautiful part of the world; other interesting and rare animal species are also found in the dense rainforests. The rich and diverse fauna and flora of this tropical paradise and the local culture is what draws tourists to Sarawak year after year. The best way to explore the region is to spend time at some of its spectacular national parks. Governed by the Forest Department of Sarawak, there are more than 20 national parks to choose from – each offering visitors the opportunity for extraordinary experiences. Here, we have a look at three of these parks and what they offer.
Kuching Wetlands National Park
Freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems form part of Kuching Wetlands National Park. Interconnecting rivers create the boundary of this park and the intricate mangrove system contains a network of tidal creeks and waterways. The Kuching Wetlands National Park is the natural habitat of the endangered proboscis monkey with their very unusual noses. You will also find silvery lutungs and Nicobar macaques cavorting in the mangroves. The rich marine life includes the pre-historic horseshoe crab with its distinctive shell and some visitors even see gobies burrowing before the tide goes down or skipping in the mud. Boat rides are widely available and often include close encounters with dolphins and crocodiles.
Gunung Mulu National Park
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, expectations by visitors are usually very high for Gunung Mulu National Park. Time and time again this special place does not disappoint. Deep cut limestone canyons, appropriately named The Pinnacles enthral visitors above the ground while the largest underground hall, the Sarawak Chamber, enchant visitors below the ground. Despite it being big enough to accommodate 40 Boeing aeroplanes, the Sarawak Chamber only forms part of the fantastic network of caves that also make an ideal home for the 27 different species of bat known to live in Mulu. When exploring the forests you will get to see the fascinating nepenthes faizaliana, a carnivorous pitcher plant endemic to Gunung Mulu and if you are lucky, you might spot rare amphibians like the squat frog and stream toad, both only found in this spectacular park.
Bako National Park
Although it is the smallest national park in Sarawak, Bako National Park features a variety of biomes, breathtaking beaches, plentiful wildlife and a network of walking trails. The plant life is rich and varied and includes sundews, strangling figs, bladderworts, carnivorous pitcher plants and ant plants. When visiting Bako National Park you will certainly see some of its famous residents on the ground like monitor lizards, Bornean bearded pigs and otters. If you take a closer look at the trees you should spot some proboscis monkeys, a plantain squirrel or two and a huge variety of birds. To add to the appeal of Bako National Park, it can only be reached by taking a scenic 20 minute boat ride.
As one of the places at the top of every adventurer’s list, Sarawak is an eco-destination second to none.