Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bako National Park a lifetime experience for visitors, tourists

KUCHING: The Bako National Park, home to a diversity of attractions which include rainforest, abundance of wildlife, jungles streams, waterfalls, trekking trails, beaches, sea stack rock formation, flora and fauna, offers a lifetime experience for visitors and tourists.

Bako offers the perfect introduction to Sarawak’s forests and wildlife which covers the northern tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula, an area of 27 sq km.

Despite its seemingly small size, Bako contains a wide range of vegetation – swamp forest, scrub-like vegetation, mangrove forest, dipterocarp forest, delicate cliff vegetation and more.

In fact, at Bako it is possible to see almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo and contains a rich variety of wildlife and a coastline covered with small bays, coves and beaches.

The park has a number of well-marked trails offering interesting walks ranging from short pleasant strolls to serious full-day hikes and unlike some national parks, visitors to Bako are almost guaranteed to see wildlife.

Long-tailed macaque monkeys and silver leaf monkeys are ever present, wild boars are often found rummaging around the park HQ, squirrels and monitor lizards are also common.

There is every chance of seeing the rare and unusual proboscis monkeys on trails such as Telok Paku and Telok Delima, particularly if you go late afternoon.

Bako is also home to approximately 275 rare proboscis monkeys, found only in Borneo, the male is an odd-looking creature, with a huge pendulous nose and a large pot-belly, weighing in excess of 20kg.

Both male and female are covered in reddish-brown fur with grey limbs and a white tail and they are mostly arboreal (tree-dwelling), moving about the forest or mangroves in small groups and feeding on young leaves, shoots, sour fruits and seeds.

Although it requires some patience, an encounter with a group of proboscis is likely to be the highlight of your trip to Bako, the best times are early in the morning or in the hours before dusk.

Telok Delima and Telok Paku are the best trails for viewing the proboscis.

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) Communications and Marketing Division manager Barbara Benjamin Atan said last year, the National Park opened in 1957 and situated 37km from Kuching registered 46,176 local and foreign tourists.

From the total 36,356 were tourists who came on a day trip while 9,820 had stayed at the oldest National Park in Sarawak to experience ‘where adventure lives’.