Bako National Park is one of Sarawak’s most visited National Park. Famous for its lush jungle, rugged landscapes, and impressive wildlife, the park offers unique experiences to its visitors. Easily accessible from Kuching, a short boat ride will take you inside Sarawak’s oldest protected area. It’s incredible to see how much natural beauty and activities Bako National Park can offer.
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The park is well organized with several treks available for all levels, most of them will take you to amazing viewpoints over the sea. From an easy stroll around the headquarter to a full day of adventurous trekking, the park will please everyone.
Most of the beaches there look so appealing with crystal clear water and white sand. Unfortunately, they usually are surrounded by cliffs and the risk of crocodile attacks is high so the park forbids swimming.
The park is the smallest national park in Sarawak but there, you’ll find almost every type of flora present in Borneo. The vegetation is really lush and diverse, you’ll find there 25 distinct types of plants from 7 different eco-systems. Through the treks, you’ll discover grasslands, swamps, and mangrove, among others. The contrast is impressive and just walking a couple of meters you’ll find yourself in a totally different environment.
Bako National Park wildlife
Bako National Park also offers tremendous opportunities to see wildlife. It usually is really difficult to spot wildlife apart from long-tail macaques and a couple of lizards. In Bako, it is super easy. Among the most common animals, you’ll see are the proboscis monkeys, usually really shy, these monkeys are easy to spot across the park especially early morning at the beach near the restaurant. Proboscis monkeys are endemic to Borneo and cannot be easily acclimated to any other parts of the world, hence why you won’t find them in any zoos. They leave in mangrove and feed only on the young leaves found there.
Long-tailed macaque are everywhere and you should be careful, they’re fearless and would do anything for food. You might also see the quieter silvered leaf-monkey
Another common animal is the wild boar, or Bornean Bearded Pig, who are not really wild anymore. You’ll easily spot them all over the park and especially near the bungalows. Mouse-deers are also common but harder to spot. Lizards and snakes are abundant, and if you’re lucky you can see otters swimming in the river.
Keep in mind that these animals are still wild and that you should keep away from them and have the least interaction possible with them.
The park is also home to many colorful birds, harder to spot, you’ll need a lot of patience. Over 150 species live in the park.
You might want to join a night tour to see different species such as the flying lemur, bats, tarsiers, civets, owls, and slow loris.
When trekking, to increase your chance of seeing any wildlife, leave early morning, go slow and try to be as quiet as possible.
Bako National Park trails
Bako National Park has a really well-organized trail system with color-coding. The 16 trails go from an easy stroll to a full jungle expedition, you can also arrange for a two days trek in the jungle with camping. It’s not necessary to hire a guide for most trails, if you want, you can arrange a tour from Kuching through several travel agencies
Depending on the weather and seasons some trails might be closed.
Check out the official website for more information.
Getting from Kuching to Bako National Park
From Kuching, you can take a public bus bound for Bako village for RM3.5 from the wet market (red bus n°1). You can also take a cab, use Uber or make sure the cab has a meter. Once in Bako village, you’ll need to sign in at the park’s office and then take the boat to the park (RM20). The last boat back leaves at 3 pm.
Visiting Bako as a day trip from Kuching is doable but it’s better if you could spend at least a night there. The park provides basic accommodations within the protected area.
Bako National Park entrance fee
The entrance fee is RM20 for foreigners and RM10 for locals
Bako National Park accommodation
The park accommodations are really basic and far from being clean. You cannot open the windows so the rooms are humid and far from fresh. If you stay in the dorm just know that they don’t change the bedsheets. But as it’s the only option it will have to do, just bring something to cover the bed.
In all of the park’s accommodations, make sure to lock all the doors, the monkeys often raid the houses and steal all the food.
Related articles to help you plan your trip to Malaysia and Borneo:
- 2-week Borneo itinerary
- Mulu National Park – Visiting one of the world’s biggest cave systems
- Everything you need to know before going to Malaysia
- Kalimantan – Adventures of a lifetime
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