This national park is dominated by Mt Kinabalu, which stands 4.095 meters tall and is the biggest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. The mountain's lower forested slopes are home to a wonderful menagerie of life forms. Home to the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Malaysia, the park attracts naturalists from all over the globe. There are more than 5,000 species of plant recorded, of special note being the parasitic Rafflesia, with their enormous, pungent flowers. Also in evidence is a profusion of Orchids and carnivorous Pitcherplants, both groups of which are strongly represented in Borneo. 
Mammals are not as prominent as in the other areas of biological significance - visitors usually see some of the many species of resident flying, tree and ground Squirrel, such as the tiny and animated Whitehead's squirrel and Bornean black-banded squirrel. Also present are Sambar deer, Ferret-badger; Porcupines and a variety of Bats. 
Birders come to Kinabalu to seek the island's montane endemics - as well as getting a breather in the way of some cooler weather after the hot and humid lowlands. The beautiful endemic Bornean green magpie is found here, as are Bornean whistling thrush, the endemic Fruit-hunter; Golden-naped barbet, Bornean flowerpecker and Whitehead's spiderhunter. 
Reptiles and frogs are more in evidence at lower elevations (especially below 600m), and include a variety of snakes, skinks, geckoes and tree frogs.
The terrain beckons keen mountain-climbers and paragliders.

Derek Schuurman

Travel Specialist

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