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Sarawak's Mulu National Park


The majestic Gunung Mulu, rising over a mass of sandstone and shale, 2,377 metres ASL, dominates the Gunung Mulu National Park in the Miri and Limbang Division of Sarawak. The park covers 52,866 hectares of the shale and sandstone, flanked by limestone outcrops with virgin tropical forests at the lower slopes giving way to montane vegetation at the upper region.

It was gazetted as a National Park in 1975. The mix of natural habitats in all its diversity amidst such wild and rugged scenery makes it one of Sarawak's most popular destinations. Foremost among its attractions are the spectacular pinnacle rock formations tucked in the valley of Gunung Api and its cave complex which can only be described in superlatives. Despite its ruggedness, the park is easily accessible and there is a range of activities to keep everyone busy and happy.

 

The Pinnacles

Deer Cave

Kayak Mulu National Park


Flora and Fauna
 

This area was miraculously unaffected by the last Ice Age which left it to continue with the evolution of its flora and fauna without any interruptions. This accounts for the extraordinary diversity of plant life and wildlife to be in its forests today. There are over 1,500 species of flowering plants, 170 species of orchids and 10 species of pitcher plants.

The lush vegetation of the lower slopes consists of peat swamp, heath and mixed dipterocarp forests. An interesting feature about the peat swamp forest is the massive roots of the Strangling fig tree, a name derived from the fact that it had in fact "strangled" the original host tree to death in its bid to reach the top! In the upper regions, the vegetation is characterised by limestone and moss vegetation and the stunted montane vegetation of the summit.

There are 67 types of mammals roaming the forests with 262 bird species. The latest addition to this group is the newly discovered Borneon frog with the beautiful name - "Rana ingeri"! Also to be seen swinging nonchalantly from the branches are the small tree dwelling Borneon gibbons. All these plus 281 varieties of butterfly and hundreds of insects and fungi make up the inhabitants of the park.

 

Flying Frog

Insect

Lantern Bug


Planning an Itinerary

Plan for a minimum of 2-4 days stay at the park in order to fully appreciate all that it has to offer.

  • DAY TRIPS TO SHOW CAVES -  These caves have been illuminated to focus on certain features within its dim interior. Special paths enable visitors to move around easily and also protect the delicate geological structures from getting damage accidentally. They are accessible from the Park Headquarters, which requires a 3 km walk through the jungle on a specially constructed plank walk.
  • LANG'S CAVE - Named after the man who first introduced speleologists to the cave in 1978, it features a variety of intricately sculptured stalactites and stalagmites, delicate and transparent helictites and spectacular rock curtains. Footprints embedded in the rocks at the entrance of the cave indicate that it was once inhabited by wild boars.
  • DEER CAVE - As its name suggests, this cave was once a shelter for deer. It also served as a human burial ground. However, it has now been taken over by millions of bats which can be seen flying out in formation in search of food, as night approaches. Other inhabitants include swiftlets circling the entrance, earwigs, centipedes and cicadas. Its 160-metre wide mouth resembles a 'colossal stone jaw', earning it the distinction of the World's biggest cave passage. Another unique feature is the 'Adam & Eve's shower', a cascade of water falling 120 metres from the cave roof.
  • WIND CAVE - Approach by way of the Melinau River, steps lead from the river bank up to the cave entrance. A refreshing breeze greets you as you approach the cave which explains the origin of its name. Within is the King's Chamber with its magnificent display of stalactites and stalagmites of all shapes and sizes. The Chamber is said to be haunted!
  • CLEARWATER CAVE - Measuring over 100 km, this cave is acknowledged as the longest cave in Southeast Asia and the 7th longest in the world. Venture inside into Lady's Cave with the stalactite resembling the Virgin Mary. Walk 50 steps down to the underground rivers in a labyrinth caverns and passages that were formed millions of years ago. The crystal clear water is said to possess mysterious powers that restore youth!

Medicinal Plant

Garden of Eden

Slipper Orchid

  • ADVENTURE CAVING - For something more challenging, don protective helmets and miners' lamps and follow a trail down into the depths of Clearwater and Wind caves, under Gunung Api. Crawl with the centipedes and earwigs and be prepared to come face to face with other inhabitants in the cave floor.
  • THE PINNACLES AND GUNUNG API -  Take up the challenge to view the pinnacles, located in a shallow valley 1,200 metres above sea level. The adventure begins with an exciting 2-hour boat trip over rapids. On days when the water level gets low, be prepared to help shove the boats over the rock-strewn rapids. A 3-4 hour trek through virgin forests brings you to a park hut (Camp 5) on the bank of the Melinau river where you can rest for the night. The next morning, begin with a 4-hour climb up to 1,000 metres to reach the viewing point overlooking the pinnacles. The smooth razor-edged pinnacles measure 20 metres wide at the base and 45 metres in height. Separated by deep fissures and low bushy mountain forest, they present a spectacular sight when viewed from above.
  • ON THE TRAIL OF HEADHUNTERS -   The trail once taken by the legendary warriors on their head-hunting spree in days long gone, goes through the lowland forests and down the mighty fast flowing rivers. This is recommended for those with an unquenchable thirst for adventure and excitement. Follow the head-hunters trail and live out your fantasies in the rugged terrain of Sarawak wilderness.
  • THE MULU CHALLENGE -   If that is still not enough, there's the challenge of doing the Mulu summit. Take on the mighty mountain and scale its rough sandstone and shale heights. It may be lonely at the top but the view is fantastic!

Canopy Walkway

Longboat

Rock Formation Lang Cave


Activities

Adventure caving  | Birdwatching  | Jungle Trekking  | Photography  | Leisure Caving  | Longhouse Tour | Kayaking   | Rock Climbing  | Mountain Climbing  | Biking


Getting There
 Malaysia Airlines operates daily flight from Miri to Mulu, 30 minute flight.

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