Bako National Park,

personal experience

I have been to Bako about half a dozen times, mainly on expedition ships, and I have hiked all of the longer trails.


Bako National Park is located on the island of Borneo, within the state of Sarawak, part of  Malaysia. It is the oldest national park in Sarawak. Bako is only a small national park, but it has a good variety of walks that explore a variety of habitats, from mangroves, through lowland rainforest, to open woodland. There is accommodation and a cafeteria at the National Park centre.

the beautiful and remote bays of Bako, Borneo (Damon Ramsey)


It is a great place to see several species of 'Pitcher Plants'. Species that are easy to see here in Bako National Park include the smaller ground-dwelling Nepenthes ampullaris, the common & plain green hanging Nepenthes gracilis, and the strikingly coloured 'Raffles Pitcher Plant', which is pictured below ...

Raffles Pitcher Plant, Bako (Damon Ramsey).


While the walks are great to see plants, the best place to see animals is actually right at the National Parks Visitor Centre. Here in the afternoon is it common to see Proboscis Monkeys, Long-tailed Macaques, Silvered Leaf Monkeys...

silver leaf monkey, Bako national parkSilver leaf monkey, Bako national park (Damon Ramsey)

and Bearded Pigs...

There are some rarer animals in the rainforest around the centre, such as Pit Viper and Colugo. But to see these more cryptic species you might need the help of a local guide, or ask the local rangers.


I mainly visited this park with Orion Expedition, but unfortunately that company no longer exists. I doubt there are many expedition ships that plan to do this as a regular landing, as it was quite a long way to anchorage and a tricky landing to co-ordinate.

It is probably a better option visiting by land anyway. You can access the park via day trips from the city of Kuching. You can also stay overnight (a much better option). There is accomodation at the park centre, as well as a cafeteria.

Another great place in Malaysia is Taman Negara (National Park).