The area was gazette as a National Park to protect the natural environment with its unique flora and fauna and to ensure an uninterrupted water supply for the region. Rugged volcanic terrain cover the natural landscape, in sharp contrast to the neatly cultivated plantations of oil palm, cocoa and rubber on the flat coastal plains. It covers an area of 27,975 hectares.
FLORA & FAUNA
Lush dipterocarp forest vegetation and lianas cover the lower regions giving way to thick damp mossy forests as the altitude gets higher and temperatures get cooler. The variety of plant life found within the park include Agathis, Mountain Rhu, Tree ferns, different species of orchids and begonia. A particularly interesting species is the Mengaris tree whose smooth grey trunk makes it particularly difficult to climb. Wild bees protect their precious store of honey bears, by making their honeycombs high up these trees. Macaques, creamy white leaf monkeys, giant tree squirrels, civet cats and leopard cats inhabit the park’s dense primary forests. Borneo’s largest wild cat – the clouded leopard, through rarely seen is not uncommon. It preys on smaller mammals such as rats and even bigger wild pigs. Other inhabitants of the harmless kind include hornbills and pheasants and the slow-moving forest tortoise.
PLANNING AN ITINERARY
Cool streams meandering through a lush tropical forest setting and waterfalls cascading excitingly into frothing rocky pools down below, make it an ideal location for picnics and refreshing dips-away from the stress and strains of everyday life. There are also hot springs-Mother Nature’s very own spa, where you can ease your tired muscles and weary bones while luxuriating in the therapeutic warmth of the ‘geo-thermal’ pool. There are also jungle trails for those who wish to explore the forest, study its varied plant life at closer range and maybe be fortunate enough to spot its shy inhabitants. For something more challenging, climb the Bombalai Hill. At 530m above sea level, it offers a sweeping panorama of the plantations, Tawau town in the far distance and the Sulawesi Sea on the horizon.
2 hostels and a jungle lodge are available for visitors. The campsite can accommodate 500 – 1,000 campers.
MYR5.00 /person /night and MYR2.00 (below 18 years) /person /night. Those who wish to camp must use their own camping equipment.
2 Hostel Blocks, Agathis Hostel A & B.
The hostels provide a total of 19 rooms with four (4) beds per room.
Reservation can be made through travel agent.
Visitors are advised to observe the Park’s regulations while in the Park. Under the Sabah Parks Enactment of 1984, it is an offense to:-
- Kill, capture, disturb or remove any animal, nest or eggs.
- Remove, damage or set fire to any vegetation or any object of geological, historical or scientific interest.
- Introduce any outside plant or animal.
- Deface or write on any rocks, trees or buildings.
These regulations protect the Park for your benefit, the benefit of your children and for future generations.
The park headquarters at the southern boundary is merely 24km away from Tawau. Visitors have to make their own transport arrangements to the park which is accessible via a maze of some rather rough roads but that’s part of the adventure!