Maliau Basin, Lost World of Sabah Part 1 of 3
Day 1. We took the Kimanis road from Kota Kinabalu heading to Keningau, Sook, Nabawan, then Sepulut (gravel road for almost 1-2 hours all the way to Maliau Basin). The whole journey took about 5 hours from KK. (Map)
Shell Maliau Basin Reception & Information Building. Here is where we register before entering into the premise.
Another 27KM to Maliau Basin Studies Centre. You definitely need a 4WD.
Hostel at Maliau Basin Studies Centre. 6 days 5 nights expedition, stayed 2 nights in the hostel (first and last day), remaining 3 nights in the rainforest. Still not completely out of touch from the outside world, there’s Astro in the entertainment lounge, and able to receive and make phone calls using Maxis or Celcom.
Here is where we spent a night before the great adventure begins. The hostel is rather comfortable, power supply up to 12midnight, bed sheets, pillow case, blanket, toilet roll, and clean tap water. You can choose to rent the kitchen for cooking, or opt for the meal-inclusive package.
Day 2. Next morning we drove to Agathis Camp, about 20 minutes from Maliau Basin Studies Centre.
This journey begins from Agathis Camp to Nepenthes Camp, then off to Ginseng Camp, Maliau Falls, back to Ginseng Camp again before heading back to Agathis Camp (MAP). Total 3 nights in the rainforest, 33.5 KM hike. If you click on the map, you’ll see that we only cover the south of Maliau Basin (that’s where the Maliau Falls is). Rafflesia Camp and Eucalyptus Camp are in the making, currently those are research areas.
With a backpack full of 3 nights clothes, “survivor food- power bar, chocolates, bread etc”, camera batteries (make sure you fully charged all your batteries, there’s not enough power supply in the forest), water bottles and all other essentials, I was lugging 8 to 10 Kg backpack throughout the hike. We have porters carrying our staple food for dinner.
First challenge is 7.5 KM from Agathis Camp to Nepenthes Camp.
The first few kilometers are killers… rough terrain with ladders almost 90 degree.
It feels much easier with ladder than stepping on rocks and tree roots. Well, the worse is yet to happen later on…
Nice view from the top.
Dry terrain, love it!
Trekking is not all about reaching the destination, it is much more rewarding to examine the surroundings, paying greater attention to what’s around us. Isn’t the journey in life the same as well?
This reminds me of the underwater.
Fungus, very poisonous I assume…no insects, untouched and extremely ‘pretty’.
Up we go again…
Leech socks is a must in Sabah’s Lost World (unless you don’t mind leech bites). At the end of the day, I had 20 over brown leeches stuck in my shoes, in and outside of leech socks. Tobacco can slowly ‘kill’ the leech before it crawls or bite any further, if the leech is already sucking your blood, you either wait for it to drop off when it’s full, or apply salt to it, the leech will drop off immediately . Read more on how to avoid leeches in Borneo.
As we go further and further into the rainforest…
We can see the change of environment, it gets darker, wet soil, steamy…best natural habitat for leeches. You can literally see groups of leeches every inch of your step searching for nice warm blood.
Tea colored and acidic water at Maliau Basin. This is our source of water for the next 3 nights. It is safe to drink (make sure you heat the water to boiling point), tastes salty, weird…But if you’re thirsty, it doesn’t bother you much anymore.
The end of 7.5 KM (5 to 6 hours hike), the Nepenthes Camp previously known as Camel Trophy Camp. This is the first permanent camp in Maliau Basin, a two-storey building with bunk beds, solar electricity, and showers. Can occupied up to 15 people.
Our dining and hang out area at night.
A Malayan Chivet spotted at night just outside the dining area.
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