Maliau Basin

Maliau Basin “Lost World of Sabah,borneo.”

Maliau Basin 5 days 4 night schedule

"Maliau Basin" Its one of the last remaining natural treasures, a saurcer-shaped geological structure that spans 25 Kilometers in diameter with formidable cliffs as high as 1,700 meters. The forests within these walls are some of the oldest and untouched in all of Borneo. The highest point is thought to be Gunung Lotung (Mount Lotung) which is over 1,600 meters 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.


Pitcher Plant


Herd Plant. (Ginseng, Tongkat Ali and Kak Cik Fatimah)

Forest and tree.

Over 1800 species of plant have so far been identified, including nine species of pitcher plant and at least 80 kinds of orchid, several of which are new records for Sabah and also the bio-symbiotic Ant plants.

The Maliau conservation area contains about 74 dipterocarp species. Dipterocarp forest is found mostly on the Basin’s outer flanks and in the interior valley bottoms, and is rich in fruit trees.

The orchids are especially diverse and accessible in the heath and short-heath forest plateau. It was noted that the greatest flowering of orchids there was in April-May.

There are also always rhododendrons flowering in the heath forest, the commonest probably being R. bomeense, R. durionifolium, and R. javanicum, and their various subspecies.

Nepenthes can be seen at the heath forest. About 9 species can be found at the Maliau conservation area. These include Nepenthes cf. mirabiles, N. gracilis, N. hirsuta, N. lowii, N. reinwardtiana, N. stenophylla, N. tentaculata, N. veitchii and N. veitchii X N. stenophylla.

The rare Rafflesia tengku-adlinii has also been found in Maliau Basin, one of only two known localities in Sabah, a parasite on the Tetrastigma liana. The liana itself appears to grow in heavily disturbed sites and two places where the liana and parasite can be found are the trail down to Bambangan Camp, and in the disturbed forest on the hill behind Rafflesia camp.


Big mammals that have been recorded in the Forest reserve included red barking deer, Bornean yellow barking deer Sambhar deer and bearded pig. There were no signs of banteng and elephants within the borders of forest reserve apart from a small comer around Belian Camp area where a small herd of bantengs were observed in September, 2000. Bantengs can be commonly seen outside the southern boundary. There is also the sighting of Rhinos in Camel Trophy Hut.

For small mammals (monkeys, civets, rats, shrews, porcupines, pangolin, etc.), about 21 species from 7 families were recorded. Of the 17 rat species in Borneo, 11 were recorded here. Interestingly, no squirrels were recorded.

An impressive list comprising some 270 bird species has been recorded, including Bulwer’s Pheasant, Giant Pitta, Bathawk, Bornean Bristlehead and eight species of hornbills, together with several rare montane species, otherwise found only on Mount Kinabalu and Trus Madi. These included 24 species of birds which were new records for Maliau Basin, 5 Bornean endemic species and 2 migrant species. About 32 species from 5 families of frogs were recorded. Maliau served the largest concentration of the helmeted hornbill in the late evening when you can hear loud croaking sound.

Others among the 82 mammal species so far confirmed include Clouded Leopard and Malayan Sunbear, argus pheasant, silver leaf monkey, orang utan, elephants, sumatran rhinos, Bulwer's pheasant, oriental darter, and peregrine falcon.while on the fringes of the Conservation Area, Seledang (tembadau) and the elusive Bay Cat have been seen. There are plenty of mousedeer, hornbills, monkeys that can be seen almost every day

While the acidic waters of Maliau Basin are proving to support relatively few fish species, more than 30 species of amphibian have been found, including a frog which makes its home in pitcher plants.

Amongst the multitude of invertebrates, at least two species are new to science, a water beetle Neptosternus thiambooni and a crab Thelphusula hulu have been discovered

Attractions and activities

Maliau Basin Conservation Area is ideal for adventure jungle trekking & wilderness experience, bird watching, photography and night walks, night drives to spot nocturnal wildlife along the access roads, swimming and recreation.


The famous seven-tier Maliau Waterfalls could be reached within a day. Equally memorizing are waterfalls such as Giluk Falls, Gungseng Falls, Maliau Falls, Sebandar Falls, Takob-akob Falls and Upper Giluk Falls.


Visitor also can enjoy the excitement with night safaris with the guideden of park ranger. You can get to gape at nocturnal wildlife.

Visitors to Maliau Basin Conservation Area are welcome, but access is strictly controlled and permission to enter must be obtained in advance from Yayasan Sabah. It must be remembered that Maliau Basin is a remote, rugged and isolated area with limited access, communication and safety facilities.

Getting there and away

Maliau Basin entrance is situated about 40 km east of Pensiangan in southern Sabah. It is now easily accessible from Tawau and Keningau. It is about 190 km from Tawau. From Keningau, it takes about 3 hours. The best mode of transport is by 4WD.
Maliau Basin Conservation Area is accessible either via Tawau or Keningau, a 4-5 hours journey from either town. Four-wheel drive is essential as the latter part of the journey is on logging roads.

Satellite camp accomodation
In addition to the chalet, rest house and hostel accommodation facilities available at Maliau Basin Studies Centre, Maliau offers a range of satellite camps linked by well-maintained trails.

Belian Camp

Belian Camp is about 25km drive from the Security Gate and within walking distance of Maliau Basin Studies Centre. It comprises a camping ground with space for 20 double tents, a large kitchen, toilets cum showers, and an attractive pavilion. Located in logged lowland dipterocarp forest near the banks of Maliau River, Belian Camp is close to an educational nature trail and an impressive canopy walkway, also known as Maliau 'Sky Bridge’.


Set on the banks of a 15m wide stream in hill mixed dipterocarp forest, Agathis Camp is located at the southernmost edge of MBCA, about 20km to the north of the Security Gate. A 1km self-guided nature trail at the camp provides visitors with a fascinating introduction to the forest and its wildlife. The camp is well-equipped and comfortable, with hammock-style accommodation for up to 30 visitors, electricity and toilets and showers.

Camel Trophy Camp

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Camel Trophy Camp is a two-storey building complete with bunk beds, showers and solar electricity, which can accommodate up to 15 visitors. Constructed by the participants of Camel Trophy in 1993, it was the first permanent camp within the Basin and is located strategically at the meeting point of lower montane forest and the rare and unusual montane heath forest on Maliau's southern plateau. A 33m high observation platform near the top of a large Agathis borneensis tree provides an opportunity to observe birds at close range and allows breathtaking views of the surrounding forest canopy.

Ginseng Camp

Constructed in 2005 near to the impressive 27m high Ginseng Falls and about 5-6 hours walk form Agathis Camp, this substantial camp can accommodate up to 20 visitors, and has hammock-style beds and toilets cum showers.

our to six hours walk from Belian Camp, Seraya Camp is located on what is expected to be the most important trail in MBCA in the future, as most visitors to Maliau Falls will spend the night here. Trails around Seraya Camp also pass a rare Rafflesia tengku-adlinii site.

Lobah Camp

Located near the top of a hill with a 230 degrees panoramic view of the Basin's rim, Lobah Camp is approximately 2km from the well-known Maliau Falls, and serves as a much-needed stopping point for visitors from Ginseng and Camel Trophy Camps, before arriving at the Falls. Other satellite camps in remote locations such as Rafflesia, Strike Ridge and Eucalyptus Camps are accessible to visitors only by helicopter.

Copyright by MMG Mountain Goal Adventure Team