a field guide to the planet - by Damon Ramsey
A national park in northern Borneo that is great for Pitcher plants...
Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? One of the first expeditions I am booked to work on is the NZ sub-Antarctics with Silversea Expeditions and Australia with Coral Expeditions. And here is a shortened version of one of my lectures in a warmer part of the world.
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.
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'.
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.
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.