Maliau Basin is Southeast Asia’s ‘Lost World’, an area almost the size of Singapore, home to one of the most diverse collections of flora and fauna on earth. Maliau Basin is located in the southern region of central Sabah, about 40 kilometres north of the Kalimantan border. It is accessible via the towns of Keningau and Tawau, both four to five hour drives away. Maliau Basin has remained largely untouched and is a single huge water catchment, drained by one river only – the Maliau River, which flows through a gorge in the southeast of the Basin, joining the Kuamut River and eventually the Kinabatangan – Sabah’s largest and most important waterway.
Major expeditions discovered a distinct and diverse flora of over 1,800 species, including at least 6 types of pitcher plant and more 80 species of orchid, several of which are new records for Sabah. The rare Rafflesia tengku-adlinii has also been found in Maliau Basin, one of only two known localities in Sabah, and two species completely new to science, a tree and a moss, have so far been discovered. The main forest area is dominated by majestic Agathis trees, rare montane heath forest and precious lowland and hill dipterocarp forest.