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MULU WORLD HERITAGE AREA
Pack your bags and get ready to journey into the heart of Borneo and Malaysia’s iconic World Heritage Area, Mulu National Park. With no road into this area you can expect a pristine wilderness full of all the weird and wonderful things that awarded it UNESCO’s World Heritage status in all four criteria.
Find yourself captivated by enchanting underworlds – enormous caves home to great flocks of bats that cloak the sky in darkness as they swirl through the heavens. Wander through misty rainforest viewing claws of jagged rock and jungle-cloaked mountain peaks through breaks in the jungle canopy. Admire the riot of wildlife – from the tiny pigmy squirrel, to some of the largest insects on Earth. See exquisite orchids emerge from the dense leaf litter cloaking the jungle floor. Fall under the spell of this pulsing, breathing, living utopia.
Mulu National Park experiences: Show cave tour of Deer and Lang Cave, bat exodus, adventure caving in Clearwater Cave, Cave of Winds, Batu Bungan longhouse craft market, night walk and volunteering at local school.
National Park entry fees
Meals: all breakfasts, picnic lunches when required and some evening meals
MULU NATIONAL PARK
You’ll be met at the airport by a Borneo Ethical Adventures representative and transported to your lodgings in Mulu National Park.
After a familarisation talk about your program for the next few days you’ll be free to explore the self-guided walks, waterfalls and great interpretive trails of the park.
Your accommodation here is perched under forest canopy and embraced by a series of self-guided walks trails through the rainforest.
You may choose to walk, rest or swim. Here’s your chance to breathe out, ah, you’re here, among one of the world’s most treasured natural environments.
In the evening we regroup for a leisurely night walk on the walk trails around camp headquarters. This two-hour guided tour will give you an insight into nocturnal jungle life.
Immerse yourself in the sounds of the rainforest, interpret the cacophony of jungle noises, watch the courtship dance of the firefly, search for luminescent fungi and scorpion and perhaps spot an elusive marsupial or two.
Every night is different and there is plenty of opportunity to take part in a few night walks or venture out on your own while in Mulu.
Volunteering at a local school, visit Deer Cave and witness Mulu's Bat Exodus
SK Batu Bungan School
SK Batu Bungan is home to more than 100 primary school children from remote rivers and tributaries of the region. You’ll have the chance to volunteer here, on projects ranging from tree planting and painting to teaching English. Don the ‘let’s get down and dirty/I’m here to make a difference’ clothing and attitude and let’s get sweaty!
Mulu World Heritage Area
Return for lunch and regroup before our afternoon/evening tour to Deer Cave and the bat exodus.
Take an easy 2.7 km trail to Lang and Deer Caves. As you saunter through the rainforest and by jungle steams your guide will regal you with captivating stories of the plants and wildlife you encounter, and the traditional roles and customs for people who live in the jungle.
Lang Cave is possibly the most stunning cave in Mulu with a low ceiling that makes spotting the swiftlet and bats nesting in the bell-holes easy. It is adorned with lavishly decorated walls of shawls, layers of rim stone pools and spectacular stalagmites and stalactites.
Not far away is the jaw-dropping Deer Cave. With a cathedral-like cavern snaking two kilometres under the earth and ceiling never lower than 90m high, Deer Cave is the biggest show-cave in the world.
Its cavernous reaches are also home to around three million wrinkle-lipped bats that emerge from the cave most evenings around sunset. We time our walk to witness the phenomenon of these bats streaming from the cave entrance – a stand-out scene in David Attenborough’s Planet Earth series. Watching the bats swirl through the sky in meandering rivers of black is a truly heart-stopping experience.
From within the cave you can also visit the ‘Garden Of Eden’, one of the most pristine collapsed cave systems in the world. Witness its dazzling beauty by peering through a 30-metre column of water streaming from above, like a giant shower for the jungle gods.
It will be late when we return and, although the pathway is lit, the scout and brownie guide rules of ‘be prepared’ are advisable in the jungle, so bring your torch.
Visit local longhouse and handicraft market on the way to adventure Caving and picnic at Clearwater Cave
We leave the park by longboat at 9.30am and travel up river stopping at Batu Bungan Craft Market. Here you can test your skills with a blowpipe, pick up some local crafts direct from the women who collect and weave the products or try your hand (or should we say nose!), with a Penan nose flute.
As we journey further up the river and out from under the forest canopy you’ll start to see the breathtaking beauty from a different perspective. Any boat ride on these rivers is like a meditation in nature and this one is no exception. You can’t help but feel alive, relaxed and complete as Mother Nature soothes your very soul with her beauty.
Next we travel through an intriguing underworld of cave passages, formed over two million years to create a winding network of tunnels snaking 220 kilometres under the earth.
First, we visit the Cave of Wind to enter the lavishly decorated halls of King Chamber, adorned with stalactites, stalagmites, flowrocks, helitites and rock corals.
From here we set out on a meandering boardwalk perched precariously along the cliffs to Clearwater Cave Picnic Area were we recharge with a light snack and refreshment before venturing through the ancient underground river passage of Clearwater Cave.
You’ll embark on a 200-step climb to Clearwater Cave entrance but the adventure really begins when you step off the show-cave boardwalk and into the cool, clear waters that have been carving out the expansive Clearwater Cave system across the millennia. Depending on the water levels, you will wade, swim and climb to the far reaches of Clearwater Cave and return via the same passage.
The duration of this tour varies considerably due to water levels and the fitness levels of the group.
Hours later as we venturing back into daylight there is time to relax, swim and feast by the cool waters that gave Clearwater its name.
It will be late afternoon before the longboats take us down stream on the Sungai Melinau to Park Headquarters.
This is the last night of our time together in Mulu.
Allow us to plan an extended Mulu experience for you or continue your journey at your leisure.