About National Park in Sarawak
Sarawak’s botanical riches, diverse landscapes and wildlife make it a favorite stomping ground for nature lovers and scientists alike.
Where in Malaysia can you find a state that boasts more than 20 national parks, five wildlife sanctuaries, three nature reserves and 700,000ha of totally protected forest land (10 times the size of Singapore)?
Whether you’re a bird enthusiast, pitcher plant buff or an adventure freak, Sarawak is bound to have something for you. National parks like Bako, Lambir and Similajau have well-marked trails — a utopia for self-guided treks, while remote settlements like the Kelabit Highlands offer culture, crisp cool air and some adventure.
Thanks to the proliferation of cheap flights, it’s now a breeze for Peninsular folks to head here for a weekend getaway.
Attractions of the national parks
Sarawak’s natural areas attract conservation groups like the Malaysian Nature Society’s (MNS) Miri and Kuching branches who organize activities like nature camps, bird-watching trips and outdoor photography here.
“These places help us educate the community about our natural backyard,” says MNS Miri’s Mohd Nazeri Abdul Ghani. “In the end, the voice of the community will be the deciding factor in conserving our natural heritage. If you don’t care for your backyard, no one else will.’’
National parks are important repositories for the preservation of our natural heritage, adds Rebecca D’Cruz, MNS Kuching’s chairperson.
“These parks should be viewed as part of Sarawak’s ‘natural capital’, a vital economic contribution leading to sustainable development. For example, a stock of trees or fish provides a flow of new trees or fish, a flow which can be indefinitely sustainable.”
Recycling wastes, erosion control and their role as a water catchment area are other examples, D’Cruz adds. If you haven’t unearthed Sarawak’s treasure trove, now’s the time!
Here’s a small sampling of what Sarawak has to offer:
Bako National Park, Kuching
– Sarawak has many national parks, each teeming with a wealth of flora and fauna. Bako National Park is the state’s oldest, and home to the rare long-nosed proboscis monkeys, long-tailed macaques and various other animals. It serves as an excellent introduction to the rainforest.
– The park is home to an incredible diversity of plant, trees and insects, some that are yet to be identified.
Similajau National Park, Bintulu
– The beauty of Similajau National Park is its coastline, a chain of golden sandy beaches, punctuated by small rocky headlands and jungle streams, and bordered by dense green forest.
Batang Ai National Park, Sri Aman
– Batang Ai National Park is part of the region’s largest trans-national protected area for tropical rainforest conservation. The 24 sq km park adjoins the Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Malaysia and the Bentuang-Karimun National Park in Indonesia. Together these totally protected areas cover almost 10,000 sq km and form a sanctuary for one of the few viable orang utan populations in Borneo (estimated at over 1,000 animals) as well as many other endangered species.
Niah National Park, Miri
– Experience the awe of standing at the archaeological site of 40,000 year-old human remains in this park.
– Mount Murud or Muru (Malay: Gunung Murud) is a sandstone mountain located in the Malaysian part of Borneo. At 2,423 m (7,946 ft), it is the highest mountain in the state of Sarawak.
The tropical pitcher plant species Nepenthes murudensis is named after the mountain and is thought to be endemic to its summit area.
Mount Murud is included within Pulong Tau National Park.
– The Kelabit Highlands are a mountain range located in the northernmost part of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. The highest mountains in this range are Mount Murud at 2,423 metres (7,949 ft), Bukit Batu Buli at 2,082 metres (6,831 ft), and Bukit Batu Lawi at 2,046 metres (6,713 ft).
The area hosts fourteen villages. Seven of these are in the Bario area while the others are around the outskirts of the plateau.
‘Bario Asal’ as the original longhouse within the plateau and Ulung Palang, Arur Dalan, Pa’Ramapoh Atas and Pa’Ramapoh Bawah, Pa’ Derung, Padang Pasir and Kampung Baru are resettled villages in 1960s.
To the east side are Pa’Umor, Pa’Ukat and Pa’Lungan and to the south are Long Dano, Pa’Dallih and Remudu. The other two villages are Long Lellang and Long Seridan.
The current population of the Kelabit people is about 6,800.