Deep within Sarawak’s 60 million-year-old rainforest lies one of the most extraordinary and elaborate cave systems on earth.
In a land of abundant natural riches, Gunung Mulu National Park still ranks amongst the greatest of Borneo’s attractions. The park is so remote it can only be reached by light aircraft, yet it makes an incredible and worthy addition to any luxury, tailor-made itinerary.
Overlooked by the imposing Mount Mulu, this vast, World Heritage-listed rainforest is famed for its enormous limestone caves and dramatic karst formations. The most impressive of these is the bat-filled Deer Cave, one of the largest single cave passages in the world (second only to Vietnam’s Son Doong). The entrance alone measures an enormous 146m, big enough to fit St Paul’s Cathedral. Be sure to visit at dusk for the chance to witness the incredible exodus of some five million bats as they emerge from the cave in one huge cloud in search of food.
Another of the park’s must-sees is the 200km long Clearwater Cave (one of the longest caves in the world) with its rare orchids, subterranean river and charming floating bridges. You can reach the cave by following a 4km nature trail or via a long boat ride along the Melinau River. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear pool at the entrance before heading to the adjacent Wind Cave to admire its impressive collection of limestone stalactites, stalagmites and rock corals.
Make time, too, for a visit to the ‘Pinnacles’ – tall, jagged limestone spires at Gunung Api (or Fire Mountain) soaring up to 50 metres in height – formed by thousands of years of heavy rainfall. Whilst you explore, keep an eye out for the park’s wildlife, including gibbons, frogs and various birds.