Borneo is a land of lush forests, misty mountains, and unique wildlife, making it a top destination for adventurers and nature lovers. However, while many visitors flock to popular spots like Mount Kinabalu and Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, there is another hidden gem in Borneo that is just waiting to be discovered: Maliau Basin.
Maliau Basin, also known as the “Lost World of Sabah,” is a vast wilderness area located in the northeastern part of the island. This pristine rainforest boasts an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, including over 80 species of mammals and 300 species of birds. In addition to its incredible biodiversity, Maliau Basin is also home to a number of stunning natural features, such as waterfalls, caves, and hot springs.
Despite its incredible beauty and biodiversity, Maliau Basin remains largely unknown to the outside world, and only a handful of adventurous travelers have had the opportunity to explore its wonders. However, for those who are willing to venture off the beaten path, Maliau Basin offers an unforgettable wilderness experience that is second to none.
If you’re interested in exploring this hidden gem of Borneo, this comprehensive guide to Maliau Basin will provide you with all the information you need to plan your trip. From getting there to what to bring and where to stay, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the most of your adventure.
Getting to Maliau Basin can be a bit of a challenge, as the area is located in a remote part of Sabah and requires a four-wheel drive vehicle and some off-road driving. However, for those who are up for the adventure, the journey is well worth it. Once you arrive at the Maliau Basin Conservation Area, you’ll be greeted by friendly rangers who will help you plan your itinerary and provide you with a map of the area.
The trek itself covers a distance of approximately 46 kilometers and takes around 4-5 days to complete, depending on your pace.
The trek starts with a journey to the Maliau Basin Study Centre, which serves as the starting point for the trek. From here, the trail leads through dense rainforest, with towering trees and lush undergrowth. As you make your way along the trail, you will come across a variety of wildlife, including orangutans, gibbons, and hornbills, among many others.
One of the highlights of the trek is the opportunity to visit several stunning waterfalls and natural pools, which provide a refreshing break from the humid jungle conditions. The seven-tiered Maliau Falls, in particular, is a breathtaking natural wonder that is sure to leave you awe-struck.
The trek also takes you through a range of different ecosystems, including lowland dipterocarp forest, montane forest, and sub-alpine meadows. This diversity of environments means that you will encounter a wide range of flora and fauna, from giant trees to tiny orchids, and from colorful butterflies to rare birds.
Along the trail, you will stay in basic accommodations, typically consisting of wooden huts. While the facilities may be basic, they offer a unique and immersive experience, allowing you to connect with the natural surroundings and truly appreciate the wilderness setting. One of the highlights of any trip to Maliau Basin is exploring the various hiking trails that wind through the rainforest. These trails range from easy strolls to challenging treks that require a high level of fitness, but all offer the chance to see some of the incredible wildlife and natural features of the area. Be sure to keep an eye out for the elusive clouded leopard, one of the rarest and most beautiful big cats in the world.
In addition to hiking, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in Maliau Basin, it is also a potential birdwatching destination. One of the most popular attractions in the area is the Maliau Basin Skybridge, a 400-meter-long suspension bridge that offers stunning views of the rainforest canopy, and of course the ‘Great Maliau Falls’
If you’re planning a trip to Borneo and are looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Maliau Basin is a must-see destination. With its incredible biodiversity, stunning natural features, and remote location, it offers a wilderness experience that is truly one-of-a-kind. So pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready to explore the hidden gem of Borneo!
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