Things To See and Do



Floras in Maliau Basin

Maliau Basin contains an unusual assemblage of forest types, comprising mainly of lower montane forest dominated by majestic Agathis trees, rare montane heath forest and lowland and hill dipterocarp forest.

The flora are distinct and diverse with at least eight species of pitcher plant and several orchid species have been recorded here for the first time in Sabah, including the striking necklace orchid Coelogyne odoardi, endemic to Borneo. Maliau may be one of only two remaining sites of the rare Rafflesia tengku-adlinii, first discovered here in 1988.


Faunas in Maliau Basin

MBCA has become a global hot spot for the conservation of bird biodiversity. With over 290 species such as the Bornean Bristlehead, Blue-headed Pitta, Black-headed Pitta and Banded Pitta, Peregrine Falcon and Bulwer’s Pheasant, have been recorded in the Conservation Area and the surrounding buffer zones, of which an astonishing 26% are listed as threatened or near-threatened by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Over 80 mammal species have so far been recorded in Maliau and adjacent area, including some of Sabah’s rarest mammals such as the Sumatran rhinoceros, clouded leopard, Malayan sunbear and proboscis monkey. The surrounding forest is also refuge to the endangered Banteng and Borneo pygmy elephants.

Other mammals that have been recorded in MBCA include red barking deer, Bornean yellow Barking deer, Sambar deer and Bearded pig. Small mammals include primates (Red-leaf monkeys, Grey-leaf monkeys, Bornean Gibbons, Pig-tail macaques, Long-tail macaque), civets, rats, shrews, porcupines, pygmy squirrel, pangolin, etc.)

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Geomorphological Wonders

The Maliau Basin forms an almost circular amphitheatre, about 25kms across, sharply defined on all sides by cliffs or steep slopes up to almost 1600m high. About 14 to 15 million years ago, area where the Basin now lies was under the sea part of a much larger river delta. With passing of time layer after layer of slit, sand and mud were laid down in the slowly sinking delta, to harden into the beds of siltstone, sandstone and mudstone weathered much more quickly than the harder sandstone snd siltstones, forming narrow, steep-sided valleys with curtaining waterfalls.


Takob-Akob Waterfall at Maliau Basin

Field investigation has shown that Maliau Basin may house the highest number of spectacular waterfall per unit area in Malaysia and perhaps in the world. One of Maliau Basin’s well-known waterfalls is the magnificient 7-tier Maliau Falls. Other waterfalls, not less spectacular are the Takob-Akob Waterfall, Giluk Waterfall and Ginseng Waterfall.

Lake Linumunsut

Lake Linumunsut
Lake Linumunsut is set in lush lowland dipterocarp forest just outside and below the steep northern rim of the Basin. It is Sabah’s only true lake – the others are oxbow formations found in floodplains of larger rivers. The immediate area also represents a wetland environment. The Lake has a special cultural significance to the indigenous people who live nearby; a local native Murut legend tells of a dragon that lives in the lake and holds back the water its massive tail.

Based on the scientific expedition carried out in 2001, and other earlier studies, the Lake is very rich in biodiversity. The excellent variety and mix of species occur partly because Linumunsut sits at an ecological crossroads. Located in a valley 440 m above sea level, it is the meeting point between lowland and hill forests. This, coupled with unpolluted streams and a lake environment, has created a unique mix of habitats.

Here and along the Namatoi River which feeds into the Lake, one can find fossilized marine gastropods from 16-17 million years ago when the lake area was a coastal zone.

Programmes & Activities

Environmental Education

  • Nature Orientation

Nature Recreation

  • Jungle Trekking
  • Birdwatching
  • Night Walks
  • Night Drive to spot nocturnal wildlife
  • Nature Photography
  • Swimming