Bako National Park
"Sarawak's Natural Coastal Paradise"
As Sarawak's first national park set aside in 1957, Bako National Park may be the smallest park, but it is also one of the most popular attractions in the state.
Everything about this coastal gem is impressive. From the arrival on a wild and wet boat ride to the photographic seascape rock formations, nature immediatedly snatches your senses. A system of jungle trails crosses over the park's diverse habitats to find colored sandstone cliffs, mangrove forests, kerangas (heath forests), dipterocarp forests, peat swamps, grasslands and beach vegetation.
Wildlife at Bako National Park is much easier to observe than at other parks. Rainforest mammals such as bearded pigs, silvered langers, macaques and proboscis monkeys are visible in tall forests and mangrove patches.
Stay the night and look for flying lemurs, slow lorises, tarsiers and pangolins on a jungle walk. For birders, the park mixes a good selection of seabirds, waders and forest birds all within a small area for observation.
Not to be outdone by wild animal life, the plant life showcases carnivorous plants like pitcher plants, sundews, and bladderworts, all good subjects for photos.
Natural Things To Do
Bako National Park: Nature Attractions
The worst part about a wild holiday is not seeing any wildlife. That's why a trip to Bako, even if only for the day, is a special opportunity. Take the time to wander in the rainforest and savor the biodiversity of the tropics.
From the mangrove fiddler crabs to the tree canopy dwelling Proboscis monkeys, all the habitats at Bako offer something to observe. Bearded pigs rummage around the grounds, while Long-tailed macaques gaze from tree limbs. The amazing flying lemur clings to tree trunks before taking flight with its thin, gliding membrane.
Land crabs and skinks inhabit the forest floor, one slow and one quick. Mouse deer and monitor lizards venture into open areas near the HQ and otters search for fish in mangrove shallows and some rivers.
Most snakes in the park are harmless, including the graceful Oriental Whip snake and colorful Paradise snake. Just be aware of the poisonous Wagler's pit viper, usually found camouflaged and coiled in understorey shrubs.
For those with sharp eyes, flying lizards leap from large tree trunks to escape and the long-tailed Green Crested lizard lies hidden in the green foilage.
If you can't find wildlife in Bako National Park, then either it's raining in sheets or you have your eyes closed.
With over 150 bird species found in forests, shores and scouting above the sea, the chances for birdlife are good when exploring the variety of habitats with a pair of binoculars.
A great way to spend an afternoon, choose a jungle trail and stalk the feathered wildlife with a good field guide. Go slow, be patient and surprise yourself at what you can discover.
Look for white-bellied sea eagles or brahminy kites perched on bare trees along the coastline. Head over to the shelters near the jetty mangroves to catch kingfishers, bulbuls and drongos.
And if you're lucky, you'll run into either the Oriental Pied of Black hornbill to cap off a perfect day in the wilderness.
With so many habitats strung together by 16 color-coded trails, each hiking experience is bound to offer something a little different. Get up early for sunrise sightings of active mammals and birds and then again at dusk, just before the jungle settles down for the nightlife species.
The numerous trails lead to bays, jungle waterfalls, forest streams and great scenery along the coast. Take on as much adventure as you are fit to do for a full day of trekking. Or take it easy with a stroll near the Park HQ.
For visitors new to the tropics, Bako National Park is a fantastic introduction to the diversity of the rainforest and its inhabitants.
If you come for a daytrip, then choose one or two locations to really discover well. If you spend a weekend, then fill your days with jungle adventure and absorb all that nature can display.
Jungle and Landscape Photography
Thousands of years of salt, seawater, rainstorms and sandstone soils stamps its mark on Bako with an impressive coastline full of photographic stunners.
Craggy seastacks rise out of the water, sandstone cliffs capped by forest canopies and captivating sunsets across the bay are just a few natural moments to capture.
For those seeking a closer view, slender and squatty pitcher plants provide suitable subjects, while fungi, fan palms and ant plants test your skills. Bring your patience and long lenses for the wildlife for faraway birds, colugos in flight, or shooting snakes without disturbance.
Plan for the best times in your habitat of choice and get the most out of your trip to Bako with a portfolio of incredible images.
Bako National Park: Trails
Bako National Park: Getting There
There are a couple of ways to get to the park. Basically you need to get to Kampung Bako village first by bus, minibus or taxi, then take a boat ride to the national park.
From Kampung Bako, book the 30 minute boat ride to Teluk Assam HQ at the National Parks boat ticketing counter.
Each charter boat costs at least RM 40 with up to six persons per trip. There are no fixed departures since villagers provide the boat service and can make pickup arrangements at any time. Local operators can also organize guided trips to Bako.
Boat fares may change, so check with the Kuching Parks Office beforehand. Additional permits are needed for professional photography and filming in advances
Visitors are required to register and pay the entrance fee (usually RM 10 per person) or other park fees at the registration counter. The Park HQ also has a cafeteria for food and beverages, a small sundry shop, and an information centre.
Park accommodation consists of 3-bedroom Chalets, 2-bedroom Lodges, 4-bedroom Hostels and a camping ground. Barbecue pits are provided for visitors to prepare their own meals.
Please contact the National Parks Booking Office for the latest room rates and to make reservations.
Reservations & Enquiries
Bako National Park
Bako National Park: Video Gallery
Wildlife & Habitats
Proboscis Monkeys and Wildlife
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