Travel Guide Kuching

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Bako National Park

Posted by James on October - 6 - 2011

This tiny National Park is among the most visited nature reserves of Sarawak  Only 37 kilometres north of Kuching on the Bako peninsula and just 2,727 hectares in area, its jungle is teeming with wildlife, stunning cliff-enclosed beaches, iconic sea stacks, jungle trails with waterfalls and an intriguing range of vegetation ranging from lowland mangrove to midlevel dipterocarp forest and scrub-like hill side.


Access to the park is a 40 minutes drive from the city to the jetty at Bako, a fishing village near the mouth of a river. The jetty building has a canteen and rest/waiting area where visitors pay the entrance fee of RM10.00, and then get on the Park-approved motor boats, usually carrying 4-5 passengers, for the 15-minutes ride to the actual Park HQ at Telok Assam.

The boat first winds through the picturesque fishing village, with houses on stilts on muddy banks. Bamboo fishing traps jut out from the water near the estuary and the distant Mount Santubong can be seen on the horizon. Then it is then a 10 minutes dash across the sea with scenic rocky outcrops along the coastline.

Depending on the tide, if it is high, the boat will drop the guests at the park HQ  jetty and then it is a 5 minutes walk to the Park HQ. If the tide is low, approach to the jetty is not possible, the boatman may hit the muddy beach and guests will have to slosh through the mud to reach the Park HQ. Visitors are advised to check tide condition to avoid wasting time waiting at the fishing village side . On reaching the Park HQ, registration is required and visitors will be given a copy of the parks map and info of the various trails.

Secluded beach of Telok Pandan Kecil


Bako NP’s vegetation is practically a microcosm of Borneo’s. There are 7 complete eco-systems namely: – Beach Vegetation, Cliff Vegetation, Kerangas or Heath Forest, Mangrove Forest, Mixed Dipterocarp Forest, Padang or Grasslands Vegetation and Peat Swamp Forest, all of which the visitors can observe up close in the different  jungle trails.

Despite its compact size, Bako has a stunning number of wildlifes. The most common being the mischievious long-tail mascaques which roam freely all over the park. Visitors are advised not to leave their bags unattended as the slightest  lapse may see these naughty apes turned into snatchers.

Next is the star of Bako NP, the long pendulous-nose and comically pot bellied proboscis monkey. This is a rare specie and only found in this part of the world. The shy silver leaf monkey or langur is the other ape specie found here.

Proboscis monkey up in the tree, just right outside the park HQ


Then there is the resident scavengers – the bearded pigs who hang around the park canteen and chalet looking for throwaway food. Other more common animals are the monitor lizards, of which many can be seen on the mud floor of the mangrove forest.  Sometimes the green pit vipers can be seen on trees near the park HQ.

Baby wild boars or bearded pigs freely roam the park HQ ground.


Other less common wildlifes include the river otters, civet cat, squirrels, mousedeer, flying lemur, bats,  among others. On the mud flats, tiny marine life proliferate, like the hermit crabs, the fiddler crabs, mudskippers and mollusks.

Bako NP is an Important Bird Area (IBA) among the bird watching fraternity. There are recorded sighting of over 150 specie of resident and mirgratory birds.

Bako National Park has at least 16 jungle trails of various length ranging from the 30 minutes relaxing trail of Tanjung Sapi to the punishing 8 1/2 hours trek of Telok Kruin trail

Hand-out given to visitors after registraion at the park HQ

The park has 6 chalets (for 2 to 6 persons each) and 3 dormitories (for 16 persons each). All the accommodation do not have air-conditioning but are with fans. Booking has to be made in advance as the place is almost always full. There is a canteen and is the only place where food is available in the park. The menu here is limited and visitors are advised to bring their own snacks or fruits. Bottled waters are available at reasonable price.

The gist – Nature lovers, jungle trekkers, wildlife lovers, bird watchers, this park is a “die die must try” spot.


Categories: National Parks

2 Responses so far.

  1. Sarah Puryear says:

    Confirming booking for transfer for 1 person Nov. 19 as per my email.

  2. jordan says:

    hey there,
    i got a group of 10 ppl wanna visit bako park on 12 dec. we plan to overnight in bako park. can u help to arrange? and what is the total cost for this?? its good to put 10pax in a room.. will be staying in imperial hotel on 11dec. so pickup place with be imperial hotel.

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