Mount Kinabalu, Rain Forests & Klias Wetlands in Sabah. Malaysia.


Mount Kinabalu towers 4095 meters (13,435 feet) above sea level. It is the highest mountain between the mighty snow-capped Himalayas and Wilhelmina (4509 meters / 14,793 feet) in Irian Jaya. It is also one of the most accessible and spectacular mountains in the world. Because of the earth movement, it is still growing with the rate of 5 mm (1/4 inches) a year.

Ever changing, it is the mountain of tropical rainforest, colourful blossoms and golden sunset, but also dark and violent storms. At times, a ghostly mist shrouds the mountain and it is easy to believe the local Kadazandusun's claim that it is the homeland of their spirit world.

In 1964 Kinabalu Park was established to protect Mount Kinabalu and its plant and animal life. Its 754 square kilometres (291 square mile) terrain stretches upward from lowland rain forest to mountain forest, cloud forest and sub alpine meadow, before finally reaching a crown of bare granite. Only at Mount Kinabalu can you eat breakfast in a lowland rainforest, lunch in a cloud forest, and enjoy dinner in a subalpine meadow!





Kinabalu Park 

Kinabalu Park, which covers an area 754 sq. kilometres, is one of the greatest attraction of Sabah. The Park is visited yearly by thousands of tourists who come to enjoy its climatic, scenic, floral and faunal splendours. 

Among other things, it also contains the granitic massif of Mt. Kinabalu. At 4,095 metres, it is South East Asia's greatest challenge for climbers. Mt. Kinabalu is the highest mountain in South East Asia. It is part of Sabah's beautiful Crocker Range and the 2,572 metre Mt. Tambuyukon.
Having an altitude which varies from 152 metres to 3,952 metres above sea level, the vastness of the Park enables the preservation of tropical lowland forest and wildlife, as well as the alpine-like associations of the summit zone
Preserved for posterity, the Kinabalu Park is one of the world's  most unique ecological systems: having beauty, splendour and charm to delight any category of visitors. From the tired businessman in need of a rest to the restless mountaineer and the nature lover who is eager to study and enjoy its natural treasures
The park opens at all seasons. It is self-contained with all the facilities for the casual visitors as well as campers. Those who wish to have a longer stay, nearby hotel or park's chalets are available.



The Tropical Rainforest.
Sabah's pristine tropical rainforests is home to many protected rare animals: the Orang Utan, Proboscis monkeys which are endemic to Borneo; elephants, the endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros and rich birdlife which include eight species of hornbills.

Sabah is one of the last places in the world where you can still find magnificent virgin rainforest. The largest virgin rainforest is in Danum Valley, which has now become a conservation area. It is home to many rare birds, monkeys, deer, insects and plants. Many visitors will remember it as a very beautiful place although it may be quite difficult to see some of the larger animals. There are only two places to stay, one is for scientists and the other one is for tourists.

Danum Valley is about 70 kilometres (44 miles) west of Lahad Datu, Sabah's fourth largest town. It comprises 43,800 ha  of virgin forest. It is a vast reserve of lush tropical lowland forest rich in Sabah’s unique flora and fauna. The area has been recognised as one of the world's most complex ecosystems.
The Danum Valley provides visitors with ecological experience into the wilds and wonders of ancient tropical forests. The hot and humid jungle teems with a variety of towering tropical trees, lingering lianas, exotic orchids and overhanging epiphytes.
Danum Valley lies within the upper reaches of Sabah's second largest river, the Segama and its tributaries.  Danum Valley is generally hilly but not mountainous. Its highest point is Mount Danum, of 1093 meters (3585 feet) in height.

Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre

This world-famous Sanctuary enables visitors to come in close contact with the remarkable "Orang Utan" which means "man of the forest" in Malaysian. The red-haired Orang Utans  are a must see, when you bring a visit to Sabah. Here, in the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, young orphaned or captive orang utans are taught survival skills so that they may return to their natural habitat. After that, they are released into the forest.
The Rehabilitation Centre  is set in 43 square kilometres of beautiful virgin rainforest.  The Sanctuary started in 1964 to help once-captive Orang Utan and to teach them to fend for themselves in the wild. After watching orphaned orang utans being taught how to climb, visitors proceed to a platform.  At that platform they can watch the semi-wild orang utans come in from their jungle hides for their twice-daily ration of milk and bananas.

These large red apes - man's closest relative- are astonishingly gentle and highly intelligent, gazing at visitors with almost disconcerting frankness. 
To avoid the spread of disease, touching the animals is not permitted inside the Rehabilitation Centre. However, it is usually possible to meet and photograph a couple of the mature females, who are so fond of human company that they refuse to go back to the wild, just outside the Registration Centre. 

The Sanctuary also houses a couple of highly endangered Sumatran rhinos, and occasionally other animals such as elephants. There is an Information Nature Education Centre, and a mini-theatre where a documentary video about the work of the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary is shown. Visitors are advised to arrive about one hour in advance to register and enjoy activities prior to the feeding. It is possible to take a taxi to Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre and have it wait for your return. There are also infrequent buses marked "Sepilok" leaving from the station near the Central Market. All tour operators offer guided tours which include transport.

Note: Orang-utans have brown and rust-coloured shaggy fur. They weigh an average of 50 kg (110 lb) and can weigh over 90 kg (200 lb). The orang-utan lives in tropical, swamp and mountain forests, where it eats mostly fruit, leaves and insects.






"I've never seen so many fire flies, it's like a street of brightly lit Christmas trees!" is the usual remark by visitors when they discover this new destination in Sabah.  Located about 120 km from Kota Kinabalu on the Klias Peninsula are the Klias Wetlands, a Mangrove Forest Reserve rich with river wildlife and birds.  Among the wildlife that can be spotted on a mangrove cruise on the Klias River are proboscis monkeys,  long tail macaques, with some luck silver langurs and of course an amazing variety of birds.


A trip to the Klias Wetlands is usually a day trip which normally starts in the afternoon at around 3.00 pm and departs from the Kota Klias Jetty. Light refreshments are served before the tour starts, and a local, kampung-style dinner will be served upon arrival back at the jetty. It is highly recommended to engage a tour operator for this tour. The operator will provide you with an experienced wildlife tour guide who can give you detailed descriptions of the unique nature and wildlife you see and thus make your tour much more interesting.


The Klias Wetlands have become popular amongst visitors who do not have enough time to go to the east coast and experience Sabah's wildlife in Sukau. Klias is much nearer and does not require a flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan. However, the proboscis monkeys in Klias are still "wild" and they are not so much used to see visitors like their cousins in Sukau. The Klias Wetlands should not be treated as an alternative to the east coast, with its fantastic wild life destinations. Klias has its own unique features which must be explored and enjoyed on their own!




Updated: 12/02/2010



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