Situated on the extreme western tip of Sarawak on Datu Peninsula, Tanjung Datu National Park shares a border with Kalimantan, Indonesia. It is one of the smallest parks in the state at only 1,379 ha but it has such an amazing mix of natural configurations that it has been called the Heaven of Borneo.
Here, rugged mountains, dissected in certain parts by swift-flowing, crystalclear streams, open on the coast to small but truly scenic beaches in some areas (particularly Pasir Antu and Pasir Berunput), or drop to the sea off sheer cliffs composed of sedimentary rocks. The main cliffs at Teluk Labuan Gadong are about 80m high and offer a bird’s eye view of the entire shoreline to the north, Teluk Upas and Teluk Jin Siong to the south as well as Teluk Melano village and the surrounding areas. On a clear day, dolphins can be seen swimming near the bay. In the morning, it is possible to hear the call of the gibbon. The coastline is worth exploring in a kayak to fully appreciate the awe-inspiring physical features of the park, while the unpolluted sea, which supports a wide range of marine life, is ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Up in the mountains, the flora consists of mixed dipterocarp forest that hosts many different animals species including gibbons, long-tailed macaques, bearded pigs, tufted ground squirrels, peacocks, mouse deer, barking deer, sambar deer and hornbills. As for marine life, there is an abundance of interesting creatures from dolphins to whales and turtles that come to lay their eggs. King crabs can also often be seen coming out the water while the seas have corals and marine life, which includes octopus and anemones.
Facilities for visitors are currently being developed within the park area. Once completed, the park will be open to visitors. Future plans include the establishment of a marine park to preserve the delicate marine ecosystem thus ensuring the perpetuation of its diverse marine life.
Accommodation facilities in the park are currently unavailable, but there is a homestay programme. It entails staying with a local family, sharing their food and joining in their cultural events and activities.
To get there, visitors have to hire a boat from the coastal town of Sematan. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the park from Sematan, and visitors are advised to travel there from April to September when the sea is calm. From October until February, the sea is often too rough for small boats.