Kubah National Park
Kubah National Park is an easy and enjoyable day trip from Kuching. Situated on a small sandstone plateau, this small park (2,230 ha.) boasts crystal clear streams and a host of small waterfalls and bathing pools. Kubah is mostly covered by mixed dipterocarp forest, but it also has one of the widest selections of palms and orchids in Borneo. The varied wildlife includes bearded pig, mouse deer, black hornbill and many species of amphibians and reptiles. However, Kubah’s wildlife tends to stay deep in the forest so it is not really a park for “wildlife encounters” (Bako is unbeatable in that respect). The appeal of Kubah National Park lies in its rainforest scenery, its waterfalls, streams and bathing pools and the 93 species of palm found within its boundaries.
The park has six jungle trails, and a path that leads to the summit of Gunung Serapi (5-6 hours return trip). Wooden shelters are located along the various trails. The Main Trail passes through dipterocarp forest and links the various trails of the park. The Palmetum is the park’s showcase trail, passing through an area rich in palms. The Selang Trail leads to a view point about 45 minutes walk from the HQ. After about 30 minutes you come to a very steep section where ropes are provided to help with the climb. At the end of the trail you’ll find a raised wooden platform complete with a bench chair and some superb views of Matang and the Santubong peninsula. The Waterfall Trail is the most popular trail in Kubah National Park. It passes through mixed dipterocarp forest and incorporates a number of plankwalk sections that cross streams and swampy land. From the HQ, it takes about 1 hr 30 mins to reach the waterfall.
The Rayu Trail leads from the park HQ to the Matang Wildlife Centre and takes about 3-4 hours (one way). First follow the main trail before turning right to begin a relatively easy descent through the rainforest. Mid-way along the trail you’ll find some rainforest giants, and pass numerous Bintangor trees which are currently the subject of Aids research. At the end of the trail you enter a swampy section (watch out for leeches) before coming to a crystal clear stream and the riverside picnic areas at the Wildlife Centre. Note that you can also start both the Waterfall and Rayu trails just past the 900 feet point on the Mount Serapi path. The trek from the road to the waterfall takes about 45 minutes and begins with a steep descent on a wooden staircase that winds its way down the forested slopes. The new Belian Trail is about 1 hour’s easy walking and as well as huge Belian (Borneo ironwood) trees, there is a wide variety of other plant life. Colourful forest birds including the maroon woodpecker, white rumped shama, chestnut-naped forktail, and rufous-collared kingfisher are often heard and seen, and giant squirrels are frequently spotted jumping from tree to tree.
Birding in Kubah National Park
The highlight species are: Blue-banded Pitta, Bornean Blue-flycatcher, Bornean Bristlehead, Bornean Ground Babbler, Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker, Bornean Black-magpie, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Red-naped Trogan, Diard’s Trogon, Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Rufous-backed Kingfisher, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Banded Kingfisher, Red-crowned Barbet, Red-throated barbet, Rufous Piculet, Grey-&-buff woodpecker, Green Broadbill, Banded broadbill, Blue-winged Leafbird, Grey-bellied bulbul, Scaly-breasted Bulbul, Rufous-tailed Shama, Chestnut-naped forktail, Grey-headed babbler, White-necked Babbler, Large-billed blue-flycatcher, Asian paradise Flycatcher, Grey-breasted jungle-flycatcher, Mangrove whistle, Scarlet-breasted flowerpecker, Crimson sunbird, Crested jay, Reddish scops Owl and Blyth’s Frogmouth
Park accommodation can be booked online. Carry enough water, a change of top, a small towel, strong insect repellent and a light pancho.
Getting ThereTaxis can be chartered for the 40 minute trip to the park. Alternatively, a number of travel operators in Kuching run guided tours to the park.
Alternatively, you can take Grab or Van Sewa (Zone 1) from Open Air Market Foodcourt.