Bako National Park
A National Park since 1957, Bako offers the perfect introduction to Sarawak’s forests and wildlife. The park covers the northern tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula, an area of 27 sq km. Despite its seemingly small size, Bako contains a wide range of vegetation – swamp forest, scrub-like padang vegetation, mangrove forest, dipterocarp forest, delicate cliff vegetation and more. In fact, at Bako it is possible to see almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo. Bako also contains a rich variety of wildlife and a coastline covered with small bays, coves and beaches. The park has a number of well-marked trails offering interesting walks ranging from short pleasant strolls to serious full-day hikes. Unlike some national parks, visitors to Bako are almost guaranteed to see wildlife. Long-tailed macaque monkeys and silver leaf monkeys are ever present, wild boar are often found rummaging around the park HQ, squirrels and monitor lizards are also common. There is every chance of seeing the rare and unusual proboscis monkeys on trails such as Telok Paku and Telok Delima, particularly if you go late afternoon. You are more likely to see wildlife if you quietly follow the trails and keep listening.
Bako is also home to approximately 275 rare proboscis monkeys, found only in Borneo. The male is an odd-looking creature, with a huge pendulous nose and a large pot-belly, weighing in excess of 20 kg. Both male and female are covered in reddish-brown fur with grey limbs and a white tail. They are mostly arboreal (tree-dwelling), moving about the forest or mangroves in small groups and feeding on young leaves, shoots, sour fruits and seeds. Although it requires some patience, an encounter with a group of proboscis is likely to be the highlight of your trip to Bako. The best times are early in the morning or in the hours before dusk. Telok Delima and Telok Paku are the best trails for viewing the proboscis. The mangroves at Telok Assam are also a good place for viewing proboscis monkeys.
Bako’s plant life is both beautiful, and readily accessible. All the trails have a great variety of vegetation, from mighty 80-metre dipterocarps to dense mangrove forest. Carnivorous pitcher plants are found on the Lintang trail.
Bako also has some good white sand beaches that provide perfect resting spots in between jungle treks. Telok Pandan Kecil is perhaps Bako’s best beach. After an hour or so the Telok Pandan Kecil trail comes to a rocky headland. The view down to a beautiful secluded bay, and the thought of a swim in the cool waters, has a magical effect on tired calf muscles. The following 20 minute descent suddenly becomes more enjoyable. All of the beaches are bordered by limestone and sandstone cliffs, and the action of the sea has left some remarkable rock formations, such as the famous Sea Stack.
If you take a stroll at sunset on Telok Assam beach near the park HQ, you will see hundreds of swifts hovering around their nests at the rocks at the far end of the beach. Don’t leave the beach after the sun disappears behind Mount Santubong. Wait another 20 minutes as the sky’s colours often change dramatically, providing a colourful backdrop to the mountain.
Birding in Bako National Park
Highlight species ~ Rufous-backed Kingfisher, Ruddy Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Red-crowned Barbet, Brown Barbet, White-bellied Woodpecker, Black-&-Red Broadbill, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Abbott’s Babbler, White-chested Babbler, Sunda Scops Owl, Oriental Bay Owl, Buffy Fish Owl & etc.
Treks and Trails
Bako’s extensive trail system is made up of 16 colour-coded jungle trails which offer a range of walking and hiking options. The fit and adventurous can opt for full-day jungle hikes or overnight camping expeditions, whilst those who prefer to take it easy can opt for a relaxing forest walk. The following table provides details of approximate trekking times and distances and the colour codes used in the park.
Muara Tebas Peninsular
National Park Opening Hours:
8.00am to 5.00pm
Monday – Sunday including Public Holidays
Tel: +6082-610088 (General Line) 1-800-88-2526 (Toll Free Line)
Fax: (+6) 082 610099
Bako National Park / Bako Terminal
Tel: 6082 360933
- Visitors are advised to bring along trekking attire and shoes, sunblock, swimming gear, insect repellent and basic first aid supplies.
- If you a planning to stay overnight, it is advisable to do an online booking in advance.
Getting There1. Kuching - Bako Village (boat jetty):
No. 1 (Rapid Kuching.) Bus Station near Open Air Market.
Bus Fare RM3.50 each way.
Depart every hour 7am - 6pm
Return every hour 8am - 5pm OR
RM60 each way by Taxi OR
RM5 each way by mini bus [Van]
Station near Open Air Market.
Depart when there are enough passengers.
2. Bako Village - Bako National Park:
RM30 p/person-each way.
A bus ride from Kuching to Bako Market takes about 45-60 minutes (red public bus number 1, originating from the wet market beside the Electra building, which will also pick up passengers from the burger stand opposite Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching and costs RM3.50 each way. Buses leave to/from Bako about once every hour starting from about 7am from Kuching and finishing about 6pm from Bako,
A minivan can be chartered for around RM30, and seats 5-7 people. They can reach Bako in half the time of the public bus, stationed near the Open Air Market, depart when there are enough passengers.
When you arrive at the Bako Market right in front of the jetty/visitor center, register, purchase your entrance ticket and buy your boat ticket. This 20-minute boat ride will lead you to the Bako National Park Headquarters. Enquire at the registration counter for details.
There will be an additional boat fee if you wish to visit the Sea Stack or Bako's remoter beaches. The boat ride is an adventure in itself, with the skilled and experienced boatmen riding the surf at high speed, to the delight of most visitors.
Provided below some useful contacts for your kind view:
Bako Boat Service Counter
(Monday-Sunday, 9.00am to 3.00pm)
Tel: +6011 25132711
Bako Boat Service
Person In Charge : Mr.Shadad Haji Omar
Tel: +6010 9493 860
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