Bako National Park: One of Malaysia’s Best Wildlife Spot
Bako National Park by amrufm, Flickr.
I was around ten years old when my father took me and my sister, Sophia, for hiking in a forest somewhere in Mindanao, the easternmost island in the Philippines. It wasn’t an easy trail for children our age—frequent rains have made the earth muddy and slippery, there was no proper path to walk on, and an angry river gushed by twenty feet below. I remember us losing our way further into the dense forest, me being extremely thirsty and, at one point, passing out. I also remember us eventually crossing paths with some local men, who gave us directions. And I vividly remember how, despite the dangerous situation, that the entire experience was so thrilling. I realized that day how much I loved coming up-close with nature.
My second hiking experience came several years later when I joined my friends from the university up the mountains of Batad, one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. It wasn’t dangerous, but there was a lot of walking uphill involved; more like crawling uphill actually. I remember some of the girls packed hair dryer (there wasn’t electricity where we camped that night), makeup kits, and lots of canned food. Imagine the weight of all that! The trip was a very memorable one.
That desire to be close to nature is kicking in again with full force. The special part is that I now have a husband to look after me (and carry my hair dryer). Since I am reading so much about Malaysia these days, I figured it’s the best place to come up close with wildlife. Besides, Masood’s friend couldn’t stop raving about how he had the time of his life in one of Malaysia’s national parks.
One of such parks that travel writer Chris Wotton suggests is Bako National Park in Sarawak. He mentions that with its coastal location, this park boasts secluded beaches and plenty of panoramic rocky shoreline as well as all you would expect of a national park including jungle streams, numerous species of birds and monkeys, and waterfalls. There are also plenty of opportunities for easy or more challenging nature trails through the jungle canopy – there are a total of sixteen different color coded trails, in fact.
You can also spend the night at the park, accommodation is possible. There are organised night excursions and, armed with flashlights, you get a glimpse of nocturnal animals. You might spot a python, a flying lemur, bats, the civet and even owls.
If you would like to find out more about Bako National Park or travelling to Malaysia, please visit the Tourism Malaysia website.