The jewel in the crown of Sarawak’s national parks, World Heritage listed Mulu is also the largest by far. Here you can really have the true jungle experience, with multi-day treks up to the summit of Mt Mulu (second highest peak in Sarawak) or out along the Headhunter’s Trail, finishing with a night in a longhouse. Mulu also has the largest caves in the world, and possibly also the longest cave system – still to be fully explored. They have to be seen to be believed..
Mulu National Park, 100km east of Miri, is one of Sarawak’s greatest natural places, and a World Heritage Site. It is Sarawak’s largest national park (544 sq km) and it contains a wealth of attractions. On the surface, there’s stunning scenery – the steep forested sandstone mass of Gunung Mulu (2376m), bounded by rugged limestone mountains (including Gunung Api and Gunung Benarat), and canyons formed by clear river systems that flow into a broad green flood plain.
Mulu is, however, probably best known for what lies beneath – an array of limestone cave systems of staggering size and complexity. From the close confines of King’s chamber, with its fragile collection of weird and wonderful limestone formations, to the vastness of the Deer Cave’s soaring ceiling, to the 140km+ long Clearwater Cave system, Mulu has got caves to suit all tastes. Many of Mulu’s cave systems remain uncharted.
Deep cave systems, limestone landscapes, rugged mountains, clear rivers – this all adds up to a dramatic diversity of habitats – and consequently a great variety of plants and animals. Some of these ecosystems are unique to Mulu. One of the highlights of visiting the park is seeing the evening exodus of wrinkle-lipped bats from Deer Cave, when hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of bats stream out of the cave mouth in ever-changing, smoke-like formations, to the delighted screech of swooping hungry bat-hawks. Bird-life (including a variety of hornbills), and a great variety of butterflies are some of the most easily appreciated fauna attractions of Mulu.
Mulu has been home to people as well – nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes coexisted here for thousands of years. The descendants of some of these, the Penan, continue to live in the park. The Berawan, another indigenous group, inhabit surrounding areas, and also still use the park. Much of their folklore is based on sites within the park. The unique cultures of these tribes are a highlight to visiting Mulu National Park.
Tragically, our notes and much of our film from Mulu National Park was lost in shipping. We are attemting to reconstruct as much as possible from various sources, but it means that these pages are still in progress. The real pity is that Mulu, when explored properly, is one of the real highlights of Sarawak (or the world, for that matter). We beg your patience…
In the meantime, we have three photo galleries of photos from Mulu (many photos thanks to Brigit Weld, who took pity on us and lent us her photos). These photos have been arranged as follows:
- Mulu HQ, Bats & Caves
- Pinnacles & Headhunters’ Trails
- Gunung Mulu Summit
We also highly recommend visiting the Mulu National Park official website at www.mulupark.com