Malaysia National Park
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|Maliau Basin “Lost World of Sabah,borneo.”|
"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.
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.
Satellite camp accomodation
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