Danum Valley Conservation Area Jungle Tour (3D/2N)
The 390 km2 (39,000 hectares) Maliau Basin was originally part of a 10,000
km2 (one million hectares) timber concession belonging to Yayasan Sabah (the Sabah
Foundation), an organisation formed in 1966 through an Enactment by the State
Legislative Assembly, with the objective of improving the standard of living and
education of Malaysians in Sabah. In 1981 Yayasan Sabah voluntarily designated
Maliau Basin as a Conservation Area for the purposes of research, education and
training, along with Danum Valley Conservation Area further to the east.
basin was 'officially discovered' in 1947, by a pilot. But it was not until 1988
that the first major scientific expedition organised by Yayasan Sabah and WWF
Malaysia took place. The Murut, who traditionally inhabit the area but have never
settled in the forbidding basin have since time immemorial organised a yearly
hunting expedition to the rich grounds of Maliau, and know of the seven-tiers
waterfall, the Maliau Falls (picture) at its heart - but they also know of many
more stories and legends that surround the place.
While all of this region is rugged, the saucer-shaped Maliau Basin is distinguished
by its almost circular perimeter, sharply delimited on all sides by cliffs or
very steep slopes up to 1,500m in height, making it insurmountable on foot from
most directions. The highest point is thought to be Gunung Lotung on the north
rim, which is over 1,600 m in elevation, but has yet to be accurately surveyed.
Resembling a volcanic caldera, the 25 km diameter Basin is in fact a sedimentary
formation comprised mainly of gently inclined beds of sandstone and mudstone.
The Basin represents a single catchment, and is drained by a set of radiating
tributaries of the Maliau River, one of which descends a magnificent series of
waterfalls, known as Maliau Falls. Numerous smaller waterfalls have also been
discovered throughout the Basin. The Maliau River then drains through a gorge
out of the southeast of the Basin into the Kuamut River, which in turn feeds into
the Kinabatangan, the longest river in Sabah.
After the 1988 scientific expedition other parties showed their interest, but
it was mainly in its rich coal deposits. However, international pressure became
increasingly strong to preserve the world-unique area. In 1997 the Sabah State
Assembly gazetted Maliau Basin as a Class I Protection Forest Reserve and increased
its size from 39,000 to 58,840 hectares to include the outer northern and eastern
escarpments and Lake Linumunsut. In 2000 intensive field surveys started as part
of the preparation of the Maliau Basin Conservation Area Management Plan.
The first major expedition to Lake Linumunsut (Sabah's only true lake) in the
northern part of Maliau was conducted in 2001. By now, only about 25% of the total
area have been mapped, and less than 10% have been studied intensively. Yet, the
Basin has already yielded more new species of plants and animals than many other
places over many more years of studies! In 2002 we celebrated the ground breaking
for the Maliau Basin Studies Centre Site by HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark and Tan
Sri Datu Khalil bin Datu Haji Jamalul, the Director of Yayasan Sabah.
Now, talks are underway that the Maliau Basin may become Malaysia's third World
Heritage Site. Visitors to Maliau Basin Conservation Area are welcome, but access
is strictly controlled and permission to enter must be obtained in advance from
Meet at hotel lobby and transfer to airport for flight to the east coast town
of Lahad Datu. Meet on arrival and proceed to the office for registration and
briefing. Depart two and half hour drive on gravel road to the Borneo Rainforest
Lodge. Check in on arrival with an introduction on the various facilities available
at Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon, proceed for
an introduction to the forest through the " Nature Trail " and onwards
to the " Canopy Walkway ". Return to the lodge for dinner and later
a briefing and slide presentation before proceeding for the "Night Drive"
to search for nocturnal animals. Overnight at the Lodge.
( Lunch & Dinner Provided )
Early morning, proceed for a guided jungle walk to the "Canopy Walkway"
to experience the early morning ambience with the sounds of birds and jungle sounds.
Trek to the " Coffin Cliff " for a bird's eye view of Borneo Rainforest
Lodge and on the return journey, a stop at the "Jacuzzi Pool", an opportunity
to take a dip into the pool. Lunch at the Lodge. In the afternoon, free at leisure
or go for " Water Tubing" for an hour at the Danum River. After dinner
proceed for the " Night Walk ". Overnight at the Lodge.
( Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Provided )
After breakfast, free at leisure or follow a guided walk along the " Segama
Trail " / "Hornbill Trail ". Return to the lodge for lunch, check
out after lunch and depart Borneo Rainforest Lodge for Lahad Datu airport for
flight to Kota Kinabalu. Meet on arrival at Kota Kinabalu international airport
and transfer to hotel. End of tour.
( Breakfast & Lunch )
Things You Should Bring
Suitable walking shoes / long sleeves shirts / change of clothes / drinking water
canteen / plasters / insect repellent / mosquito oil / binoculars / camera / water
proof bag for camera / torchlight / raincoat / other personal items.