Saturday, July 2, 2011

Maliau Basin

Maliau Basin or also Maliau Basin Conservation Area, is a region in Sabah, Malaysia, which represents a geological catchment surrounding the Maliau River. Located around the center of Sabah in the Sandakan Division, it was designated as a conservation area by the Sabah Foundation (Yayasan Sabah) in 1981. Later in 1997 the Sabah State Assembly gazetted the Basin as a Protection Forest Reserve (Class I) with a total area of 588 square kilometres. The region also features Mount Lotung (1667 metres), Maliau Falls, and Lake Linumunsut. Efforts are underway to nominate the area as a World Heritage Site.[1]  (From Wikipedia)

Both Maliau Basin and Danum Valley are managed by Yayasan Sabah (Sabah Foundation). You can find more information and contact numbers here. Previous blogs on my Danum Valley trip is here and here.

Again, we flew AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau. Our 9D/8N stay with full board in Maliau Basin, twin sharing, cost around RM1200 (USD 400) for Malaysian, and RM2730 (USD 900 for non Malaysian).

A little bit on the cost breakdown: 4WD transportation from Tawau to Maliau Basin Conservation Area (MBCA) is RM650 for two ways for 4 passengers. Full meals is RM65 for Malaysian and RM150 for non Malaysian. Twin sharing rest house is RM80/night for Malaysian and RM220 for non Malaysian. Entrance fee RM30 for Malaysian and RM50 for non Malaysian.

4WD for transportation from Tawau airport - Maliau Basin return R0011953 copy
4WD from Tawau airport to Maliau Basin (return), RM650/round trip. The journey from airport to Maliau Basin takes around 5 hours.

make your own drink R0012055 copy typical lunch and dinner at maliau basin R0012056 copy
Left: tea/coffee/milo - self service
Right: Typical lunch/dinner, rice with 3 or 4 dishes. For breakfast, it's normally fried noodle or nasi lemak, and bread with butter and jam, and cereal with milk.

R0012005 copy kapur and keruing rest house at maliau basin R0011984 copy
Left: Rest area next to the dining hall (on the right) and deck on the left with forest view.
Right: Rest house with boardwalk

misty forest in the morning, maliau basin R0012520 copy beautiful sunset in maliau basin R0012450 copy
Left: misty forest in the morning.             Right: sunset

R0012140 copy R0012529 copy
More misty forest in the morning. I got up at 5:40am almost every single day to shoot these:D

hanging bridge spanning across Sungai Maliau R0012072 copy
The hanging bridge spanning across Sungai Maliau

maliau skybridge canopy walk R0012080 copy
Once you cross the river, the Maliau Skybridge (canopy walk) awaits you!

moon moth luna moth R0012388 copy
A moon moth, Actias maenas, that visited us one night.

wild boar at maliau basin R0011995 copy
Many wild boars there too, day and night.

maliau basin staff with an injured hawk cuckoo R0012535 copy
A staff holding an injured Moustached Hawk-Cuckoo he found

malayan civet Viverra tangalunga that visited at night IMG_7450 copy
Malayan civet, Viverra tangalunga that visited us at night.

brown wood owl Strix leptogrammica IMG_7003 copy
Residential Brown wood owl, Strix leptogrammica. It's there every night!

bird of prey hawk eagle IMG_6415 copy
Jerdon's Baza (?)

Stay tuned for part II with mainly macro images: violin beetle, dead leaf mantis (Deroplatys truncata), jewel beetle, owlfly and more!

Edit: Part II posted. It's here.


  1. Such close encounter of nature!
    and so early sunrise already?
    u didn't catch the wild boar? hehehe...
    and i love owl! :D


  2. Thanks JW. You should make a trip there :)



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