Malaysia is full of parks serving varied purposes. Some are for recreation, some preserve wildlife, and the rest concentrate on agriculture and corals. While visiting Borneo, you will be greeted with many Sabah parks that will take your gaze for a heavenly toss.
In today’s article, we discuss the top 7 Sabah Parks that you must visit when you are on your Borneo trip. Let’s get started.
1. Taman Negara Gunung Kinabalu
Taman Negara Gunung Kinabalu is situated on the western coast of Sabah. Established in 1964, with UNESCO designating it as a World Heritage Sight in 2000 thereafter, it is one of the most important biological sites in the world, consisting of more than 4500 species of flora and fauna.
In the park, you can peak to Mt. Kinabalu, or enjoy the Poring Hot Spring, or you can go to the Desa Cattle Dairy Farm and see the preservation and milking of the cattle. You can also visit the Kipungit Waterfall and Maragang Hill to enjoy nature at its best.
2. Crocker Range National Park
Crocker Range National Park gets its name from an administrator in Borneo, Maunder Crocker. The park spreads its wings around 1,400 sq. km. and resides at an elevation of 5,900 ft.
Recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2014, there are a lot of natural wonders which make it an excellent holiday destination. Also, it is home to more than 107 species of mammals, 52 reptile species, 500 species of plants and insects.
You can trek up to Mt. Trusmadi or Mt. Alab, and you can come across many from more than 265 species of birds. Additionally, you can walk into the insectarium, check the Fern Garden, watch the Rafflesia Plot bloom, or go on a pine or salt trail. To top it up, go to the observatory tower to refresh your senses with the stunning, not-so-common views of it all in unison.
3. Palau Tiga Park
If you are a fan of the Survivor TV series, you would be glad to know that it was shot partly on the Palau Tiga Park. The name translates to ‘Island Three’ in the Malaysian dialect, which refers to the three humps that you can see on the landmass from a distance.
Not only for the Survivor fans, but there are also a lot of reasons why it catches the attention of the visitors alike. You can hike the jungle trails, explore the absolute wilderness, or sit and relax. For the adventurous, you go snorkeling or diving to experience the vast stretch of flora and fauna that reside here.
The origin of the island is due to the mud volcanic eruptions, and even today, you will find numerous small mud volcanoes oozing fresh, mineral-rich mud. Not to forget, mud bathing is a must-to-do activity when you are on the island.
4. Tun Sakaran Marine Park
Tun Sakaran Marine Park is a 35,000-hectare archipelago, which is a perfect blend of nature and marine biodiversity. There is something for everyone, and it is impossible to cover it in a day trip.
It has a vast marine life consisting of more than 500 species of fish and over 200 species of invertebrates. To partner them, there are wide varieties of corals, which makes it a complete package.
When in the park, you can go bird watching at Tun Sukaran, meet the Bajau population, hike up Bohey Dulang, or sit and gaze at nature’s beautiful creation.
5. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
Within walking distance of Kota Kinabalu lies a part spread over 4929 hectares, the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. Whether you are looking for a one-day trip or more, it is the perfect destination for you and your family.
The park consists of 5 islands and is two-third covered in the sea. Sapi, Gaya, Manukan, Mamutik, and Sulug are the five islands, and you can go snorkeling on either of these. When on the run, you can get a glimpse of some wildlife, but make sure not to go too close.
You can catch sight of some birds on Gaya Island and occasionally turtles if you are into swimming. On Sapi Island, you may come across notorious macaque monkeys and be aware of their thieving activities.
Sapi, even though the farthest, is the best of them all for diving and snorkeling. Manukan and Mautik Islands are known for their coral reefs, whereas Gaya is famous for its beach at Police Bay. Expect a reasonably warm temperature and high humidity throughout the year, which can be troublesome if you are not used to such conditions. You can read more about it here.
6. Turtle Islands Park
Gazetted in the year 1977, the Turtle Islands Park is home to several endangered turtle species in the world and lies 40km north of Sandakan in the Sulu Sea. It consists of Selingan, Gulisan islands, and Bakungan Kecil.
When in the park, you can catch a glimpse of the green turtles and hawksbill ones. You can go to Selingan, which has a turtle hatchery, park’s headquarters, and space for tourist accommodation. Turtles are more likely to come out in the evening of night, and it makes a case for an overnight stay at the park.
You can watch the turtles laying eggs, experts hatching the eggs, tagging of mother turtles, or releasing the babies in the sea when the time is right.
7. Sabah Agriculture Park
Developed and maintained by the Agriculture Department, the Sabah Agriculture Park lies in a 200 ha site offering visitors educational and recreational activities. You will find more than 400 native orchids species, an ornamental garden consisting of 21 small gardens, and a model garden, which includes 5 small, themed gardens.
Aside from the gardens, you can also catch sight of a crops museum housing 400 species of plants, a bee centre cum museum, and a mini zoo. Overall, a great place to visit for those who love gardening or agriculture and would like to know more.