WORLD HERITAGE SITE DESIGNATED BY UNESCO
Kinabalu Park, about 90 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu, is one of the world's most significant natural environments. The park is located at 1,585 metres above sea level and is the main starting point for the summit trail that leads to the top of Mount Kinabalu. It covers an area of 75,370 hectares surrounding Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia with 4,095.2 metres height. Kinabalu Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000 – the first in Malaysia for its “outstanding universal values” and its role as one of the most important Biological Sites in the world.
The presence of Mount Kinabalu is one of the contributing factors to the wide variety of animal, bird, insect and plant life found in the park. The terrain ranges from lush, green rainforest at the park’s lowest altitudes, while further up the mountain, rhodendron and coniferous forest is prevalent. At the highest altitudes, stunted plant growth and small marsupials survive in a harsh environment. Orchids and carnivorous pitcher plants are among the park’s most famous plants, although they are rare along the park’s most worn tourist trails. However, they are all on display in a botanical walk near the park headquarters where visitors can view some of the area’s most beautiful flora.
The most famous of the pitcher plants endemic to Kinabalu Park is Nepenthes Raja, a giant pitcher plant whose bell can hold more than three litres of water. There are a number of other species of pitcher plants in the park and these can be seen just off some of the tracks in the park. Kinabalu Park is also home to the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, which blooms exceptionally rarely and only for a couple of days. With a diameter of up to one metres and a potential weight of 10 kilograms, the blooming of the Rafflesia is an event keenly awaited by botanists around the world.
Given the size of the park, there are several activities for you to choose from. Whether you prefer laidback activities or activities that are sure to get your heart pumping, you will find it at Kinabalu Park. Climbing Mount Kinabalu takes about two to three days on average. Thousands of people have done this climb and have nothing but good things to say about it. For those who are not keen on testing themselves on Mount Kinabalu’s slopes, there is still much to enjoy from a visit to the park. Other activities include rappelling, rope ascending, taking a dip in the Poring Hot Springs, Kipungit and Langanan waterfalls, visiting the butterfly farm, and many more.