Bako National Park, Sarawak

Posted by Tuan Rumah | 8:02 AM | | 0 comments »

Sarawak first national park, Bako National Park (Taman Negara Bako) which is gazetted in 1957 offers some of the best chances to see native animals in the wild. Located on a peninsula at the mouth of the Sarawak River, Bako’s relatively small area of 30 sq km (10 sq miles) is uniquely rich in both flora and fauna, offering examples of almost every vegetation group to be found in the state. Primary rainforest covers one side of the peninsula, while the other side offers a picturesque coastline of steep cliffs and sandy bays with beaches for swimming. Mud flats and sand bars support a great diversity of sea birds, as well as peculiar red crabs and mud skippers.

While it is possible to visit Bako on a day trip, the rewards are greater if you stay for one night at least - a visit of two or three nights is recommended. Some people stay for a month, relaxing in the natural environment and exploring all the park has to offer. Catch the sun setting over the coloured limestone karsts of the main beach, and enjoy the unearthly experience of walking in the luminous forest at night.

The dry plateau is home to the bizarre insect-eating flowers known as nepenthes or pitcher plants; eight species exist within the park’s confines. The coastal swamp forest is a favoured retreat of Borneo’s endemic proboscis, or long-nosed, monkey, the long-tailed macaque, bearded pig and sambar deer, some of which find their way down to the beaches. Within the park is a good system of well-marked paths; ask for a guide map at the Park Ranger’s Office. Settle down and get ready to explore the wonders of Bako.

A magnificent plankwalk leads through a tidal mangrove forest that changes character throughout the day with the rise and fall of the sun, and the ebb and flow of the tide. Here in the early morning, when the water is low, lucky visitors may encounter the shy proboscis monkey or the silver leaf monkey, feasting on the young leaves. Tread quietly and keep your eyes wide open. The popular Lintang Trail leads through nearly all the vegetation types and up to the arid plateau where pitcher plants can be found at the scrub.

Within the park, accommodation is available at the resthouse, dormitories and chalets at the headquarters at Teluk Assam. A small shop supplies basic provisions which you can cook yourself, or the canteen offers a perfectly acceptable menu. Beware the cheeky long-tailed macaques who will try their best to find their way into your chalet kitchen or even steal food right off the table in the main dining area. They are a basketball of trouble, providing staff in Kuching at the Visitors’ Information Centre, close to Sarawak Museum.

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