Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Borneo is the tallest mountain in Borneo Island and also Malaysia at 4,095 meters (13,435 ft) above sea level. It is perhaps the tenth tallest mountain in Southeast Asia and the twentieth highest in Asia. It is located in the Kinabalu National Park which covers an area of about 754 km2. Mount Kinabalu and its surroundings area which made up the Kinabalu National Park are one of the most important biological sites in the world due to the rich and diversify collection of flora and fauna that can be found here. So far, there are more than 4500 species of plant, 326 species of birds, and 100 mammalian species identified here. Many of the species are unique and endemic to this area only such as the gigantic Rafflesia flower, the Borneo orangutan, pitcher plants such as the giant Nepenthes Rajah and various species of fern and exotic orchids. In recognition of its valuable wildlife biodiversity, Kinabalu National Park has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage site status since 2000.
The main attraction in the Kinabalu National Park is Mount Kinabalu which has been like a magnet that is attracting tourist to the park during their Sabah, Borneo vacation. Mount Kinabalu is a very young mountain in geological terms and it is formed from molten rock or granodiorite (which is define as "an intrusive igneous rock similar to granite but with higher quartz content") millions of years ago. It is estimated that the granodiorite cooled and hardened only about 10 million years ago. Sadly, most visitors come here only to climb this mountain without realizing about the richness of its plant and wildlife biodiversity in its surroundings. Visit this page for more information about climbing Mount Kinabalu and its other attractions.
For visitors who are not interested or unable to climb the mountain, Kinabalu National Park is still worth a visit as there are many other attractions around the park entrance. Nature lovers should go for some jungle trekking at the various nature trails available around the park headquarters. These trails will lead you into the forest where you can see the interesting plants, birds, insects and maybe some sighting of some animals.
There is also a gallery or exhibition center called The Kinabalu Natural History Gallery at the Park Headquarters building which is located near the park entrance. This gallery also acts like an information center to inform and introduce visitors to the park and what the park has to offer. At this gallery, visitors can learn more about the park such as its geological make-up and the uniqueness of its flora and fauna.
For plants lover, visit the gardens nearby to view the many plants that have been cultivated here. Most of these plants have been taken from the surroundings areas and re-planted in the garden. On display at the garden are various ferns, orchids and carnivorous pitcher plants.
View of Mount Kinabalu Summit - Low's Peak
Getting There: Kinabalu National Park is located on part of the Crocker Range on the West Coast Division of Sabah in the district of Ranau. The main entrance to this park which is also near to the Park headquarters is about 90 km from the city of KK.
Note: Climbing permit and insurance are needed to climb Mount Kinabalu. For safety reason, climbers need to hire a guide to accompany them during the climb. For further arrangement and hassle free Sabah, Borneo vacation, contact the local travel agency.